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  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • This one is going to be very difficult for United...

      And with 2 games in 3 days or 3 matches in 7 days or 4 games in 10 days... It could take it's toll.

      United have Swansea, West Brom, Newcastle and Wigan away, not easy at all... City on the other hand plays relatively easier opponents like Reading, Sunderland, Norwich and Stoke... I think only Stoke will be difficult but it's a home game so should be easier for City.

      If United can come away from this 4 games with their 6 points intact, i will be a bonus liao, Can forget about increasing their points over City...

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Champions League and Europa knockout draws await British clubs... but will your team land EU beauty or Euro trash?

      Robin van Persie  Gary Hooper  Santi Cazorla

       

       

       

       

      At a later date than first scheduled, seven British teams will finally find out their European fate after Christmas when the draws for the first knock-out rounds of the Champions League and Europa League are made.

      Two weeks after the group stages were completed, UEFA will begin proceedings in Nyon on December 20 at 10.30am when they make the draw for the Champions League last 16.

      With assistance from final ambassador and former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman, (who will be present at the draw in Switzerland) Manchester United, Arsenal and Celtic will be the first British clubs to find out their European fixtures.

      Following at 1pm are the Europa League’s last 32 and last 16 draws where Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham could potentially face each other in the latter of the two.

      So with the festive season in full swing, will the British clubs be handed Christmas crackers or Christmas turkeys? Here Sportsmail gives you the lowdown on the draws from both competitions.

       

       

       

      CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

      Despite one notable absentee in holders Chelsea, the last 16 left in the Champions League contains plenty of pedigree with nine former winners of the tournament and just debutants Malaga who have never been at this stage of the competition before.

      There are three British teams remaining with Manchester United, Arsenal and Celtic all managing to reach the knock-out stage. Chelsea finished third in their group to drop into the Europa League while Manchester City finished bottom to be eliminated from Europe outright.

       

      Who's left?

      Group winners (seeded):

      Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
      Schalke (GER)
      Malaga (SPA)
      Borussia Dortmund (GER)
      Juventus (ITA)
      Bayern Munich (GER)
      Barcelona (SPA)
      Manchester United (ENG)

       

      Group runners-up:

      Porto (POR)
      Arsenal (ENG)
      AC Milan (ITA)
      Real Madrid (SPA)
      Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
      Valencia (SPA)
      Celtic (SCO)
      Galatasaray (TUR)

      How does the last 16 draw work?

      The eight group winners will be paired against the eight runners-up in two-legged ties. The restrictions are no teams can face a side they played earlier in the tournament or one from their own association.

      The group winners will play away from home in the first leg on February 12/13 and 19/20 with the return fixtures contested on March 5/6 and 12/13

       

      Brit focus:

      MANCHESTER UNITED

      Story so far:

      Never seemed to get out of second gear in the group phase but rarely did they need to. Despite going behind in all but one of their matches, United won their first four games to qualify as group winners before slipping to two meaningless defeats.

      Who they can face:

      Porto, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic.

      Dream draw:

      Despite it being a ‘Battle of Britain’, Celtic’s away form is an achilles heel and one United will fancy their chances of taking full advantage of at Old Trafford.

      Fergie's nightmare:

      To be the best you have to beat the best but United will not be happy with a draw that pits them against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid at this stage.  

       

       

       


      ARSENAL

      Story so far:

      Despite domestic troubles it’s been a fairly convincing season so far in Europe. A home defeat at the hands of Schalke proved humbling but Arsenal never looked in serious trouble of progressing from the group stages on their way to a runners-up spot. There will be much tougher sides to face now though instead of Olympiacos and Montpellier.

      Who they can face:

      Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona.

      Dream draw:

      Malaga have already shocked AC Milan to storm through as easy group winners but Arsenal’s experience at this stage of the competition would give them the mental edge against the side from which they signed Santi Cazorla.

      Arsene's nightmare:

      Barcelona is the obvious pick based on their scintillating form, but that’s before you mention that the Spanish club have eliminated Arsenal from the tournament three times going back to 2006.

       

       

      CELTIC

      Story so far: It’s been an extraordinary campaign for Celtic who have defeated Barcelona, ran the same side close at the Nou Camp and finally overcome their away day hoodoo by winning at Spartak Moscow. Everything else is a bonus from now on and that takes the pressure off the Scottish champions who progressed behind the Spanish outfit as runners-up. Along with Malaga, they are one of two sides left that had to come through a qualifying round before the group phase.

      Who they can face: Paris-Saint Germain, Schalke, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester United.

      Dream draw: The inexperience of Malaga will dangle a quarter-final carrot for Celtic, but fans would also relish the chance of taking on Manchester United.

      Lennon's nightmare: Celtic have already proven they fear no one but even Neil Lennon won’t fancy a draw with Bayern Munich. Bizarrely, only Chelsea scored more goals than the runaway Bundesliga leaders’ total of 15 in the group stage.

       

      EUROPA LEAGUE

      All three Premier League clubs in Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle came through the Europa League group stage and are joined in the last 32 by Chelsea, who finished third in their Champions League group.

      The Blues’ relatively strong record compared to other third-placed teams from the elite competition makes them a seeded team but there are plenty of big fish swimming around in the unseeded pot.

      The draw for the last 16 immediately follows that for the last 32.

      Chelsea  Luis Suarez

       

      Spurs  Demba Ba
       

      Who’s left?

      Group winners/CL drop-outs:

      Liverpool (ENG)
      Viktoria Plzen (CZE)
      Fenerbahce (TUR)
      Bordeaux (FRA)
      Steaua Bucharest (ROM)
      Dnipro (UKR)
      Genk (BEL)
      Rubin Kazan (RUS)
      Lyon (FRA)
      Lazio (ITA)
      Metalist (UKR)
      Hannover (GER)
      Chelsea (ENG)*
      Cluj (ROM)*
      Olympiacos (GRE)*
      Benfica (POR)*


       

      Runners-up/CL drop-outs:

      Anzhi (RUS)
      Atletico Madrid (SPA)
      Borussia Monchengladbach (GER)
      Newcastle (ENG)
      Stuttgart (GER)
      Napoli (ITA)
      Basle (SWI)
      Inter Milan (ITA)
      Sparta Prague (CZE)
      Tottenham (ENG)
      Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
      Levante (SPA)
      Dynamo Kiev (UKR)*
      Zenit (RUS)*
      Ajax (HOL)*
      BATE (BLR)*

      * indicates team finished third in Champions League group stage.

       

      How does the last 32 draw work?

      The teams are split into two pots with the group winners and the four best performing Champions League sides seeded in pot one. They will be drawn in a two-legged tie against the runners-up and the remaining four Champions League teams from pot two.

      Allocation for the Champions League teams is based on points collected after their involvement in their respective group stages, with the four best performing sides placed in the seeded pot with the Europa League group winners.

      The restrictions are no side can play a team they faced in the Europa League group stage or one from their own association.

      The unseeded teams will be drawn first and will host the first leg on February 14, with the return matches a week later.

       

      How does the last 16 draw work?

      The 16 ‘last 32 matches’ are allocated a match number and put into one pot. The first match number drawn at random will play at home first in a two-legged tie against the next match number drawn second. The process is repeated for the 14 remaining balls.

      There are no restrictions at this stage thus any side can face teams they have already played in the group stage or one from their own association. The first legs will be played on March 7 with the return matches a week later.

       

      Brit focus:

       

      CHELSEA

      Story so far:

      The London side have wounds to lick after becoming the first Champions League holders to crash out of the group stage. The Blues scored more goals than anyone but defeats at Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus proved fatal in their quest to reach the last 16.

      Who they can face in the last 32:

      Anzhi, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach, Stuttgart, Napoli, Basle, Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, Bayer Leverkusen, Levante, Dynamo Kiev, Zenit, Ajax, BATE.

      Dream draw:

      Rafael Benitez’s team won’t fancy the air miles to Belarus and BATE, but the side that defeated Bayern Munich in the Champions League won’t be expected to cause the Blues much of a test at Stamford Bridge.

      Rafa's nightmare:

      Atletico Madrid. If only to avoid a repeat of their 4-1 Super Cup drubbing from back in August when the Europa League holders ran rings around the Blues.

       

       

      LIVERPOOL

      Story so far:

      The Reds came out on top in a very entertaining group that saw them finish level on 10 points with Anzhi and Young Boys. Defeats were felt at home to Udinese and at Anzhi but Brendan Rodgers’ side have often played with freedom and confidence.

      Who they can face in the last 32:

      Atletico Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach, Stuttgart, Napoli, Basle, Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, Bayer Leverkusen, Levante, Dynamo Kiev, Zenit, Ajax, BATE.

      Dream draw:

      In an unseeded pot that holds many dangers, Liverpool will also be in favour of facing relatively unknown BATE instead of a side with strong European history – of which there are many.

      Brendan's nightmare:

      They may have seen off Udinese in the group stage, but there are much stronger Italian teams left in the competition including Inter Milan and Napoli – who have the tournament's top-scorer in Edinson Cavani.


       

      NEWCASTLE

       

      Story so far:

      Newcastle’s first appearance in Europe for five years has been an enjoyable stint so far as the Toon reached the last 32 with a game to spare. Alan Pardew’s team only lost one match and that was at Bordeaux in their final group game – a result that still saw them through as runners-up behind the French outfit.

      Who they can face in the last 32:

      Viktoria Plzen, Fenerbahce, Steaua Bucharest, Dnipro, Genk, Rubin Kazan, Lyon, Lazio, Metalist, Hannover, Cluj, Olympiacos, Benfica.

      Dream draw:

      Having already seen off Club Bruges in the group, Newcastle will be content should they draw another Belgian side in Genk who are of similar quality to their compatriots.

      Pards' nightmare:

      Lazio are challenging for a Champions League spot in Serie A and had two very tight goalless contests with Tottenham in the group stages.

       

       

      TOTTENHAM

       

      Story so far:

      Unbeaten in their group but in finishing runners-up to Lazio with four draws it was far from a comfortable ride. Only home wins against minnows Maribor and Panathinaikos on the final day saw Spurs through to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since 2009.

      Who they can face in the last 32:

      Viktoria Plzen, Fenerbahce, Bordeaux, Steaua Bucharest, Dnipro, Genk, Rubin Kazan, Lyon, Metalist, Hannover, Cluj, Olympiacos, Benfica.

      Dream draw:

      Like Newcastle, a relatively short trip to Genk in Belgium would also be in favour of Spurs who have struggled on their European travels this term.

      AVB's nightmare:

      Never mind the fact that Dnipro would provide a very tricky challenge and a long trip to the Ukraine, former Spurs boss Juande Ramos manages them and would have something to prove at White Hart Lane.


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Wenger granted mid-winter break as Arsenal's Boxing Day clash with West Ham is OFF due to Tube strike (but United will play THREE times in SEVEN days)

       

      No go: The Gunners clash with West Ham at the Emirates must be rescheduled

      No go: The Gunners clash with West Ham at the Emirates must be rescheduled

       

       


      Arsene Wenger has finally had his wish for a winter break granted... by London’s striking Tube drivers.

      The Arsenal manager has long been a vocal supporter of the Barclays Premier League taking a mid-winter break like the top leagues in Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

      Arsenal's match at home to West Ham on Boxing Day has been postponed due to industrial action on the London Underground, meaning they will not play a match for an entire week over the usually hectic festive period.

       

      Arsene Wenger  Sir Alex Ferguson

      Happy holidays: Wenger will be delighted with Arsenal's seven-day break, but Fergie (right) is sure to be furious that United have to play three times in six days

       

       

      Wenger's side will not kick a ball for seven days after their trip to Wigan on Saturday until they host Newcastle in the evening kick-off on December 29.

      Manchester United, meanwhile, will play three times in seven days facing a trip to Swansea (December 23), a home game against Newcastle (Boxing Day) and another home match against West Brom (December 29).

      The Arsenal manager's call for a mid-winter break has become an annual tradition. Last month, he even suggested moving the season to be played January to November.

      He said: 'I understand it looks completely strange as people have been educated the current way but I moved to Japan and the season was in January to November. We started training in January and after a while it was completely normal.

      'The period of rest would be the same. It wouldn’t change the number of games. You would not be confronted with these situations when players are playing in two different championships. You would play during the summer period in the best period for football to be played.

      In 2011, Wenger said: 'I think after that [the Christmas break] you would like a little breather. I would like a winter break but after Christmas. Create a break after 2 January for two weeks. We can go on holiday for one week and prepare for one week.'

      Arsenal's seven day Christmas break...

      Arsenal now have a week off over the manic Christmas period thanks to the Tub strike. By contrast, Manchester United must play four fixtures in 10 days. Here are the two clubs' holiday season fixtures...

      Arsenal Xmas Fixtures:

       

      Wigan v Arsenal
      Sat 22 Dec, 12.45pm   

      Arsenal v West Ham
      Wed 26 Dec, 3pm - POSTPONED

      Arsenal v Newcastle
      Sat 29 Dec, 5.30pm   

      Southampton v Arsenal
      Tue 1 Jan, 5.30pm

      United Xmas Fixtures:

      Swansea v Man Utd
      Sun 23 Dec, 1.30pm   

      Man Utd v Newcastle
      Wed 26 Dec, 3pm   

      Man Utd v West Brom
      Sat 29 Dec, 3pm   

      Wigan v Man Utd
      Tue 1 Jan, 3pm


      Arsenal have postponed their Boxing Day clash with West Ham until the new year due to the proposed London Underground strike.

      The club said they spoke with several agencies before making the decision, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, the Premier League, West Ham and Islington Council.

      Tickets already purchased for this match are still valid for the rearranged date. Arsenal confirmed that this will be played on either Wednesday, January 23 (kick off 7.45pm) or Saturday, January 26 (kick off 3pm). 

      The date is dependent on the results in the FA Cup third round, which is being played on the weekend of Saturday, January 5 and Sunday, January 6. West Ham host Manchester United while Arsenal travel to Swansea.

      A club statement read: 'The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, West Ham United supporters, matchday employees and workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the game on Boxing Day.

      'In addition to the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Boxing Day, there are extremely limited services operating on National Rail train services into London on this day. Also, normal parking restrictions close to the stadium still apply. This would have caused severe disruption, or at worst, inability for supporters or matchday employees and workers to get to Emirates Stadium.

       

      Christmas cheer? Arsenal are facing a tricky festive period

      Christmas cheer? Arsenal now have an extra day to prepare for Newcastle

       

       

      'We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused supporters but we feel that the right decision has been made.'

      Arsenal's 60,000-seater ground is five minutes' walk from Holloway Road station in north London, with Highbury and Islington and Finsbury Park also close by. Many fans use the service to get to games so a suspension would have caused chaos if the match had gone ahead.

      A strike by Tube drivers last year forced Arsenal to delay their Boxing Day match with Wolves by 24 hours but they cannot do the same this year as they have a game against Newcastle on December 29.

      A midweek evening in January seems the likeliest date for re-staging but neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and the FA Cup are also factors to be considered.

      QPR's match with West Brom will kick off at 3pm as planned after the club held a meeting this afternoon to discuss the matter.

      Loftus Road is close to three Tube stations and fans are often reliant on the service but a statement on Ranger's website read: 'Supporters are advised to allow extra time for their journeys to and from Loftus Road.

      'Buses will be running on the usual Sunday/Bank Holiday service on the day of the fixture, whilst parking in the borough will be free.

      'Supporters who are unable to attend the fixture owing to the Tube strikes will be entitled to a full refund.'

      Fulham will wait for official confirmation of the Tube strike before deciding if any action needs to be taken over their Boxing Day match with Southampton at Craven Cottage.


      Derailed: Fans will have find it difficult to get across the capital

      Derailed: Fans will have found it difficult to get across the capital on Boxing Day

       

       

      A club spokesman said: 'We are monitoring situation and putting contingency in place but remain fully committed to the game going ahead as scheduled.'

      Fulham play Swansea three days later.

      Charlton are the only Championship side hosting a Boxing Day fixture in the capital but it is understood their match with Ipswich should not be too badly disrupted and will go ahead. Most home fans travel in from Kent rather than central London.

      The announcement by Aslef means London Underground drivers are on course to walk out on Boxing Day, as well as January 18 and 25 in a row over bank holiday pay. It will be the third successive Christmas walkout by Tube drivers.

      The move was announced after Aslef members voted by 9-1 in favour of strikes. A spokesman said: 'The ballot result shows the strength of feeling that remains on this issue.'

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Analysing Fergie's master class: Sportsmail takes a closer look at Sir Alex's blueprint for success

       

      University challenge: Sir Alex Ferguson opened up earlier this year for an essay at Harvard

      University challenge: Sir Alex Ferguson opened up earlier this year for an essay at Harvard

      Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

       

       

       

       

      An in-depth study of Sir Alex Ferguson and his management techniques has revealed the Manchester United manager at his most candid.

      Put together with Ferguson’s help by Harvard Business School in America, the study is entitled ‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United’ and provides a genuine insight into how the 70-year-old has been so successful for so long.

      Here, Sportsmail’s Ian Ladyman picks out his highlights and provides his own analysis of Ferguson’s methods...

       

       

      ON PLAYER POWER

      Sir Alex Ferguson: Some English clubs have changed managers so many times that it creates power for the players in the dressing room. That is very dangerous. Football management in the end is all about the players. You think you are a better player than they are, and they think they are a better manager than you are.

      Ian Ladyman: At one English club in the North West the captain tries to tell the manager what he is doing wrong. That wouldn’t happen at Old  Trafford. Ferguson welcomes input from his players, but only when he asks for it.

       

      ON HOW ANDREA BOCELLI INSPIRED A TEAM TALK

      SAF: I once heard a coach start with: ‘This must be the thousandth team talk I’ve had with you,’ and saw a player respond with: ‘Yeah and I’ve slept through half of them.’ So I tell different stories and use my imagination. I remember going to see Andrea Bocelli, the opera singer. I had never been to a classical concert in my life. But I am watching this and thinking about the co-ordination and the teamwork — one starts and one stops, just fantastic. So I spoke to my players about the orchestra — how they are a  perfect team. You can get help from some of the players. Bryan Robson, for example, was brilliant.

      IL: To Ferguson, the team ethic is everything. He encourages and seeks out individual  brilliance, but won’t tolerate anything or  anyone who begins to feel they are bigger or better than anybody else. Several players have discovered this to their cost over the years.

       

      Tenor for a team talk: United boss Ferguson revealed Andrea Bocelli has inspired him

      Tenor for a team talk: United boss Ferguson revealed Andrea Bocelli has inspired him

       

      ON MOTIVATING PLAYERS

      SAF: There is no room for criticism on the training field. For a player — and for any human being — there is nothing better than hearing ‘well done’. Those are the two best words ever invented in sports. Also, you can’t always come in (after a game) shouting and screaming. That doesn’t work. No one likes to get criticised. But in the dressing room, it’s necessary that you point out your players’ mistakes. I do it right after the game. I don’t wait until Monday, I do it, and it’s finished. I’m on to the next match. There is no point in criticising a player forever. And I never discuss an individual player in public. The players know that. It stays indoors.

      IL: To hear Ferguson criticise a player in public is rare. He did it with Rio Ferdinand after the defender refused to wear a ‘Kick  It Out’ T-shirt this season and  regretted it immediately. The issue was sorted in private at the training ground the next day. Compare that with Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, for example, who constantly seems to criticise Mario Balotelli. Two different methods. Who is to say which one is best?

       

      ON MANAGING MILLIONAIRES

      SAF: We fine them, but we keep it indoors. You can’t ever lose control — not when you are dealing with 30 top professionals who are all millionaires. And if anyone steps out of my control, that’s them dead.

      IL: The speed at which United hustled Roy Keane out of the door in 2005 shows how quickly Ferguson moves when he feels one player has started to have a negative effect on the rest. As for fines and internal discipline, you can be sure it happens at United. It’s just that they never tell anyone.

      Shifted: Roy Keane was shown out of the door at Old Trafford in 2005

      Shifted: Roy Keane was shown out of the door at Old Trafford in 2005

       

       

      ON UNITED’S YOUTH POLICY AND LETTING OLD PLAYERS GO

      SAF: The first thought for 99 per cent of new managers is to make sure they win — to survive. They bring experienced players in, often from their previous clubs. But I think it is important to build a structure for a football club, not just a football team. You need a foundation. And there is nothing better than seeing a young player make it to the first team. The idea is that the younger players are  developing and meeting the  standards that the older ones have set before. The hardest thing is to let go of a player who has been a great guy. But all the evidence is on the football field. If you see the change, the deterioration, you have to start asking yourself what it is going to be like two years ahead.

      IL: Players like Phil Neville and Nicky Butt — founder members of the modern United — were both struck dumb when Ferguson told them their time was up at Old Trafford. Did their manager and mentor make the right decision, though? Absolutely.

       


      ON AGGRESSIVE PLAYERS

      SAF: One of my players has been sent off several times. He will do something if he gets the chance — even in training. Can I take it out of him? No. Would I want to take it out of him? No. If you take the aggression out of him, he is not himself. So you have to accept that there is a certain flaw that is counter-balanced by all the great things he can do.

      IL: So who is Ferguson talking about? Almost certainly it is Paul Scholes. So much for the theory that all the United midfielder’s tackles are merely ‘mistimed’

       

      ON TALENT AND HARD WORK

      SAF: I tell players that hard work is a talent, too. They need to work harder than anyone else. And if they can no longer bring the discipline that we ask for here at United, they are out. I am only interested in  players who really want to play  for United, and who, like me, are bad losers.

      IL: Ferguson’s work ethic is legendary. He is at United’s training ground at 7am every day. It’s his club and he sets the mood  and the standards. As for him  being a bad loser, well, there are referees across the land who will testify to this.

       

      Experience: Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes has not been tamed by Sir Alex

      Experience: Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes has not been tamed by Sir Alex

       

      ON JOSE MOURINHO

      SAF: He is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good-looking guy. I think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks. He’s got a confidence about himself, saying ‘We’ll win this’ and ‘I’m the Special One’. I could never come out and say we’re going to win this game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness?

      IL: It’s nothing to do with being Scottish, Ferguson is merely too cute to brag before he has achieved anything. Ferguson has always liked Mourinho, ever since the two men first clashed in 2004. He particularly admires and empathises with the Portuguese’s ability to inspire and motivate players.

       

      ON NAMING HIS TEAM

      SAF: We never reveal the team to the players until the day of the game. We think of the media and the players’ agents. And my job is to give us the best chance possible of winning the match, so why should we alert our opponents to what our team is? For a three o’clock game, we tell them at one o’clock.

      IL: Ferguson is an obsessive man and his obsession about his team line-ups leaking out has long been high on the list. He got rid of one very high-profile player, for  example, because he suspected  he had leaked the team to the  opposition before a big Champions League game.

      Sparring partners: Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have had their fair share of battles over the years

      Sparring partners: Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have had their fair share of battles over the years

       

      ON DROPPING PLAYERS

      SAF: I do it privately. It’s not easy, but I do them all myself. It is important. I have been dropped from a Cup final in Scotland as a player at 10 past two, so I know what it feels like. I’m not ever sure what they are thinking, but I tend to say: ‘Look, I might be making a mistake here,’ — I always say that — ‘but I think this is the best team for today.’  I try to give them a bit of  confidence, telling them that it is only tactical, and that there are  bigger games coming up.

      IL: Some managers tell players  they are playing or not playing by text message. Sometimes the old-fashioned ways really are the best.

       

      ON GETTING READY FOR THE HALF-TIME TEAM TALK

      SAF: There are maybe eight minutes between you coming up through the tunnel and the referees calling you up on the pitch again, so it is vital to use the time well. Everything is easier when you are winning: you talk about concentrating, not getting complacent, and small things you can address. But when you are losing, you know that you are going to have to make an impact.

      The last few minutes of the first half I’m always thinking of what I’m going to say. I’m a little bit in a trance. I am concentrating. I see other coaches take notes, but I don’t want to miss any of the game. And I can’t imagine going into the dressing room, looking at my notes, and saying: ‘Oh in the 30th minute, that pass you took...'. I don’t think it’s going to impress the players.

      IL: Managers and their bits of paper can look ridiculous. What do they write on them? ‘In the second half we must try to score’? Each to their own, of course, and it’s certainly the case that Ferguson’s coaches write things down. Sometimes, though, your eyes are your best tool.

      Getting ready for the break: Ferguson prefers not to take notes while watching

      Getting ready for the break: Ferguson prefers not to take notes while watching

       

      ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH DAVID GILL AND THE GLAZERS

      SAF: My best relationship in this club is with David. Sometimes we disagree, but we respect each other and we know that arguments are just arguments. He’s very fair. The Glazers decide (on transfers). They have generally been very supportive. The Glazers are very low-key. If I owned United and they won the league, I would be over the moon. I remember when I played with Rangers, when the directors were under the shower with their clothes on, dancing about. But the Glazers shook a few hands and had some photographs taken, that was it.

      IL: United fans feel uncomfortable when they hear Ferguson talk so fondly of the Glazers and that’s understandable. They don’t choose players, by the way, they merely sanction, or otherwise, the spending. Ferguson’s relationship with Gill, meanwhile, is the concrete on which the club is built. I have had run-ins with both men but were it not for Ferguson and Gill’s  combined effectiveness, United would have sunk during the years of Glazer ownership.

       

      ON THE SHAPE OF THE SEASON

      SAF: We don’t start the pre-season training at one hundred miles an hour. We do a gradual build-up. And we’re not normally the strongest in the early part of the season, but October is usually a month where we get ourselves going again.

      I always tell the players, every  season, that if we are within three points from the top come New Year’s Day, we’ve got a great chance at the title.

      IL: This is interesting because United have tweaked pre-season routines in recent years to try and keep pace with Chelsea and  Manchester City, who tend to come out of the blocks at lightning speed in August. Ferguson realised United were getting caught cold and has tried to address it. Mind you, they lost their opening game this season...

       

      Mr Motivator: Sir Alex has his own ways of getting the best out of his players at Old Trafford

      Mr Motivator: Sir Alex has his own ways of getting the best out of his players at Old Trafford

       

      ON MOVING WITH THE TIMES

      SAF: Some managers are ‘pleasing managers’. They let the players play 8-a-sides — games they enjoy. But here, we look at the training sessions as opportunities to learn and improve. Sometimes the players may think: ‘Here we go again,’ but it helps to win. The message is simple: we cannot sit still at this club.

      IL: Ferguson admires managers like Sam Allardyce, younger men who innovate to improve. He is happy to take ideas from them. The club are currently building a ‘sleep room’ and have installed tanning booths at the training ground so players can top up their Vitamin D levels.

       

      ON PRACTISING FOR FERGIE TIME

      SAF: We practise for when the going gets tough, so we know what it takes to be successful in those situations.

      IL: I have no idea how you can  replicate the pressure of added time but it clearly works. Look at what happened in the Manchester derby recently.

       

      ON TELLING THE REFEREE ABOUT FERGIE TIME

      SAF: All I do is point at my watch to help the referee make the right decisions.

      IL: Ferguson has always intimidated referees, sometimes on purpose and other times not. Has it worked? Occasionally.

      Watch it: Fergie time is usually a good time to grab a goal

      Watch it: Fergie time is usually a good time to grab a goal

       

      ON HOW HAVING BEEN A PLAYER HELPS HIM AS A MANAGER

      SAF: Do you think Rooney cares? He’ll laugh at me and say: ‘Boss, it was so long ago, and in Scotland. Are they still part-timers up there?’

      IL: Ferguson’s success debunks the old myth that you need to be a successful player to earn respect as a coach. It’s brains and not medals that get the job done.

       

      ON MELLOWING OVER THE YEARS

      SAF: Players live more sheltered lives. They are more fragile than  25 years ago. I used to be very aggressive. I am still very passionate and want to win but I have  mellowed. Age does that to you.

      IL: Try telling this to Nani, David de Gea and Alex Buttner, all of whom have been monstered by Ferguson in the United dressing room this season.

       

      ON LOSING THE TITLE TO CITY

      SAF: Another day in the history of Manchester United, that’s all it was. It created the drama that only United can produce. I’ve still got a wee bit of anger in me, thinking of how we threw the league away last season. My motivation to the  players will be that we can’t let City beat us twice in a row.

      IL: This is slightly disingenuous. The drama last May was largely created by United’s neighbours across town. You can be sure of the anger he still feels, though. Very sure.

       

      Agony: Ferguson was on the pitch at Sunderland on the final day of the season when Man City pipped United

      Agony: Ferguson was on the pitch at Sunderland on the final day of the season when Man City pipped United

       

      ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AGAIN

      SAF: We are in a country where  tribalism is rife so that puts tremendous pressure on you to win your league. But the European Cup is the biggest trophy. I made a mistake last season in Europe.  I played too many young players and we went out. It was a shock.

      IL: Ferguson is obsessed with  winning the Champions League again. Defeats by Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 hurt him more than he ever really lets on. He still refuses to talk about 2009.

       

      ON A GLASS OF WINE WITH THE OPPOSITION MANAGER

      SAF: You have to get the game out of your system quickly or it becomes an obsession. Win, lose or draw. We show our face and keep our dignity. We are Manchester United.

      IL: Some of Ferguson’s post-match TV comments can lack the dignity he talks about, but he isn’t alone there. He does always offer visiting managers a drink, though. One of the reasons Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger is shown so little warmth by Premier League bosses is that he has never embraced this tradition.

       

      Unpopular: Arsene Wenger never sticks around for a drink with other bosses

      Unpopular: Arsene Wenger never sticks around for a drink with other bosses

      A few other choice cuts...

      ON TACTICS

      SAF: Tactics can change depending on whom we are playing I tend to concentrate on one or two players of my opponents—the ones that are the most influential. Who’s the guy who is taking all the free kicks? Who’s the guy who’s on the ball all the time? Who’s the one urging everyone on?

      The rest of the time I concentrate on our own team. On Friday we take our players through a video analysis of our opponents: their strengths, their weaknesses, their set-pieces, what their team is likely to be, and so on.

      On Saturday, we might give them another, shorter version—just a recap of the previous day.

       

      ON PEP GUARDIOLA

      SAF: Guardiola is an impressive guy. He’s brought about change in Barcelona, urging the team to always work hard to get the ball back within seconds after losing it. They are gifted but work hard. It was a fantastic achievement. He elevated the status of his players.

      Pep talk: United boss Ferguson was impressed by the way Guardiola transformed Barcelona

      Pep talk: United boss Ferguson was impressed by the way Guardiola transformed Barcelona

       

      ON THE HAIR-DRYER

      SAF: You can’t always come in shouting and screaming. That doesn’t work. No one likes to get criticized. But in the football dressing room, it’s necessary that you point out your players’ mistakes.

      I do it right after the game. I don’t wait until Monday, I do it, and it’s finished. I’m on to the next match. There is no point in criticizing a player forever.

       

      ON HOW BEING A PLAYER HELPS HIM AS MANAGER

      SAF: Do you think Rooney cares? He’ll laugh at me and say “Boss, it was so long ago, and in Scotland. Are they still part-timers up there?'"


  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

       

       

       

       

                   VS       

        

       

      Swansea vs Manchester United

       

      Sunday, 23 December 2012

      Time: 9:30pm  -  (Live)   

      Mio Channel 102 in HD

      EPL Game 18

        

       

       

       

      Manchester United :  

      De Gea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Cleverley, Fletcher, Valencia,  Hernandez, Welbeck, Robin Van Persie, Young, Rooney, Lindegaard.

      Powell, Macheda, Bebe.

       

       

      Doubtful : Anderson.

      Injured : Nani, Kagawa. 

       

        

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • EXCLUSIVE: Sturridge's £12m Liverpool switch hits skids after row over agents fees

      Moving on: Sturridge has been told he can leave Chelsea

      Moving on: Sturridge has been told he can leave Chelsea

       

       

      Daniel Sturridge's £12million move to Liverpool has hit a stumbling block due to a wrangle over agents fees.

      Liverpool are stamping down on the money they pay agents after recently published figures showed their outlay since 2008-09 has been a staggering £31.3million - only Chelsea (£31.8m) and Manchester City (£39.02m) have paid more in the same period.

      Liverpool had hoped that Sturridge - who has been told he can leave Chelsea after being left out of their squad for the Club World Cup - would have been in a position to complete a medical on Wednesday so that his switch from Stamford Bridge would be finalised in time for him to be unveiled on January 1.

      However, the medical never took place as problems emerged in the discussions between Chelsea and Sturridge's advisors over the terms of his departure.

       

       

      England international: But Sturridge can't find a way into the Chelsea side

      England international: But Sturridge can't find a way into the Chelsea side

       

       

      There have also been some minor issues with Liverpool and Sturridge's advisors.

      Though Liverpool remain confident the deal will eventually go through, manager Brendan Rodgers has other alternatives to turn to if discussions with Sturridge break down beyond repair.

      Kevin Gamiero - a France international who is currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain - would be a potential target to come in on loan. The 25-year-old has not featured a great deal for PSG.

      There are no such concerns, however, over Tom Ince's impending return from Blackpool. He should officially become a Liverpool player when the transfer window opens.


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • EPL - Match 18 / 19 - Dec 22 / 23 / 26  Fixtures

       

         

       

           

       

       
      Matches on Singtel Mio Tv :     

        

       

      Saturday, December 22nd, 2012


      Wigan Athletic v Arsenal          8:45     Mio 102


      Manchester City v Reading        11:00    Mio 102


      Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers       11:00    Mio 103


      Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City        11:00    Mio 104


      West Ham United v Everton        11:00     Mio 105


      West Bromwich Albion v Norwich     11:00     Mio 106


      Southampton v Sunderland      11:00     Mio 107


      Liverpool v Fulham         1:30      Mio 102

       

       

      Sunday, December 23, 2012


      Swansea City v Manchester United         9:30      Mio 102


      Chelsea v Aston Villa         12:00am    Mio 102

       

       

       

      Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

       

       

      Manchester United v Newcastle United      11:00    Mio 102

      Sunderland v Manchester City     11:00     Mio 103

      Arsenal v West Ham United     11:00     Mio 104

      Norwich City v Chelsea       11:00    Mio 105

      Everton v Wigan Athletic      11:00    Mio 106

      Fulham v Southampton      11:00     Mio 107

      Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich     11:00    Mio 108

      Reading v Swansea City     11:00     Mio 1

      Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur       1:30am     Mio 102

      Stoke City v Liverpool          3:45am     Mio 102

       

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Fergie rules out buying Walcott or anybody else in January

      Out of the running: Manchester United will not join the bidding if Arsenal decide to cash in on Theo Walcott

      Out of the running: Manchester United will not join the bidding if Arsenal decide to cash in on Theo Walcott

       

       

       

       

       

      Sir Alex Ferguson will not be buying Theo Walcott - or anybody else in January. 

      The Manchester United manager, who saw his team maintain their six-point lead over neighbours Manchester City with a 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday, is adamant he will not be doing any business in the transfer window unless it is to allow several of his reserve-team players to go out on loan.

      Ferguson, who rarely takes advantage of the mid-season opportunity to augment his first-team squad, believes he has enough resources to cope with challenging for the Premier League title and the European and FA Cups.

      'I will not be bringing anybody in, in January - definitely not,' he confirmed.

      It means that while title rivals City are targeting Atletic Bilbao's Fernano Llorente; Chelsea are ready to splash on Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao and Walcott and Liverpool want Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince from Blackpool, the United boss will stick with what he has as the club chase a 20th league title.

      Boost: Vidic returned against Sunderland

      Boost: Vidic returned against Sunderland

       

       

      Walcott's future at Arsenal is in doubt with the club refusing to agree to his contract demands. But if the Gunners decide to cash in on the winger in January, he is now more likely to end up at Stamford Bridge than Old Trafford.

      Ferguson's confidence comes from now having a fully fit squad at his disposal after skipper Nemanja Vidic returned to the team as a second-half substitute against Sunderland.

      'It will take him a bit of time but that is a start,' Ferguson said. 'He is a warrior and he is our captain. He always battles for you and sticks his head on that ball in the penalty area. That is what he is great at.'

      Goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney were enough to claim all three points and Ferguson added: 'People keep saying we are weak in midfield but these guys are very good players.'

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    •  

       

       

      RED FACED ... Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers
      RED FACED ... Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

      Christian rocks Kop

      Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3

      TWO-GOAL Christian Benteke silenced the Kop and left Brendan Rodgers eating his words.

      Liverpool boss Rodgers had claimed he was chasing more than the fourth-placed finish many have tipped his improving side for.

      But after this sorry showing, he admitted: “It was very much self-inflicted, without taking anything away from Aston Villa. Our intensity was not there while they were a threat on the counter-attack.

      “There’s been talk of the top four for us but it’s more about steady progress and today was a step back.

      “It was very disappointing and I didn’t see it coming.

      “Our momentum and confidence coming into this game were as high as they’ve been and we got punished for poor decision-making and being a bit careless.”

      Villa had hit just four league away goals all season before arriving at Anfield.

      And boss Paul Lambert was naturally delighted with Benteke’s double strike and another from Austrian Andreas Weimann.

      Lambert said: “The whole performance was fabulous, from the goals to the way we defended.

      “Liverpool will give anyone a game here but it’s about holding your nerve and trying to see it out, which we did.”



  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Still too early to say lah… Still got Rafa, he just said “the world is not enough” and after he win the world title, he come back to give the 2 Manchester clubs a run for their money…

      Anyway, City is still too strong.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • BRENDAN RODGERS has told his Liverpool players: We’re a lot better than fourth place.

      The improving Reds might be languishing in 10th spot this morning.

      But their ambitious boss believes they can shake the Premier League title-chasers.

      Liverpool are just four points off fourth place — currently held by Mersey rivals Everton — after a “watershed” 3-2 comeback win at West Ham last Sunday.

      But Rodgers has set his sights on a much loftier finish ahead of today’s clash with Aston Villa.

      He said: “Yes, fourth is up for grabs — so is third, so is second and maybe even first. It isn’t just about fourth place, this club is bigger than that. There is not that big a difference to second.

      “There are 17 points between us and Manchester United and that is a big ask, but 11 points isn’t and four points certainly isn’t.

      “I said to the players that everyone talks about fourth but what about third? They’re excited, there is real belief in this group.

      “We are 11 points off second, we have still to play Manchester City and we should have beaten them at home. If we get a run of games and stay focused, then it is not fourth we want to aim for.”

      Villa’s visit is followed by Fulham next weekend, a Boxing Day trip to Stoke and the last game of 2012 at lowly QPR.

      Strugglers Sunderland see in the New Year at Anfield and Rodgers said: “I wouldn’t say it was a crucial period but I’d expect to win our home games.

      “We are not too far away and I don’t think we need to change.

      “We’ve drawn a lot of games and lost four, one more than United and up there with Chelsea. If we had turned one or two of those draws into wins we could be higher.

      “We went through a period at the start of the season where we weren’t getting wins and it was a ‘disaster’ for Liverpool. It doesn’t seem to be a disaster for other teams when they lose.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • As long as those contract finishing so the transfer fee can’t be too high, can try, try mah… If can’t make it can still sell at good price considering they are still young… But if they make it, which have a higher chance as these are good young players, the rewards would be too good to pass up lor…

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

       

       

       

       

              VS             

        

       

      Manchester United vs Sunderland

      Saturday, 15 December 2012

      Time: 11:00pm  -  (Live)   

      Mio Channel 102 in HD

      EPL Game 17

        

       

       

       

      Manchester United :  

      De Gea, Ferdinand, Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Cleverley, Fletcher, Valencia, Scholes, Hernandez, Welbeck, Robin Van Persie, Young, Rooney, Powell, Lindegaard.

      Macheda, Bebe.

      DoubtfulEvans, Anderson, Vidic, - 

      Injured : Nani, Kagawa. 

        

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    •  

      EPL - Match 17 - Dec 15 / 16 / 18  Fixtures

       

         

       

           

       

       
      Matches on Singtel Mio Tv :     

       

       

       

       

      Saturday, December 15th, 2012


      Newcastle United v Manchester City   8:45    mio   102

      Manchester United v Sunderland    11:00    mio   102

      Liverpool v Aston Villa     11:00    mio   103

      Stoke City v Everton     11:00    mio   104

      Queens Park Rangers v Fulham     11:00    mio   105

      Norwich City v Wigan Athletic     11:00    mio   106

       

      Sunday December 16  2012 

       

      Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City    9:30    mio   102

      West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United     12:00mn    mio   102

       

      Monday December 18  2012 

       

      Reading v Arsenal     9:30    mio   102

       

       

      Chelsea v Southampton  - (Postpone)
       
       
       

      December 22nd Weekend, 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

       


       
       

       

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • <!-- google_ad_section_start(name=s2) -->

      EXCLUSIVE: Fergie set to beat City and Liverpool to Walcott as United lead race for Arsenal's contract rebel

       

      Wanted man: Manchester United are leading the race to sign Theo Walcott

      Wanted man: Manchester United are leading the race to sign Theo Walcott

       

       

       

      Manchester United have joined the race for Arsenal rebel Theo Walcott in a move similar to Robin van Persie's controversial switch to Old Trafford in August.

      Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to land the England winger, whose deal expires at the end of the season.

      Sportsmail understands that should Walcott leave Arsenal, his first choice would be United.

       
      Walcott is declining to sign a five-year deal worth £75,000 a week, while formal talks over fresh terms have not taken place since August 28.

      He is said to be keen to stay but wants a deal closer to £100,000 a week.

      Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea are all interested, but United's keenness, along with Walcott's desire to join the Barclays Premier League leaders looks, looks to have put United in the driving seat.

      At the same time, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is exploring a January swoop for United misfit Nani, raising the chance of a swap deal with Walcott.

      Arsenal will look to sell Walcott next month if a new deal is not agreed by December 31, but the ex-Southampton man will not be forced out and will only move to a club that suits him.

      Leading the way: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) is set to beat Roberto Mancini (right)

      Leading the way: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) is set to beat Roberto Mancini (right)

      Missing out: Sportsmail understands that Liverpool are also keen on Walcott

      Missing out: Sportsmail understands that Liverpool are also keen on Walcott

       

       

      Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will bid for the forward in January, but United's interest has changed the landscape of Walcott's future.

      Likewise, Chelsea and City are keen but would prefer to sign him on a free transfer next summer.

      Walcott could be available for as little as £8million given he has just six months left to run on his deal.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool issue grovelling apology to Fulham over Dempsey tapping-up affair

       

      Centre of attention: Dempsey was courted by Liverpool in summer

      Centre of attention: Dempsey was courted by Liverpool in summer

       

      Full apology: Ayre has expressed regret on Liverpool's behalf to Al Fayed    Full apology: Ayre has expressed regret on Liverpool's behalf to Al Fayed

      Full apology: Ayre has expressed regret on Liverpool's behalf to Al Fayed

       


      Liverpool have made a grovelling apology to Fulham over the tapping-up of Clint Dempsey in the summer.

      A statement from Fulham, expected today, will confirm that in return the club have dropped their complaint to the Premier League over the affair.

      The peace deal came only after a personal visit by Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner to Craven Cottage chairman Mohamed Al Fayed was followed up by a letter from Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre  admitting that the club’s behaviour ‘was wrong’ and ‘simply never should have occurred’.

      The letter, sent last Friday, confirms that a  meeting took place between Werner and Fayed, during which the former apologised for Liverpool’s actions regarding Dempsey last summer.

      Fulham blame Liverpool for unsettling the player and  creating the circumstances that led to his move to Tottenham on transfer-deadline day.

      Ayre wrote: 'Please also consider this letter from me to be an additional expression of sincere regret and apology from our club to your club for our actions last summer. Our club can do better and  we pledge that it will.'

      Fulham’s official complaint followed a series of clumsy bulletins from Liverpool and their owners, the Fenway Sports Group. The first was an announcement on the FSG website that Liverpool had signed Dempsey from Fulham. 

      This was followed by an interview on the Liverpool website with manager Brendan Rogers, in which he talked of the USA forward in glowing terms.

      Finally, pictures of Liverpool's new strip with Dempsey's name on the back were published.

      The 29-year-old had been on a summer break in America when the FSG announcement was made, and Fulham’s complaint to the Premier League intimated that their relationship with the player who was last season’s top scorer had not recovered from that point.

      Dempsey did not officially go on strike, but told Fulham he wanted to leave.

      The club considered he was becoming a bad influence in the dressing room and he did not play a game for Fulham before signing for Tottenham.

       

       

      On target: Dempsey scored in the recent defeat to Everton

      On target: Dempsey scored in the recent defeat to Everton


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    •  

      Sturridge and Ince edge closer to Liverpool switch as Rodgers plans £18m winter raid

       

      Double bubble: Sturridge and Ince look set for a switch to Anfield   Double bubble: Sturridge and Ince look set for a switch to Anfield

      Double bubble: Sturridge and Ince look set for a switch to Anfield

       

       

       

      Liverpool will unveil a new £18million strike force in January after taking significant steps to securing deals for Daniel Sturridge and Thomas Ince.

      It has been Brendan Rodgers wish for Liverpool to get their business in the New Year done early and they now are on the brink of landing their two prime targets.

      Chelsea forward Sturridge is expected to cost Liverpool in the region of £12million, while they will have to pay Blackpool in the region of £6million to take Ince back to Anfield 18 months after letting him leave for £250,000.

      Sturridge, who is currently in Japan with Chelsea at the Club World Cup, almost joined Liverpool in August but did not want to move on an initial loan deal. Rodgers, though, has remained an admirer and his transfer will be completed when the window opens.

      Ince, meanwhile, will also be brought in to ease the burden on leading scorer Luis Suarez. He left Anfield in August 2011 and has since made eye-catching progress at Bloomfield Road, winning five England Under 21 caps this season.

      Rodgers said last month he was looking for players "who would really help take the club forward" and both 20-year-old Ince and Sturridge, 23, fit the criteria of players who Liverpool look to buy. Rodgers remains keen on Arsenal’s Theo Walcott but he would be a signing for next summer.

      It promises to be a significant transfer window for how Rodgers shapes Liverpool’s squad. He remains on the look-out for a left-back, as Stewart Downing has been told he is free to leave if they receive a suitable offer.

      But whether Joe Cole follows suit is not certain. The former England midfielder made a significant contribution to Sunday's 3-2 win at West Ham, scoring Liverpool’s crucial second goal and Rodgers has challenged Cole to maintain that form.

      Short on options: Liverpool are relying heavily on Suarez with Carroll out on loan

      Short on options: Liverpool are relying heavily on Suarez with Carroll out on loan

       

      Short on options: Liverpool are relying heavily on Suarez with Carroll out on loan


      Edited by zocoss 12 Dec `12, 10:41AM
  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • United is the best team to call upon to end unbeaten runs… lol. They ended Arsenal’s amazing 40 or 50 plus odd matches unbeaten run during the invincinbles days, then Chelsea’s and Pool’s long home record too. And yesterday, City’s 2 years old unbeaten run home record goes to the grave as well. I think it must hurt them badly for the fans to reacted that way, especially more so since it’s United… I think if it was any other side like Everton it wouldn’t felt so painful. I guess they are not use to losing at home for a while.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Graham Poll’s official line: Ferguson might have felt he was playing against 12 men

      .
      .

      Sir Alex Ferguson said he felt as though he was playing against 12 men when Martin Atkinson refereed an FA Cup defeat against Portsmouth in March 2008. He could well have felt the same yesterday at the Etihad.

      Last week, his counterpart Roberto Mancini claimed that United’s Ashley Young was an expert diver but it was Yaya Toure who threw himself to the floor after no contact from an opponent in the 25th minute. While Atkinson was not fooled, it is not good enough to wave play on — the player must be cautioned.

      Ferguson’s pre-match psychological effort to pressure the referee revolved around City getting soft penalties; he might have reflected on that when Atkinson denied United a clear penalty when Patrice Evra was felled by Kolo Toure.

      He might still have been fuming at his side being denied a three-goal lead when Young followed up a Robin van Persie shot which rebounded straight to him.

      Assistant referee Peter Kirkup incorrectly signalled that Young was in an offside position when Van Persie shot, but replays confirmed that Young was clearly onside.

      Atkinson had really tried to keep his yellow card in his pocket, waiting until the 52nd minute to caution Samir Nasri for dissent. Another City player, Carlos Tevez, was also cautioned for dissent and was very lucky not to get another yellow when he gave away the free-kick from which Van Persie scored the winner.

      However, it should have been a straight red card for the Argentine when he kicked an opponent right in front of Atkinson, but again City benefited from his benevolence.

      It is said that it is better to be lucky than good. After Manchester United won despite these mistakes, I am sure Atkinson would agree.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Originally posted by Bus&Soccer l0v3r (VO3x 1):



      from troll football icon_lol.gif


      Oh got evidence already, City cannot deny liao... Laughing

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • United could have been 3-0 up but Young's goal wasn't given even though he was onside, and withing 2 mins City scored.

      Evra should have got a penalty but the referee didn't give...

      At least the justice was done at the end.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Kop a load of that: Watch Brendan Rodgers taking a cheeky glance at presenter's cleavage

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

       

      The Kop chief was caught on camera on his very own personal scouting mission on board a flight back from Italy

       

       

       

      Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers today discovered the upside to being held up on the Reds' journey back from Italy in the week.

      Following a 1-0 win away to Udinese, the Anfield club will now look forward to being seeded in the Europa League draw, and Rodgers produced a seedy turn of his own with LFC TV's Claire Rourke.

      The Northern Irish manager bagged himself a window seat, and while Rourke introduced her interview with the new Liverpool boss, he couldn't resist what looks very much like a cheeky peek down the presenter's top!

      Oh for a glance inside one of Brendan's three envelopes , where the name that lets him down might well be his own!

      Edited by zocoss 09 Dec `12, 11:42PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • He called his England colleagues Downing, Carroll and Henderson and the advised they gave him was... When you get one bite of the cheery, you must make it count. Whatever happens later doesn't matter as you are made for the next 5 years.

      Everyone knows Pool are desperate for a striker and their isn't many around with premier league experience and their club willing to release them. So i guess it's now or never right? lol...