Tag Archives: enjoyable

Fraser Forster signs for Celtic in four year deal

Lennon pleased to finally secure Forster on four-year deal from Newcastle

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 5 July 2012

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed delight over securing goalkeeper Fraser Forster on a permanent deal.

Celtic have confirmed Forster has signed a four-year contract, although the player himself had already done so earlier in the week.

Forster has spent the last two seasons on loan at Celtic Park from Newcastle but the end of his long-running saga over his permanent transfer confirms the club's first summer signing.

Done deal: Fraser Forster has joined Celtic on a permanent deal

Done deal: Fraser Forster has joined Celtic on a permanent deal

Lennon said: 'We are delighted that Fraser has committed his future to the club and we believe he will be a magnificent addition to the squad.

'He gives us that continuity so this is something we are really pleased about. He is a top-class keeper.'

Forster, 24, added: 'This is a massive club and I feel like this is a step forward in my career.

'I want to win things as a team and improve as an individual and I think I will be able to do that at Celtic.

'It also gives me a great opportunity to play in the Champions League if we get through the qualifiers. I really enjoyed my time in Europe last season so I will be looking forward to it if it happens again.

'I enjoyed last season as a whole and we have a great young squad here.

'The players and the coaches make it an enjoyable place to be and I like being a part of this team.'

Euro 2012: Jamie Redknapp: ALL England players belted out National Anthem

Things are changing, with players ALL belting out National Anthem…

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UPDATED:

22:14 GMT, 20 June 2012

Every England player sang the National Anthem before victory against Ukraine. All the way along the line, every one of them. Can you remember the last time that happened

Something has changed. It may be the influence of an English manager, Roy Hodgson, after 11 years under the direction of Sven Goran Eriksson, a Swede, and the Italian Fabio Capello, when being English did not seem to count for much.

It looks to me like Roy has got into their heads and reminded the players that playing for their country means something.

Victorious, happy and glorious: (from left) John Terry, Scott Parker, Glen Johnson, Joe Hart and captain Steven Gerrard look in harmony as they sing the National Anthem before beating Ukraine

Victorious, happy and glorious: (from left) John Terry, Scott Parker, Glen Johnson, Joe Hart and captain Steven Gerrard look in harmony as they sing the National Anthem before beating Ukraine

You might ask what difference does singing the anthem make. It won’t help England keep the ball better or help them to advance further in this thoroughly enjoyable tournament. England could go out on Sunday, after all, when they face the dangerous Italians.

But, even if this is a good as it gets, this group of players, under a new manager, seem to have a pride in their work. They seem to be enjoying being there, being together. And why shouldn’t they It wasn’t always like that, but sometimes it is the simple changes that make a difference.

More from Jamie Redknapp…

Jamie Redknapp's England files: Stevie G-enius stands out in Donetsk
19/06/12

Jamie Redknapp: England expects big things from returning Rooney
18/06/12

Jamie Redknapp's England Files: Welbeck looked right at home
15/06/12

Jamie Redknapp big match preview: Welbeck feeling at home
14/06/12

Jamie Redknapp: Credit to Gerrard and Parker, but Hodgson's midfielders were outnumbered
11/06/12

Jamie Redknapp: England must be Young at heart to unlock the French
11/06/12

Jamie Redknapp: Classy Rodgers will pass the Kop test by introducing tiki-taka to Anfield
31/05/12

Jamie Redknapp: Bayern Munich v Chelsea: Champions League final analysis
18/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

I’ve heard the question: rugby players sing the anthem as a team before an international, why can’t England’s footballers We’ve seen it with other countries. Linking arms, some facing the flag, belting out their anthem, looking like they are proud to be representing their country. Why can’t England

From the outside it may seem that, since the emergence and wealth of the Champions League and the growth of the Premier League, international football has been devalued. The all-powerful clubs don’t like it and they pay the players’ wages.

Wembley can still draw the biggest crowds in world football for a friendly: 90,000 people attended the 1-0 win against Belgium before the tournament began, which shows enduring affection for the national team. But is playing for England still a schoolboy dream like it was for me Not in recent times. Not for everyone.

When I played for England, I always sang the National Anthem before the game. I felt a bit embarrassed; I wasn’t sure if I should or not. For young players, you look to senior team-mates for guidance. I looked for my parents in the crowd, focused on them and sang, albeit badly! The first time, against Colombia, I can remember the emotion of seeing my mum in the stands and thinking that cap was as much for her, especially, for the miles she had travelled to ferry me around as a schoolboy and for what my parents sacrificed to get me there.

Every time I played for England it felt the same; a great pleasure, an honour. I only wish I had won more caps.

Nervous nineties: Ashley Cole can hit 100 caps if England reach the final

Nervous nineties: Ashley Cole can hit 100 caps if England reach the final

This group look hungry for more. Ashley Cole can win his 100th cap if England go all the way to the final, Steven Gerrard is in outstanding form as captain and looks to be thriving in the role. Was it only two years ago, in South Africa, when John Terry was talking of mutiny when there was an obvious split in the camp He, too, has been in excellent form in these finals and concentrated on his performances.

The sideshows that surrounded England before have also been removed. Relatives flew in for a ‘family day’ created by Hodgson and then went home again, leaving the players to get on with their work.

Being an Englishman in charge of the England team has many other benefits. The passing on of information during training is more straightforward and, crucially, communication at half time, with a limited period to force changes, is easier.

Every player will tell you how the ‘spirit in the camp is good’ when they are winning, but the players seem to be responding to subtle changes (as well as winning games).

In the past, I’ve seen England benches with substitutes nudging each other after England have scored, as if to say ‘that means we’ve got to stay out here even longer!’

But this group seem to be celebrating every goal and enjoying the moment. It’s the first time since Euro 96, under Terry Venables, that I can remember seeing that. It’s been too long.

Manchester fans given police warning ahead of derby

Behave yourselves! Police warn rival fans ahead of Manchester derby

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UPDATED:

11:18 GMT, 26 April 2012

Police chiefs have vowed they will 'clamp down' on anyone intent on causing trouble around Monday's crucial Manchester derby.

Although Greater Manchester Police praised the respective supporters for their good behaviour at the FA Cup third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium in January, which United won 3-2, there have been problems in the past.

Twenty-nine people were arrested after the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg tie between the two sides two years ago, and with the latest meeting almost certainly going to decide the destination of this season's Premier League title, tensions are bound to be heightened.

Police presence: Troublemakers will not be tolerated

Police presence: Troublemakers will not be tolerated

trouble

United have been allocated 2,620 tickets for the fixture and there will be a heavy police presence on duty to ensure the match passes off without incident.

Any supporter caught with alcohol within the alcohol exclusion zone, stretching from the city centre to the stadium, will have it confiscated and police have also warned anyone arriving at the stadium under the influence of excess alcohol will be refused entry.

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare said: 'As so much rests on this game, emotions will be running high and our main aim is to ensure the game is a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans.

'Greater Manchester Police will have the appropriate number of officers and resources within the ground and the surrounding areas to both deal with any incidents and offer reassurance to the public.

On watch: Police will make sure everything goes smoothly

On watch: Police will make sure everything goes smoothly

police

police

'The rivalry between the clubs really adds something extra to this fixture and should be embraced, but we must also ensure that this is not used as an excuse by some individuals to become involved in disorder.

'We want to make it clear to the minority who may be thinking of causing any trouble that we will clamp down hard on them. We want people to take responsibility for themselves and drink responsibly.

'We want to ensure that the city of Manchester, both of its clubs and its fans are remembered for the right reasons. We should celebrate the fact that the Premier League is coming to Manchester.'