17/12/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

17 12 2010
Carlos Tévez playing for Manchester City

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Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner could be sent on loan to Everton in January with a view to a permanent transfer. The Gunners are interested in Freiburg striker Papis Demba Cisse.

Tottenham are interested in signing former England skipper David Beckham in the January transfer window. The LA Galaxy midfielder does not report back for his club until March.

Manchester City and Tottenham are leading the chase for Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel, who is the captain of German giants Bayern Munich.

Liverpool are keen on Zenit St Petersburg right-back Alexander Anyukov. The 28-year-old is rated at £18m.

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor or Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez in the January transfer window to cover for injured striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Liverpool are ready to join the battle for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, who has also caught the eye of Juventus and Inter Milan. Dortmund will refuse to sell in the January transfer window, but could be ready to do business in the summer for a figure of about £13m.

Lille winger Eden Hazard has hinted that he will shun the overtures of Real Madrid to join Arsenal at the end of the season. The 19-year-old has impressed with his performances this campaign and has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Chelsea for £12m last June.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has identified Wolfsburg’s Simon Kjaer as the solution to his ongoing centre-back problem.

Aston Villa are interested in Villarreal forward Guillermo Andres Lopez. The 18-year-old is also wanted by PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.

Former Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has told West Ham that he will not talk to the club about taking over at Upton Park while manager Avram Grant is still in charge.

Tottenham winger David Bentley is wanted by Liverpool but Birmingham remain favourites to sign the 26-year-old.

Arsenal midfielder Denilson is a £10m target for former England manager Steve McClaren, who is now is charge at Wolfsburg.

Under-pressure Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he will honour his contract with the club, staying in London “at least until 2012”.

England manager Fabio Capello has dismissed reports linking him with moves to Inter Milan or Manchester City.

Birmingham will offer midfielder Sebastian Larsson a new contract, and have criticised Stoke for expressing their interest in the 25-year-old Swede.

Tottenham have offered to redevelop the Crystal Palace sports centre as the legacy part of their bid to occupy the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the London Games. Spurs, who are battling it out with West Ham for the venue, do not want to retain the athletics track at the Olympic Stadium.

Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke has talked up the possibility of future World Cups, including the 2022 tournament in Qatar, being moved to the European winter.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has bought a controlling share in Queens Park Rangers, increasing his stake to 62% after buying out Flavio Briatore.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes has slammed the logic behind the sackings of former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton and ex-Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce, insisting club owners expect too much too soon.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says unsettled striker Carlos Tevez will play against Everton on Monday and insists he will resolve the Argentine’s future in the next 48 hours.

However, Mancini will take the captain’s armband off Tevez when the pair meet to discuss the situation on Friday.

Former Wimbledon striker Dean Holdsworth, who is currently at Newport County, is one of the candidates to take charge at Bristol Rovers following the dismissal of Paul Trollope.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger predicts his side will get Barcelona in Friday’s last 16 Champions League draw. “I know who we will get,” he said about the side who beat them in the 2006 final.

Sir Bobby Charlton is adamant that, contrary to popular legend, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would not have been sacked if he had lost a third-round FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest back in 1990. “The media were the ones who were pushing,” recalled former player-turned-director Charlton.

In a straight-talking address on English football, current Ipswich boss and Manchester United legend Roy Keane labelled Monday’s Premier League clash between his former club and rivals Arsenal as “rubbish”.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.


Unbelievable New Zealand Rugby Skills

2 12 2010

This is the first rugby video to feature on the site and if this is anything to go by there may well be more to come.

02/12/2010 – Thursday’s Paper Round-Up (2018 World Cup Bid Special)

2 12 2010
David Beckham

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2018 World Cup Bid Special

X Factor’s Simon Cowell, model Kelly Brook and TV presenter Stephen Fry are some of the celebrities backing England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Fry says: “No other country in the world can match our infatuation for the game and this is the reason I believe England would be an ideal host.”

A proud Sir Bobby Charlton is excited about England winning the bid. The 1966 England World Cup winner says: “I believe it was right to make the bid and reach out for something that would bring pleasure to so many people in this country, even while acknowledging that we might fail, as we did in 2006. I still think we have a good chance of having our faith in ourselves rewarded in the next few hours.”

David Beckham, England’s bid ambassador, delivered a last-minute plea on why England should be hosts. The England midfielder says: “We live and breathe football in England and want to invite the rest of the world to join us for the most colourful and unique festival of football imaginable.”

Beckham believes it is England’s time: “Not to get it would be unbelievably disappointing because everything is set up for it, everything is ready to go.”

Beckham says if England hosts the World Cup in eight years they should be able to win the trophy. The LA Galaxy star says: “We will need a good performance from our players. We have young players who are coming through and will be ready.”

Another Manchester United legend Denis Law is not so bothered about England becoming hosts. The Scot says: “I was on holiday when Euro 96 was played in England and my holidays for 2018 have been booked. I’m not interested in whether England get the World Cup finals.”

Lord Coe believes the England bid team need to be on top of their game for Thursday’s final pitch to Fifa in Zurich. Coe says: “You have to keep your foot hard to the pedal until there is nowhere else to go. Then we need five Oscar performances in the presentation.”

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit says bikes and being small is why Holland and Belgium would be great World Cup hosts. Gullit says: “The compactness of our countries is a great asset. Due to the short distance the next game is never far away and we will offer the fans a network of free public transport and two million free bikes.”

With the USA looking to host the 2022 World Cup, actor Morgan Freeman joined former president Bill Clinton but fluffed his lines when delivering a key speech to Fifa delegates on behalf of the American bid.

Other Gossip

Tottenham and Fenerbahce are preparing for a transfer tussle to land Bordeaux’s £7m-rated defender Michael Ciani.

Emmanuel Adebayor is ready to dig his heels in with Manchester City to force a loan move to Tottenham in January, while Aston Villa want Eastlands winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and AC Milan are interested in their striker Roque Santa Cruz.

Manchester City are stepping up their interest in £12m-rated Sporting Lisbon centre-half Daniel Carrico, 22, whom they have watched extensively in the last year.

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is being lined up by Chelsea in a £9m bid.

Premier League champions Chelsea are weighing up a £3.5m move for Lokomotiv Moscow goalkeeper Guilherme, who could provide cover for Petr Cech.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole will command a £10m price tag when he goes up for sale in the January transfer window.

Chelsea have sounded out Bolton to register an interest in their star defender Gary Cahill, who is also a target for Liverpool.

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is in Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s sights after the Catalans’ five-goal demolition of Real Madrid.

Chelsea should see John Terry return from injury for the weekend visit of Everton to Stamford Bridge, though Frank Lampard is targeting the game against Manchester United in two weeks’ time for his comeback.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

Match Report and Extended Highlights: FC Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid

30 11 2010
Barcelona's Lionel Messi was voted as man of t...

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Barcelona put on a masterclass of attacking football in their 5-0 drubbing of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Journalists around the world ran out of superlatives for Pep Guardiola’s men, with some going as far as suggesting that his side is the best ever. It is hard to dispute this claim and it is made even more impressive as eight players in the side rose through the club’s academy ranks.

Andres Iniesta’s brilliant pass unlocked the Real Madrid defence which left Xavi free to give the Catalan club the lead in the 11th minute.

Pedro doubled the lead in the 18th minute, tapping in David Villa’s cross. The provider went on to become the next goalscorer in the 55th minute. The ex-Valencia striker was put through on goal by Lionel Messi’s (left) exquisite through ball and the pair combined again just three minutes later for Villa’s second and Barcelona’s fourth.

Substitute Jeffren completed the scoring in the 91st minute after converting fellow substitute Bojan’s cross past a helpless Iker Casillas.

A delighted Jeffren said after the match, “This was a match I will never forget. I had no idea that I was going to score a goal. I think everything went very well.

“This team has entered history tonight.”

His sentiments were echoed by Sergio Busquets. “It is a day for our history, and the end result is because of the high level that we have played at,” the Spaniard told AS. “It was a very complete match for all my team-mates.

“It is impossible to highlight one player, as all 11 were great. We have formed a style of football that is compact, and this makes it harder for teams to beat us.

“It is also a dream to have so many team players on our side.”

In the final minutes of Jose Mourinho’s worst ever defeat, Sergio Ramos was sent off for scything down Lionel Messi before pushing fellow Spanish World Cup winner Carles Puyol to the ground. The referee was left with no option and had to dismiss him.

After the game, Xavi said of the incident, “Sergio did not apologise, but this is normal. The feelings of anger and helplessness are understandable. [Our] Superiority should bother them.”

Even the Madrid-based newspaper Marca declared that Barcelona is the ‘best team of the century’.

Mark Jepson

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Final Scores: European Football Round-Up

30 11 2010

Results from the 26th -29th November 2010

Barclays Premier League

Aston Villa 2 – 4 Arsenal
Bolton 2 – 2 Blackpool
Everton 1 – 4 West Brom
Fulham 1 – 1 Birmingham
Man Utd 7 – 1 Blackburn
Newcastle 1 – 1 Chelsea
Stoke 1 – 1 Man City
Tottenham 2 – 1 Liverpool
West Ham 3 – 1 Wigan
Wolverhampton 3 – 2 Sunderland


Celtic 2 – 2 Inverness CT
Hamilton 0 – 0 St Mirren
Hibernian 0 – 0 St Johnstone
Kilmarnock 2 – 0 Aberdeen

La Liga

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 0 Osasuna
Atletico Madrid 2 – 3 Espanyol
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Hercules 3 – 1 Levante
Mallorca 2 – 0 Malaga
Racing Santander 1 – 0 Deportivo La Coruna
Real Zaragoza 0 – 3 Villarreal
Sevilla 1 – 3 Getafe
Sporting Gijon 1 – 3 Real Sociedad
Valencia 2 – 1 Almeria

Serie A

Bari 1 – 1 Cesena
Brescia 0 – 0 Genoa
Cagliari 3 – 2 Lecce
Inter Milan 5 – 2 Parma
Juventus 1 – 1 Fiorentina
Lazio 1 – 1 Catania
Palermo 3 – 1 Roma
Sampdoria 1 – 1 AC Milan
Udinese 3 – 1 Napoli


Bayern Munich 4 – 1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Dortmund 4 – 1 Borussia M’gladbach
Cologne 1 – 1 Wolfsburg
FC Kaiserslautern 5 – 0 Schalke 04
Hamburg 4 – 2 VfB Stuttgart
Hannover 96 3 – 0 SC Freiburg
Mainz 3 – 0 Nurnberg
TSG Hoffenheim 2 – 2 Bayer Leverkusen
Werder Bremen 3 – 0 St Pauli

Ligue 1

AS Nancy 1 – 1 St Etienne
Auxerre 1 – 2 Toulouse
Bordeaux 1 – 1 Lille
Caen 0 – 3 Sochaux
Lorient 2 – 0 Rennes
Lyon 2 – 2 PSG
Marseille 4 – 0 Montpellier
Monaco 1 – 1 Nice
Valenciennes 3 – 0 Arles


AZ 2 – 2 Heerenveen
De Graafschap 1 – 1 Vitesse
Feyenoord 2 – 1 ADO Den Haag
Heracles 2 – 1 FC Utrecht
NEC 2 – 4 FC Twente
Roda JC 1 – 0 FC Groningen
VVV 0 – 2 Ajax
Willem II 1 – 1 Excelsior

26/11/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

26 11 2010
Carlton Cole before West Ham's game v Wigan, A...

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Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has placed an £80m price tag on Ashley Young after Manchester United and Liverpool revealed their interest in the winger.

Arsenal and Manchester City have joined the race to sign Sporting Lisbon’s teenage winger Zezinho, dubbed “the new Cristiano Ronaldo”.

The Reds are also interested in Lille’s central defender Adil Rami and forward Gervinho.

But Lille midfielder Eden Hazard will not be leaving the club despite interest from Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool could make a shock January move for Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole (left) could be on his way to Liverpool in January after publicly criticising the tactics of Hammers manager Avram Grant.

Meanwhile, former Hammers defender Anton Ferdinand could be on his way back to Upton Park with the Sunderland centre-back set to leave the Stadium of Light.

Manchester United expect to clinch the signing of 26-year-old goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, of Norwegian club Aalesund, by the weekend.

In-form striker Johan Elmander has stalled on signing a new contract with Bolton – and sparked a scramble for his signature. Liverpool, Newcastle and Stoke are interested.

Fulham are ready to win the £3m race for 6ft 8in Ivory Coast striker Lacina Traore of Romanian side Cluj.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes could raid former club Manchester City with keeper Shay Given, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and striker Roque Santa Cruz all on Fulham’s wish list.

Manchester United target David De Gea has said he will happily reject overtures from Sir Alex Ferguson to remain at Atletico Madrid.

Dimitar Berbatov will definitely not be leaving Old Trafford in January, according to the player’s agent Emil Dantchev.

Birmingham are poised to make a £2m move for Swedish striker Denni Avdic who plays for IF Elsborg.

Arsenal target Gokhan Inler could leave Udinese if the right club makes the right offer, says the Swiss midfielder’s agent.

Dinamo Zagreb vice-president Zdravko Mamic has revealed that the Croatian side have rejected a £17m offer from Arsenal for highly rated youngsters midfielder Mateo Kovacic and wing-back Sime Vrsaljko.

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan says he will not be joining Tottenham in January and will instead end his career in Spain.

Palermo’s defensive midfielder Armin Bacinovic is a target for Chelsea and Liverpool.

Birmingham striker Kevin Phillips could be about to start a bidding war between Championship promotion chasers QPR and Swansea.

Tottenham defender William Gallas has boldly predicted that Spurs can win “everything” this season, despite having already been knocked out of the Carling Cup.

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed will back manager Mark Hughes in the transfer window but vented his anger at the 4-1 home loss to Manchester City last week.

Plymouth have held talks with former Leeds and Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale over potential investment in the cash-strapped club.

Tottenham will press ahead with plans to move to the Olympic Stadium despite receiving the go-ahead to build a new 56,000-seater arena adjacent to White Hart Lane.

Winger Stewart Downing believes new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier needs to bring in up to five new players during the January transfer window.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has revealed that the team’s good spirit has been partly helped by the game rock-papers-scissors.

“The lads do a ‘scissors, paper, rock’ thing and there is a punishment for the loser. So they are getting good at playing it – or else. The loser gets his ears flicked and it is painful,” said the Scot.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

Fabregas and Eboue Ruled Out: Aaron Ramsey Joins Nottingham Forest on Loan

25 11 2010
Cesc Fabregas 2009-05-10

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Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Eboue have been ruled out of action for two and four weeks respectively.

The duo picked up injuries in Arsenal’s disappointing 2-0 defeat against Portuguese side Braga last night.

Arsene Wenger had reacted furiously at Braga’s physical approach to the game. In his post-match interview, the Frenchman said, “We are going through a period where we have bad luck, we had Eboue kicked off the park without any punishment”.

He went on to add, “Eboue has a medial knee ligament strain.”

“It can be four weeks, can be six weeks or can be eight weeks. But I think it will be four weeks minimum.

“Fabregas will be assessed today (Thursday) with a scan. After that we can tell you how long he will be out, but I count two weeks.

“It is a big blow because it will question how cautious we have to be in the future with him. Cesc has played 50 games a year since a young age. We may have to be more cautious with him, especially in the next two months.”

It has been a day of mixed news for Arsenal as they were earlier given a boost by the news that Aaron Ramsey and Manuel Almunia both returned to action in the reserves 2-1 win over Wolves and the pair came through unscathed.

The duo are believed to be close to a return to first team action although Saturday’s match against Aston Villa may be too soon for them.

“We have a lot of bumps and bruises but everyone else should be available,” said Wenger.

“Almunia should be capable to play but I will see how he reacts.

“Ramsey needs competitive games. He played 45 minutes and he did well. We need to get him slowly and progressively into competition mode.”

In the last few minutes, it has been confirmed that Nottingham Forest have signed Aaron Ramsey on loan until the 3rd of January 2011. The short-term move is seen as the ideal way for the Welshman to get competitive action.

Ramsey had been sidelined since February after suffering a double fracture to his right leg in a challenge with Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross.

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