Tag Archives: capital

Juan Mata has played 117 games with no break since August 2011

Mega Mata's 117-match run (that's Juan-hundred and seventeen!) – Chelsea playmaker's incredible non-stop number of games with NO break

and the Olympics leading up to this season's lengthy campaign on the back of a year which saw Chelsea win the Champions League (below) and FA Cup” class=”blkBorder” />

Champion: Mata (centre) played for Spain at Euro 2012 and the Olympics leading up to this season's lengthy campaign on the back of a year which saw Chelsea win the Champions League (below) and FA Cup

Munich

NON-STOP MATA'S 117 GAMES

Chelsea

Premier League (2011-2013) 62 games (26 goals)

Champions League (2011-2013) 17 games (4 goals)

FA Cup (2012,2013) 13 games (5 goals)

League Cup (2011-2013) 6 games (2 goals)

Europa League (2013) 4 games (1 goal)

UEFA Super Cup (2012) 1 game

Community Shield (2012) 1 game

Club World Championship (2012) 2 games (1 goal)

Spain

London 2012 Olympics 3 games

European Championship Qualifiers (2011) 2 games (1 goal)

World Cup Qualifiers (2013) 2 games

Euro 2012 1 game (1 goal)

International Friendly (2011-2012) 3 games

He joined up with Spain's squad for the victorious Euro 2012 campaign – scoring in the final – before competing for his nation at the London Olympics.

From there, he had just 11 days of pre-season training before this season's Community Shield against Manchester City.

If the last campaign saw some Chelsea players' legs grow weary, this one has been far harder.

With
both the Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to contend with on
top of their usual commitments, they reached the
semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup.

Chelsea still in
the Europa League, with a semi-final two-legged tie against Basle to come, and they are competing for a top-four finish in the Premier
League.

A win in Wednesday night's
west London derby at Fulham would go some way into achieving the vital
Champions League qualification, seeing them leapfrog Arsenal into third
place.

The match could add see Mata add to
his incredible tally, and the Spaniard fired his troops up to keep up
the pressure as the season heads into the home straight.

Impact start: Mata scored on his Chelsea debut in a 3-1 win over Norwich in August 2011

Impact start: Mata scored on his Chelsea debut in a 3-1 win over Norwich in August 2011

AVB

RDM

Benitez

Changing faces: Mata has played under Andre Villas-Boas (left), Roberto Di Matteo (centre) and Rafa Benitez

In action: Mata will have to recover from Sunday's FA Cup semi-final in order to face Fulham tonight

In action: Mata will have to recover from Sunday's FA Cup semi-final in order to face Fulham tonight

'We just arrived in the season's most important moment,' he told Chelsea's official website.

'It's been a little time since we played two Premier League games together but we now have the opportunity to get six points.

'It will be difficult against Fulham and at Liverpool as well, but we will try to finish the week with 64 points and in a strong position in the league.

'Hopefully the picture will be clearer after that. With six points it could help us make a gap to our rivals.'

Michael Laudrup signs one-year contract extension at Swansea

Danish delight for Swansea as Laudrup signs one-year contract extension

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

17:12 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:20 GMT, 8 March 2013

t the club.

Michael Laudrup has moved to end speculation about his future by signing a one-year contract extension at Swansea City.

The Dane had been linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea in the wake of Swansea’s remarkable Capital One Cup final triumph against Bradford last month.

But the 48-year-old declared his desire to lead Swansea into Europe after agreeing a deal that will run until June 2015.

All smiles: Michael Laudrup agreed a one-year extension to his current deal at Swansea

All smiles: Michael Laudrup agreed a one-year extension to his current deal at Swansea

He said: ‘We’ve started something this season that I want to continue.

‘I know there has been a lot of
speculation (about my future), but I’ve always said that I am happy here
and I never had any doubts I would stay.

‘I am delighted to sign the new deal
and I’m already really looking forward to next season. I hope there will
be some very exciting things happening with the team and with the club
in Europe.’

The development will go some way to
protecting Swansea financially. Sportsmail understands that Laudrup, 48,
has committed to a hefty clause in the region of 5million, much like
the one Brendan Rodgers agreed to when he signed his extension at the
Liberty Stadium four months before joining Liverpool.

Last night Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins admitted he still fears bigger clubs will come in for his manager.

He told Sportsmail: ‘It’s a fact of
life in football that if you do well people will want your manager or
players and there is no such thing as a cast iron agreement anymore.

‘But this deal shows Michael’s desire
to stay here and it also gives us the extra financial security if
another club does come in.’

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Jenkins added: ‘The success we have
had with Michael has been brilliant. I thoroughly enjoy working with him
and long may that continue.

‘This is obviously great news for
everyone connected with the club, from the fans, to the players and the
staff. We are delighted that he has agreed this extension.’

Talks only started last week between
the two parties after Laudrup was initially reluctant to commit his
future to the club beyond stating his desire to lead the club in Europe.

Jenkins said: ‘I think the fact we got it done relatively quickly shows you what Michael thinks about the club.

‘He is enjoying himself and he finds the challenge exciting, which for him is very important.’

Bradford fans campaign for courageous Jake Turton to lead their team out at Wembley

We want brave Jake as Wembley mascot! Bradford fans campaign for cancer-survivor lad to lead team out at cup final

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 5 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 5 February 2013

Bradford City fans have launched a campaign on Facebook to get young cancer survivor Jake Turton installed as the cub’s mascot for the forthcoming Capital One Cup Final at Wembley.

Young Jake, nine, touched the hearts of fans everywhere after being photographed with Bradford skipper Gary Jones at the end of the League Two club’s exhilarating semi-final triumph at Aston Villa two weeks ago.

Having overcome a brain tumour that doctors warned could kill him, Jake already has his ticket for Bradford’s big day at Wembley against Swansea from the Barclays Premier League later this month.

Sealed with a kiss: Bradford captain Gary Jones went straight to Jake after the second leg against Aston Villa

Sealed with a kiss: Bradford captain Gary Jones went straight to Jake after the second leg against Aston Villa

Nice one, son: Jake's proud dad Andy (holding balloon) watches on as his son admires the shirt Jones gave him immediately after Bradford's stunning win over Villa

Nice one, son: Jake's proud dad Andy (holding balloon) watches on as his son admires the shirt Jones gave him immediately after Bradford's stunning win over Villa

What a smacker: Jake is delighted after Jones singles him out following the Capital One Cup semi-final triumph

What a smacker: Jake is delighted after Jones singles him out following the Capital One Cup semi-final triumph

But now more than 7,000 fans have put
their names to a campaign on social networking site Facebook dedicated to
seeing Jake lead the team out at the national stadium.

Called ‘Get Jake Turton to lead Bradford City out at Wembley’, the campaign has been backed by fans from all over the country – including those of beaten semi-finalists Villa – and even by followers from Brazil.

Picture shows Jake Turton cancer sufferer who led his beloved Bradford City out during there first leg against Aston Villa

Picture shows dad Andy, Jake and mum Cath Turton, Jake was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2009

Magic moment: Jake lines up with Jones (left) ahead of the first-leg match against Villa at Valley Parade and (right) with dad Andy and mum Cath. Jake was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2009

Jake has already led the team out once – when Bradford played Villa at Valley Parade in the semi-final first leg – and his family have decided to let officials from the club make their own decision about Wembley without any influence from them.

Jake’s dad Andy – a Bradford season ticket holder – said today: 'Jake loved his big day at Bradford in the semi-final and we are still really grateful to the club that he was able to do that.

'At the moment he is just looking forward to going to Wembley to watch his team.'

City slicker: Jake poses with his semi-final scarf

City slicker: Jake poses with his semi-final scarf

Keeping up with the Joneses: Captain Jones at home with his family - Daisy (five), Frankie (two) and wife Nikki

Keeping up with the Joneses: Captain Jones at home with his family – Daisy (five), Frankie (two) and wife Nikki

Everton sign John Stones from Barnsley on transfer deadline day

Everton beat host of Premier League rivals to signature of Barnsley defender Stones

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 1 February 2013

Everton have signed defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Sportsmail revealed last month that relegation-threatened Wigan had joined Chelsea, Aston Villa Sunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the 3million-rated prospect.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is a real coup for manager David Moyes.

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

He told Everton's official website: 'I am very excited to be joining Everton. I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins.'

The 6ft 2in England Under 19 international made his Tykes debut last March after progressing through the youth ranks at Oakwell.

He featured 28 times for the npower Championship club, netting his first goal in the 4-3 Capital One Cup triumph over Rochdale in August.

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

Stones added: 'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody at Barnsley for helping me in my development.

'They include Ronnie Branson and all the academy staff; Keith Hill and David Flitcroft for giving me the chance to play first-team football. Also all the backroom staff such as Guy Proctor, John Lucas and Craig Sedgwick.

'They are just some of the people who I owe a debt of gratitude to and I wish Barnsley every success for the future.'

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

07:34 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 31 January 2013

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is hoping to push through a late 5million move for Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady.

Sportsmail revealed last week that the Latics were looking to bring in McGeady on loan from Spartak Moscow, but now the Daily Mirror are reporting that the two clubs have agreed a fee for a permanent deal.

McGeady will have to take a pay cut from the 70,000-a-week wage he earns in the Russian capital, but the former Celtic man is thought to be keen on a move back to Britain.

The 26-year-old has 18 months left on his contract at Spartak and the
club are ready to cash in on the man they paid for 9.5m for back in August 2010.

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

McGeady, who has 57 caps for his country, is wanted by Martinez to help Wigan's survival bid and it is thought the Spaniard has beaten Sunderland to his signature.

Pep Guardiola wants Chico Flores at Bayern Munich

EXCLUSIVE: Pep plundering the Premier League… Swansea's Chico lined up to join Suarez at Bayern

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

11:39 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 30 January 2013

Pep Guardiola is considering a shock move to sign Swansea City defender Chico Flores when he takes over at Bayern Munich in the summer.

The former Barcelona boss is a huge fan of the eccentric centre-half and in 2008 signed him on loan from Cadiz for Barcelona B. He was keen to take Chico with him to the senior team when he was promoted later that year, but could not reach a deal with Cadiz.

Guardiola has stayed in contact with the 25-year-old and Sportsmail understands he spoke to him as recently as last week, with a source close to both parties claiming a bid could follow soon after he takes the reins at the Allianz Arena from Jupp Heynckes in July.

Case for the defence: Chico has been outstanding for Swansea this season

Case for the defence: Chico has been outstanding for Swansea this season

Should such an extraordinary deal materialise, it would cap a fine season for the Spaniard.

After some shaky early performances following his 2million summer move from Genoa, Chico has impressed immensely at the Liberty Stadium and his partnership with Ashley Williams has developed into one of the Premier League’s most effective. On the past four occasions in which they have both started, Swansea have kept a clean sheet.

Indeed, Chico was one of the best players on the pitch in last night’s 0-0 draw at Sunderland, having produced a man-of-the-match performance in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea last week.

Old acquaintances: Guardiola worked with Chico at Barcelona B

Old acquaintances: Guardiola worked with Chico at Barcelona B

The former Spain Under-21 international is also close to a full cap after national manager Vicente del Bosque watched him impress in the 0-0 draw at Everton on January 12.

Swansea’s position in any future negotiations will be strengthened by the fact Chico still has two years remaining on the deal he signed last summer.

But it would be close to impossible for the defender to turn down Guardiola, who he described as ‘a great man’ in an interview with Sportsmail last month.

Strong position: Chico still has two years left on his deal at Swansea

Strong position: Chico still has two years left on his deal at Swansea

Referring to the time he spent on loan at Barcelona B, during which they were promoted to the third tier of Spanish football, he said: ‘It was a wonderful education. All the memories I have from that time playing with Pep Guardiola are really positive.

‘Pep is very close to the players. He was and is a great but he is very modest, he behaves as one of us. It went well for me. Pep wanted to take me to the first team but Cadiz wanted too much money. That was it.

Mentor: The former Genoa man has the utmost respect for Guardiola

Mentor: The former Genoa man has the utmost respect for Guardiola

‘I still have a book that Pep gave me. It’s called Learning to Lose. He helped all the players there so much.

‘When you have the playing career he had, it creates so much respect. It is a very similar thing with (Michael) Laudrup (the Swansea manager).’

Danny Graham still wanted by Sunderland and Martin O"Neill

O'Neill boost as Graham asks to leave Swansea despite travelling with squad to Sunderland

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

11:56 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

Danny Graham has edged closer to a switch to Sunderland after telling Swansea he wants to quit the south Wales club for personal reasons.

Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill has been pursuing the striker for much of January, and is now likely to land his chief target before Thursday's deadline.

The former Chester Town FC striker has been included in Michael Laudrup’s squad travelling to Wearside for Tuesday's televised Barclays Premier League clash.

Heading east The out-of-favour Graham is wanted by Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill

Heading east The out-of-favour Graham is wanted by Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill

And although the Newcastle United
supporter and ex-Middlesbrough forward has not been a regular in the
Capital One Cup finalists’ starting line-up, he has featured on the
bench for most of the season.

O’Neill refused to be drawn on specific targets for the last four days of the winter transfer window, although he has denied any attempt to sign former Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner who has been linked with a loan move from his current side Hamburg.

But the Sunderland manager, who has so far added midfielder Alfred N’Diaye and Senegal defender Kader Mangane, says he is hopeful of adding a striker before Thursday’s 11pm deadline after he reluctantly allowed England striker Fraizer Campbell to join Cardiff City in a 600,000 deal.

Sunderland launched a 5million bid for Graham two weeks ago, and still face competition from Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers for the Gateshead-born striker.

Fraizer Campbell

Paul Scharner

Gone but not incoming: Campbell has already left for Cardiff but Sunderland deny any interest in Paul Scharner

Paul Scharner

O’Neill said: `We have a couple of day to add someone if we can. After February 1 that is it so we will see what we can do.

`We are linked with quite a few players and we will try and get someone in if we can. We are going to try and do something about it.

`I would like to try and improve it if we can but that is not always that easy. If we are left with this [squad] then we have to try and manage it as best we can but I am still hoping we can do something.’

Efficient: Graham has continued to score despite his limited opportunities

Efficient: Graham has continued to score despite his limited opportunities

Former Manchester United striker Campbell, who came back from two serious knee injuries during his time at Sunderland, failed to establish himself under O’ Neill in the last year.

He did score a crucial equaliser against Middlesbrough in last season’s FA Cup but was restricted to bench duties after the addition of Scotland striker Steven Fletcher in the summer.

O’Neill has now let veterans Louis Saha and James McFadden leave the club while South Korea international Ji Dong-won has joined FC Augsburg and youngster Ryan Noble is poised to join SPL club Hearts.

Louis Saha

James McFadden

Departed: Injury-hit veterans Louis Saha and James McFadden have both been allowed to leave Sunderland

O’Neill added: There was always interest in Frazier. We said we would prefer him not to go until we got someone in and it was then Matthew Kilgallon tweets that he is going to Cardiff.

`So I allowed him to go. I felt this was a big opportunity for Frazier, he didn’ t want to disappear and so I allowed him to go but I am hoping something will develop for us.’

Defenders Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose, who both have hamstring strains, will have fitness tests before the Swansea clash along with captain Lee Cattermole. All three are rated doubtful for the game.

Neil Warnock says Charlie Morgan must have been watching Didier Drogba

Warnock joins those putting the boot into ball boy Morgan, and says he must have been watching Drogba

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

13:50 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 27 January 2013

Leeds manager Neil Warnock has accused controversial Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan of reacting like Didier Drogba at the Liberty Stadium last week.

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is facing an FA charge after kicking the ball from beneath the 17-year-old towards the end of the teams’ Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

The incident has divided opinion in football and Warnock didn’t pull any punches in his programme column for today’s FA Cup tie against Tottenham at Elland Road.

Warnock was scathing over Charlie Morgan's reaction

The oldest ball boy in history: Warnock was scathing over Charlie Morgan's reaction

The Leeds manager said Morgan must have been mimicking Drogba

Drogba's influence: The Leeds manager said Morgan must have been mimicking Drogba

Warnock wrote: ‘It was interesting to see Hazard’s sending off.

‘He obviously kicked the ball and caught the oldest ball boy in history.

‘I think the lad must have been studying Drogba over the years when you saw his reaction.

‘All that said, I’m sure Hazard will take his punishment because he was out of order.’

Meanwhile, new Leeds owners GFH Capital have reassured Warnock that he will be given cash to spend this week if striker Luciano Becchio leaves before the end of the transfer window.

A statement in today’s programme said: 'He will only be allowed to leave this week if we have an offer that is considered acceptable and in the best interests of the club.

‘If that happens proceeds will be re-invested in the team.’

Becchio submitted a transfer request last week after Leeds rejected offers from two foreign clubs.

Eden Hazard charged by FA for kicking Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan

Hazard charged! Chelsea forward faces lengthy ban as FA take action over clash with ball boy

PUBLISHED:

15:49 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 25 January 2013

Eden Hazard has been charged by the Football Association for violent conduct following his clash with a ball boy during Wednesday night's Capital One clash at Swansea.

Hazard was shown a straight red card after kicking out at ball boy Charlie Morgan in the 78th minute of the semi-final second leg.

Hazard would have served a three-match ban, but now faces a longer stint on the sidelines following today's development.

A commission with no representatives from the FA or Chelsea will decide on the length of Hazard's ban next week. Hazard has until Tuesday to appeal the charge.

Scroll down for the video

Flashpoint: Chelsea's Eden Hazard clashed with the teenage ballboy who is lying on the ball

Flashpoint: Chelsea's Eden Hazard clashed with the teenage ball boy

Seeing red: Hazard is sent off by referee Chris Foy on Wednesday night

Seeing red: Hazard was given his marching orders by referee Chris Foy

'The FA have charged Chelsea’s Eden
Hazard following his side’s League Cup semi-final at Swansea City on 23
January 2013,' read an FA statement.

'It is alleged that Hazard’s
behaviour in relation to a Swansea City ball boy, for which the player
was dismissed in the 78th minute, constituted violent conduct whereby
the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly
insufficient.

'The player has until 6pm on Tuesday 29 January 2013 to respond to the charge.

'The FA will remind all clubs of
their responsibilities in ensuring ball boys and other personnel around
the pitch act in an appropriate manner at all times and will liaise with
competitions accordingly.'

Chelsea are yet to respond to the FA statement.

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QPR"s Harry Redknapp doesn"t blame Eden Hazard for kicking Swansea ball boy

QPR boss Redknapp: I don't blame Hazard for kicking 'disgusting, idiotic' ball boy

By
Press Association Reporter

PUBLISHED:

11:39 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 25 January 2013

Harry Redknapp has absolved Chelsea’s Eden Hazard of blame for his red card against Swansea, instead branding the actions of the ball boy involved as 'disgusting'.

Hazard was sent off by referee Chris Foy for kicking Charlie Morgan in the closing stages of Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Liberty Stadium.

The Belgium playmaker lost patience when the 17-year-old ball boy refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out for a goal-kick.

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the 22-year-old Chelsea star then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.

QPR manager Redknapp sympathises with Hazard and holds Morgan responsible for the incident.

'Hazard toe-poked the ball under the boy’s body. Why is the kid lying on the ball in the first place' he said.

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'You can imagine the frustration – you’re a player trying to reach a cup final but there’s this kid behaving like an idiot who won’t give you the ball back.

'Hazard didn’t kick the kid, he kicked the ball underneath him, but the whole thing got blown out of all proportion.

'I can think of a lot of players who would have kicked a bit harder than he did. He just toe-poked the ball away.

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

'The boy was tweeting before the game that he’s a super time waster. The way he behaved was disgusting.'

Morgan himself briefly broke his silence last night, tweeting: 'Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch.'

Despite that, South Wales Police have been obliged to continue investigating the incident after receiving three complaints.

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

'Three calls have been received from members of the public living in Sussex, Kent and west Wales which are being followed up,' a police spokesman said.

Hazard was assumed to have avoided criminal charges when the matter was dropped after he and the teenager met and made mutual apologies.