Tag Archives: cups

Arsene Wenger says he thinks the English anthem is his favourite

God Save the Queen, says Wenger as he reveals the English anthem is his favourite

PUBLISHED:

13:40 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:05 GMT, 16 January 2013

Arsene Wenger has revealed his love for the English national anthem as he paid tribute to the country where he has managed for the last 16 years.

The 63-year-old Frenchman has helped mould the modern English game since he took over at Arsenal in 1996 and he admitted the country has had an effect on him too.

At the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations today, Wenger said: 'I feel grateful because football was love affair of my life. England created football. I’ll always have massive respect for that.

French export: Arsene Wenger has been taken in by English football culture

French export: Arsene Wenger has been taken in by English football culture

'Without this country, I would not have known football. So the anniversary is a good opportunity to thank England as sometimes the world forgets that.

Since arriving at Arsenal, Wenger has won three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups, including doubles in both the 1997-98 and 2001-02 seasons.

His 'Invicibles' team, which went unbeaten in the 2003-04 campaign, epitomised the football which has led to millions of fans around the globe following the Premier League.

Wenger built a team good enough to go a whole season unbeaten

Invincibles: Wenger built a team good enough to go a whole season unbeaten

'There’s a real passion here for the game but as well, I believe the whole world benefits from this sport,' he said.

'When I travel to World Cups and Euros, I say always, “Let’s be on time, I don’t want to miss the national anthem of England”.

'That’s where you feel the passion of the game. No matter where it is, there are more English people than anybody else. That’s fantastic.'

Wenger and Alex Ferguson have had a love-hate relationship

Best of enemies: Wenger and Alex Ferguson have had a love-hate relationship

Alex Ferguson mural to be hung at Manchester United"s Old Trafford stadium

Revealed: The Fergie mural of success that will greet you at Old Trafford (and what it looks like to have won 37 trophies)

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UPDATED:

11:37 GMT, 23 November 2012

This is the giant Sir Alex Ferguson mural that will greet Manchester United fans when they enter Old Trafford.

Surrounded by his incredible haul of 37 trophies, Ferguson holds his arms out wide in a show of his dominance of English football.

Tribute: This mural will hang in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand at Old Trafford to celebrate his unrivalled success

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The 70-year-old, who will have his own statue unveiled outside Old Trafford at 2pm today, is the centre of attention as the club celebrate his 26 years in charge.

The giant mural will be hung across the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and will be glimpsed by fans for the first time at tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League clash with QPR.

It will be displayed on the concourse as fans pass through the turnstiles at the stadium.

His whopping trophy haul is this – 12 Premier League trophies, two Champions League trophies, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

It is a dramatic reminder of his unrivalled success at United as he enters the finals years of his reign.

Eric Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy will be amongst the most notable guests at the unveiling of a statue in honour of Ferguson.

United commissioned award-winning sculptor Philip Jackson to create the nine-foot bronze statue which will be placed outside the stand that already bears Ferguson's name.

The precise details of the statue are yet to be revealed but Ferguson recently inspected it himself and declared himself satisfied.

His longevity at Old Trafford is encapsulated by the guests who will be in attendance.

In addition to Cantona, who signed for United almost 20 years ago in probably the most astute transfer of Ferguson's 26-year reign, and Van Nistelrooy, who scored 150 goals in five seasons but has never been back to the club since he was sensationally jettisoned in 2006, Ferguson's first captain, Bryan Robson, will be there, plus Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored that famous injury-time match-winner in the 1999 Champions League final.

United's entire first-team squad will also be present, as will England coach and long-time Red Devil Gary Neville.

Fergie 37… The Rest 31: How he squares up against his current Premier League rivals…

Arsene Wenger 11… Premier League (3), FA Cup (4), Community Shield (4)

Martin O’Neill 5… League Cup (2), FA Trophy (2), Football Conference (1)

Rafa Benitez 4… Champions League (1), FA Cup (1), UEFA Super Cup (1), Community Shield (1)

Roberto Mancini 3… Premier League (1), FA Cup (1), Community Shield (1)

Chris Hughton 1 (Championship)

Brian McDermott 1 (Championship)

Nigel Adkins 1 (League One)

Paul Lambert 1 (League One)

Roberto Martinez 1 (League One)

David Moyes 1 (Second Division)

Sam Allardyce 1 (Third Division)

Alan Pardew 1 (Football League Trophy)

0 Martin Jol, Brendan Rodgers, Mark Hughes, Tony Pulis, Michael Laudrup, Andre Villas-Boas, Steve Clarke

Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured below with Eric Cantona in 1996, has won 37 trophies – Premier League x 12, Champions League x 2, FA Cup x5, League Cup x 4, Community Shield x 10, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup)

Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona in 1996

Paul Scholes is 38 – can he play on?

Scholes is 38… but can he join Sheringham and Strachan in exclusive '40s club'

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UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 17 November 2012

Paul Scholes celebrated his 38th birthday on Friday as he continues to flourish in the Manchester United midfield.

The former England international came out of retirement earlier this year and remains a key component of Sir Alex Ferguson's side, albeit on a bit-part basis.

But few outfield players lace up their boots in the Premier League into their 40s – only Gordon Strachan and Teddy Sheringham to be precise. Can Scholes carry on for another two more years

Back where it started: Paul Scholes made his Manchester United debut against Port Vale in September 1994

Back where it started: Paul Scholes made his Manchester United debut against Port Vale in September 1994

Paul Scholes factfile

Born: 16 November 1974, Salford

Man United debut: 21 September 1994, v Port Vale, League Cup (scores two goals)

Man United honours: 10 Premier League titles; three FA Cups; two League Cups; five Community Shields; two Champions League titles

England caps (goals): 66 (14)

At 38, Scholes is in good company with a host of players having made it that far, including Bryan Robson, his current United team-mate Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes.

Of course, goalkeepers are a different story. John Burridge is the oldest player to appear in the top flight at 43 while Brad Friedel is still going strong at 41.

Ferguson meanwhile is in no rush to sort out Scholes' United future but the chances of him carrying on has not been completely dismissed.

Happy days: Scholes has helped United to a string of trophies during his time at Old Trafford

Happy days: Scholes has helped United to a string of trophies during his time at Old Trafford

Current old guard

Brad Friedel (Tottenham) 41

Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) 40

Ryan Giggs (Man United) 38

Brynjar Gunnarsson (Reading) 37

Rory Delap (Stoke City) 36

Ian Harte (Reading) 35

'It is not a time to make a judgment on that,' said Ferguson. 'Paul will know himself.

'He still has the desire to play. That has not stopped.

'He is still the best passer of the ball in the country. It is amazing.

'He has had one or two injuries over the years, quit last summer and came back.

'He made a fantastic contribution in the second half of the season and I just think he should keep doing what he is doing. He will sort the rest out himself.'

He's back! Scholes came out of retirement in January this year against rivals Manchester City

He's back! Scholes came out of retirement in January this year against rivals Manchester City

Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick – set to make the 400th league appearance of his career this weekend – believes Scholes has had a major effect on him.

'It is fantastic to play with Paul Scholes,' Carrick told the club's official website.

'He is a genius. We all know what he can do. A lot of them you simply cannot teach.

Golden oldies: Scholes with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and team-mate Ryan Giggs

Golden oldies: Scholes with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and team-mate Ryan Giggs

'You can learn and take things from his game, as I have done since I have been here. Whether he realises or not, he has helped me enormously just by watching him and taking things in.

'But there are some things only he can do. It is fabulous to play with him. I have enjoyed it immensely since I came here.'

Jose Mourinho says Chelsea will struggle without Didier Drogba

Chelsea will find life tough without Drogba, claims Mourinho

PUBLISHED:

08:15 GMT, 22 September 2012

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UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 22 September 2012

Chelsea will find it harder than they think to cope without Didier Drogba, according to the man who signed him, Jose Mourinho.

Striker Drogba left Stamford Bridge in the summer after a glittering eight-year stay which saw him win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and finally, the Champions League.

He sealed that memorable success over Bayern Munich with the winning penalty, having already scored in normal time – his 157th and final goal for the club.

True Blue: Jose Mourinho says Cheslea will struggle without Didier Drogba

True Blue: Jose Mourinho says Cheslea will struggle without Didier Drogba

A move to China and Shanghai Shenhua followed but, although Chelsea have made an unbeaten start to life without him, Mourinho believes it is only a matter of time before they start to miss him.

The Real Madrid manager told Sky Sports News: 'I believe Drogba is the big difference for them. I don`t think you can replace him. You can buy top players and invest like Chelsea did, but there is only one Drogba, in the Premiership and Chelsea's history.

Key man: Drogba delivered for Chelsea in the big games when it mattered

Key man: Drogba delivered for Chelsea in the big games when it mattered

'Drogba means crucial moments. The final, a top match, Drogba is there. When the team is losing at home, Drogba is there. Chelsea will miss Drogba and Drogba will mean a few less points. But the team is good, with good players and they are European champions.'

Mourinho kickstarted the club`s run of success by guiding them to back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, and whenever a vacancy has cropped up at Stamford Bridge, he has been linked with a return.

And, although he has reiterated his love of the club, he says he will be returning to England and to any club when his time with Real comes to an end.

He added:'In England I am blue. I will push a little but when I watch matches on TV.

'I cannot deny what is clear in my mind. After Real Madrid, England, that`s for sure. I keep saying the same, I know clearly.

'In England (I could manage) everyone. I am blue, but I am London blue. I am a professional.'

Emile Heskey set to join Newcastle Jets in Australia

Heskey Jets in to sign for Newcastle (no, not that one… the team Down Under)

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UPDATED:

08:28 GMT, 19 September 2012


Heading off: Emile Heskey is set to join Newcastle Jets

Heading off: Emile Heskey is set to join Newcastle Jets

Former England international Emile Heskey has finally found a club after spending months on the football scrapheap.

The 34-year-old striker was released by Aston Villa at the end of last season but is on the verge of a return in a surprise move to Newcastle… Jets.

According to reports in Australia, the A-League outfit are set to unveil the one-time Leciester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan player on a one-year contract.

Heskey, who played 62 times for the Three Lions including three World Cups, said he had received a host of offers this summer from home and abroad.

Fantasy football 2012

He said: ‘As has been reported, I did receive a number of offers during the transfer window but didn't feel like any of them were the right opportunity for me at that time.’

But the move to Newcastle (in Australia) appears to appeal to the big frontman, who could now end his career Down Under alongside Alessandro Del Piero after the Italian legend recently joined Sydney FC.

Sepp Blatter wants Japan to host women"s football and rugby

Go on! Blatter wants Japan to host both rugby and women's football World Cups in 2019

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UPDATED:

19:30 GMT, 7 September 2012

Japan have been encouraged to bid for the 2019 women's World Cup, with FIFA President Sepp Blatter seeing no reason why the country can't stage the competition and the Rugby World Cup in the same year.

'Japan would be a good candidate,' Blatter said on Friday. 'They are a little bit afraid because they have the Rugby World Cup in the same year but the sports are totally different.'

The rugby World Cup will be played between September and October, and Blatter said Japan could hold the women's tournament beforehand.

Encouragement: Sepp Blatter (left) with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

Encouragement: Sepp Blatter (left) with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

Uzbekistan were originally scheduled to host the U20 tournament, but FIFA stripped the country of hosting rights because of 'logistical and technical issues' and Japan stepped in only six months before the start of the tournament.

Blatter said Japan's successful staging of the U20 tournament proves it would be a good host for the 2019 event.

'You have to play somewhere where women's football is established,' he explained. 'Otherwise, it will not be a big success.'

Japan won the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany. Canada will host the 2015 tournament.

John Terry meets Chelsea in New York

Terry back in business with Chelsea after flying out to meet squad in New York

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UPDATED:

19:02 GMT, 22 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

John Terry made a welcome return to Chelsea training on Saturday after putting the ghosts of his legal ordeal to bed.

Chelsea's captain has backed to the hilt by his club from the moment his infamous spat with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand started, back in October, through to its conclusion at Westminster Magistrates Court in July.

The centre-back was cleared of a charge of racial abuse – which he denied throughout – and now both he and they will be glad to be able to concentrate on football matters again.

Back in the fold: John Terry (second left) along with David Luiz (left), Ramires and Petr Cech, meeting New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera (centre)

Back in the fold: John Terry (second left) along with David Luiz (left), Ramires and Petr Cech, meeting New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera (centre)

Chelsea take on former manager Carlo Ancelotti's Paris St Germain team in New York's Yankee Stadium on Sunday night.

Terry enjoyed a successful season at Stamford Bridge last year – bar one or two games he played to a high standard as Chelsea won both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Sadly for him, he watched from the sidelines during the final of the latter triumph.

A foolish sending-off against Barcelona in the semi-final meant he could not help as the Blues completed an unlikely, astonishing, delirious victory in Munich.

Cityscape: New York's imposing skyline watches over Eden Hazard (left), Terry and Roberto Di Matteo

Cityscape: New York's imposing skyline watches over Eden Hazard (left), Terry and Roberto Di Matteo

But the success was one in which he played a part – his heroics during Chelsea's first-leg semi-final 1-0 win will not be forgotten.

The player is the most successful captain in the club's history, lifting three Premier League titles, winning five FA Cups (four as skipper), two League cups and, of course, the Champions League.

He will be hoping the club can push on and challenge for the title in the 2012-13 season.

Preparation: Veterans Frank Lampard (left) and Ashley Cole (right) were at the top of their game under Di Matteo

Preparation: Veterans Frank Lampard (left) and Ashley Cole (right) were at the top of their game under Di Matteo

Owner Roman Abramovich's spending certainly suggests that is what he will demand of manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The Italian was left hanging over a permanent deal until after he picked up the Champions League, but the pressure will still be on as Chelsea's Russian benefactor has never proved to be the most patient.

Early signings include 32million star Eden Hazard, as well as 7m Marko Marin and soon-to-be 25m Brazil wonderkid Oscar.

Howdy: Rivera greets Cech and Luiz

Howdy: Rivera greets Cech and Luiz

But the spending is unlikely to be over after that, with Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta being targeted as a replacement for Jose Bosingwa, whose contract has not been renewed.

It would also not be a surprise if Chelsea's departed legend Didier Drogba was replaced with a big money signing – Edinson Cavani has been linked, as well as Stevan Jovetic.

With support like that, Di Matteo and Terry will be licking their lips as they aim to bring more silverware to south west London.

New ground: Cole has joined Twitter

New ground: Cole has joined Twitter

Roberto di Matteo"s Chelsea are Barcelona lite

Can Di Matteo's new look Chelsea team pass the test as Barcelona lite

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 10 July 2012

For years they have been the heavyweights of the Barclays Premier League. With Didier Drogba bulldozing opposition defenders, Chelsea won three League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a Champions League in eight seasons.

Now they are tearing up the rule book and starting again. It’s time for a mini revolution at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are bringing in small, exciting players whom they hope can ape Barcelona’s tiki-taka passing style. Roman Abramovich and Roberto Di Matteo want pretty football – being efficient but unattractive to watch is no longer an option.

Viva la revolution: Chelsea's style will inevitably change next season

Viva la revolution: Chelsea's style will inevitably change next season

Out have gone much of the old guard.
Drogba is in China with Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou has signed for
Lille and Florent Malouda and Michael Essien could also leave.

In their places have arrived Eden
Hazard from Lille and Marko Marin from Werder Bremen, with Oscar due to
join from Internacional. All three are creative players to sit behind
Fernando Torres, who needs service in a way Drogba did not.

You have been warned: Eden Hazard

You have been warned: Eden Hazard

Add Juan Mata and Ramires into the mix and you can see that Chelsea are thinking big by thinking small. They want to kill teams with passing, not strength.

The club are making sure their new
signings are getting special treatment as they prepare for something of
a culture shock at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed Abramovich’s personal bodyguards chaperone Hazard and Marin into
training each day. They are important members of the Chelsea squad,
part of the future for this team.

Di Matteo has been obsessive in his
approach to the season, beginning his day at 8am and finishing long
after the players have left the training ground.

It has echoes of the long hours
Andre Villas-Boas used to put in but the atmosphere at the training
ground is far more relaxed under the Italian.

He will experiment in pre-season,
using Frank Lampard in the withdrawn role in which he excelled during
the Champions League. He will sit in front of the back four alongside
John Mikel Obi or Ramires.

Then come the little men. The plan is
for Marin, Hazard and Mata to work behind Torres, providing the 50m
striker with enough chances to finally kickstart his Chelsea career. The
trio will have the licence to swap positions, making them difficult to
mark and track.

Next in: Highly-rated young Oscar from Brazil is close to completing a 25m move

Next in: Highly-rated young Oscar from Brazil is close to completing a 25m move

Oscar, set to be the latest addition
to the revolution, can replace any of them. He will need to as
Chelsea’s fixture list will pile up with the campaigns in the Premier
League, Champions League, World Club Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

Di Matteo knows this is the start of
another journey for Abramovich, reaching for the stars as the framework
is put in place to carry on competing with other European heavyweights.

Only this time they will be
heavyweights of a different kind. Chelsea have won the Champions League
with defensive might, now they plan to mesmerise.

Changing face of Chelsea

Frank Lampard watches LA Galaxy with David Beckham ahead of possible move

Frankie goes to Hollywood! Lampard and Beckham watch Galaxy as Chelsea star ponders move Stateside

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UPDATED:

07:55 GMT, 5 July 2012

Frank Lampard fueled speculation over his future at Chelsea after he was spotted watching LA Galaxy with former England team-mate David Beckham on Wednesday night.

The midfielder has long been a target for the MLS champions and his attendance at the Home Depot Centre during the Galaxy’s 2-1 defeat to Philadelphia Union will have done nothing to dampen the speculation.

Watching on: Frank Lampard watch LA Galaxy with David Beckham

Watching on: Frank Lampard watch LA Galaxy with David Beckham

Would you recommend it Lampard appeared to be questioning Beckham about whether or not he should make the move to LA

Would you recommend it Lampard appeared to be questioning Beckham about whether or not he should make the move to LA

Beckham, who was serving a one match ban, sat with Lampard and his fiance Christine Bleakley in the AEG suite at the game.

The club have been linked with Lampard for over a year and believe they can put together an offer that can make it worth Lampard’s while to move to the USA, even though the midfield player has one year left on a 130,000-a-week Chelsea contract and is due a substantial loyalty bonus if he completes the final year of his deal.

Moving to LA Lampard has been linked with a move LA Galaxy for over a year

Moving to LA Lampard has been linked with a move LA Galaxy for over a year

Leaving Chelsea would clearly be a
wrench for Lampard, 34, who has become an iconic player at the club
since moving there in 2001. He has won the Champions League, three
Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups in the club’s
most successful era.

But last season Lampard had to accept that he would not always be first choice in the starting XI and Roberto Di Matteo, made permanent manager last month, is expected to continue the team’s rejuvenation.

Chelsea would ordinarily not want to lose such an illustrious player but, if Lampard did want to go, it would lower the wage bill and help Chelsea meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which requires them to cut their losses or face being banned from Champions League football.

Plenty to think about: Lampard could quit Chelsea for a lucrative move to LA Galaxy

Deep in thought: It is reported that LA Galaxy are keen to sign Frank during the summer transfer window, despite him still having a year left on his 130,000-a-week contract with Chelsea FC

Plenty to think about: Lampard could quit Chelsea for a lucrative move to LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy remain hopeful that those factors will mean they can pick up Lampard without paying a transfer fee.

Nobody with the Galaxy had anything to say about the presence of Lampard, but if they were to sign the England midfielder they would have to clear a spot by moving one of their three designated players, Beckham, Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane.

But AEG president Tim Leiweke has publicly expressed interest in signing Lampard in the past, he told Sky Sports News in January: 'I'm a fan of Frank's. I think he's a great player. When I think of Chelsea, I think of Frank Lampard…'

Serial winner: Lampard has won the Champions League trophy and three Premier League titles at Chelsea

Serial winner: Lampard has won the Champions League trophy and three Premier League titles at Chelsea

'It took us two years to get David to come here the first time.

'We're working on the next [Designated Player], and we'll continue to work on the next DP. There are a half-dozen guys we have a good relationship with, and we'll see how that goes. But first we've got to have a spot, and at the moment we don't have a spot.'

Norwich sign Steven Whittaker after newco Rangers exit

Norwich pounce on Whittaker after Scotland defender quits newco Rangers

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UPDATED:

12:52 GMT, 30 June 2012

Norwich have announced the signing of Scotland defender Steven Whittaker on a four-year deal, subject to international clearance.

The 28-year-old was a free agent having rejected the transfer of his contract to the newco Rangers and he become new manager Chris Hughton's first signing.

Striker Kyle Lafferty has also left Rangers, joining Swiss side FC Sion on a three-year deal.

Whittaker enjoyed a successful five years at Ibrox following a 2million move from Hibernian, winning Scottish Premier League titles, Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.

On the move: Steven Whittaker rejected a contract offer from newco Rangers

On the move: Steven Whittaker rejected a contract offer from newco Rangers

Hughton told the club's official website: 'In Steven we have a player who is very versatile – he can play anywhere across the back four and anywhere across midfield, so there's plenty of versatility there.

'It's probably a good time for him. Sometimes it is time to move on to a different club and go there with a lot of enthusiasm and he has international experience too.

'He has of course been used to playing at a very high level when he was at Rangers and in a lot of big games with a passionate crowd behind him.

'So the stage of the Premier League is certainly one that won't faze him with his experience.'

Whittaker, who also appeared in Rangers' 2008 UEFA Cup final defeat by Zenit St Petersburg, said: “All of my experience to date has been in Scotland so I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League, I'm very excited about it.

'When I spoke to Chris Hughton I was very impressed with his plans to progress Norwich City and everyone I've spoken to in the game has had nothing but praise for the club and the city of Norwich.

'I know (midfielder) Simon Lappin from a few years back and of course I know (defender) Russell Martin from Scotland and I am looking forward to meeting up with the squad and the staff.'