Tag Archives: declan

Julio Cesar: I"m staying in London, even if QPR go down

Cesar: Even if QPR are relegated, I'll be staying in London

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 10 April 2013

Julio Cesar has revealed he is determined to remain in London, even if QPR are relegated from the Premier League.

The talented Brazil goalkeeper was a surprise summer signing at Loftus Road and has been one of their rare transfer successes and even rarer consistent performers over the course of a disastrous season.

Such is the likelihood that QPR are to be relegated back to the Championship, Cesar has been reported as being on the verge of a move to AC Milan, whose cross-city rivals Inter he left last summer.

Classy: Julio Cesar used to be considered one of the world's best goalkeepers

Classy: Julio Cesar used to be considered one of the world's best goalkeepers

Stopping short of committing himself to QPR, however, Cesar is adamant he regardless wishes to continue to play in the Premier League and insists he has no intention of undermining his time at Inter by moving to Milan.

'I'm still an Interista in my heart,' he told Corriere della Sport. 'I’m learning a new language in London, the city is beautiful and my family is happy.

'I was certainly not treated well by Inter. I love Italy, but I’ve been won over by the environment here.'

On his knees: But even he cannot save QPR's season from disaster

On his knees: But even he cannot save QPR's season from disaster

Cesar's apparent desire to remain in London significantly limits his options if he is to remain in the Premier League but it is not unthinkable that he will secure a suitable move.

Fulham were in January interested in recruiting a new goalkeeper although Mark Schwarzer's return to form means that stance may have changed, West Ham had attempted but failed to sign Paul Robinson and the Arsenal future of Wojciech Szczesny remains uncertain.

Should Watford gain promotion to the Premier League there is also a chance he could join their growing overseas contingent but the likelihood of each remains to be seen.

Romelu Lukaku fights to release father from prison

Lukaku fights for father's release after he's given 15 months in prison for assaulting lover and keeping her in his car boot

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

10:37 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:49 GMT, 5 April 2013

Romelu Lukaku is fighting to release his father Roger from a Belgian prison after he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for assaulting a female and keeping her in the boot of his car.

The father of the Chelsea striker, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion, was stunned by the verdict after failing to attend the trail and claimed that the woman, a former lover, had invented the story.

Lukaku Snr missed his trial after he moved to another part of Brussels and claimed that he missed his summons because he wasn’t registered at his new address.

Battler: Lukaku has made a big impact at West Brom this season

Battler: Lukaku has made a big impact at West Brom this season

‘My client was sentenced because he didn’t appear in court,' his lawyer said. ‘He doesn’t belong in jail. His wife is suffering, but his sons, Romelu and Jordan, are doing everything to get their dad free as soon as possible.

‘Mr Lukaku has lodged an objection to the judgement and the case will be tried again in the coming days. To this day, we still do not know the date of the trial.’

Promising: But the striker may not be able to help his father

Promising: But the striker may not be able to help his father

Juventus in talks with Luis Suarez"s agent over 26m summer transfer for Liverpool forward

Juventus reopen talks with Liverpool over 26m summer transfer for Suarez

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:59 GMT, 19 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:09 GMT, 20 March 2013

Juventus have renewed their efforts to sign Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

The Italian giants, who were interested in recruiting Suarez and Robin van Persie last summer, are in discussions with the Uruguayan's agent about a possible €30m (25.6m) transfer after their previous efforts ended when he extended his Liverpool contract until 2018.

Juve manager Antonio Conte, according to Sportmediaset, is thought to see Suarez as the ideal strike partner for the incoming Fernando Llorente and given the Spaniard is arriving for free has money to spend.

International duty: Luis Suarez is presently with the Uruguay international squad

International duty: Luis Suarez is presently with the Uruguay international squad

Director general Beppe Marotta confirmed at the weekend that Juve had ended their interest in re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to concerns over both his age and wage demands and Suarez, 26, would represent a considerably more affordable option.

Any approach for the Uruguay forward has the potential to seriously undermine the plans of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who this season has made good progress with his team and has done so largely by focusing on Suarez's talents.

Crucial: Suarez has overtaken Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's most important player

Crucial: Suarez has overtaken Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's most important player

Darren Barker beats Simone Rotolo to win IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title

Barker makes light work of Rotolo to take middleweight title at Wembley Arena

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

23:10 GMT, 9 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 10 March 2013

Darren Barker secured a routine victory over Simone Rotolo and the vacant IBF Intercontinental title after the Italian was forced to withdraw before the start of the fifth round.

The middleweight, fighting for the second time in a matter of months after a cruel run of injuries, needed to make a statement with his domestic rivals also progressing and would have been underwhelmed that the opportunity to do so was taken away.

Barker is one third of a rivalry with world-title contender Matthew Macklin and next month’s WBC challenger Martin Murray and impressed with a relaxed approach at the start but soon after fought more raggedly.

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Rotolo was knocked down after a flurry
of punches towards the end of the first round when caught against the
ropes but instead of stopping his opponent there and then, Barker lost
any real polish and instead messily pursued the knockout which
ultimately never came.

Edging each round if not dominating
them as a more polished Barker perhaps would have done, the middleweight
tested his opponent occasionally if not convincingly and was in the
midst of another flurry of punches when Rotolo significantly backed off,
avoiding the fight and shaking his hand in obvious pain until the end
of the round came and the Italian’s corner announced his withdrawal
almost instantly after.

'Macklin and Murray [who fights WBC
champion Sergio Martinez on 27 April]' are looking busy now, so I’d like
a fight with Andy Lee,' he said afterwards.

He told Sky Sports 2: 'I'm ready to push on now. There's the obvious domestic fights
and world title fights – I'm game, I'll fight any of them. It just takes
two of us to get the ball rolling and it could be rematches, trilogies,
whatever.'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

George Groves stops Dario Balmaceda in third round

Three and easy! Groves packs far too much power for Balmaceda on Matchroom debut

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:34 GMT, 9 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 10 March 2013

George Groves needed only three rounds to continue his ascent in the super middleweight division ahead of a potential future fight with domestic rival Carl Froch.

He had originally been scheduled to meet Mohamed Ali Ndiaye next Saturday for the European title and in reality against Balmaceda was in with an underwhelming opponent but if there were any concerns about how seriously he was treating the fight then it instantly became apparent they could be dismissed.

Groves, competing for the first time under the Matchroom banner after this week signing a three-fight deal to be Eddie Hearn’s latest recruit, maintained a high workrate throughout and threatened an early finish from the start.

Easy: George Groves stopped Dario Balmaceda during their International Super Middleweight bout

Easy: George Groves stopped Dario Balmaceda during their International Super Middleweight bout

Debut: Groves was making his Matchroom bow after splitting from Frank Warren

Debut: Groves was making his Matchroom bow after splitting from Frank Warren

Weighing in three pounds over the
super middleweight limit and looking significantly big at the weight,
Groves bullied Balmaceda throughout, hurting the Argentinian with a
right hook as the opening round progressed and having regular success
with that same punch later.

It was a right hook to the body that
sent Balmaceda to the canvas after Groves followed his early success by
dominating through to the end of the second round, yet with the stoppage
appearing imminent the bell was to follow even if serving only to delay
the inevitable.

The finish came 58 seconds into the
third with Balmaceda again backed up onto the ropes, Groves throwing a
right hook to the head from which his opponent, having taken a knee and
clearly out of his depth, would not rise.

Pummeled: Groves put his opponent down in the second and then finished him in the third

Pummeled: Groves put his opponent down in the second and then finished him in the third

For the promising super middleweight
it was a workout nonetheless, but one he would have learned little from
and that will need to be more difficult next time out on the undercard
of the unification fight between Mikkel Kessler and Froch.

Lee Purdy earlier enjoyed a ninth-round victory over Cosme River after the Mexican was stopped because of a cut.

Solid: Groves has a perfect record of 17 wins from 17 bouts

Solid: Groves has a perfect record of 17 wins from 17 bouts

Amir Khan hopes to "laugh in Kell Brook"s face" by proving he has more fans in Sheffield

Khan hopes to 'laugh in Kell Brook's face' by proving he has more fans than his rival does in his home town of Sheffield

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

00:49 GMT, 6 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:11 GMT, 6 March 2013

Amir Khan has revealed he cannot wait to fight in Sheffield – because he wants to ‘laugh in Kell Brook’s face’ about having more fans than Brook does in his home town.

The former world champion is to fight Mexican Julio Diaz in Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27 at a catchweight of 143lbs, and though he is adamant he will return to 140lbs to avenge defeats against Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, he couldn’t resist a dig at welterweight Brook, his long-time rival.

'We’ll show him how we sell tickets,' said Khan, whose fight against Diaz is his first in the UK for two years.

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

'It’ll show that I probably have more
fans than him in his home town. That’s a laugh in his face, really. But I
don’t think about fighting him yet – he has to prove himself.'

Brook is to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title in May and, if victorious, interest in a fight between he and Khan is certain to grow, something the latter says he will welcome once he has achieved his ambitions as a light welterweight and moved up to the 147lb division.

'I have nothing against Kell Brook,' says Khan. 'I don't care about him or think about him. He has to prove himself. At the moment he's not on my radar or anything.

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'If I move up to 147 then definitely I would fight him, but it's six to nine months before I do move up. When I do, I'm not someone who says no and I would take that fight.

'I still want to fight at 140 and win titles at that weight and then move up to 147 as a world champion.

'There are still two fights out there at 140 against Petersen and Garcia – they are fights I want and that are there for me, so I don't see why I should move up.'

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley were among those mentioned as potential opponents for Khan, with Peterson and Vyacheslav Senchenko, who retired Ricky Hatton in November, understood to have rejected official offers to fight him. As a consequence Diaz has been viewed as an underwhelming opponent, but he is one Khan is adamant will not be easy.

'We got the fight I wanted,' he said. 'Not many would take this fight on so I have a lot of respect for Diaz for taking it.

'People will turn us down because they know this is a tough fight, even though last year wasn't our best. We tried with some and it didn't happen, which is why I left England for a training camp without doing any press as I didn't have a secure opponent.'

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

For Diaz, the next fight represents the biggest of his career after his last was a draw against Shawn Porter on the undercard of Khan's 10th-round stoppage victory over Carlos Molina, the 2004 Olympian's first with trainer Virgil Hunter, and one in which the Mexican felt Khan simply could not be criticised.

'I have to say he was spectacular,' Diaz said. 'He looked a whole different fighter. Virgil has done a very good job with him, but I have a very good team and, when I get in the ring in Sheffield, it will be a very proud moment.

'Amir has been a superstar since he started and has been treated like one. I’ve struggled to get attention by winning performances and knockouts, but it’s just made me work harder.'

Tickets for Amir Khan vs. Julio Diaz can be purchased from www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or by calling 0114 256 5656.

Sir Alex Ferguson too "distraught" to speak after Manchester United"s defeat to Real Madrid

'Distraught' Ferguson in 'no fit state' to speak as Nani is shown a red card, Ferdinand erupts in fury and Ronaldo sends his old team crashing out of Europe

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 5 March 2013

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was too 'distraught' to speak to the media in the aftermath of his side's 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid.

The United manager was incensed at the red card for Nani which ultimately proved crucial in their elimination from the Champions League and with his side perhaps the better team despite the result, was said not to be 'in any fit state' to discuss the outcome.

'I don't think the manager is in any fit state to talk to the referee about the decision,' said Phelan, who explained he had never felt a greater sense of injustice. 'It speaks volumes that he is not sat here speaking to you.

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'We're extremely disappointed. We have a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager.

'We are all witnesses to a decision that seemed very harsh, and incredible at that moment in the game.

'To say we are disappointed is an understatement. We felt as though we had got things right tactically and were reasonably comfortable.

'That amazing decision changed things totally.

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

'Referees are there to make decisions in big games.

'There is an element of doing the right thing at the right moment.

'All you guys and TV audience will have a decision. It is a disappointing one. It spoiled the game.'

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

If Ferguson and Phelan felt they
could justify their frustration – a sentiment largely encapsulated by
Rio Ferdinand sarcastically applauding referee Cuneyt Cakir after the
final whistle –
Jose Mourinho was uncharacteristically in agreement with them,
insisting United had deserved the victory given to Real by Cristiano
Ronaldo's winning goal and that he had expected his side to produce
more.

'Independent of the decision, the best team lost,' the Real manager told ITV. 'We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win, but football is like this.

'I am not sure about the decision, but independent of that, the best team lost.

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

'I am happy that we are through but I expected more from my team,' he added to Spanish television channel TVE.

'When your goalkeeper is the best player on the pitch and you are playing against 10 men then that shows you are not controlling the match as you should.

'But you have to know how to suffer and how to win under those circumstances.'

Arsenal"s Laurent Koscielny passed fit to face Bayern Munich

Koscielny shakes off bug to be passed fit for Arsenal ahead of Bayern showdown

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

13:33 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 19 February 2013

Laurent Koscielny is fit to play for Arsenal against Bayern Munich tonight.

The defender missed yesterday's training session because of a bug the Gunners feared would rule him out of the crucial Champions League fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

But manager Arsene Wenger has since learned his fellow Frenchman can be relied upon and Koscielny is likely to play at centre half alongside Per Mertesacker.

Scroll down for video

Fit: Laurent Koscielny has been made available for selection for tonight's fixture against Bayern Munich

Fit: Laurent Koscielny has been made available for selection for tonight's fixture against Bayern Munich

Captain Thomas Vermaelen is consequently
likely to feature at left back with Bacary Sagna at right back. Carl
Jenkinson will also be included in the squad as cover for Koscielny.

The defender's return represents a significant boost for Arsenal in stressful circumstances. A heavy defeat tonight will end their last hopes of ending a run of eight years without a trophy and at a time when Wenger has been under more pressure, and receiving more criticism, than ever.

Arsene Wenger

Theo Walcott

In Arsene we trust Wenger is under considerable pressure but has put his faith in Walcott as the lone striker

Predicted Arsenal line up: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen; Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey; Cazorla, Podolski; Walcott.

VIDEO Arsene Wenger at training with the squad a day after his angry outbursts

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VIDEO Bayern's Schweinsteiger and Neuer talk about the Arsenal game

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England begin training for Wembley friendly with Brazil

England stars get down to business in training as they prepare to face the boys from Brazil

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

England have begun preparations for Wednesday's illustrious friendly at Wembley with Brazil.

The bad news for manager Roy Hodgson, however, is that only 11 outfield players were available to fully train today.

The withdrawals of the injured Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick and the absence of the unfit Daniel Sturridge had significantly contributed to
the depleted numbers available to Hodgson to train, with others involved yesterday in the
Premier League instead limited to a warm-down session.

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Joe Hart and Jack Butland remain the only
senior goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's full squad but with Hart among
those only warming down, Middlesbrough's inexperienced Jason Steele has been added to
the training squad to aid preparations for Wednesday's fixture.

Hodgson is expected to announce further
squad changes today, incidentally, in response to the withdrawals of Carrick and Defoe and because of Sturridge's inability to train.

The forward has discussed his
fitness with the England manager and, though reluctant to do so, is expected to
accept that he will be unable to play any part against Brazil
and could therefore leave the England camp.

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Ashley Cole, however, was among the 11 available to Hodgson today, meaning he remains on course to follow Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard and become the seventh England player to reach 100 caps.

His presence is a real positive for England given the intimidating prospect of facing both Ronaldinho and Neymar, but even for all of the latter's reputation as one of the world's greatest talents, another of Hodgson's defenders, Phil Jagielka, has revealed his international team-mates are yet to truly know what it is they can expect from him.

'I don't know a lot about Neymar,' Jagielka said. 'We don't see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

'But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.

'They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.'

SIX NATIONS 2013: Brian O"Driscoll returns for Wales v Ireland

O'Driscoll, Kearney, Best and O'Brien all return to take on Wales in Ireland opener

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

14:20 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 29 January 2013

Ireland have restored Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Rory Best and Sean O'Brien to their XV for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Grand Slam champions Wales in Cardiff.

The experienced and influential quartet missed the entire autumn schedule through injury but return at outside centre, full back, openside and hooker respectively.

For the first time since succeeding Keith Wood as captain in 2004, O'Driscoll is relieved of the leadership duties following coach Declan Kidney's decision to appoint No 8 Jamie Heaslip skipper.

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

The 34-year-old resumes his centre partnership alongside Leinster team-mate Gordon D'Arcy for a record 48th time with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray selected at half-back.

Kearney forms an exciting back three that features Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo on the wings after the inexperienced duo impressed throughout the autumn.

'It was a tight call because there's so much competition. Fergus McFadden and Keith Earls have been playing well, so it's testament to the way Craig and Simon have been playing that they're selected,' Kidney said.

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Ireland team to face Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, (KO 1:30pm)

R Kearney (Leinster); C Gilroy (Ulster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), S Zebo (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster),
D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster),
E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster),
K Earls (Munster).

In total there are four changes in
personnel to the side that thumped Argentina 46-24 in the climax to a
mixed November, among them Chris Henry's demotion to the bench.

O'Brien was assured of a spot in the back row once he had returned to fitness, but Henry is unfortunate to have made way with Peter O'Mahony preferred at blindside.

'We felt that in terms of a mix in the back row this was the best combination, but there was certainly plenty to talk about following Chris' performances in the autumn,' Kidney said.

Ireland, the bookmakers' third favourites to win the Six Nations, have lost their last three matches to Wales, including a 23-21 loss on the opening day of the championship last year.

But while the injury-hit Welsh enter the tournament as champions, they have endured seven successive defeats including a whitewash during a troubled autumn.