25 Apr, 04:36AM in sunny Singapore!

Recent Posts by zocoss

Subscribe to Recent Posts by zocoss

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • I'd never take the Chelsea job: the words from 2007 that have come back to haunt Benitez (and don't get him started on the blue flags)

       

       

      Hitting out: Benitez made a comment about Chelsea fans and their support that was made into a plaque and hung at Liverpool's Mellwood training ground

      Hitting out: Benitez made a comment about Chelsea fans and their support that was made into a plaque and hung at Liverpool's Mellwood training ground

      Not a fan: Benitez hit out at Chelsea fans and their flags

      Not a fan: Benitez hit out at Chelsea fans and their flags

       

       

      Wherever they go we’ll follow our team, For we are the Chelsea and we are supreme,

      We'll never be mastered by no northern b******s, And we'll keep the blue flag flying high,

      Flying high, up in the sky,  We'll keep the blue flag flying high,

      From Stamford Bridge to Wemb(er)ley, We'll keep the blue flag flying high.

       

      EXPLAIN THIS THEN, RAFA

      'If Chelsea are naive and pure then I'm Little Red Riding Hood.' (2007)

      'I'm sure Chelsea do not like playing Liverpool. When they are talking and talking and talking before the game it means they are worried. Maybe they're afraid?'

       

      'We were good friends until Liverpool started winning, then he started changing his mind.' (on rival Jose Mourinho)

      'To me, Arsenal played much better football two or three years ago. They won matches and were exciting to watch. They create excitement so how can you say Chelsea are the best in the world?' (after Chelsea's first Premier League title win)

      'After the game, Sheila, who was sitting right in line, said to me that the ball had crossed the line. She is a very honest person and that was good enough for me. It was a goal.' (on taking his secretary's word that Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal' had crossed the line in the 2005 semi-final)

       

       

       

      Rafael Benitez may not be too familiar with the song but he certainly knows all about the pride Chelsea place in their flags on those Champions League nights.

      So when the club’s new interim boss arrives at the Bridge today desperately needing to build a few of his own, Benitez might struggle to explain comments he made in the past about Chelsea.

      For instance, how’s he going to explain this one from five years ago?

      ‘Chelsea is a big club with fantastic players, every manager wants to coach a such a big team,’ said the Spaniard. ‘But I would never take that job, in respect for my former team at Liverpool, no matter what. For me there is only club in England, and that’s Liverpool.’

      They loved him at Anfield and Benitez loves them too (he still lives on Merseyside more than two years after leaving Liverpool) which makes it all the more difficult to picture him in charge at Stamford Bridge.

      And in 2007 before one of many epic European clashes between Liverpool and Chelsea, Benitez made a comment that was so popular at Anfield that they stuck the words on a plaque and put it on the training ground wall.

      ‘We don’t need to give away flags for our fans to wave – our supporters are always there with their hearts, and that is all we need. It’s the passion of the fans that helps to win matches – not flags.’

      Other versions of this quote refer to ‘stupid plastic flags’ and end with the words ‘Chelsea fans lack passion’, but that will be largely academic when Benitez walks out at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

      ‘I will never forgive him for the statement,’ posted one Chelsea supporter this week. ‘Don’t forget your plastic flag at the weekend!’ wrote another.

       

       

      Flag wavers: Chelsea fans wave their flags prior to a game at Stamford Bridge

      Flag wavers: Chelsea fans wave their flags prior to a game at Stamford Bridge

      I'll never take that job: Rafael Benitez said he would never manage Chelsea out of respect for Liverpool

      I'll never take that job: Rafael Benitez said he would never manage Chelsea out of respect for Liverpool

       

      No-one has got under Chelsea’s skin quite like Benitez, which makes his appointment all the more baffling in the wake of the decision to axe Roberto Di Matteo. 

      His six years at Anfield saw Liverpool face Chelsea in the Champions League five years in a row – including three semi-finals – as well as a League Cup Final and an FA Cup semi-final.

      They produced enough controversy, bad blood and, yes, barbed comments to make Benitez’s mission an almost impossible one even before he has walked through the door.

      There was that ‘fact’ rant at Sir Alex Ferguson and the time he upset Everton by referring to them as ‘a small club’, but Chelsea and Jose Mourinho became a particular hobby horse.

      When asked about his relationship with the Special One, who twice refused to shake his hand after games between the two clubs, Benitez said: ‘We were good friends until Liverpool started winning, then he started changing his mind.’

      Nothing got to Mourinho more than what he has always called the ‘ghost goal’ from Luis Garcia that saw Liverpool knock Chelsea out of the Champions League semi-final in 2005 en route to glory in Istanbul.

      Benitez risked further infuriating Chelsea and their manager by insisting the ball had crossed the line – on the say-so of his secretary Sheila.

      ‘After the game Sheila, who was sitting right in line in the main stand, said to me that the ball had crossed the line,’ said Benitez. ‘She is a very honest person and that was good enough for me. It was a goal.’

      The former Valencia boss has always been reluctant to credit Chelsea and Mourinho for their successes, instead making pointed references to the financial might behind them.

      ‘We know Chelsea are a very good team,’ Benitez once said. ‘In the last five years they have spent big money on players.’

       

      It crossed the line: Benitez angered Chelsea fans when he said that Luis Garcia 'ghost goal' in the Champions League semi final crossed the line - say-so of his secretary Sheila

      It crossed the line: Benitez angered Chelsea fans when he said that Luis Garcia 'ghost goal' in the Champions League semi final crossed the line - say-so of his secretary Sheila

       

      Goal: Luis Garcia helps Liverpool reach the Champions League final

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

       

       

       

      After Mourinho helped Chelsea to their first Premier League title in 2004-05, Benitez merely criticised their lack of flair, saying: ‘To me, Arsenal played much better football two or three years ago. They won matches and were exciting to watch.

      ‘Barcelona and Milan too. They create excitement so how can you say Chelsea are the best in the world?’

      Another barb followed before Liverpool knocked Chelsea out of the 2007 Champions League semi-final.

      ‘I’m sure Chelsea do not like playing Liverpool,’ goaded Benitez. ‘When they are talking and talking and talking before the game it means they are worried. Maybe they’re afraid?’

      And as they prepared to meet in the final four once again a year later, Benitez upset his opponents and striker Didier Drogba by revealing that he had put together a four-year dossier on the player’s diving antics. 

      Given Drogba’s cult status at Stamford Bridge and the fact that Chelsea are now weighing up the possibility of bringing him back on an emergency loan from his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, it’s one of several issues that threaten to make life rather uncomfortable for Benitez.

      It should be an interesting few months in west London.


       
      Edited by zocoss 23 Nov `12, 10:55AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Liverpool pin hopes on £12m Sturridge and £6m Ince after hitting Walcott hitch

      Young Lion: Tom Ince
      In demand: Daniel Sturridge

      Wanted: Blackpool's Tom Ince (left) and Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge (right)

       

      Hard to get: Theo Walcott may not be lured from Arsenal's clutches

      Hard to get: Theo Walcott may not be lured from Arsenal's clutches

       

      Liverpool are confident of finalising a £6million deal for Blackpool’s Tom Ince and will look to add Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge for a  further £12m.

      Arsenal’s reluctance to sell Theo Walcott in January, regardless of his contract negotiations, will delay any possible move from Liverpool until the summer, although the player may yet receive offers from elsewhere with Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester City keen.

      Ince, 20, left Liverpool for £250,000 compensation in August last year and has 18 months left on his contract. He has attracted attention from other clubs but Liverpool are willing to pay the asking price.  

      Blackpool, who have signed Bournemouth striker Wes Thomas, 25, until January 1, have allowed another forward, Adda Djeziri, 24, to join Scunthorpe.

       

       

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Benitez: I didn't disrespect Chelsea fans when I criticised them, I was just defending Liverpool. I'll win them over ... and I'll win trophies!

       

      I'm back! Rafael Benitez held his first press conference as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge on Thursday

      I'm back! Rafael Benitez held his first press conference as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge on Thursday

       

      I'm back! Rafael Benitez held his first press conference as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge on Thursday

      Under the microscope: Chelsea fans have been given their first glimpse of the new Blues boss

      Under the microscope: Chelsea fans have been given their first glimpse of the new Blues boss

       

      Under the microscope: Chelsea fans have been given their first glimpse of the new Blues boss

       

       

       

       

       

      Rafael Benitez had to defend himself from the wrath of supporters in his first press conference as Chelsea manager.

      At his official unveiling at Stamford Bridge this evening, Benitez was grilled on the explosive comments he made against the London club during his time as Liverpool manager.

      He said: 'I want to be honest. If I said this or that, I have to analyze the context. We were playing against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League. If I am a fan I want to see the manager fighting for my club. I don't see this as a lack of respect for Chelsea's fans, just a manager defending his team.

      'I like to do things in the right way for the fans. The fans and manager want to win every single game, nobody wants to win more than than fans and manager.

      'This is a big challenge. I've been waiting for this chance. I could have gone to other countries for big, big money but I wanted to stay in England for a big club.'

      Benitez said it was too early for him to pass any comment on Mark Clattenburg after the FA cleared the referee of any wrongdoing over his alleged comments at John Obi Mikel. He also revealed he had not had any direct contact with Chelsea's trigger-happy Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

      Benitez added: 'Di Matteo was doing a great job. Sometimes in football you change managers too soon, but that's life. Have you seen my CV? I have all the trophies you can win at club level.

      'I was looking for the right opportunity at a top side to fight for a trophy. I don't care about the short term. I want to win every game - we have five trophies to fight for and at the end we will see what happens.

      'In seven months you can win some trophies and I'm sure at the end everyone will be delighted. I analyzed the squad. Can they win trophies? Yes. How many trophies can they win? We have five opportunities. I have more desire, more hunger to win trophies than before.'

      Asked about what Liverpool fans might think Benitez said: 'I can guarantee a lot of them are saying "We wish you all the best - maybe not against Liverpool..." I don't have two owners who don't talk to each other (like at Liverpool). We have an owner and a technical director.'

      The former Inter Milan boss, who also strongly hinted John Terry would stay on as captain, said he was not put off by talk he is simply keeping the hot-seat warm for Pep Guardiola.

      'I have a very good relationship with Guardiola,' he added. 'He is a great manager, what will happen in future I don't know.

      'For sure, I like to do things in the right way for the fans. But I'm sure they will be happy with a manger with a winning mentality and who wants to win games. In the end I hope they will be pleased.'

       

       

      Remember me? Rafa Benitez takes his first Chelsea training session on Thursday afternoon

      Remember me? Rafa Benitez takes his first Chelsea training session on Thursday afternoon

      Revival bid: Benitez gets to work on making Torres score goals again for the Blues

      Revival bid: Benitez gets to work on making Torres score goals again for the Blues

       

      Remember me? Rafa Benitez takes his first Chelsea training session on Thursday afternoon

       

       

      Welcome: Benitez smiles as he arrives at Chelsea's training ground
      New man: Benitez assesses his new workplace

      New man: Benitez arrives at their Cobham HQ (right) before assessing his new workplace

        

      New man in the hotseat: Rafa Benitez arrives at training at Chelsea's Cobham training ground and told the fans to get behind him

      New man in the hotseat: Rafa Benitez arrives at training at Chelsea's Cobham training ground and told the fans to get behind him

       

      Reunited: Fernando Torres arrives at training at Cobham ahead of his reunion with Benitez

      Reunited: Fernando Torres arrives at training at Cobham ahead of his reunion with Benitez

      Leader: Captain John Terry turns up for training

      Leader: Captain John Terry turns up for training

       

      Another man in charge: Gary Cahill turns up for training with his third Chelsea manager in less than a year

      Another man in charge: Gary Cahill turns up for training with his third Chelsea manager in less than a year

       

       

       

       

      Blues fans were still in shock this morning after owner Abramovich completed arguably his most controversial day yet at Stamford Bridge last night by appointing Benitez to succeed Roberto Di Matteo.

      The Russian handed the former Liverpool boss a contract until the end of the season, having seemingly been unable to woo the man said to be his number one target.

      Confirming new 'interim' boss Benitez would meet Chelsea's players today, the European champions said in a statement: 'The owner and the board believe that, in Benitez, we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.'

      The length of Benitez's contract appeared the clearest indication yet of Abramovich's determination to land Pep Guardiola once the former Barcelona boss completes his one-year sabbatical.

      And it would be no exaggeration to say Benitez would be the least popular of his eight appointments judging by the reaction of Chelsea supporters on social media.

      Indeed, they are unlikely to roll out the welcome mat for his first game in charge against Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

      But all that failed to deter Benitez, who agreed his Chelsea contract during a trip to Abu Dhabi and will look to convince them or another big club to give him a longer-term deal.

      It is impossible not to deduce part of Benitez's appeal to Abramovich was his relationship with £50million flop Fernando Torres, who he helped make one of the best strikers in the world at Liverpool.

      Di Matteo finally lost patience with Torres in his last match in charge but he expressed few regrets about his unparalleled eight-month tenure last night.

      'It was an honour for me to be appointed manager of a club that I loved playing for and one that is so close to my heart,' he said in a statement issued by the League Managers Association.

      'I am extremely proud of the successes and trophies that we were able to bring to the club in recent months.

       

      Making his point: A Chelsea fan stands outside the training ground with an anti-Benitez sign

      Making his point: A Chelsea fan stands outside the training ground with an anti-Benitez sign

       

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

       

      Former Blue: Boudewijn Zenden will be one of Benitez's coaches

      Former Blue: Boudewijn Zenden will be one of Benitez's coaches

      End of the road: Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following Chelsea's defeat to Juventus 

      End of the road: Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following Chelsea's defeat to Juventus

       

       

       

      'Lifting Chelsea's first Champions League trophy, in Munich, was the best achievement in club history and without doubt the highlight of my career to date, both as a player and manager. It is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

      'I have a deep and unreserved passion for Chelsea Football Club and I would like to sincerely thank all of the staff, my players and of course the Chelsea fans, for their tremendous and unconditioned support in the intense time I have been the manager at the Bridge. I wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.'


      Edited by zocoss 23 Nov `12, 10:47AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • The enemies of football are now pariahs of the Premier League... Gourlay should pay with his job for this

      No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

      No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

       

       

       

       

       

      For a cabal that has found it easy to spread so much insinuation and so many insults about so many innocent parties, Chelsea cannot bring themselves to utter the one appropriate word.

      Sorry was not to be heard in the wind howling down Fulham Road last night. It was as predictable an omission as it was sad.

      The FA had found the club’s accusation that referee Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’ did not stand up to scrutiny. All logic and instinct had told us that the minute the claim was made on October 28 following Chelsea’s acrimonious defeat by Manchester United.

      Sky TV had failed with all 20 of their cameras to pick up the racial slur. The other officials cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing.  Chelsea had a record of intimidation and arrogance.

      What is more, Clattenburg speaks with a Geordie accent. Anyone who has spent time in a Newcastle pub will tell you how those tones can be faintly indecipherable to English ears let alone to a Brazilian, namely Ramires, who thought he heard the insult despite the backdrop of a noisy stadium. Ramires’ recollections were translated for the rest of the team by David Luiz, another Brazilian. Mikel, the supposed victim who has good English, did not hear the word monkey spoken.

      Despite all this — and after the shameful saga of John Terry,  Chelsea’s totem, calling Anton  Ferdinand a black **** — the club were going public within hours about Clattenburg’s supposed crime. They also claimed Juan Mata was called a ‘Spanish t***’, an accusation later withdrawn.

       

      Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

      Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

       

       

      Why did they not keep quiet while they considered if a complaint was worthwhile? That is a question for Ron Gourlay, the chief executive. A second question for him is: will you resign after this fiasco?

      Harsh? Hardly. This is a club drunk on its own oxygen and wealth.

      Take Rafa Benitez’s unveiling as the ninth manager of Roman Abramovich’s nine-year reign. He is the latest pawn in a billionaire’s game where normal employment rights — like reward for success — do not count because he can afford to override them.

      No wonder the men on the pitch and in the boardroom adopt such high-handedness when the boss sets such a rebarbative example.

      The litany of modern Chelsea’s bullying of referees is without parallel in British football.

       

      Remember him? Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

      Remember him? Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

       

       

      The crime sheet goes back as far as February 2005, when the then manager Jose Mourinho accused Anders Frisk of collusion with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard during Chelsea’s defeat at the Nou Camp that saw Didier Drogba sent off. Chelsea were charged with inappropriate conduct and Mourinho was banned from the touchline.

      Frisk retired after receiving death threats.

      Mourinho was cast as an ‘enemy of football’ by UEFA referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth.

      Since then the wrath has been incited not just on the continent but also closer to home. Chelsea have gone from the enemies of European football to the pariahs of the Premier League.

      In November 2006, Graham Poll sent off Terry as Chelsea lost to Tottenham for the first time in 16 years. Terry accused the referee of changing his explanation over why he had shown the red card.

      The delightful Ashley Cole chimed in, saying Poll had warned Chelsea players he wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’. A fortnight later, Chelsea withdrew the accusation and Terry was fined £10,000.

       

       

      Who could forget this? Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

      Who could forget this? Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

      Who could forget this? Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

       

       

      Fast forward to May 2009, when Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down four Chelsea penalty appeals. Admittedly, it was a shocking refereeing performance but not as wayward as the reaction of Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who both turned on Ovrebo at the final whistle. Drogba screamed ‘It’s a f***ing disgrace’ into a television camera. Ovrebo was still being  subjected to vile emails from  Chelsea fans as late as this spring.

      Last October after that infamous game against QPR, Chelsea were fined £20,000 for failing to control their players. Drogba and Bosingwa were dismissed in the first half. Manager Andre Villas-Boas called it a ‘very poor display’ — by the  referee, that is, not his players.

      The unfortunate referee then was Chris Foy. By coincidence, he takes charge of Chelsea’s game against Manchester City on Sunday.

       

       

      Sound familiar? Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

      Sound familiar? Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

       

       

      So back to Chelsea’s weasel words in response to the FA findings. They said: ‘Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.’ 

      It smacked of the usual one-eyed, self-serving nonsense that fails to acknowledge a wider obligation to football itself or the lightly trampled reputation of a blameless referee.

      We are Chelsea. We snarl and we smear. Who says we should say sorry?

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Suarez is arrogant, big-mouth, diver... I want to knock him out, blasts Williams

       

      No love lost: Swansea's Ashley Williams (left) and Luis Suarez of Liverpool

       

      No love lost: Swansea's Ashley Williams (left) and Luis Suarez of Liverpool

       

       

      Sunday, November 25th, 2012

       

       

      Swansea City v Liverpool     11:00pm      Mio    102

       

       

       

       

      Swansea defender Ashley Williams has launched an extraordinary attack on Luis Suarez, accusing the Liverpool forward of being a serial cheat and admitting he was so riled by him in one game last season that he wanted to 'knock him out'.

      Writing in his book My Premier League Diary, published on Wednesday, Williams claims that Suarez dives more than any other player he has faced and slams his 'superior' manner on the pitch. 

      The comments were revealed on the eve of Liverpool's must-win Europa League match at home to Young Boys of Berne.

      Swansea host Liverpool on Sunday, a fixture that marks Brendan Rodgers' first competitive return to the Liberty Stadium since leaving for Anfield in the summer.

      Referring to Swansea's 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield last November, Williams writes: 'Suarez has that aura about him that says, "I'm untouchable", and his manner and behaviour made me want to knock him out.

      'The manner in which he approached the game, with utter contempt for us all, means that he's streets ahead of any player I've truly disliked since we've been in the Premier League.

      'He dived more than any other player I've played against - it was so bad I was genuinely shocked.

      'Throughout the game, he just dived down and screamed at any given moment. A couple of times I'd hear the scream, see him writhing on the floor and for the life of me couldn't see where the contact could have been.'

      Although the book was sanctioned by Rodgers during his reign at Swansea, the Liverpool boss expressed surprise at the tone of what Williams had to say: 'When I saw the comments I was very surprised. I know Ash and he certainly wouldn't have meant it the way it came out. Everyone who comes up against Suarez will feel that his unpredictability and ability are incredible.'

      Rodgers also hailed the patience of Liverpool's owners following Roberto Di Matteo's sacking at Chelsea, as he described football management as now being a 'no-win business'.

      'I really respect that people have been lenient with me because this is a club that demands so much,' said Rodgers, who was told by principal owner John W Henry in July that he did not have to deliver a top-four spot this season.

      'I have also been respectful of how realistic people have been. Is it no-win being a manager? At some clubs. But this is a different club.

       

       

      Fall guy: Suarez has been accused of diving by players and managers

      Fall guy: Suarez has been accused of diving by players and managers

      Nice touch: Suarez celebrates goal in derby by diving in front of Everton bench

      Nice touch: Suarez celebrates goal in derby by diving in front of Everton bench

      Edited by zocoss 22 Nov `12, 10:24AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Squad rotations, poor buys... Rafa was a total flop at Inter Milan

      Chelsea managers 

      The rumours were circulating long before the confirmation of the deed. Pep Guardiola, Rafael Benitez, even Avram Grant. Let’s be honest, what does it matter?

       

       

      IT will all end in tears.

      The only certainty is this: Rafa Benitez will become Roman Abramovich’s 9th managerial victim.

      Benitez became the only manager in Liverpool’s history to win major trophies in each of his first two seasons at the club.

      Then he landed the Holy Grail — the Champions League trophy in 2005. But then it all imploded spectacularly.

      Rafa managed to upset players, fans and owners with a farcical rotation system that at one stage saw him change the team 99 times on the trot, plus a dodgy transfer spree that saw him sign an incredible succession of dud players.

      And Rafa’s managerial ‘skills’ were further exposed when he moved to Inter Milan — after they had won the Champions League under former Blues boss Jose Mourinho — surviving there for only six months.

      Certainly, ex-Inter defender Marco Materazzi is no fan.

      He insists Benitez was paranoid about following Mourinho’s success at the Nerazzurri — and simply did not measure up.

      The Italian international says of his troubled spell under Rafa in 2010: “I did not get on well with Benitez. He thought he knew everything but he was afraid of his own shadow.

      “He made me remove pictures of the most important moments of my career with Mourinho and Marcello Lippi from my locker.

      “Mourinho was No 1. His secret was to make the players feel involved in the project.

      “In Madrid at the 2010 Champions League final, he told me that he was leaving. I said to him, ‘Damn you for leaving me with Benitez’.”

      And club president Massimo Moratti had his misgivings, too.

      He reflected: “We tried to find positives from this experience until the end... but we didn’t find any. He has his qualities but marriages don’t always go well.”

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Oh no! Not the 'fat Spanish waiter'! The view from a Chelsea season ticket holder

       

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

      No thanks: Chelsea fan protested when Rafa Benitez was linked in March

      Rafa Benitez

       

       

       

      Oh No, not Rafa Benitez. It’s like some kind of cruel payback for finally being allowed to win the Champions League.

      Maybe people unconnected with the club do not understand why most fans passionately didn’t want him at Chelsea, but it is extraordinary that Roman’s recruiters have come up with this. Have they not heard the songs?

      ‘Fat Spanish waiter, he’s just a fat Spanish waiter’ and ‘You’re not welcome here, f*** off Benitez, you’re not welcome here’. Not exactly a red carpet, is it?

      Here’s why we’re sorry to see him at Stamford Bridge...


      No-one personifies the dislike between Liverpool and Chelsea more than he does.

      It started with him carping on about Jose Mourinho on his way to the luckiest Champions League win in history. (Yes, even luckier than ours).

      The Ghost Goal at Anfield fuelled the rivalry and Didier Drogba brilliantly responded to his ill-judged jibes about diving by dumping Benitez out in the 2008 semi-final at Stamford Bridge, celebrating with a glorious slide-past in front of the Liverpool bench.

       

      He’s actually not very good.

      Apart from winning the lottery in Istanbul what did he collect with Liverpool? An FA Cup. We’ve got plenty of those. 

       

      His spending makes ours look like careful husbandry

      More than £230million and only Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso were decent quality. And he fell out with Alonso before letting him go to Real Madrid. He paid £20m for Robbie Keane and  £18m for Alberto Aquilani — need I say more?

       

      Signing policy: Alberto Aquilani was a flop after signing for Liverpool

      Signing policy: Alberto Aquilani was a flop after signing for Liverpool

       

      Mess at Milan

      Jose made Inter MIlan treble-winning European champions but within six months Benitez was sacked after guiding them to sixth  in Serie A and losing at Tottenham in the Champions League.

       

      I thought we were trying to be the new Barcelona.

      Benitez teams are deadly dull and he actually likes zonal marking.

       

      It looks like a pet manager for Torres.

      No-one could accuse the fans of not supporting the hapless Fernando but he’s beginning to look like a lost cause. We need to move on and you can’t build a team around such a fragile flower.

       

      Was it in? Liverpool's Luis Garcia was awarded the goal against Chelsea

      Was it in? Liverpool's Luis Garcia was awarded the goal against Chelsea

       

       

      We've been here before

      Back in 1996, Glenn Hoddle was poached by England and it was reported that Ken Bates had lined up George Graham to replace him. Hoddle’s last game of the season against Blackburn at Stamford Bridge was a great opportunity for supporters to give the chairman a little hint about the future, again in song. 

      The first was a suggestion about where Mr Graham should be stuffed and the second was the solution. ‘Gullit! Gullit! Gullit!’

      Ken listened, appointed the Dutchman and within a year Chelsea had won their first trophy for 26 years and started on the trail which led to Roman wanting to buy the club in 2003.

      This time Chelsea’s hierarchy didn’t wait for our advice. Their latest signing shouldn’t expect a warm welcome against Manchester City on Sunday.


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • No worries, roman got lots of money to burn.

      Only thing is he has got to learn to suck up to John Terry then everything will go smoothly... lol.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Rafa is ready to manage Chelsea

      Rafa Benitez
      GO ON THEN, I'LL DO IT ... Rafa Benitez would be happy to manage Chelsea
      Published: 3 hrs ago

      CHELSEA aim to name Roberto Di Matteo’s replacement by the end of the day — with Rafa Benitez top of their wanted list.

      Di Matteo was ruthlessly sacked this morning after the Blues returned to London following a 3-0 defeat to Juventus.

      Last night’s result left the Champions League holders facing elimination from the tournament’s group stage as Juve leapfrogged them to close the gap on leaders Shakhtar Donetsk.

      Benitez, 52, has been out of work since since parting company with Inter Milan in 2010.

      And the former Liverpool boss has made it clear he would be interested in taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

      Spaniard Benitez said: “In football a lot of people are talking so we will see what happens in the next few days.

      “I am looking for a club that can challenge for trophies and Chelsea is one of these clubs.

      “I have to talk with my agent and see what he has been doing the last couple of days.

      “But I am just trying to go to a team that can win.”

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • SACKED! Di Matteo pays price for Chelsea's Euro woes as Abramovich targets Guardiola (with Benitez also in frame)  

       

      Game over: Di Matteo has been sacked, six months after landing the Champions League

      Game over: Di Matteo has been sacked, six months after landing the Champions League

       

       

       

      Chelsea statement on Di Matteo - in full

      Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo.

      The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.

      The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.

      The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

      The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.

       

       

       

       

      Roman Abramovich fired Roberto Di Matteo this morning after an 'unacceptable' run of results.

      The Chelsea owner, furious with the club's disastrous Champions League campaign, sacked him this morning just hours after their 3-0 defeat at Juventus.

      Chelsea executives met at Stamford Bridge to tell Di Matteo that his reign was over just six months after leading them to glory in the European Cup.

      Abramovich's No 1 target is former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, but the Blues owner needs to persuade him to end his year-long sabbatical from football. If he fails in this bid, he will turn to Rafa Benitez to take the helm.

      Guardiola is spending time in Manhattan with his family after four years in charge at the Nou Camp and is the Russian's top target to take over.

      Sources close to the 41-year-old say it will take a 'phenomenal' offer for the manager to change his mind.

      However, it is understood Guardiola's advisers are willing to begin negotiations with prospective employers ahead of next season.

      Discreet enquires from Chelsea, City and Milan have already taken place, with all three clubs keen to steal a march on their rivals in the race to land the talented manager.

      Benitez is understood to be willing to take the job until the end of the season. This is despite turning down a similar offer last season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked.

      The former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss is addressing a conference in Abu Dhabi today and is scheduled to fly back into London tomorrow.

      Abramovich was furious that the team, who started the season with the chance to win seven trophies, are already in freefall.

      Although he was prepared to overlook the Community Shield defeat against Manchester City, he was furious with the 4-1 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup.

      Abramovich’s circle made it clear that they had to play seven games to 'qualify' for the Community shield and that it should be treated seriously.

       

      Down and out? Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

      Down and out? Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

       

      Down and out? Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

       

       

       

       

      Likewise the 4-1 defeat against Atletico in Monaco came after they won the Champions League final against Bayern Munich and they wanted to win it.

      Chelsea need a miracle to qualify from Group E of the Champions League and are in danger of becoming the first holders in the history of the competition to go out in the group phase.

      They are four points behind this weekend’s opponents Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League and cannot afford another defeat after last week’s 2-1 loss at West Bromwich.

       

      Shortest reigns under Roman


      Guus Hiddink 105 days

      Felipe Scolari 223 days

      Avram Grand 247 days

      Andre Villas-Boas 256 days

      Roberto Di Matteo 262 days

       

       

      Who's next? The search now begins for a new manager

      Who's next? Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge

      Who's next? Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge
      Who's next? Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge
       
       

       

      A Chelsea spokesman said: ‘Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.

      ‘The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.

      ‘The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.

      ‘The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup.

      'We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

      ‘The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.’

      Edited by zocoss 21 Nov `12, 6:23PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Liverpool star Raheem Sterling questioned by police over alleged assault on woman

      The Liverpool winger, who made his international debut last week, was quizzed under caution after he went to a police station by prior appointment

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

       

      Rising star: Raheem Sterling playing for England
      Rising star: Raheem Sterling playing for England

      England's new teenage wonderkid Raheem Sterling has been interviewed by detectives in connection with an alleged attack on a woman.

      Liverpool winger Sterling, 17, was quizzed under caution after he went to a police station by prior appointment.

      The player, who made his England debut against Sweden last week, has not been arrested and police say investigations are continuing into the alleged assault.

      A force spokeswoman said yesterday: “Merseyside police can confirm that a 17-year-old male from the Woolton area was interviewed under caution following a report of an assault on Friday, November 2.

      “A 27-year-old woman received slight injuries during the incident in the Liverpool 8 area.

      "The investigation is ongoing and no formal action has been taken.” 

       

      It is understood that Sterling was quizzed by police on Merseyside on November 5, three days after the alleged bust-up.

      Last night Liverpool FC declined to comment on the police interview.

      Jamaican-born Sterling, who will turn 18 on December 8, is the fifth youngest footballer to represent the senior England team.

      He joined the academy at QPR when he was 10 but two years ago he was snapped up by the Anfield club and made his debut eight months ago.

      Sterling’s explosive performances this season earned him the international call-up and he is expected to sign a new £30,000-a-week contract with the Reds.

      He has a daughter, five-month-old Melody Rose.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • The last time Giggs and Carrick played together in midfield, United lost. To Spurs.

      It was very easy to see Giggs can't play there as he slows to midfield and the whole team down...

       

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • GAME 13

       

      EPL - Match 13 - November 24 / 25 Fixtures

       

             

       

       

       

       

      Saturday, November 24th, 2012

       
      Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion          8:45      Mio    102 

       

      Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers        11:00      Mio    102  

       

      Everton v Norwich City            11:00      Mio    103  

       

      Stoke City v Fulham      11:00      Mio    104

       

      Wigan Athletic v Reading 11:00      Mio    105

       

      Aston Villa v Arsenal     1:30 am      Mio    102

       

       

       



       

      Sunday, November 25th, 2012

       

       

      Swansea City v Liverpool     11:00      Mio    102

       

      Chelsea v Manchester City     12:00mn      Mio    102

       

      Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United     12:00mn      Mio    103


      Southampton v Newcastle United    11:00      Mio    104

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      GAME 14

       

      EPL - Match 14 - November 27 / 28 Fixtures

       

       

       

      Tuesday, November 27th, 2012


      Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers    3:45      Mio    102

       

      Aston Villa v Reading     4:00      Mio    103

       

       



      Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

       

      Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool      3:45      Mio    102

      Manchester United v West Ham United       4:00      Mio    103

      Chelsea v Fulham         3:45      Mio    104

      Everton v Arsenal        3:45      Mio    105

      Wigan Athletic v Manchester City       4:00      Mio    106
       
      Stoke City v Newcastle United       
      3:45      Mio    107
       
      Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion      
      3:45      Mio    108
       
      Southampton v Norwich City      
      3:45      Mio    109

       

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Nike will have to dig deep to extend Man United sponsorship deal

       

      Swoosh: Manchester United's current kits are made by Nike

      Swoosh: Manchester United's current kits are made by Nike

       

       

      Nike face having to shell out huge sums of cash if they want to maintain their association with Manchester United.

      The American sportswear giants are due to sit down with Red Devils officials in February at the start of an exclusive six-month negotiating period with United over their £303million kit supply deal.

      And whilst United officials were giving little away today during a conference call to provide information on their first quarter results, it seems obvious Nike will have to come up with an enormous sum to satisfy the club’s owners, the Glazer family.

      In July, United announced a staggering £357million deal with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on their shirts for seven seasons from 2014.

      That figure prompted United to buy-out the present deal with DHL for United’s training kit, which will now come to an end at the climax of this season.

      'We feel we know, with some clarity, the value of our rights, and we are bullish about the abundance of opportunities available to accelerate the growth of this business,' said Woodward.

      'The planning on DHL started post-GM deal. We are always monitoring the value of our rights. We can improve the amount, duration and rights-package about that deal.

      'Our six-month negotiating window with them (Nike) starts in February. We look forward to sitting down with them then.'

      Privately, United officials do not see the way the Nike deal is structured fits with the more commercially aggressive Glazer regime.

      When the present deal was negotiated in 2002, United were a publicly floated company and preferred to take as much risk as possible away from any sponsorship tie-up.

      Therefore, a profit-share arrangement was put in place which ensured United received only a proportion of the cash generated from worldwide shirt sales in exchange for a guaranteed sum.

      The Glazer family have not gone down the same route. They have even stopped the policy of contracting out pre-season tour arrangements, believing they can negotiate better deals themselves.

       

      Costly: If Nike want to extend the deal they will have to cough up

      Costly: If Nike want to extend the deal they will have to cough up

       

       

      As a battle is presently taking place between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for two proposed matches in Australia during 2013, the value of such an attitude is obvious.

      It has also been noted Nike now pay the French Football Federation almost £40million-a-year, without a profit-share arrangement, for a seven-year period which began at the start of last season.

      Sponsorship certainly appears to be a lucrative revenue stream for United given they posted a 32% increase to £27.8million for the three months to September 30, 2013.

      Including the General Motors contract, United did 10 sponsorship deals during that time, confirming an increase in workforce from 670 to 735 was almost exclusively connected to the marketing sector.

      They now have mobile phone partnerships in 44 countries, with Woodward claiming the three-year deal with Japanese soft drinks manufacturer Kagome came as a direct result of opening an office in Hong Kong.

      He added that the USA was the 'next natural place' for the club to open a regional centre given as many supporters watch United live there as do so in the United Kingdom.

       

       

      Lucrative: From 2014 United will be sponsored by General Motors

      Lucrative: From 2014 United will be sponsored by General Motors

       

       

      It was also confirmed United received £2.5million as a result of being an Olympic Games football venue, plus £1.3million in compensation for players appearing at Euro 2012.

      In addition, United used proceeds of IPO to reduce total debt by 17% to £359.7million.

      This is unlikely to appease the vast numbers of anti-Glazer United supporters though.

      An ‘exceptional item’ of £3.1million related to professional advisor fees in connection with the IPO, part of what is estimated to be an overall spend of £550million in interest and fees since the Glazer takeover in 2005.

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

      United debt remains eye-watering £360m but Chevrolet deal boosts profits

       

      Under pressure: Some United fans remain opposed to the Glazer family

      Under pressure: Some United fans remain opposed to the Glazer family

      Reason to be cheerful? Manchester United have reduced their debt

      Reason to be cheerful? Manchester United have reduced their debt

       

       

       

      Manchester United’s gross debt was reduced to £359.7million after the club’s owners ‘retired’ a further £62.6million-worth of bonds during the first financial quarter.

      A 32.4 per cent increase in sponsorship revenues, underpinned by that massive shirt deal with Chevrolet, contributed to commercial revenues rising by 24 per cent to £43million over the quarter and an overall profit of £20.5million.

      United estimate overall income will reach £350million and £360million over the entire financial year to June 30, 2013. 

      The results are bound to receive a negative reaction from some fans groups, particularly as reports in the United States overnight indicated the club had to be forced to disclose greater information than they initially wanted when they launched their IPO in the summer. But commercially, at least, the results underline how successful United have been.

      In the last quarter alone, United entered into 10 sponsorship arrangements, including that incredible £357million deal with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on their shirts for seven seasons from 2014.

      That eye-boggling sum persuaded United to buy-out the present deal with DHL for United’s training kit, which will now come to an end at the climax of this season.

      'Manchester United had a record first quarter driven by our commercial operation, which continues to experience extremely strong global revenue growth in new media & mobile, retail merchandising & sponsorship,; said United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

      'The team has also made a strong start to the 12/13 season - currently 1st place in the Premier League and 1st place (and undefeated) in our Champions League Group.'

      United confirmed the 'exceptional item' of £3.1million related to professional advisor fees in connection with the IPO.

      This sum will be seized on by critics of the Glazer family, who continue to point to the massive sums incurred by the club as a direct result of their controversial leveraged takeover in 2005.

      Yet United now appear set on a campaign to maximise commercial revenues.

      They have opened an office in Hong Kong and confirmed staff costs had risen to £40.3 million 'primarily due to growth in commercial headcount'.

      Reverse: United bought out the deal with DHL to sponsor the training kit

      Reverse: United bought out the deal with DHL to sponsor the training kit

       

       

      United also confirmed they received £1.3million due to their players being selected for Euro 2012.

      United's broadcast revenues have dipped substantially by 37.4 per cent, although most of this is being put down to the fact the Red Devils played only one home Champions League game during the period concerned compared to two 12 months ago.

      And, as United have already qualified for the knock-out stages of the competition compared to their catastrophic group stage exit last term, further rises in revenue will be anticipated.

      It also seems United pocketed around £2million as a result of Old Trafford being an Olympic venue given a 13.3 per cent rise in matchday revenue to £19.6million.

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

      Glen Johnson
      WIDE BOY ... Johnson stars on the left against Man United


       

       

       

      BRENDAN RODGERS has hailed Glen Johnson as one of the Premier League’s star performers — despite continuing to spend most of the campaign out of position. 

      Johnson has fought accusations of defensive concentration lapses from the day he arrived at Liverpool three years ago. 

      Yet the England right-back has steadily defied his critics after being switched to the left flank because of a lack of numbers and candidates. 

      Now Kop boss Rodgers has come out fighting on behalf of the Reds star after his latest impressive display in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea. 

      Ironically Martin Skrtel’s illness meant Jose Enrique played most of the game at left-back — although Johnson again stood out when he was moved there late on. 

      And Rodgers insisted: “If there is a team of the season so far in the Prem, then Glen would be in it. He’s one of the best right-backs in the world playing on the left.” 

      Skrtel’s late withdrawal at the Bridge meant Daniel Agger had to play with a groin strain, so he is struggling to face Wigan on Saturday. 

      He said: “I had no choice. I hope I’ll be OK.”

       

      Edited by zocoss 15 Nov `12, 10:48AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Premier League TV rights set to top £5bn for first time

      • Clubs set for huge hike from 2013-14 season
      • Final overseas deals to be concluded next month

       

      Robin van Persie in action against Chelsea

      The global appeal of teams such as Manchester United and Chelsea is one of the reasons the Premier League clubs are set to break the £5bn barrier for TV rights. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

       

       

      Domestic rights  =  £3.018bn + £178m

      Overseas contracts  =   ?

      US, NBC bid US$250m (£157m)

      Brazil US$50m  (£31.5m)

       

      Overseas income is shared out on an equal basis between all 20 clubs.

      Domestic rights income is allocated according to a sliding scale based on league position and the number of appearances on TV.

       

       

       

      Premier League clubs are in line for a huge hike in television income from next season, with revenue from domestic and global TV rights deals on course to top £5bn by the time the final overseas contracts are tied up next month.

      On top of the blockbuster £3.018bn deal announced in June for domestic live rights with Sky and BT for the three seasons from 2013-14, and the £178m banked from the BBC for Match of the Day highlights, the Premier League is well on course to improve on the £1.4bn it brought in from overseas broadcasters under the current deal.

      If the total revenue breaks through the £5bn barrier as expected, the amount that the title-winning club receives from 2013-14 is likely to top £100m for the first time.

      Premier League clubs will be updated on the latest deals to be signed at a meeting this week, when they will also discuss proposals to try to introduce a domestic version of Uefa's Financial Fair Play policy or other cost-control measures such as a restriction on wage growth.

      The hike in income will be cheered by clubs trying to balance their budgets to comply with Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules and looking to exploit their commercial potential around the world, but will also increase fears that it will simply be passed on to players in the form of increased wages.

      The existing TV deals, which run to the end of this season, themselves marked a huge increase in overseas income from £650m for the previous three years to around £1.4bn for 2010 to 2013. In total the current deals are worth around £3.5bn, meaning that the Premier League clubs are on course to collectively achieve an uplift of more than £500m a year.

      Overseas income is shared out on an equal basis between all 20 clubs, while income from domestic rights is allocated according to a sliding scale based on league position and the number of appearances on TV. Just as the exponential rise in domestic income has been driven by competition between Sky and various challengers over the past 20 years, so the same process is starting to play out across the world.

      In the US, NBC outbid the incumbents Fox and ESPN and will pay around $250m (£157m) over three seasons, triple the existing contract, and show more matches on its national network.

      Manchester United's vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, recently said that the US represented the number one growth target for the club, because a number of factors had coalesced to make it ready to take off.

      In Brazil, rights have been stripped out for the first time from a pan-continental deal and sold to Fox and ESPN for $50m, more than four times what the rights were believed to be worth as part of the previous South American deal.

      In China, in contrast, the focus has been on expanding reach rather than maximising revenue. A six-year contract was last week signed with the agency SuperSports Media to sub-licence matches to regional and IPTV broadcasters across the country. It goes beyond a traditional rights deal and also includes a joint marketing agreement to promote clubs in the country.

      Deals have already been concluded in the US and South America, South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, China, Singapore and Scandinavia. Deals for Asia and Australasia and the Middle East and north Africa are expected to be wrapped up within the next fortnight.

      Increases in income from the middle east, in particular, are expected to be driven by competition between al-Jazeera and its rivals.

      The rest of Europe, excluding Scandinavia, is expected to be concluded by Christmas. It had been speculated in the wake of the partial victory of a Portsmouth landlady in the European courts that the rights could be sold as a single pan-European deal to avoid the prospect of rival broadcasters undercutting one another.

      But instead the Premier League will continue to sell its rights on a territory by territory basis and limit the number of 3pm kick-offs on offer.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • City are the best team in the Premier League... nobody can beat us, claims Kolarov

       

      Up for the battle: Kolarov (left) believes City can now go unbeaten

      Up for the battle: Kolarov (left) believes City can now go unbeaten

       

       

       

      Aleksandar Kolarov rounded on Manchester City's critics on Tuesday and claimed they are unbeatable when they show the spirit that carried them to a dramatic win over Tottenham.

      Despite not hitting peak form so far, City remain the only unbeaten side in the Barclays Premier League and are just two points off top spot after overturning a 1-0 deficit against Tottenham on Sunday.

      'I understand why we get so much criticism, but if we carry on playing with the same spirit we showed against Spurs, nobody can beat us,' declared the City left-back.

      'Everyone wants to, because we are the champions and we haven't lost this season. The smallest teams and the biggest teams, they all want to beat us and they all give 200 per cent to try and do it.

      'We may have lost games in the Champions' League, but I think we are still the best team in the Premier League. Beating Spurs was a big step, not just for the three points but because we had a good spirit. We need to stay on this road, train well and keep playing to this level.'

      Kolarov admitted misgivings over City's zonal marking system and urged team-mate Edin Dzeko to shrug aside any frustration at not being in the starting line-up.

      'We need to improve on set-pieces, because we conceded two goals against Ajax in the Champions' League and then another on Sunday,' he said.

       

      On target: Kolarov urged unsettled Dzeko to concentrate on the job in hand

      On target: Kolarov urged unsettled Dzeko to concentrate on the job in hand

       

      'We mark from zone to zone but nobody knows who needs to mark the player.

      'It is important for us that Edin continues to score, whether from the bench or starting. It is tough, but not just for him. It is the same for me and others who do not play every game. It is hard to keep your form at a high level, but we are professional and need to accept it is the manager's choice.'

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • MARK CLATTENBURG PROBE IS DROPPED BY THE POLICE

      Referee Mark Clattenburg still faces an FA inquiry

       

      Referee Mark Clattenburg still faces an FA inquiry

      MARK CLATTENBURG'S fight to clear his name gathered momentum when the police last night dropped their investigation into allegations against him.

      A statement by the Metropolitan Police revealed that they are “no longer investigating” a complaint that the referee racially abused Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel.

      That leaves the way clear for the FA to conclude their own investigation without fear of compromising a criminal case, and the fact the police found no grounds for a charge must strengthen Clattenburg’s hand.

      Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck gave a long interview yesterday which refereeing insiders interpreted as a defensive move – “getting his retaliation in first” – because the case against Clattenburg could now unravel. 

      Clattenburg is facing a third weekend without a game.

      The FIFA official has not been given a fixture since Chelsea alleged that at least one player had heard the referee call Mikel “a monkey” during the home Premier League defeat against Manchester United on October 28. 

      Clattenburg vehemently denies the accusation. The police became involved when Peter Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, complained.

      The police statement read: “Inquiries were made and no victims have come forward.

      “If the situation changes and a victim and/or evidence to support an allegation of a crime comes to police attention, then further inquiries will, if appropriate, be made.”

      The statement’s reference to no victims coming forward infers that Chelsea did not contact the police and that the police did not interview any players. Now the pressure will be on the FA to decide quickly whether to bring a misconduct charge against the 37-year-old County Durham official. 

      There is frustration within the Premier League and the Professional Game Match Officials Board that, again, the FA appear to be dragging their heels.

      Buck’s interview, with a friendly journalist in a London newspaper, gave the club’s authorised version of events.

      Buck, an American lawyer, maintained that Chelsea were duty bound to report the accusation against Clattenburg. But he confirmed that Mikel and manager Roberto Di Matteo did try to confront Clattenburg after the match.

      They could face a charge for their behaviour if the FA, like the police, decide not to proceed.

      In the interview, Buck said: “I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times.

      “I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them if they might have heard ‘Mikel’ instead of ‘monkey’.

      “I thought I had covered the base.”

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 14 Nov `12, 11:56AM
  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

       

       

       

       

               VS       

        

       

      Norwich vs Manchester United

       

      Saturday, 17 November 2012

      Time: 1:30am  -  (Live) (Sun Morning)  

      Mio Channel 102 in HD

      EPL Game 12

        

       

       

       

      Manchester United :  

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

      Powell, Macheda, Bebe.

      Doubtful :  Evans, Jones, Nani, Rooney.

      Injured Vidic, Kagawa. 

        

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

        

      GAME 12 

      EPL - Match 12 -  November 17 / 18 / 19 Fixtures

       

             

       

       

       

       

       

      Saturday, November 17,  2012



      Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur     8:45    Mio 102

      Manchester City v Aston Villa     11:00     Mio 102 

      Liverpool v Wigan Athletic     11:00     Mio 103

      West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea    11:00     Mio 104 

      Newcastle United v Swansea City    11:00     Mio 105

      Reading v Everton    11:00     Mio 106

      Queens Park Rangers v Southampton    11:00     Mio 107

      Norwich City v Manchester United   1:30   Mio 102

        

       

       

      Sunday November 18

       

       

      Fulham v Sunderland    12:00am (Mon)      Mio 102 

       

       

       

      Monday November 19 

       

      West Ham United v Stoke City      4:00am (Tue)           Mio 102

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Next Weekend Fixtures , November 24th , 2012

      Aston Villa v Arsenal
      Chelsea v Manchester City
      Everton v Norwich City
      Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers
      Southampton v Newcastle United
      Stoke City v Fulham
      Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion
      Swansea City v Liverpool
      Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United
      Wigan Athletic v Reading

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 12 Nov `12, 4:05PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • A Funny Game Of Two Racist !

      Both were the only scorer of goals in the match.

      One Black guy attack a racist only for that racist to attack that black guy's racist and injured him badly... The script couldn't have been written any better... :lmao

      Rather please with the result at the end.

       

       

       

       

       

      Blues fear JT’s out for the season

      Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1
      HORROR ... John Terry's right leg crumples awkwardly underneath Luis Suarez
      HORROR ... John Terry's right leg crumples awkwardly underneath Luis Suarez

      OUCH ... JT feels the pain after colliding with Suarez 

      HORROR ... John Terry's right leg crumples awkwardly underneath Luis Suarez

       

       

      CHELSEA fear John Terry’s season is over after he suffered an horrific-looking knee injury yesterday.

      The Blues skipper, 31, was carried off in agony following a first-half collision with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

      Terry’s knee bent backward grotesquely under the weight of the clash and it is feared he has serious ligament damage.

      Centre-half Terry, who had headed Blues in front, screamed in agony before being carried off and he will undergo an MRI scan today.

      He left Stamford Bridge on crutches with his right knee in a brace last night.

      Anxious Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo said: “Obviously we are worried about John and we hope it’s not serious.

      “It’s always a concern when a player reacts like that. He’s in pain right now and will go to hospital in the morning.

      “We won’t know the full extent of the damage until we have the results of the scan but we hope it’s not long-term.”

      Suarez, who nicked Liverpool’s second-half equaliser, went on Twitter to voice his concern for Terry.

      He tweeted: “A shame we couldn’t get the three points.

      “Glad to help the team with another goal ... Hugs to Terry, I hope it’s nothing serious.”

      Ex-England captain Terrry had surgery on the same knee earlier in the year.

      And if he has sustained cruciate ligament damage, that would require another operation — putting him out for anything up to six months.

       

       

       

      John Terry
      HOPPING FOR THE BEST ... skipper is all strapped up as he hobbles out of the Bridge on crutches last night.

       

      Terry’s injury was sustained when striker Suarez fell on to his outstretched leg following a shove from behind by Chelsea midfielder Ramires. 
       

      It was immediately apparent Terry was in serious trouble as he beat the ground and signalled for help.

      The injury could not have come at a worse time for Terry, who was playing his first Premier League game since completing a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

      Di Matteo said: “We had just got John back into the team. It’s a real shame.”


      Edited by zocoss 12 Nov `12, 11:09AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Hair raising! Chelsea line up £30m January move for Marouane Fellaini

      Everton midfielder scored his sixth goal of the season against Sunderland - and would be eligible for the Champions League

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

       

      Fel guy: Everton midfielder has hinted he wants to leave
      Fel guy: Everton midfielder has hinted he wants to leave

       

      .

      .

       

      Chelsea will make a ­sensational £30million move for Everton ­talisman Marouane Fellaini in the January transfer window, writes the Sunday People.

      Blues owner Roman Abramovich has given the green light to a huge offer for the powerful Goodison hero who has been one of the major successes of the Premier League this season.

      Boss Roberto di Matteo wants more strength in his side and an alternative to Fernando Torres, with fearsome Fellaini top of his wish list. And the fact Belgian Fellaini would be eligible for the Champions League is a major plus as the Londoners set up one of the biggest deals of the January market.

      Fellaini scored his sixth goal of the season yesterday before setting up Nikica Jelavic for the winner in Everton’s 2-1 comeback win over Sunderland.

      And he has been dropping hints he would like to move on soon – much to the annoyance of Everton boss David Moyes.

      It will take a big bid to make it happen but Chelsea are happy to spend, knowing Torres cannot lead their attack on his own if they are to challenge for the title or get anywhere near retaining the Champions League.

      Fellaini – who turns 25 next week – fits the bill as he can lead the line, support the main attacker or add his 6ft 4ins frame to a talented but small attacking midfield.

      Top three stories from the Sunday People:

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    •  
      Leaders of the pack: Why Liverpool against Chelsea will be the tale of two skippers
       

       

       
      Rivalries resumed: Liverpool tend to do well against Chelsea
       
       

       

       

       

       

       
       
      The spotlight will be on the two captains if, as expected, John Terry and Steven Gerrard make their returns for Chelsea and Liverpool today.

      Both England veterans face challenging tests in their respective areas.

      Terry will have to face Luis Suarez, who has scored in his last five ­Premier League outings, while Gerrard will have his work cut out to ­contain the Chelsea creative ­midfield trio of Hazard, Mata and Oscar.

      Liverpool and Three Lions skipper ­Gerrard can also ­create ­history in Sweden on Wednesday when he ­reaches a century of appearances for his country, injury permitting.

      He’s been a terrific player for England and single-handedly lifted his ­national team off the floor after the 2010 World Cup calamity in South Africa.

      Gerrard always leads by example and should help Roy Hodgson take ­England all the way to Rio in two years time although, at the age of 34, a third ­successive World Cup ­Finals might just be beyond him.

      Today’s game looks to be a certain home win yet instead has produced notable recent victories for the Reds.

      Liverpool have won the last four Premier League ­encounters against today’s hosts and have recovered from a shaky start to ­remain ­undefeated for the last five league matches.

      The first goal could be crucial today as Liverpool have only won once in 29 league matches when a goal down at half time.

      In contrast, Chelsea have come back and won three times when going behind this season.

      With their free-flowing midfield trio starting to click, Roberto Di ­Matteo’s team will always make chances.

      Unfortunately, up front, ­Fernando Torres is going through a real pimple patch and even ­defender Gary ­Cahill’s strike rate this season is better than the £50million misfit.

      Chelsea should win today, and there could even be something in the air tonight, for Fernando’s sake!

      Edited by zocoss 11 Nov `12, 2:31PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • I’m not a diver.. I’m a top-class player

       Luis Suarez
      TRICK OR CHEAT? ... Suarez says he's a victim of his skills, not a diver

      LUIS SUAREZ goes head to head with Fernando Torres today insisting he is not the diver the rest of the Premier League deems him.

      Suarez faces Chelsea on the back of England skipper Steven Gerrard’s ringing endorsement that the controversial Uruguayan is the greatest Liverpool striker he’s ever played with.

      And boss Liverpool Brendan Rodgers has even compared Suarez to Lionel Messi.

      That’s one in the eye for Torres as he seeks his first goal in four matches against Liverpool since his sensational £50 million move almost two years ago.

      But Suarez is still blighted by his diving reputation — a stigma he says is driving him mad.

      “I insist I don’t dive in the penalty area,” he said. “This is my career and the bad reputation created around me is unjust.

      “If you analyse the statistics I am one of the forwards who receives the most fouls and free kicks.

      “There always seems to be controversy surrounding me but I accept the referee’s decisions — they are only human.

      “I accept the criticism against me but many people attack me without reason. That doesn’t please me but I try to do my best day by day.”

      However, while Torres still struggles to reproduce his Anfield form, Suarez is enjoying his most prolific spell in English football with seven goals — more than half of the Reds’ total — in the Premier League so far.

      But he still needs a leg up. Whatever he does, wherever he goes, Suarez will never be football’s “boy next door” given his race row bust-up with Patrice Evra and constant accusations over alleged diving.

      But Gerrard’s warm words in a midweek tweet have given him a vital leg up as inconsistent Liverpool head for Stamford Bridge and Torres today, while Rodgers hailed Suarez’s goal against Newcastle.

      He said: “He plays the false nine role like Messi does for Barcelona where he moves freely and others have to get in behind him to penetrate.

      “Suarez’s goal was brilliant. He is a world-class striker.”

      The fact is that against a background of constant brickbats the mercurial striker continues to give belting performances on his own up front after the loss of Andy Carroll to West Ham. And he’s ready to show Torres a thing or two.

      Suarez said: “Steve is friend and a worldwide star, the boss in the dressing room and a symbol for Liverpool over the past decade.

      “He merits total respect so his quote about me is high praise.

      “Torres is highly regarded by Liverpool fans but I prefer not to draw comparisons between us because we are a different type of forward.

      “I am not envious of anything he did for Liverpool. Maybe we are similar in the way we battle against defenders and our passion is the same, but technically we are different.”

      The Uruguayan said his secret to scoring goals is simple — it’s work, work, work.

      He explained: “I undergo many videos sessions to analyse characteristics in opposing defenders and goalkeepers.

      “While it’s difficult to suggest a goals target for the season if I score more than 20 goal I will be happy.”

      Often Suarez is picked to toil alone in attack but he insists he doesn’t find it too much pressure and is happy to play wherever boss Brendan Rodgers picks him.

      He said: “My mission is to play and to score goals for Liverpool.

      “Liverpool are one of the top clubs in England and we are obliged to fight for all the titles, including the Premier League.

      “This has become complicated because of results so far so we need to give our maximum in every match.

      “Rodgers is a new coach and is normal that things will get better match to match. I’m confident it will work.

      “My dream for this season is to make the top four. Our squad should be fighting against the biggest rivals in this division.

      “Sunday’s game with Chelsea is hard because they have been league leaders and are at home.

      “But it’s a challenge for Liverpool. We needs to improve our positions and this is the best moment to do it.””