Tag Archives: direction

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Olympics, has faced racial abuse on social media websites.

He said: 'We're a developed, multi-cultural society. It's surprising it can still go on – but it doesn't exactly shock me.

'We can't be silent about it. We need to make people aware that there is a problem going on and only when people are aware of the problem can it be sorted out.

'As long as people are brave enough I'd say to come out and say exactly what's happened to them then I think we'll be going in the right direction because the first thing that needs to happen is that we can't be silent about it.'

The 21-year-old admitted abuse can inspire him, adding: 'Sometimes it gives me that bit more fire to prove people wrong and that I can rise above it.'

Everton boss David Moyes: I want to manage in Germany

Everton manager Moyes reveals desire to manage in Germany

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 20 December 2012

David Moyes has revealed his ambition to coach in a European league one day – and named Germany as the most appealing option.

The Everton manager is a huge admirer of German football and has been studying the framework of the Bundesliga to try to improve himself as a coach, as well as his team's performance.

Ambitious Moyes, who is set for discussions with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright next month to extend his contract, said in an interview with France Football: 'I always had the hope of being a coach abroad. If I had the choice, I would probably go to Germany, in part because of the mentality, which is similar to mine. I'm also fascinated by what happens in German football.

Part of the furniture: Moyes has been at Everton for over ten years

Part of the furniture: Moyes has been at Everton for over ten years

'They seem to have found a way of producing young players. Look at Borussia Dortmund. I saw them against Manchester City this season. They were fantastic. They put this incredible intensity on their opponents to break the tempo. It adds a new tactical level.

'If I was not working as a coach, I think I would decide to go to South America: to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, to see how they train young people out there. That would be my project: to understand football better.'

In his 11th year in charge of Everton, Moyes has overseen a decade of massive improvement and this season they are contenders to finish in the top four.

Kenwright continues to look for investors who could make a difference and Moyes does not think a massive amount of money is required to propel Everton forward.

Flying high: Everton have been transformed under Moyes

Flying high: Everton have been transformed under Moyes

'Everton have shown stability and are going in the right direction,' said Moyes. 'We do not need a billionaire… even if we have nothing against the issue of finding one. We are a club. We are a community. Everton are for the people, for the people of Liverpool.

'From the first day I wanted to change the perception of Everton. I do not know if I could one day take Everton as far as winning titles or playing in European Cup finals but I wanted people to say, “Things are getting better. Everton are a good club, a stable club”. I wanted to make an impact.'

Jonny Wilkinson: Decision on Toulon future in February

Decision on my Toulon future can wait until February, says England legend Wilkinson

|

UPDATED:

20:01 GMT, 19 December 2012

[headerlinks]

Jonny Wilkinson will make a decision on his future at double-chasing Toulon next February.

Toulon have offered the 33-year-old, who is pushing for a Lions place next summer, a contract extension but he has yet to commit himself for another season.

He said: 'I believe the club may very well decide to stick with me, but before I make my decision I need to know if I can bring something positive to the team.'

Enlarge

Jonny Wilkinson

Back in form: Wilko is playing some of the best rugby of his career with the French leaders

Wilkinson is in his fourth season
following his move from Newcastle in 2009 and has become a firm
favourite at the high-spending club, who lead the French championship
and are on course for a quarter-final place in the Heineken Cup.

The success has prompted questions of
whether Toulon can win both competitions and Wilkinson believes the
squad's strength in depth means they can deliver silverware.

He said: 'It would be the best way to reward them. If you ask me if we can do the double, I say yes.

'I take great pleasure from playing
for Toulon and especially this season. Personally, I'm never satisfied,
but I'm happy to be that way.'

Jonny Wilkinson playing for the GB and Irish Lions

Lionheart: Wilkinson could be given the chance to finish his career playing with the Lions in Australia

Wilkinson added: 'We're winning games
and progressing. 'The team are moving in the right direction but the
most important thing is the mindset of the group and the energy we
transmit.'

Wilkinson said he always has the
desire to play but added: 'Just like when I came to the end of my
contract at Newcastle, I didn't make the decision for myself but for the
club.

'The question is not, “What do I
want” but, “What do the coaches and the other players want from me”
'If I can answer that, then I can start thinking about what I would like
from a perfect world. 'But that is not a priority for me.'

Scotland are set to appoint
Australian Scott Johnson as interim head coach in succession to Andy
Robinson, who stood down after the disastrous autumn internationals, in
which the Scots lost all three matches.

The Scottish Rugby Union look set to confirm the appointment of the experienced 50-year-old before Christmas.

Johnson, who joined Robinson's coaching team last summer, has previously coached Wales and the USA Eagles.

Lord Herman Ouseley steps down from Football Association

Kick It Out chairman Ouseley quits post at FA claiming football is going backwards over racism

|

UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 14 December 2012

Lord Herman Ouseley stepped down from his position on the FA’s council this morning because he believes football is going backwards in tackling racism.

But he will continue as chairman of the game’s equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out.

The 67-year-old said that black players have lost faith in the FA’s ability to deal with racism and that his position on the council had become ‘untenable’.

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Lord Ouseley criticised the national game’s governing body for ‘allowing its own processes to be undermined in the way it handled the Terry and Suarez cases’ and that there has been ‘almost a complacency that’s been creeping in that we’ve achieved quite a bit and can move on. The sporting ethic seems to be lost in parts of game.’

And when asked on Radio 4 if football is going backwards in terms of racism he replied: ‘Yes, it clearly is.’ Ouseley wants football matches to be stopped if racist chanting is heard in the crowd and for people who run football clubs to show moral leadership adding ‘everyone just protects their own interests’.

The move is confirmation of comments he made earlier in the week. On Tuesday he hinted that he would be quitting in ‘a matter of days’.

And he added: ‘I believe there has been a collective failure on the part of people running the game. They have to come forward very soon with a plan to show that what happened in the last year will not happen again.

‘We need to see some dynamic leadership from David Bernstein [Football Association], Richard Scudamore [Premier League] and Gordon Taylor [Professional Footballers’ Association].

'These are good, committed people but they need to recognise that we’re now in a new climate. Vile chanting and abusive behaviour is out there and we are in very dangerous times with the increase of right-wing activity and intolerance.'

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

David Moyes will discuss Everton future in New Year

Moyes set to open talks over Everton future in the New Year

|

UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 27 November 2012

David Moyes given the first definitive answer about his future plans by revealing he expects to begin discussions over a new contract in the New Year.

The Everton manager has seven months remaining on his current deal and so far this season he has brushed off questions about his intentions by insisting his priority was getting his team moving forward.

He is relaxed about the situation and will be happy to get the January transfer window out of the way before discussions begin.

Set to talk: David Moyes expects to discuss his Everton future in the New Year

Set to talk: David Moyes expects to discuss his Everton future in the New Year

Moyes, whose side host Arsenal this evening, has made it clear that personal finance or length of contract will not be thorny issues when talks with Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright commence – it will be more a case of Everton’s ambitions going forward.

‘I would probably wait until we have got over January and see how things go,’ said Moyes. ‘I want to see what we’re going to do, where the club are looking to move to in the future. And that’s what I’m really looking for. It’s probably going to be after the New Year before (we speak).’

Everton have made huge progress during the 10 years Moyes has been at the helm but, mindful of the treatment Arsene Wenger has received in recent weeks, he is mindful of not overstaying his welcome. That said, he is puzzled as to why the criticism of Wenger has been so strong.

Moving in the right direction: Everton have made a good start to the season

Moving in the right direction: Everton have made a good start to the season

‘Supporters might decide they want a change from managers who have been there a long time but I think that’s wrong because you are not going to get any stability at the club and will probably waste a lot of money chopping and changing all the time,’ said Moyes.

‘Arsene has done a great job getting them in the Champions League every year. Of course their supporters want trophies but you look at their stadium and it is unbelievable. Only one or two clubs in the country would not be envious of that stadium.

‘He has put down something that is going to be there for a long, long time. Arsene is part of that. He has seen the club through the transition from Highbury to The Emirates and continually got a team that has made the Champions League.

‘Ok, they’ve not won the league or cups but they have always been up there. Arsene can go as long as he wants. Arsene Wenger will be the one who decides what he does at Arsenal. I don’t think it will be the board or supporters.’

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole can leave says Rafa Benitez

Lampard and Cole can leave, says Rafa leaving Chelsea old guard in tatters

|

UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 23 November 2012

Chelsea legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are to leave at the end of the season after Rafa Benitez confirmed the break-up of the Champions League-winning team.

Both players are out of contract next summer and Chelsea’s new coach admitted they are unlikely to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Lampard, Chelsea’s third highest goalscorer ever, has won three Barclays Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the European Cup in his glittering 11-year spell.

Going: Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (below) will be allowed to leave Chelsea

Going: Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (below) will be allowed to leave Chelsea

Legend: Frank Lampard

Cole, who joined from Arsenal in 2006, has won a Premier League title, four FA Cups and the Champions League during his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Asked directly if it was the end of a glorious era for the pair at Chelsea, Benitez said: ‘I think so, that is the case at the moment.

‘I am only here for seven months. If it is for two or three years then maybe I would have an influence.

‘Sometimes you are in a difficult position as manager because there’s too much to decide on, so it’s better to have a technical director sometimes.’

Benitez has been put in the picture by technical director Michael Emenalo and met owner Roman Abramovich for dinner on Thursday evening as Chelsea take a new direction.

He added: ‘I spent two or three hours with the owner, we talked about everything. He knows my ideas, but we didn’t have that much time together. Maybe we will in future.

‘If you have confidence in yourself and explain yourself, everyone can understand. My impression with the owner is he’s a nice person. You can talk with him and he understands. He likes to see you have a clear idea: I think it’s black and white with him.’

Abramovich is changing the team’s constitution after years of relying on powerful dressing-room influences such as Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, John Terry, Lampard and Cole.

Short term: Rafa Benitez still plans to use the players until their contracts are up

Short term: Rafa Benitez still plans to use the players until their contracts are up

Cole already has interest from Paris
Saint-Germain and Manchester United. Lampard, 34, is also considering
other offers as he enters the final six months of his Chelsea career,
but had hoped to finish his playing days at Stamford Bridge. Benitez
still plans to use the pair in the short term as he attempts to
stabilise the club after another managerial departure.

Benitez, who is preparing for Sunday's match with Manchester City, was forced to respond on Friday after Sir Alex Ferguson described him as a ‘lucky’ manager. The pair fell out when Benitez almost won the Premier League title with Liverpool in 2009.

Jose Mourinho, who was manager of Inter Milan before Benitez succeeded him in 2010, was also sceptical.

But Benitez said: ‘If people push you and if you want to win, then maybe you have to push back. I like to respect people, but sometimes I can’t because they push you. I have to defend my team, my club. Some managers in the middle of the table can be friendly, but only one can win the trophy.’

On misfiring Fernando Torres, Benitez added: ‘If the striker is not scoring, the rest of the team have to create more chances for him. My idea isn’t just to improve Fernando, but the whole team.’

Not just Torres: Benitez wants to improve the whole team

Not just Torres: Benitez wants to improve the whole team

Roberto Di Matteo sacked by Chelsea

SACKED! Di Matteo pays price for Chelsea's Euro woes as Abramovich targets Guardiola (with Benitez also in frame)

|

UPDATED:

10:11 GMT, 21 November 2012

Roman Abramovich fired Roberto Di Matteo this morning after an 'unacceptable' run of results.

The Chelsea owner, furious with the club's disastrous Champions League campaign, sacked him this morning just hours after their 3-0 defeat at Juventus.

Chelsea executives met at Stamford Bridge to tell Di Matteo that his reign was over just six months after leading them to glory in the European Cup.

Abramovich's No 1 target is former
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, but the Blues owner needs to persuade him
to end his year-long sabbatical from football. If he fails in this bid, he will turn to Rafa Benitez to take the helm.

Game over: Di Matteo has been sacked, six months after landing the Champions League

Game over: Di Matteo has been sacked, six months after landing the Champions League

Chelsea statement on Di Matteo – in full

Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.

The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.

The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.

Guardiola is spending time in Manhattan with his family after four years in charge at the Nou Camp and is the Russian's top target to take over.

Sources close to the 41-year-old say it will take a 'phenomenal' offer for the manager to change his mind.

However, it is understood Guardiola's advisers are willing to begin negotiations with prospective employers ahead of next season.

Discreet enquires from Chelsea, City and Milan have already taken place, with all three clubs keen to steal a march on their rivals in the race to land the talented manager.

Benitez is understood to be willing to take the job until the end of the season. This is despite turning down a similar offer last season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked.

The former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss is addressing a conference in Abu Dhabi today and is scheduled to fly back into London tomorrow.

Abramovich was furious that the team, who started the season with the chance to win seven trophies, are already in freefall.

Although he was prepared to overlook
the Community Shield defeat against Manchester City, he was furious with
the 4-1 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup.

Abramovich’s circle made it clear that
they had to play seven games to 'qualify' for the Community shield and
that it should be treated seriously.

Down and out Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

Down and out Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

Down and out Chelsea were soundly beaten by Juventus in the Champions League last night

Likewise the 4-1 defeat against Atletico in Monaco came after they won the Champions League final against Bayern Munich and they wanted to win it.

Chelsea need a miracle to qualify from
Group E of the Champions League and are in danger of becoming the first
holders in the history of the competition to go out in the group phase.

They are four points behind this
weekend’s opponents Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League and
cannot afford another defeat after last week’s 2-1 loss at West
Bromwich.

Who's next The search now begins for a new manager

Who's next Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge

Who's next Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge

Who's next Guardiola and Benitez are in the frame to take the helm at Stamford Bridge

Shortest reigns under Roman

Guus Hiddink 105 days

Felipe Scolari 223 days

Avram Grand 247 days

Andre Villas-Boas 256 days

Roberto Di Matteo 262 days

A Chelsea spokesman said: ‘Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.

‘The team's recent performances and
results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a
change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction
as we head into a vitally important part of the season.

‘The club faces a difficult task ahead
in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as
well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League
while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain
as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.

‘The owner and the Board would like to
thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in
March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory
and a seventh FA Cup.

'We will never forget the huge contribution he has
made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford
Bridge.

‘The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.’

Di Matteo's 'unacceptable' run of results

October 23: Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Chelsea 1 (Champions League)

October 28: Chelsea 2 Manchester United 3 (Premier League)

October 31: Chelsea 5 Manchester United 4 (Capital One Cup)

November 3: Swansea 1 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)

November 7: Chelsea 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 (Champions League)

November 11: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1 (Premier League)

November 17: West Bromwich 2 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)

November 20: Juventus 3 Chelsea 0 (Champions League)

Luis Suarez can fire Liverpool to top four finish, says Jamie Carragher

Red hot Suarez can fire Liverpool to top four finish, insists Carragher

|

UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 18 November 2012

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes a top-four finish is still within the club's reach and the current form of striker Luis Suarez supports that.

The Uruguay international produced another scintillating performance in the 3-0 win over Wigan, scoring twice and having a hand in another goal as the Reds recorded only their fourth home win of 2012.

Suarez is now the Barclays Premier League's top scorer with 10 goals in 12 matches and while Liverpool still rely heavily on him for their attacking impetus a seven-match unbeaten run has them heading in the right direction.

Man of the moment: Jamie Carragher believes Luis Suarez can fire Liverpool to a top four finish this season

Man of the moment: Jamie Carragher believes Luis Suarez can fire Liverpool to a top four finish this season

Brendan Rodgers' side are now only four points behind perennial Champions League qualifiers Arsenal, in sixth, and eight behind surprise package West Brom, currently occupying fourth place.

'Teams are dropping points all over the place,' said Carragher.

'We look at it as if we haven't had a great start to the season but winning yesterday we're not too far of the top four, which is where we want to be.

'From our own point of view we want to push on and make a challenge for the top four.

'It seems like if everyone is throwing it away it is still up for grabs.'

Carragher came off the bench late on Saturday, which gave him chance to appreciate fully Suarez's performance.

His first-time strike from Raheem Sterling's cross was matched only by his cool finish when played through by Jose Enrique, who then clinched the result with his first goal for the club after he followed in the rebound from Sterling's shot.

Carragher rates Suarez as high, if not higher, than the great forwards he has played alongside at Anfield and feels he is irreplaceable.

'I think he is definitely right up there,' he told BBC Radio 5 Liver's Sportsweek.

'I can only talk about the players I've played with (Robbie) Fowler, (Michael) Owen, (Fernando) Torres and I think he comes pretty close to that list.

Big future: Carragher was impressed with Raheem Sterling's performance on the back of his England debut in midweek

Big future: Carragher was impressed with Raheem Sterling's performance on the back of his England debut in midweek

'It's not a great Liverpool side at the moment. The other players I've played with have played in sides that have won trophies and been near the top of the league.

'For him to do what he is doing in a side that is still building under the new manager I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the Premier League.

'I think what he does in our team and what he gives us no other player really could.'

Despite Suarez continuing to grab the headlines Rodgers was keen to ensure the praise was spread around the team.

'I thought Raheem was excellent. At 17 years of age he played 86 minutes for England in his first cap during the week and he could probably have played another game he is that fit,' said the Reds boss.

'I thought he was well supported by those around him but of course the goalscorer always gets top of the bill.

'I thought Jordan Henderson was outstanding when he came on (in a tactical switch after just 36 minutes).

'I thought we needed to flip our midfield around and I thought he was excellent.

'He has been really patient, he is learning all the time and he has a great part to play in our future going forward.'

Rodgers knows he needs to strengthen when the transfer window reopens but hopes by then his current players have put themselves in a position to be able to challenge for the top four.

Something to shout about: Jordan Henderson's display was praised by team-mate Carragher

Something to shout about: Jordan Henderson's display was praised by team-mate Carragher

'I am not going to say we are going to get five or six players in, it doesn't work that way,' he added.

'We know it is going to be very difficult this season in terms of transition in the group but we'll get some players in and with the players we have we'll work with them and see where it takes us.

'I am looking forward to pushing on now. Hopefully we will keep a strong squad and see what happens in January then we can have a great second half to the season.'

Having lost Ben Watson to a broken leg in a freak clash with Sterling Wigan manager Roberto Martinez also has an injury worry about captain Gary Caldwell.

'He is a concern because he has a little problem with his hamstring but we will get a better diagnosis on Monday,' said the Spaniard, who felt the midweek internationals had affected his side.

'I can't wait to get rid of all the distractions of international fixtures and concentrate on the league now until March.

'We can't wait to get back into a normal week and hopefully get the injured players back as quickly as we can.'

England v Australia: Chris Ashton out to stun Wallabies again

Hang on to your hats! Try-hero Ashton out to stun the Wallabies again

|

UPDATED:

00:54 GMT, 17 November 2012

Remember Ashton's memorable try

Click here to relive the magic moment

England are determined to kick-start a new era of home rule over the southern-hemisphere superpowers by claiming a third consecutive victory against Australia at Twickenham today.

When the Wallabies were last in town, Chris Ashton scored one of the great length-of-the-field tries and Stuart Lancaster's men go into the second of four QBE Internationals this autumn as favourites to beat the Wallabies and maintain the momentum established in the rout of Fiji last Saturday.

As the national team concluded their preparations yesterday, there was a clear desire to end a prolonged cycle of failure against the world’s top three nations.

Hat's your lot: Ashton returns to the scene of one of the game's most memorable scores

Hat's your lot: Ashton returns to the scene of one of the game's most memorable scores

Since their 2003 World Cup triumph, England have claimed just four wins at home against the combined might of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand — losing 11 times. ‘It is about time we started beating these teams coming over in the autumn,’ said coach Graham Rowntree.

‘We’re going in the right direction, we’ve got a good feeling about what we’re doing, we’ve got good leadership, but the proof is in the pudding. ‘We’ve got to start beating these teams at Twickenham.

The big three southern-hemisphere teams have an equal standing to me and they would be significant scalps for us. ‘We beat Australia here two years ago — a great victory — but this game will be a real marker of where we’re going and how good we are going to be.’

England expects: The hosts are hopeful of victory at rugby HQ

England expects: The hosts are hopeful of victory at rugby HQ

With the Springboks and All Blacks looming in England’s last two autumn matches, captain Chris Robshaw adopted a similar tone about the need to make Twickenham a feared venue again.

‘We always speak about the era leading up to 2003 when it was a fortress — teams came here and didn’t get much,’ he said. ‘Of course, that’s what we want but that doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a long time to create that atmosphere and that aura around the place. Our aim is to have that again.’

Robshaw suggested there is an edge to any encounter between England and Australia, adding: ‘The rivalry between the countries in all sport, whether it’s cricket or rugby, is brilliant. It’s exciting for the fans and as players you want to be part of that rivalry.’

Magic moment: Ashton dashed the length of the pitch to score this try against the Aussies two years ago

Magic moment: Ashton dashed the length of the pitch to score this try against the Aussies two years ago

Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley for middle England

Wilshere and Cleverley – the boys destined to be England's middle men

|

UPDATED:

12:45 GMT, 5 November 2012

They have been billed as the future of the England team, the talented pair who can run the midfield for Roy Hodgson when Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard finally hang up their boots, and on Saturday Tom Cleverley and Jack Wilshere went head-to-head in the lunchtime kick-off at Old Trafford.

It offered an intriguing glimpse of the future of the national team, and could be the defining clash of United versus Arsenal in years to come.

Wilshere, in only his second game back from a 17-month injury lay-off, played a more advanced role for Arsenal.

Middle men: Tom Cleverley slides in to challenge Jack Wilshere at Old Trafford

Middle men: Tom Cleverley slides in to challenge Jack Wilshere at Old Trafford

His average position was just over the half-way line, whereas Cleverley had the majority of his touches in his own half.

Both made around 40 passes during the game, but Wilshere hit a far greater proportion of his passes in a forward direction – 27 per cent to Cleverley's 12 per cent.

Although it may be reflection of the shape of the game, in which a comfortable United side enjoyed the lions share of possession and territory and defended their lead by passing the ball around the pitch, Cleverley also hit double the number of passes backwards than Wilshere.

He's off: Arsenal midfielder Wilshere was shown the red card against United

He's off: Arsenal midfielder Wilshere was shown the red card against United

Most tellingly, Wilshere did not hit a single long ball (any pass 35 yards or longer) before he was sent off in the 69th minute, while in Cleverley's 61 minutes on the pitch before he was substituted, he hit 17 per cent of his passes over 35 yards or more.

The United midfielder was the most accurate passer on the pitch – hitting his intended target with an astonishing 98 per cent of his passes. Wilshere, meanwhile, hit the target with only 89 per cent.

But neither player made single pass that set up a goal-scoring opportunity.

Committed: Cleverley (right) also found himself in trouble with the referee

Committed: Cleverley (right) also found himself in trouble with the referee

Defensively, Cleverley made three tackles in the game (and attempted nine) while Wilshere failed to make single tackle (and still managed to get himself sent off).

In possession, the Arsenal tyro lost the ball an alarming 11 times, whereas Cleverley protected it far more effectively, only losing the ball twice.

England's new Gerrard-Lampard axis Let's just hope they can play together.