Tag Archives: approval

Roberto Martinez praises old-fashioned Andy Carroll ahead of Wigan v West Ham

Wigan boss Martinez praises 'old-fashioned' Carroll ahead of West Ham clash

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

10:56 GMT, 19 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 19 April 2013

Roberto Martinez has hailed Andy Carroll as a throwback to the old days and admitted he poses a 'unique' threat to Wigan's hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

Wigan are desperate for points to escape the bottom three, but Martinez knows they will have to find a way of combatting Carroll's physical presence against West Ham at Upton Park.

The on-loan striker laid on his side's opening goal, in Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with Manchester United, but also infuriated Sir Alex Ferguson with an aerial challenge that flattened keeper David de Gea.

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Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Carroll

'There is a place for an old-fashioned number nine in the Premier League, and Carroll is proving that,' said the Wigan manager. 'Possession football can be the way for some teams, and we have all seen Spain play with no strikers at all in some games.

'But if you have a very good number nine, and you give him the right service, it can be very effective. Carroll has great power and strength, and the way he attacks the ball in the final third is quite unique.

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

'He is one of the best in the business at that, and he is becoming a very important player for West Ham, particularly with the service he gets from the flanks and the connection he has with Kevin Nolan just behind.

'He was very impressive for England in the European Championships, so it is no surprise to see what he is doing now. If you allow him to use his best attributes, he will be a very powerful and dangerous player for his team. We have to be on our guard for that.'

'No disputing Carroll should have had red card,' says Fergie

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West Ham have quality everywhere, says Martinez

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Inside crazy world of Roman Abramovich"s Chelsea: Trophies, turmoil and constant sackings

Trophies, turmoil and constant sackings! Inside the crazy world of Roman's Chelsea

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UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 21 November 2012

Money talks, as they say, but it doesn't always make sense. Roman Abramovich has spent his entire adult life proving the first point and the best part of a decade giving just as much credence to the second.

Publicity-shy Abramovich must have done something right when he turned his entrepreneurial skills to Russia's oil fields and began amassing a personal fortune that topped 8billion at the last count.

Ruthless Rom: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich decided to axe Roberto Di Matteo after defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk on October 23

Ruthless Rom: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich decided to axe Roberto Di Matteo after defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk on October 23

The crazy stats of Roman

Chelsea have spent approximately 86m since 2004 in compensation for managers – more than Everton’s entire net spend since the Premier League began.

Chelsea had eight managers in their first 70 years from 1905 to 1975, they are now going for a ninth in nine years.

Since failing to escape their Champions League group in 2005, Sir Alex Ferguson has won four Premier League titles, one Champions League and three League Cups with United.

Abramovich has now had as many managers in his nine-year reign as United have had since 1937.

Chelsea have sacked seven managers since 2005 and won seven trophies.

The average life span for a manager under Abramovich is eight months. Only Mourinho and Ancelotti lasted more than a year.

It left him with enough spare change to buy Chelsea for 140million in July, 2003, but if there was admiration, however grudging, for his singular approach to succeeding in the business world, approval rating for his football acumen hasn't reached quite the same heights.

Sacking Roberto Di Matteo six months after he delivered the prize Abramovich craved most is like a snapshot of the Russian oil magnate's whole turbulent rollercoaster reign.

As he came face-to-face with Abramovich at the Champions' League final presentation ceremony, high up in the stand at the Allianz Arena, Di Matteo clenched his fists and beamed: 'I've done it.'

Abramovich nodded, with a smile nothing like as radiant as his manager's, and you could almost hear him thinking: 'Yes, you've done it now, all right.'

Di Matteo fell into the job, as assistant promoted to caretaker after Andre Villas-Boas' dismissal last March, but never quite matched the Abramovich identikit of a sharp, incisive coach who could produce a team from the same mould.

Euro king: Di Matteo delivered the prize Abramovich craved... and was still sacked six month later

King for a day: Di Matteo delivered the prize Abramovich craved… and was sacked six months later

He was always on borrowed time, but sacking a Champions' League winning manager might have been deemed excessively harsh, even by Abramovich's standards. There had to be a stay of execution, but the reprieve did not last long. A couple of Barclays Premier League defeats, and a Champions' League setback in Turn, and the latest instalment in the mad world of Chelsea's reclusive but ruthless owner was duly enacted.

Boardroom bosses with a merciless streak are nothing new in football. Fifty years ago, Bob Lord, a local butcher by trade, ruled Burnley with a rod of iron. His antipathy towards television coverage was such that when Match of the Day was launched in 1964, he banned the cameras from Turf Moor for five years.

The BBC's pioneering sports executives weren't the only ones to cross him at their peril. Taking exception to articles he perceived as a personal slight, he banned three newspapers and six individuals from the Turf Moor press box in a dictatorial reign that earned him the nickname 'the Khrushchev of Burnley.'

Down the road at Ewood Park, in the 1990s, legend has it Roy Hodgson's second season in charge of Blackburn came to an abrupt halt after the equally blunt-talking Jack Walker peered at the television screen, after a home defeat, and muttered: 'Bloody 'ell, we're bottom. I'm not 'aving that.'

Close eye: Abramovich oversees a training session by former boss Andre Villas-Boas

Close eye: Abramovich oversees a training session by former boss Andre Villas-Boas

Abramovich may well chuckle at mention
of his fellow-Russian Khrushchev. He might also reflect on how Lord
earned the sobriquet and conclude that this dinosaur from a bygone age
could actually be considered a role model.

There has been more than a touch of the iron fist about his stewardship since he targeted Stamford Bridge and struck a deal with Ken Bates, another to include eccentricity in his approach to running a club after paying 1 for Chelsea in 1982 and subsequently threatening to build electric fences to keep fans off the pitch.

No-one can deny supporting Chelsea is more rewarding these days, even if it has come at a cost to all concerned. The matchday experience at Stamford Bridge takes a hefty chunk out of most weekly pay packets, while Abramovich is estimated to have parted with around 1billion in transfer fees alone.

There are some who may question that sentiment, though, not least some of the players and managers who have passed through during the last nine and a half years. Chelsea had gone precisely 50 years without a League title when Jose Mourinho delivered it in 2004-05.

For good measure, he added another the following season, but it still wasn't enough to save him after Abramovich reinforced the image of Chelsea being a plaything by deciding he wanted success with a bit more style.

Axed: Di Matteo was fired after 'unacceptable run of results'

Axed: Di Matteo was fired after 'unacceptable run of results'

Coaches of similar standing, in Big Phil
Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti, and one from the new breed, in
Villas-Boas, went the same way, while even the most senior players have
had to contend with the incongruous sight of their chairman calling them
together at the training ground for a Monday morning dressing down, if
standards have dropped over the weekend.

And who's to argue This is a self-made multi-billionaire who is impervious to any sort of comeback. He is the world's biggest spender on luxury yachts, with one evidently fitted with an anti-paparazzi photo shield and another claiming to be the longest in existence at 557ft.

Gratifyingly, there is at least one example of the all-powerful oil magnate failing to get his own way. When he attempted to dock the 557-foot long Eclipse in Europe's biggest yachting harbour, Millionaire's Quay on the French Riviera, he found that the only space large enough was already taken by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud.

With the Prince ranked 26th in the world's rich list, with 12.3bn, and Abramovich trailing behind in 53rd place, the disgruntled Chelsea boss could hardly pull rank and had to settle for anchoring several hundred feet out to sea and transferring to shore on a motor boat.

It was, as anyone with Stamford Bridge connections will readily agree, a rare occurrence. One of the more tiresome terrace chants these days focuses on any given player and ends with 'he does what he wants.' They could adopt that in the Chelsea dressing room and direct it at Abramovich. Just not within earshot, though.

Reading owner gives Brian McDermott full backing

Royals boss McDermott gets owner's seal of approval after ending wait for a win

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 18 November 2012

When the final whistle blew at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, it brought a pump of the fist and the words ‘At last’ from Reading owner Anton Zingarevich.

But even before he witnessed his club’s first Premier League win of the season – a 2-1 comeback victory over Everton that lifted the Royals out of the relegation zone – the Russian had given his unequivocal backing to manager Brian McDermott.

Life of Brian: Reading's owner has given his full support to boss Brian McDermott

Life of Brian: Reading's owner has given his full support to boss Brian McDermott

Keen to address reports linking former Holland and Rangers coach Dick Advocaat with a move to Berkshire, Zingarevich, 30, who bought the club for 25million in May, invited Sportsmail into his pre-match lounge to declare: ‘Brian is the man for the job.

‘I understand all the speculation but, for us, it’s very simple. I have total faith in the manager. He has a long-term contract so I don’t see any problem. We are working together and have a great relationship.

‘I’m sure that he can become a very good manager in the Premier League.’

Asked directly about Advocaat, who once coached Zenit St Petersburg, the team Zingarevich supported growing up, he replied: ‘I don’t even know where that came from. That’s what speculation is, right

‘When the results are not going your way, especially where there’s so much attention, it gets a little bit more difficult. But I’m sure Brian is the man for the job.’

Brace yourself: Adam Le Fondre botched twice as Reading beat Everton

Brace yourself: Adam Le Fondre botched twice as Reading beat Everton

Zingarevich said he had been misinterpreted when reports quoted him saying 10 players would be signed in January.

‘What I really said, when asked about (Andrey) Arshavin, is that he’s a good player. I said that if he’s available, like another 10 to 15 players who would be in the winter, then we’d sit down and discuss. But the manager will make the final decision on transfers.’

Adam le Fondre’s two goals upset an in-form Everton side who had taken an early lead through Steven Naismith but faded.

Melbourne Cup 2012: Green Moon wins

Original trainer Dunlop hails Green Moon after stunning Melbourne Cup victory

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 6 November 2012

Harry Dunlop, the original trainer of Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, has said the five-year-old always had bags of raw talent.

The five-year son of Montjeu, trained by Robert Hickmott and ridden by Brett Prebble, carried Australian group one form into the biggest race Down Under having won the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington last month.

But his formative years were with Dunlop in Lambourn when he landed the London Gold Cup at Newbury in May 2010 from Monterosso and the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket before starting 4-1 when fifth of eight behind Monterosso in the Group Two King Edward VI I Stakes at Royal Ascot.

First up: Jockey Brett Prebble (right) rides Green Moon to victory in the Melbourne Cup

First up: Jockey Brett Prebble (right) rides Green Moon to victory in the Melbourne Cup

Delight: Jockey Brett Prebble

Delight: Jockey Brett Prebble

Dunlop, whose filly Roz is being trained for the 1,000 Guineas after finishing second to Certify in the Group One Fillies Mile at Newmarket, said: ‘Green Moon is one of the best horses I have ever trained.

‘He won his maiden very easily first time out as a three-year-old and won at Newbury from Monterosso, who went on to win the Dubai World Cup.

‘We did think for a minute that he could be Derby prospect, although we also thought he was probably a mile and a quarter horse – now he is winning over two miles.

‘He had the look of one that would improve and had world at his feet. It was probably a mistake running at Royal Ascot. He’d had three races by that stage of the season and it was just a fraction too much for him.

Royal approval: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presents the Melbourne Cup trophy to winning owner Nick Williams

Royal approval: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presents the Melbourne Cup trophy to winning owner Nick Williams

Joy: Jockey Prebble, centre, celebrates with trainer Robert Hickmott, left, and owner Nick Williams

Joy: Jockey Prebble, centre, celebrates with trainer Robert Hickmott, left, and owner Nick Williams

‘After that he had a few problems and
never quite recaptured that form. He was owned by owner-breeders who
really only race fillies – hence the reason he was sold on.’

Green Moon was owned by Lady Annabel Goldsmith and Mrs Ben Goldsmith when racing in Britain.

His Melbourne Cup exploits meant that
the strong European challenge was unsuccessful with Marco Botti’s
Jakkalberry faring best in third under Colum O’ Donoghue.

Spectacle: The Melbourne Cup

Spectacle: The Melbourne Cup

Celebrity status: Mischa Barton and Ashley Madekwe hold the Melbourne Cup trophy

Celebrity status: Mischa Barton and Ashley Madekwe hold the Melbourne Cup trophy

But the finish was dominated by
ex-European horses now trained in Australia with former Sir Michael
Stoute star Fiorente finishing a length second on his first start for
Gai Waterhouse with Kelinni, who was once trained by Amanda Perrett,
fourth.

Mount Athos, a first ride in
Australia for Ryan Moore, was not helped by being bumped twice and
finished best of all in fifth of the 24 starters, arguably looking the
best horse in the race.

Having previously had two seconds in the race, this looked another to unfortunately slip from the grasp of trainer Luca Cumani.

Royal party: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Flemington Racecourse

Royal party: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Flemington Racecourse

But like most of the Europeans, Cumani’s hope was not favoured by the slow pace which prompted a final burn-up.

Ed Dunlop’s Red Cadeaux, runner-up 12
months earlier, never threatened in eighth, Cumani’s My Quest For Peace
was 10th and Godolphin’s Cavalryman 12th.

The two French hopes, 2010 winner
Americain and 2011 scorer Dunaden, were 11th and 14th respectively with
Dermot Weld’s Galileo’s Choice 20th.

Steven Gerrard: St George"s Park means no England excuses for World Cup failure

Gerrard: England will have no excuse for World Cup failure after St George's move

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 9 October 2012

England skipper Steven Gerrard has admitted there will be no more excuses for national failure following the move into St George's Park.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the 105million state-of-the-art complex near Burton.

Now all the ceremonies are over, work can now begin on the long-term plan of improving coaching standards from grassroots level, right to the highest echelons of the game.

Unveiling: England captain Steven Gerrard (second left) at St George's Park on Tuesday

Unveiling: England captain Steven Gerrard (second left) at St George's Park on Tuesday

As St George's Park chairman David Sheepshanks outlined, it will be a decade or more before the fruits of those labours start to be realised.

Before that, England's 24 different teams will use it as a base, with Roy Hodgson and his senior squad moving in for the first time ahead of their World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley on Friday.

And, as he surveyed the awesome 330 acre site in Staffordshire, Gerrard believes any reasons for continued failure are now being removed.

'The place has blown me away. All the lads are buzzing to be here. We're lucky to have facilities like this. It's a long-term plan and hopefully it can bring success to the national teams,' he said.

Royal approval: Gerrard with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the launch of the new National Football Centre

Royal approval: Gerrard with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the launch of the National Football Centre

'This place has blown me away. Now we've got the best stadium in the world and the best facilities.

'We're taking away all the excuses the players might use in the future.'

The presence of William and Kate added a touch of glamour to an occasion the Football Association rightly feel proud of.

A concept that was the brainchild of Howard Wilkinson in 2001 may have taken far too long to set up for some, while others believe it is too far away from the national stadium at Wembley.

No-one can doubt the magnificent facilities though.

'It gives me great pride we have created in this country facilities that are beyond compare anywhere else,' said William, in a speech to assorted guests of the FA. 'St George's Park is a concept totally new. It will provide more than just world class facilities for our national team and more than a university from which hundreds of coaches will graduate.

In training: Gerrard with Frank Lampard (right) at the new National Football Centre in Burton

In training: Gerrard with Frank Lampard (right) at the new National Football Centre in Burton

'It will provide employment and a social hub for local people and will foster community spirit and purpose and hope throughout England.'

The Royal couple watched England train before meeting the players, with William exchanging a joke with under-fire Ashley Cole before posing for official pictures.

As FA president, William takes a keen interest in the on-going fortunes of the national team, although he couldn't resist a little humour as his part in proceedings came to an end.

'I feel tempted to cry “God for Harry, England and St George” but I really don't want to lower the tone by bringing my brother into it,' he said.

Now it is down to the professionals, and Hodgson accepts a challenge has been laid down that needs to be accepted.

No excuses: Gerrard says England boss Roy Hodgson (right) has the best facilities in the world

No excuses: Gerrard says England boss Roy Hodgson (right) has the best facilities in the world

'Facilities, in themselves, don't make you a better football team,' he said. 'What makes you better is the work you do within them. The players will be really happy to do their work here.

'We have to forget the past. We can't win a World Cup yesterday. As soon as we start working towards a World Cup we can win, the better – and I'm rather hoping the amount of effort and work we'll put in will lead us to that World Cup victory.'

Much as with Wembley, there will be some who feel an immense amount of money has been wasted, and that the great players of yesteryear turned out perfectly fine by honing their skills on England's streets. Both Gerrard and Hodgson had an answer for that.

Enjoying the facilities: (clockwise from left) England's Ashley Cole, Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Tom Cleverly, Adam Johnson, Danny Welbeck relax in the jacuzzi at St George's Park

Enjoying the new facilities: (clockwise from left) England's Ashley Cole,
Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Tom Cleverly, Adam Johnson, Danny Welbeck
relax in the jacuzzi at St George's Park on Tuesday afternoon

'I have heard that argument,' said Hodgson. 'When I started coaching many people thought coaching was totally unnecessary. That you played in the school playground, you either could play or you couldn't and that decided whether you were going to become a top player or not.

'I would like to think we have grown up a little bit and we recognise even the good players can benefit from some coaching.'

As one of those good players, Gerrard agrees. And he knows where he would prefer to be learning.

'You can still play on the street,' he said. 'No-one's stopping you do that.
But this is England, where all the main teams play, and I'd much rather come here and play football than play on the street.'

Ashley Cole shakes hands with the Duke of Cambridge

Cole shakes hands with FA president William at England training… just days after his 'bunch of t****' tweet

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UPDATED:

12:38 GMT, 9 October 2012

Ashley Cole shook hands and share a joke with the Duke of Cambridge as he bids to put his Twitter storm behind him.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein revealed that Cole apologised to him personally on Monday night over his offensive Twitter message.

Cole received a public show of support from the Duke of Cambridge, who is also president
of the FA, when the pair were spotted laughing and joking during the
official opening of England's new training centre in Burton on Tuesday.

England's Ashley Cole during the training session at St George's Park, Burton

England's Ashley Cole during the training session at St George's Park, Burton

Training day: Cole with England at St George's Park on Tuesday

Royal approval: William greets Cole much to the amusement of his team-mates

Royal approval: William greets Cole much to the amusement of his team-mates

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge shares a joke with Ashley Cole

Bernstein also stressed that England
manager Roy Hodgson will decide whether the Chelsea full-back plays
against San Marino in Friday's World Cup qualifier.

But he has hinted that Cole will not be offered the England captain's armband when he makes 100th appearance for his country.

Cole was charged with
misconduct by the FA on Monday over his Twitter outburst on Friday when he
referred to the governing body as a 'bunch of t****' in response to the
independent regulatory commission's damning judgement on his evidence in
the John Terry racial abuse verdict.

Bernstein, speaking to Radio 5 Live ahead of the official opening of
the National Football Centre at St George's Park in Burton, revealed
that Cole had followed up his apology to the FA on Friday with a
personal apology.

'He apologised immediately on Friday and he came to see me last night and apologised to me personally,' said Bernstein.

'He showed real contrition. He said he was really sorry.

'He is free to play for England over the coming matches. It is up to the manager to decide whether he plays or not.'

Starting role: Baines will feature if Hodgson decides to rest Cole

Starting role: Baines will feature if Hodgson decides to rest Cole

Cole has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the FA charge, 24 hours before England face San Marino in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

With Bernstein confirming it is up to Hodgson to decide whether or not to play Cole, the only threat to his chances of winning a 99th cap would appear to be if the England manager opts to rest him ahead of the crucial trip to Poland four days later.

Bernstein was convinced Cole's apology was heart-felt.

He told Sky Sports News: 'It was a serious apology. He expressed a
degree of remorse for what he had done, wished it hadn't happened.

'I looked him in the eye and really felt that he meant it.'

Bernstein admitted, though, that the Chelsea full-back's actions meant
he was unlikely to captain England for what could be his 100th cap
against Poland next Tuesday.

Question time: Bernstein is likely to be grilled over Terry (left) and Cole

Question time: Bernstein is likely to be grilled over Terry (left) and Cole

Asked about the possibility of Cole being given the armband to mark the occasion, Bernstein said: 'To be absolutely honest I doubt it. We've expressed a view on what we need with regard to a captain and I doubt it, but we'll see.

'We've had issues and we've stated publicly many times that we have a very high level of behaviour and so on and so forth required from an English captain.'

Bernstein also revealed the FA will not appeal the punishment handed to Terry by the independent regulatory commission.

The Chelsea captain was banned for four games and fined 220,000 after being found guilty of racially insulting Anton Ferdinand.

A Football Association panel said Terry 'is not a racist' but was 'satisfied' his comments were used as an insult.

Terry, who had been cleared in court of abusing Ferdinand, who announced his international retirement before the start of the commission hearing.

'The FA I believe will not be appealing it,' he said. 'But the thing is still under possible appeal therefore I do not want to talk about the John Terry thing at all.

'It's not over yet and John Terry has a right of appeal himself.'

In response to the Cole saga, FA general
secretary Alex Horne revealed the organisation were looking at social
media to be part of the code of conduct.

Plenty to ponder: Hodgson has endured a turbulent month

Plenty to ponder: Hodgson has endured a turbulent month

He told Sky Sports News: 'The issues of social media are multiple, very
personal. You take personal responsibility for what you put out.

'Tweeting is effectively like me talking to you and millions of people and they need to understand that and I think they do.

'The clubs and England need to help them as much as possible with
reiterating guidelines and reiterating safeguards… in terms of think
before you tweet… but we are not going to over-labour it.

'There is a policy in place across the FA, there are lines and if you
cross them we will charge you. The clubs have their own policies in
place.

'We as England will look towards including something on social media in a code of conduct.'

Michael Owen signs for Stoke but Premier League yet to ratify deal

Hold your horses! Owen signs for Stoke but Premier League yet to ratify deal

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 4 September 2012

Stoke are sweating on Premier League approval on their last-gasp bid to sign Michael Owen after the striker finally agreed to join them.

The Potters are not set to learn until Wednesday whether the move would be ratified by the Premier League board.

It was unclear whether Stoke had provided the relevant documents for the signature of free agent Owen before or after the 4pm deadline for clubs to submitted their 25-man squad lists.

Destination: Michael Owen is poised to be a Stoke player

Destination: Michael Owen is poised to be a Stoke player

The uncertainty meant the Premier League were only able to release details of those lists for 19 of their 20 clubs, with the Potters' still pending.

It is understood Stoke would otherwise be prevented from filling Owen's spot with another player if his move was rejected.

Clubs are able to sign free agents outside the transfer window but are only able to field them in the Premier League if they have previously registered fewer than 25 players.

The Premier League said in a statement: 'The Premier League board is currently considering an application from Stoke City to register a player and, subsequently, their squad list will be confirmed at a later date.'

Stoke moved for Owen after he was released by Manchester United but the the 32-year-old appeared reluctant to entertain their advances amid suggestions he was waiting for a bigger club to pounce.

And although he was also linked with Liverpool and Sunderland, he insisted tonight he was 'always keen to join' Tony Pulis' side.

After signing a one-year contract, he posted on Twitter: 'Delighted to have signed for Stoke subject to Premier League approval.

'We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join.

'I'm particularly excited at the prospect of working under Tony Pulis.

'He has assembled a great squad that I look forward to joining.

Another blow: Brendan Rodgers had been hoping to add to his strikeforce

Another blow: Brendan Rodgers had been hoping to add to his strikeforce

'I'm now looking forward to contributing as much as possible to the club and can't wait to play in front of a great set of supporters.

'Thanks for your kind messages everyone. Can't wait to get going again!'

Former United colleague Rio Ferdinand backed him to succeed at the Stoke, saying to him on twitter:

'All the best fella! I'm sure you'll be adding some more goals to the stats this season you sniffer dog you.'

Stoke earlier announced an agreement
had been reached with the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle
star on their official website.

'Stoke City have today won the race to
sign England international striker Michael Owen on a free transfer,
subject to Premier League Board approval,' a statement read.

Ready and waiting: Owen tweeted a picture of his boots lying idle on Monday

Ready and waiting: Owen tweeted a picture of his boots lying idle on Monday

'The former Liverpool and Real Madrid
hitman has penned a one-year deal at the Britannia Stadium, following
his release from Manchester United at the end of the 2011/12 campaign.'

Owen would become Stoke's seventh
signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Jamie Ness, Geoff
Cameron, Michael Kightly, Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N'Zonzi.

Owen's time at United was dogged by
injury problems but he scored 17 goals in 52 appearances during his
three-year spell, including a famous winner in a 4-3 derby victory over
Manchester City in 2009.

In total, Owen has scored 221 goals in
473 games in all competitions at club level, in addition to 40 goals in
89 appearances for England.

MICHAEL OWEN FACTFILE

1996: Signs professional terms with Liverpool on 17th birthday after previously joining them as a schoolboy.

1997: May 6 – Scores on his first-team debut against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park.

1998: Finishes season joint-top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals.

May 31 – Named in England's World Cup squad of 22.

June 22 – Scores after coming on as substitute against Romania but England lose 2-1.

June 30 – Scores a sensational goal against Argentina before England bow out of France 98 on penalties.

2001: May – Scores twice in the last seven minutes as Liverpool come back to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.
Plays, but does not score, as Liverpool complete a cup treble when they beat Alaves 5-4 after extra-time to win the UEFA Cup.

September 1 – A hat-trick helps England to an historic 5-1 win over Germany in the World Cup qualifier in Munich.

December 17 – Named European Footballer of the Year.

2003: April 26 – Scores his 100th Premier League goal, the second of four in a 6-0 rout of West Brom.

2004: August 12 – Sources close to Real Madrid reveal the Spanish club have agreed to give Liverpool 38million and Antonio Nunez for the services of Owen.

August 13 – Passes medical with the Spanish giants.

Michael Owen

2005: May 23 – After scoring 16 goals in his debut season in Spain, states his intention to stay with Real Madrid despite reported interest from Newcastle.

August 30 – Signs four-year deal with Newcastle, sealing 17million permanent transfer.

December 31 – Breaks metatarsal bone in defeat at Tottenham and is ruled out for 'several months'.

2006: March 24 – Newcastle announce Owen requires surgery to tighten the screw inserted into his foot during the initial operation.

June 20 – Regains fitness to take his place at the World Cup but injures his knee in first minute of group game against Sweden in Cologne and is immediately replaced. Ruled out for at least nine months.

2009: May – Finishes the season with 10 goals as Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League on the final day.

June 22 – Confirms that he will not be renewing his contract with Newcastle.

July 1 – Becomes a free agent after his Newcastle contract runs out.

July 3 – Reports link Owen with free transfer to Manchester United and he later signs a two-year contract with the champions after passing medical tests.

August – Makes United league debut as a substitute against Birmingham, scoring a first competitive goal against Wigan six days later.

September 22 – Claims a dramatic winner in the sixth minute of injury time to seal a 4-3 win over local rivals Manchester City.

2011: May – Makes enough league appearances to claim a title winner's medal but is an unused substitute in United's Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley.

November 2 – Substituted early in Champions League group stage match against Otelul Galati and misses the rest of the season.

2012: May 17 – Reveals on Twitter that Manchester United would not be offering him a new deal after three years with the club.

September 4 – Now a free agent, signs for Stoke on a one-year contract in a deal subject to Premier League Board approval.

Michael Owen set to sign for Stoke

Blow for Rodgers as former England man Owen signs one-year deal with Stoke

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UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 4 September 2012

Michael Owen has completed his move to Stoke City, signing a one-year deal with the club, subject to Premier League approval..

The 32-year-old has been without a club since he was released by Manchester United at the end of last season, and had been interesting former club Liverpool.

A statement on the Potters' website said: 'Stoke City have today won the race to sign England international striker Michael Owen on a free transfer, subject to Premier League Board approval.

Destination: Michael Owen is poised to be a Stoke player

Destination: Michael Owen is poised to be a Stoke player

Owen has endured a difficult five years ravaged by injury but boasts a record of 221 goals in 473 club appearances, which includes United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle.

He has also scored 40 goals in 89 England appearances, although hasn't featured for the Three Lions since March 2008.

Owen is the seventh man to sign with Tony Pulis' side this summer, joining Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly,
Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi.

Ready and waiting: Owen tweeted a picture of his boots lying idle on Monday

Ready and waiting: Owen tweeted a picture of his boots lying idle on Monday

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had previously announced his interest in signing the striker on a pay-as-you-play deal.

'I would love to sign Michael,' he told The Sentinel.

'If we can do it, we will do it, and do it on the basis that we did with Jonathan Woodgate and players like that.

'If he's in the team he will get paid, and if he isn't he won't get paid so much.'

Boss Rodgers gave Liverpool"s Carroll green light to face Italy

Boss Rodgers gave Liverpool's Carroll green light to face Italy

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UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 11 August 2012

England boss Roy Hodgson has revealed Brendan Rodgers gave the official seal of approval for Andy Carroll to face Italy next week.

Carroll's Liverpool future is open to question following Rodgers' arrival at Anfield.

The Reds' record signing has already snubbed one proposed move to West Ham and is believed to be hankering after a return to his native Newcastle.

ANDY CARROLL SCORES FOR ENGLAND

Target man: Carroll impressed for England in Euro 2012 but is not wanted at Liverpool

Carroll did not play in either leg of Liverpool's Europa League triumph over FC Gomel and whilst Rodgers insists the 23-year-old has a role to play with the Merseyside giants, it is not easy to see how the striker fits into the style likely to be in use this term.

Nevertheless, when Hodgson rang Rodgers to check on Carroll's fitness, he got a glowing response.

'I checked Andy out with Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard because I realize there is a situation there,' said Hodgson.

'They were both happy with Andy in training and the way he is going about his business.'

Having impressed during Euro 2012, scoring the opening goal in that five-goal thriller with Sweden, Hodgson felt Carroll deserved to keep his place, especially as Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are amongst those who have not been considered.

Andy Carroll of Liverpool

Keep calm and carry on: Carroll cracks a smile during a Liverpool training session

And, as the manager noted, the other members of his striking department, Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge, are not regulars for their clubs either.

'We have to accept that a lot of our front players aren't first choices at their clubs,” said Hodgson.

'There are a lot of foreign centre forwards at the big clubs in the Premier League so it's not easy for our boys sometimes.

'But Andy Carroll did well when he played in the Euros and I have no worries putting him in this squad.'

Hodgson's experimental squad includes older players like Michael Carrick, who have been given another chance, potential regulars like Gary Cahill who were forced to miss Euro 2012 through injury, and younger ones, who will benefit from the experience, amongst them Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore.

'Jake did well at Tottenham last year,' said Hodgson.

'I had a long chat with Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood about him.

'They are impressed so it was a good chance to have a look for myself.

'A couple of players dropped out so Jake has been promoted up from the reserve list.”

The absence of Phil Jones with a back problem might be significant in that regard, whilst Gareth Barry has also been ruled out with an abdominal strain that prevented him featuring in the European Championship.

Hodgson has defended the timing of the fixture, which has drawn criticism as it comes just three days before the start of a new Premier League season.

Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll of Liverpool lay on pitch at Melwood Training Ground

Taking it easy: Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll take a break during training

The timing is hardly his fault and with a World Cup qualifying campaign to prepare for, it would be unreasonable for England not to play on a FIFA recognised date.

Arguably a more salient point is the public's appetite for a group of generally underperforming international footballers at a time when the country is being swept along on a wave of Olympic euphoria.

'I'd love to tap into the whole Olympic atmosphere,” said Hodgson.

'I've been really impressed by the whole organisation, the coaches and in particular the athletes, who have done an outstanding job.

'The impressive aspect is the manner in which they have won medals and embraced their victory.

'It's been very refreshing to see talented people showing a good face to the nation and the world at large.

'The way that Team GB have conducted themselves in a home Olympics must make the world of athletics very pleased and proud.

'So many of them have done such a great PR job.'

Zara Phillips and Team GB win silver in eventing – London 2012 Olympics

Royal seal of approval for Zara and Co as Team GB roar to eventing silver

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UPDATED:

12:02 GMT, 31 July 2012

Team GB have won their fourth medal of the London 2012 Olympics after the equestrian team celebrated silver in the three-day eventing competition.

The British quintet, which includes Zara Phillips, came second behind the Germans, with New Zealand completing the podium places.

Tina Cook entered the final showjumping round knowing a run consisting of less than seven points would earn Team GB silver and she responded with just one time penalty to the delight of the home crowd.

More to follow…

Royal seal of approval: Phillips rides High Kingdom on day three of the eventing

Royal seal of approval: Phillips rides High Kingdom on day three of the eventing

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Royal box: King produced a faultless round in her sixth Olympic Games

Royal box: King produced a faultless round in her sixth Olympic Games

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Centre of attention: Princess Kate Middleton is flanked by Prince William and Harry at North Greenwich Park

Centre of attention: Princess Kate Middleton is flanked by Prince William and Harry at North Greenwich Park

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Support: The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Princess Anne watches the final day of eventing action

Support: The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Princess Anne watches the final day of eventing action