Tag Archives: challenge

Brian McDermott seals deal to be new Leeds United manager

Isn't Brian McDermott already the coach of Leeds Ex-Reading boss set to take charge in city where his namesake runs Rhinos…

.

World Club Challenge 2012

Brian McDermott (II)

Age: 52

Born: Slough, Berkshire

Club: Expected to be named Leeds United boss

Playing career: Clubs include Arsenal, Fulham, Cardiff and spells in Sweden and China

Managerial honours: Championship 2012, Championship play-off finalist 2011

Heineken Cup quarter-final previews 2013

Your weekend guide to the Heineken Cup: Three English sides in the last eight

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

Harlequins, Saracens and Leicester will be flying the flag for the Aviva Premiership in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals this weekend.

Here, Sportsmail tells you everything you need to know ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated weekend's of the season…

Flying the flag: Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester against Toulon

Flying the flag: Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester against Toulon

Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier

(Saturday: Stade Marcel Micheli, 3.40pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Clermont are favourites to extend a run of 58 successive home wins. Wales’ Lee Byrne and Scotland’s Nathan Hines face Scot Johnnie Beattie.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Harlequins v Munster

(Sunday: The Stoop, 2pm, live on Sky Sports 2)

England captain Chris Robshaw returns for Quins’ bid for a first semi-final. Munster are boosted by return of lock Paul O’Connell and wing Simon Zebo.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Home tie: Owen Farrell is in the Saracens side to face Munster at Twickenham

Home tie: Owen Farrell is in the Saracens side to face Munster at Twickenham

Saracens v Ulster

(Saturday: Twickenham, 6.30pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Saracens opt for fly-half Owen Farrell over Charlie Hodgson. They also recall Scotland flanker Kelly Brown. Ulster welcome prop John Afoa.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Toulon v Leicester

(Sunday: Stade Felix Mayol, 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2)

Leicester name same starters for third week running. Toby Flood faces former Newcastle colleague in Jonny Wilkinson. Prop Andrew Sheridan starts.

PREDICTION: Away win.

Amlin Challenge Cup — quarter-final

Bath v Stade Francais

(Saturday: The Rec, 1pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Bath move Horacio Agulla to centre for Matt Banahan. Nick Abendanon returns on wing. Italy captain Sergio Parisse is in a Stade team alongside ex-Wallaby flanker David Lyons.

PREDICTION: Away win.

The Footballers" Football Column – Alan Curbishley:

ALAN CURBISHLEY: The pressure of a relegation battle is huge… you're playing to keep the dinner lady and groundsman in jobs – as well as themselves

PUBLISHED:

07:19 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:12 GMT, 3 April 2013

Alan Curbishley

Alan Curbishley is one of the most experienced managers in the Premier League – yet he has been out of work for more than four years. After 15 years and 729 games managing Charlton he decided to leave for a new challenge. That came in 2006 when he took over at a struggling West Ham. He kept the Hammers in the Premier League on the final day of the season against Manchester United at OId Trafford. In his debut Footballers' Football Column Curbishley writes about the pressures of a relegation battle and who he believes will go down this season. He also discusses his desire to return to the dug-out after his long absence. Before you read his column, make sure you watch his video.

Alan Curbishley: Footballers' Football column

DM.has('rcpv2244201179001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Alan Curbishley: Footballers' Football column”,
'videoId' : 1003286,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2244201179001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2244201179001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2303182/The-Footballers-Football-Column–Alan-Curbishley.html”

});

I feel for all the managers who are fighting relegation this season because I know how tough it is. There are so many different pressures being a Premier League manager and even more so when you are in a relegation battle.

The main pressure is the finances. You’re aware that if you get relegated you can lose up to 70 per cent of your income.

And if that’s the case you’ve got to start thinking about not just the players and the staff, but the ordinary people at the football club, the people who work in the restaurants and at the training ground. People whose livelihoods depend of the job and when there are cutbacks after relegation, they’re often the first people that take the hit.

Nigel Adkins

Harry Redknapp

Paul Lambert

Roberto Martinez

Tough times: Nigel Adkins, Harry Redknapp, Paul Lambert and Roberto Martinez are all feeling the pressure

So you’ve got the financial pressure, the pressure on yourself, because obviously you don’t want to be associated with relegation, and you know that it could be a long way back for the football club if that happens.

And then it’s the fans and the press and the media that seem to thrive on every bad moment. So there’s loads of different pressures going on, and I’ve not even mentioned the football, but you’ve got to be aware of all that and it takes its toll.

Every situation is different and it all depends how long you’ve been in that struggle for, if you’ve been in that all season it does take its toll and you do have to go game by game. You’re just hoping for that one match, that one thing that turns it around and starts giving people confidence.

Feeling down: Christopher Samba and Clint Hill look dejected after losing to Fulham

Feeling down: Christopher Samba and Clint Hill look dejected after losing to Fulham

More from The Footballers' Column…

GEORGE BOATENG: England fans may not agree but Steve McClaren is the best boss I have played for… and when I hang up my boots my dream is to manage Aston Villa
30/03/13

Edgar Davids – The Footballers' Football Column: England fans had the right to boo Rio but he made a smart decision… I sacrificed myself for my country. Playing for Holland jeopardised my club career
28/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Kevin Blackwell: The players I inherited at Leeds turned up in Bentleys… I was signing lads on 1,000 a week who drove battered Fords (and we still reached the play-off final)
26/03/13

JILL SCOTT: How Arsenal are on their way to winning a trophy (no, really) – and why we take the mick out of England's golden oldie
25/03/13

GARETH SOUTHGATE: If we give our young players a chance then the next Messi or Ronaldo could come from England
21/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column: McShane was doing 100 press ups a day at age seven, Meyler's 'as sharp as a spoon'… and brilliant Brady's a phenomenal footballer
20/03/13

RICHARD LEE: I've barely trained all season to the point now that the lads at Brentford call an easy day a 'Rich Lee'
19/03/13

GRAHAM WESTLEY: Being sacked by Preston was a relief… I was hamstrung, I knew the answers to problems but I wasn't allowed to solve them
16/03/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

But then there are the other clubs who feel safe and suddenly drop into it the last few games and they’re not used to that pressure, they’re not used to playing under than intense scrutiny and you can’t cope with it.

Sometimes the club that stays up is the battle-hardened one, who has been in it most of the season and just manages to get out of it near the end before the trap-door closes and that’s it.

When you are down there you look for positives but in reality there’s nothing better than winning a game. I’ve often thought, ‘What comes first – confidence winning you matches, or winning matches giving you confidence’

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get a win, as long as you’ve gone and got the three points on the Saturday, you know it can change the whole atmosphere around the club.

If you are down there then you have got to try different things to turn your fortunes around. Look back to last season, Wigan looked doomed.

But then Roberto Martinez switched his defence to three at the back and gave them a bit more stability, they won a couple of games 1-0 and suddenly the confidence was there, they went on a terrific run until the end of the season and stayed up.

Players react differently when they are in a relegation battle. Some players are affected by it, you know they are good players but they are struggle being in that position.

But then other players thrive on it and can handle it. When you’re in that battle you like to look around the dressing room and perhaps look at six or seven players, or even eight, and know what you’re going to get. Because unless that amount of players are performing you’re not going to win anything.

A relegation battle is tough for everyone and I certainly did not enjoy it. When I went into West Ham they were third from bottom, 14 points from 17 games, and so you know, even if you start taking a point a game, you’re going to be involved in it for the rest of the season. Anything better than that is European form.

I knew when I went into West Ham we had to get out of it quickly and we didn’t. Obviously we stayed in it and with 10 games to go we were doomed, but we got a bit of luck. We won a game at Blackburn where we scored a goal that never went over the line, and suddenly it changed.

We picked up the next result, the team selection was consistent, which it hadn’t been before I was at the club, and along with that came a bit of belief.

Has the luck run out Will Wigan be relegated this season after a number of years of narrow escapes

Has the luck run out Will Wigan be relegated this season after a number of years of narrow escapes

We won seven of our last nine games. Look at who we played – Arsenal, Everton, Bolton who were in a European position, Middlesbrough, who were just outside of European spots, and then the last game of the season at Manchester United.

What I remember about that game at Old Trafford is that nine of the players who played in that game were at the club before I arrived, so it got me thinking, and it’s what I thought all along, the players had the ability, so why were they in the position they were in

I had players in that run-in playing with so much confidence and doing things I couldn’t imagine they could’ve done weeks before. Consistent team selection helped, and results, and obviously the fans.

Often people talk about Tevez, but he hadn’t scored for 20 games before that. We kept five clean sheets, Robert Green was fantastic, Bobby Zamora scored two fantastic winning goals when we won 1-0 at Arsenal and 1-0 at Everton, but the fans played a massive part.

Alan Curbishley

Alan Curbishley

Contrasting emotions: Alan Curbishley shows the strains of West Ham's relegation battle and celebrates staying up on the final day of the season against Manchester United at Old Trafford

One of the games was Wigan away where I
think we took more fans than Wigan had there, it was just incredible, we
just responded and won 3-0 there and that was the first time, after
that game that I felt, ‘We’re going to do this’.

I look at the teams down there at the moment, and Wigan especially, is it finally their year They’ve survived so many times in the last games of the season. And I’ve just got a feeling this FA Cup run is going to cause them a problem; they’re a game behind the rest of the league at the moment, when they play their semi-final they’re possibly going to be two games behind.

If they get to the final they’re going to have to make up at least two or three games when there are only eight games left.

It’s going to take an emotional toll, we’ve seen it before with teams getting to a cup final and going down, I’m just wondering if it’s a bit too much for them. They’ve still got to win games. Having games in hand is nice, but you’ve got to win them.

When I look at the table I think Reading, QPR and Wigan are the three who are going to go down.

Staying up: Carlos Tevez celebrates scoring the goal that kept West Ham in the Premier League

Staying up: Carlos Tevez celebrates scoring the goal that kept West Ham in the Premier League

Playing his part: Bobby Zamora scored some key goals for West Ham in their survival bid

Playing his part: Bobby Zamora scored some key goals for West Ham in their survival bid

Stroke of luck: West Ham beat Blackburn with a goal from Zamora that never crossed the line

Stroke of luck: West Ham beat Blackburn with a goal from Zamora that never crossed the line

I think the timing for Reading to sack Brian McDermott was poor. December is traditionally the vulnerable time for managers as the chairman will think, ‘If I bring a new man in, he’s got to have a chance to bring some new faces in and change it around a little bit.’

But history has shown that no club in the bottom three who have changed their manager in March have managed to survive.

But when you consider whatever the compensation involved in letting McDermott go, the prize, if
they do manage to turn it around, is massive. You’re talking 60-70million, so I can see why they’ve done it.

But I think most people in football would look at it and think, ‘Perhaps if you’d have done it earlier then you might have had a better chance’.

Brian McDermott

Nigel Adkins

Poor timing: Curbishley says it was the wrong time for Reading to sack McDermott (left) and get Adkins

All managers in football, especially in the Premier League, who find themselves down the bottom, know that if they don’t pick up results soon they’re in trouble. I just think that this was so late in the day.

I have not worked in management since I left West Ham in 2008, but my exile has been self-inflicted. When I left West Ham I felt they were in the wrong and I was in the right, and it took its time to be sorted out and that was detrimental to me.

But I’ve had opportunities to come back in and maybe I’ve been a bit too picky. Perhaps the advice to managers that have been out of the game would be to get back in as quickly as possible, because you are easily forgotten.

Plenty of experience: Curbishley managed Charlton for more than 700 games between 1991 and 2006

Plenty of experience: Curbishley managed Charlton for more than 700 games between 1991 and 2006

Final bow: Sir Alex Ferguson is one of only a few managers to have taken charge of more Premier League games than Curbishley

Final bow: Sir Alex Ferguson is one of only a few managers to have taken charge of more Premier League games than Curbishley

I’m still the sixth most experienced Premier League manager and I haven’t worked for some time now. It goes Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce then myself, so I think I’ve still got a lot to offer.

But someone’s got to be attracted by my record, and, not take a gamble, but I only really want to come back in the Premier League and that is difficult. I’d like a Premier League job. Certainly if it was a Championship club it’s got to be one I think is going to go somewhere.

I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing at the moment, and there’s a lot less pressure. But if anyone wants to look at my record it stands up with the best of them, so we’ll have to see.

Kevin Davies to be released by Bolton after a decade at the Reebok

'Shocked' Bolton legend Davies to be released after a decade at the Reebok (and the club told him on his birthday!)

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:58 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 27 March 2013

Kevin Davies has been left shocked and hurt after discovering he is being released by Bolton at the end of the season.

The former England striker, who turned 36 on Tuesday, is out of contract in the summer and he has been told he will not be offered an extension by the Championship side.

Davies, who has made more 400 appearances and scored 84 goals during a 10-year spell at Bolton, admits he has been taken aback by the news as he had hoped to finish his career at the Reebok Stadium.

Finest hour: Kevin Davies scores for Bolton against Bayern Munich to secure an improbable 2-2 draw in the Allianz Arena in 2007

Finest hour: Kevin Davies scores for Bolton against Bayern Munich to secure an improbable 2-2 draw in the Allianz Arena in 2007

Davies celebrates

He told talkSPORT: 'It was a bit of a shock. I was shocked at the time and it's not quite sunk in yet, but these things happen.

'I've had clubs come in for me down the years but always turned them away because I've been so happy here. I always wanted to stay here and finish my career here, and hoped to go into a coaching role. That's maybe why it's shocked me so much.'

The former Blackburn and Southampton centre forward, who will look at the possibility of going out on loan in the next few days, insists he has no intention of hanging up his boots yet, however.

Aerial ultra: Davies scores with his head against Tottenham and (below) Chelsea

Aerial ultra: Davies scores with his head against Tottenham and (below) Chelsea

Kevin Davies scores against Chelsea

'I've had a few clubs come in for me so I'm not going to start panicking about retiring just yet. I want to carry on for at least a couple more years yet. It hurts right now, but hopefully by the end of this season I'll have a new challenge ahead of me,' he said.

Davies also revealed his contract runs out just before he is due a testimonial at Bolton, although the Bolton News report that the striker could still get one if he asks the club.

He said: 'It would have been nice to have one as a thank you for what I've done.

'I was aware when I signed [a new deal] last year it was running short, and the club said they might extend it for a week or two [to get to the testimonial] but I don't think that will happen.

Leading from the front: Davies's all-action style has made the Bolton captain a hero at the Reebok

Leading from the front: Davies's all-action style has made the Bolton captain a hero at the Reebok

Kevin Davies challenge

Yellow peril: Davies, here challenging Tom Cleverley, has been booked 99 times in the Premier League

Yellow peril: Davies, here challenging Tom Cleverley, has been booked 99 times in the Premier League

'Right now it's difficult for me to take but I need to keep my head up. It's going to be hard to try to keep involved, but I just have to try my best.'

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman told the club's official website: 'Kevin Davies is and always will be a Wanderers legend.

'I want to be fair to him as regards his future, as he deserves it. This decision means that he is now free to sort himself out with a new club in plenty of time for next season.'

International man of history: Davies became the second oldest player to make his England debut, against Montenegro in 2010 at the age of 33

International man of history: Davies became the second oldest player to make his England debut, against Montenegro in 2010 at the age of 33

Six Nations 2013: Brian O"Driscoll cited for stamp on Simone Favaro

O'Driscoll cited for stamp on Italy openside Favaro during Ireland's Six Nations defeat

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:15 GMT, 18 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:18 GMT, 18 March 2013

Brian O'Driscoll has been cited for stamping on Simone Favaro in Ireland's 22-15 RBS 6 Nations defeat by Italy on Saturday.

A brief statement issued by tournament
organisers confirmed that independent citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan
has decided the incident warranted further scrutiny.

The date and location for O'Driscoll's hearing has yet to be announced.

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

O'Driscoll was sent to the sin-bin for only the second time in his 14-year professional career in the first half of the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

The 34-year-old lifted his right leg and brought it down on to the chest of Favaro, the Italy openside, who yelled out in pain and writhed around on the turf.

The act was out of character for O'Driscoll, who has a fine disciplinary record, and was evidence of his frustration as Ireland slumped to a first Six Nations defeat by Italy.

However, he was lucky to have escaped a red card for an incident that clouded what is thought to have been his 125th and final Test in a green shirt.

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

The recommended suspension for a low
end stamping offence is two weeks, the mid range five weeks and top end
nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.

While the offence was serious, O'Driscoll's lack of previous disciplinary issues will count in his favour.

It will be hoped by his province
Leinster that he is available for the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final
against Wasps on April 5 and for as much of their RaboDirect Pro 12
title push as possible.

A statement issued by the Six Nations
read: 'Brian O'Driscoll, the Ireland centre, has been cited by the
independent citing commissioner for an alleged stamping or trampling on
an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (b), in the RBS 6 Nations match
between Italy and Ireland on Saturday 16th March 2013. Details of the
Hearing will be announced later.'

Meanwhile, Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Italy.

Welsh fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season

Sweeney to swap Cardiff for Exeter in bid to make his mark on Premiership

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013

Former Wales fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season, his current club Cardiff Blues have announced.

Sweeney has made over 100 appearances since joining the Blues from Newport Gwent Dragons in the summer of 2008, guiding them to the EDF Energy Cup in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup the following year.

'I've really enjoyed my time with the Blues, they are a fantastic club and the supporters have been outstanding,' he said.

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

'For me, it's my home region and with the young players they have coming through the ranks, the future of the club certainly looks very bright.'

The 33-year-old will bring a wealth of experience with him to Sandy Park.

He made his debut for Wales in the 2003 Six Nations against England and also featured in two World Cups, winning a total of 35 caps for his club – the last of them in 2007.

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Sweeney is now excited to make his mark in the Aviva Premiership.

'Exeter are a fantastic club and as soon as I heard they were interested in me, I was keen to talk to them and have a look around the place,' he added.

'Like a lot of people, I've watched how they have risen over the last few years and how they've made a real name for themselves, not just in the Premiership, but in Europe as well.

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

'It's an exciting move for me and my young family and it's a fresh challenge.

'I know it will be the first time I've played club rugby outside of Wales, but the thought of testing myself in the Premiership is something I'm really keen to do.'

VIDEO: European Challenge Tour – cricket with golf clubs! Trick shot

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Cricket with golf clubs! European Challenge Tour trick shot…

PUBLISHED:

11:51 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:17 GMT, 4 March 2013

Inspired by Sachin Tendulkar's presence at the season-opening tournament in India, the stars of the Challenge Tour attempt to knock down the wicket from 22 yards away, with 6 attempts. And the results are quite spectacular…

Take a look at the latest 'Big Challenge' video below…

VIDEO Think you can hit a wicket from 22 yards using golf clubs

More Challenge Tour trick shots…

Click on the links below for more 'Big Challenge' videos.

Eight-iron… with a twist!'Olympic' obstacle course!Seve's backwards putt!

Stay tuned to MailOnline for Challenge Tour previews, results and more great videos.

Ospreys sign Tito Tebaldi

Ospreys snap up Italian scrum-half Tebaldi on two-year deal to replace outgoing Fotuali'l

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:24 GMT, 2 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 2 March 2013

The Ospreys have announced the signing of Italy international Tito Tebaldi on a two-year deal.

The scrum-half, who has won 16 caps, will move to the Liberty Stadium from Ospreys' fellow RaboDirect PRO12 team Zebre.

And he is set to fill the void left by Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'l, who is set to join Aviva Premiership club Northampton next term.

Inbound: Tito Tebaldi has joined Ospreys

Inbound: Tito Tebaldi has joined Ospreys

Tebaldi, 25, said: 'I am excited about this fantastic opportunity with the Ospreys.

'Their record in the PRO12 speaks for itself, and the chance to be a part of such a successful club is something I couldn't turn down.

'I am looking forward to a new challenge in a competitive environment that will help me to improve as a player and a person, while hopefully contributing to the continued success of the Ospreys.'

Patrick Vieira says Arsenal lack the self-belief to win silverware ahead of Champions League tie with Bayern Munich

Arsenal's players lack the self-belief to end their trophy drought, says Vieira (the man who drove them to silverware)

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

16:41 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 19 February 2013

Patrick Vieira believes Arsenal's players are lacking the self-belief required to win silverware.

The Gunners legend, who made more than 300 appearances for the club between 1996 and 2005, lifted their last trophy – the FA Cup – eight years ago.

Well off the pace in the Barclays Premier League and dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn on Saturday, their last hope of ending their trophy drought this season comes in the Champions League.

Scroll down for video

Distant glory: Patrick Vieira lifts the FA Cup for Arsenal in 2005, the last time the club won any silverware

Distant glory: Patrick Vieira lifts the FA Cup for Arsenal in 2005, the last time the club won any silverware

And tonight they take on the formidable Bayern Munich in the first leg of their round of 16 tie as they hope to advance in the competition.

Vieira, now Football Development Executive at Manchester City, said the players need to trust in their 'fantastic' ability to start winning trophies again.

Disaster: Arsenal's hopes of ending their eight-year trophy drought took a knock on Saturday when they lost to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round

Disaster: Arsenal's hopes of ending their eight-year trophy drought took a knock on Saturday when they lost to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round

New challenge: Vieira is now in charge of Football Development at Manchester City

New challenge: Vieira is now in charge of Football Development at Manchester City

'With Arsenal, it's always up and down. When Arsenal have a good day, they can beat any team in the world,' he told FA TV.

'But maybe they lack consistency to win silverware. When you look at the Arsenal starting XI they are fantastic players, but they may need to believe in themselves more that they can win something.

'Maybe that's why they haven't achieved the height of their potential.'

VIDEO: Vieira talks about Arsenal's lack of belief at the end of Twitter Q&A

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37581','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37581”,
'videoPlayer' : “2176050563001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2281154/Patrick-Vieira-says-Arsenal-lack-self-belief-win-silverware-ahead-Champions-League-tie-Bayern-Munich.html”

});

Rio Ferdinand: I"m not losing any sleep over England snub

I'm not losing any sleep over England snub! Ferdinand focused on Man United's title challenge

qualifying match with Switzerland at Wembley.

Return Rio Ferdinand (left) has been offered a bizarre lifeline by England

Return Rio Ferdinand (left) has been offered a bizarre lifeline by England

That came under Fabio Capello, but
with the race row between John Terry and his brother Anton still
unresolved at the time Roy Hodgson took over, Ferdinand has remained
unselected by the current boss.

Hodgson insists the 81-cap man's
omission is for football reasons alone, while the player himself refuses
to even think about anything beyond his achievements at club level.

'I'm not sitting there thinking about trying to get back into the England team,' he told the Manchester Evening News.

'I'm just playing football for Manchester United. That's what I love doing and that is what's at the forefront of my mind.

'If that, in time, it ends up in me
getting a call-up for England, then great and fantastic. If it doesn't, I
won't really lose any sleep over it,' he added.

Commanding: Ferdinand has had a solid season at the back for Manchester United

Commanding: Ferdinand has had a solid season at the back for Manchester United

Inconclusive: England manager Roy Hodgson said England have 'moved on' from the centre-back pairing of Ferdinand and John Terry

Inconclusive: England manager Roy Hodgson said England have 'moved on' from the centre-back pairing of Ferdinand and John Terry

Ferdinand appeared to have been
thrown a bizarre international lifeline after the FA insisted he could
still return to Roy Hodgson's England squad.

Ferdinand,
who has not played for his country since a 2-2 draw with Switzerland in
June 2011, insists he will always be available to play international
football.

The 34-year-old has started 19 games in the Barclays Premier League for Manchester United this season and Sportsmail's Neil Ashton wrote this week about how England should recall the defender.

Although England sealed an impressive
2-1 win over Brazil on Wednesday, Ferdinand's absence from England duty
was highlighted at Wembley when Gary Cahill's mistake allowed Fred to
equalise.

After the game Hodgson seemed to
claim England had moved on from the Ferdinand era and were looking to
younger players for the 2014 World Cup.

Blunder: Gary Cahill's error led to Brazil's equaliser on Wednesday night

Blunder: Gary Cahill's error led to Brazil's equaliser on Wednesday night

'For
years England had a centre-back pairing (John Terry and Ferdinand)
everyone was satisfied with and they were two very good players,'
England's manager said.

'For
various reasons we've moved on from that and we have to try to solve
the problem. I'm not going to talk about Rio. It seems that every other
day I have to answer questions about Rio.

'We've just beaten Brazil for the first time in God knows how many years, the first time I've played against Brazil.

'We're
talking international football, England against Brazil and some of the
so-called very, very best players in the world. I think that whoever you
would play at centre back would have problems against that quality of
opposition.'

However,
despite Hodgson's comments the FA attempted to clarify the situation
yesterday and insisted the door will never be closed on any player.