Tag Archives: fabio

Wayne Rooney remains an England enigma, 10 years after his spectacular start

Decade of hit and miss: Rooney remains an England enigma, 10 years after his spectacular start

but was his
first goal at a major international tournament for eight years.

Red mist: Rooney was sent off last time he played in Montenegro

Red mist: Rooney was sent off last time he played in Montenegro

Heads we win: Rooney returned to the team after suspension to score against Ukraine

Heads we win: Rooney returned to the team after suspension to score against Ukraine

Samba beaten: Rooney also scored in last month's friendly victory over Brazil

Samba beaten: Rooney also scored in last month's friendly victory over Brazil

Unfortunately, the red cards against Portugal and Montenegro spring more readily to mind.

He compares well with Owen, another teenage prodigy. Rooney has seven fewer goals in 10 fewer games, a ratio he should be confident of boosting tomorrow against San Marino, ranked the world’s worst international team by FIFA.

Beyond this, Rooney’s contribution cannot simply be calculated by goals. He has been up front alone, in a pair, in the hole off the front man and, occasionally, wide. You can even throw in the odd cameo in midfield.

He craves involvement, ever willing to do a job in a different system. It is still the way at Manchester United. Picked against Real Madrid away, he was dropped at home. Is this evidence of his slow conversion from playmaker to workhorse

Workhorse Are Rooney's talents being wasted

Workhorse Are Rooney's talents being wasted

Superstar: Rooney was the sensation of the tournament at Euro 2004

Superstar: Rooney was the sensation of the tournament at Euro 2004

New hero: Rooney's emergence suggested England possessed a world beater

New hero: Rooney's emergence suggested England possessed a world beater

International awakening: Rooney also excelled a year before that, on his competitive debut against Turkey

International awakening: Rooney also excelled a year before that, on his competitive debut against Turkey

Time to celebrate: Rooney has been a regular for England since that star turn against Turkey

Time to celebrate: Rooney has been a regular for England since that star turn against Turkey

Fabio Capello perhaps came closer than others to unlocking the secret for England. Rooney scored half of his 24 competitive England goals for Capello. Nine of them came in nine qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, playing up front with Emile Heskey.

But he travelled to South Africa with questions surrounding his fitness and, it would later emerge, his head in a spin from personal issues.

Under the pressure of comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he cut an angry figure, swearing at a female linesman in a practice match, scrawling abusive messages on his golf shoes and sounding off into a TV camera about England fans who booed the team after a goalless draw against Algeria.

Rooney went a year without a goal for England while strike partners came and went: Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent, Kevin Davies, Ashley Young, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck have all had a go since the last World Cup.

Out of form: Ashley Young

Out of form: Ashley Young

Good foil Danny Welbeck

Good foil Danny Welbeck

Forgotten man: Darren Bent

Forgotten man: Darren Bent

When Hodgson took the job last year, he was unequivocal about his star man. ‘We all know Rooney is best as a No 10,’ he said.

‘The fact he’s such a good player and can play in other positions, that’s another matter. From my conversations with him, from all the games I’ve watched him play, he’s extremely dangerous as a second striker.’

Last month, in a friendly against Brazil, Rooney was the spearhead in a 4-3-3 shape designed to accommodate Jack Wilshere. The experiment worked well and the most encouraging aspect of the 2-1 victory was the way that Wilshere, Rooney and Tom Cleverley combined.

Will Hodgson stick to this shape with Wilshere injured or take a step back In two qualifiers with Rooney available in this World Cup campaign, he played in tandem with Welbeck against San Marino and Jermain Defoe in Poland.

Missing link: England are to be without Jack Wilshere

Missing link: England are to be without Jack Wilshere

Again, his flexibility does not help Rooney stamp his identity on an England team.

Gerrard may sympathise — it has happened to him too — and will have his own views on why the 17-year-old who made such an impact on his full England debut did not break into the world elite where Messi and Ronaldo reside.

At 27, Rooney can still leave his mark on international football and paste new images over those red-mist moments with some unforgettable goals.

Where better to start than San Marino Where better to prove a point on Tuesday than Montenegro, scene of his last England meltdown Where better to make an impression than a World Cup in Brazil

VIDEO: SCOTT PARKER DISCUSSES ENGLAND V SAN MARINO

Harry Redknapp blasts QPR players after losing to MK Dons in FA Cup

We were a disgrace: Redknapp blasts QPR's big-name failures for abysmal display against MK Dons

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

19:27 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:36 GMT, 26 January 2013

A furious and disbelieving Harry Redknapp surveyed the wreckage of QPR’s FA Cup humiliation at the hands of MK Dons and slammed the big stars who failed him.

Redknapp watched as his side — bottom of the Premier League — were crushed 4-2 at home by a team two divisions beneath them. In the day’s other fourth-round shock, Blue Square Premier League Luton Town beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road.

‘I have big-name players who believe they’re better than they are, who bang on my door insisting that I should play them,’ said 65-year-old Redknapp.

Miserable: Harry Redknapp looks on as QPR are tonked by MK Dons

Miserable: Harry Redknapp looks on as QPR are tonked by MK Dons

‘Well, they had their chance and they
blew it. I made nine changes from the team who drew at West Ham last
week.

'This was a team that had gone five games unbeaten, that had won at
Chelsea and drawn against Spurs and West Ham, but even though I made
lots of changes I believed, absolutely, it was good enough to beat the
MK Dons.

‘I wanted to win, don’t get me wrong.
Look at the players I picked. We’re talking about signings from
Manchester United and Real Madrid in Park, Fabio and Granero.

'We’re talking about experienced pros
like Ferdinand, an England goalkeeper in Green. Surely they should have
been too good for a team two divisions below them.

'I thought we weren’t too bad up to
half time, but conceded two dreadfully sloppy goals. When we conceded
the third, which was offside, our confidence went completely.

'You can’t give away two such sloppy goals as we did. We created a mountain to climb that only got higher.

‘What it shows is that the result and
the performance answer a lot of questions. Not to me. I already knew
the answers, but to those who wanted to see certain players picked. They gave the answers.

‘I’m going to need to shift some
players out of this club this week and get a few in. If I can do that
we’ll stay in the Premier League. I’ll have the right hump now. I’ll be
no use to anybody.’

He does, however, have to find a way to lift his team before the visit of Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Good day out: MK Dons fans were delighted as their team powered through

Good day out: MK Dons fans were delighted as their team powered through

As bad as QPR were, MK Dons deserved a lot of credit for the way they frustrated their Premier League opponents.

A club-record away following of 3,155
headed to west London to witness a performance that filled manager Karl
Robinson with pride.

'We felt we could come here and get a result,' the Dons boss said. 'I understand the gulf in teams and I respect that as well.

'QPR
is a wonderful football club with one of the best English managers in a
long, long time so you always know the difficulties it that is going to
possess.

Let downs: Redknapp analysed where his squad had come from - Estenan Granero, for example, from Real Madrid

Let downs: Redknapp analysed where his squad had come from – Estenan Granero, for example, from Real Madrid

'It is nice to make it through. The players were fantastic and I thought they deserved the result.

'It was difficult for us in the first half. We had to sit off them and they have some top, top players.

'I thought the way they responded to going in front at a Premier League ground was great. They played with no fear.

'Getting into the fourth round was a little bit of history for us and now the fifth round makes it a little more special.'

United striker Javier Hernandez still can"t understand Scouser Wayne Rooney

I haven't got a clue, Roo! United striker Hernandez still can't understand Scouser Wayne

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

10:47 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:01 GMT, 15 January 2013

Wayne Rooney's foreign team-mates at Manchester United are struggling to understand him because of his strong Scouse accent.

Striker Javier Hernandez admits
he still has problems understanding Roo's lilt – despite playing
alongside him for three years at Old Trafford.

Stong accent: Scouser Wayne Rooney

Stong accent: Scouser Wayne Rooney

The Mexican, aged 24, says he can differentiate between forward Danny Welbeck's Mancunian accent and Rooney's Liverpool twang – but sometimes struggles to make out what the Scouser is saying.

He said: 'When I first came here, everyone that spoke English sounded exactly the same.

'But now I know the accents. Mind you, it's still difficult to understand Wazza sometimes, though!'

Team talk: United's Javier Hernandez (left)

Team talk: United's Javier Hernandez (left)

Recalling when he joined United in 2006, Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic, 31, said of Rooney: 'I thought he spoke German because his accent is different.'

Ex-England boss Fabio Capello once even suggested Rooney struggles to speak English. Wayne himself has admitted he can only just about understand Liverpool star Jamie Carragher's Scouse accent.

Roy Hodgson says it is not impossible for England to win the World Cup

We could do a Chelsea! Hodgson says it is not 'impossible' for England to win the World Cup

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UPDATED:

11:29 GMT, 23 December 2012

England boss Roy Hodgson claims it is not 'impossible' the country could win the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Hodgson pointed to Chelsea's against-the-odds Champions League triumph last season, when they knocked out Barcelona and then beat Bayern Munich on penalties, as evidence that the fancied sides can be beaten.

He told Sportsweek on Radio 5 Live: 'You could say we are far from being favourites (for the World Cup) so therefore it's (winning it) not a likelihood. But you've got to shy away from 'impossible' in football.

Confident: Roy Hodgson says it is not impossible for England to win the World Cup, although says they won't be favorites

Confident: Roy Hodgson says it is not impossible for England to win the World Cup, although says they won't be favorites

'There are plenty of events that we could point to in footballing terms that you could have said were impossible, but people have done it.

'It wasn't likely that Chelsea would become champions of Europe, especially having to change their manager in mid-stream but they did.

'That was by beating Barcelona and Bayern Munich, two of the best teams in Europe along the way, so I'd like to keep that dream alive.'

Hodgson took over from Fabio Capello in May following the Italian's resignation and he led England to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 in his first major championship at the helm.

The former Fulham boss claimed England have enough quality players to challenge the world's top sides.

Work to do: England are second in the qualifying group, two points behind Montenegro

Work to do: England are second in the qualifying group, two points behind Montenegro

He added: 'I hope that I will never been tripped into saying, 'well, we don't have enough players or there's not enough players good enough to play for England' because that would be a very sad indictment.

'I know there are a lot of foreigners in the league, but there's plenty of English ones. There were seven Englishmen playing for Manchester United the other day and they're top of the Barclays Premier League.

'I hope I'm not going to be tricked into saying that some time to disguise my disappointment in a defeat or to try and shift the blame to somebody else.'

But Hodgson admitted the huge pressure to succeed at major championships took its toll on the players.

He added: 'I would like to see a little bit more kindness sometimes offered to the players, because there's no doubt in my mind there are as aware of anybody we need to win, we need to bring something back to the English public.

Job to do: Hodgson along with his coaches Gary Neville and Ray Lewington are aiming to get England to the World Cup in Brazil

Job to do: Hodgson along with his coaches Gary Neville and Ray Lewington are aiming to get England to the World Cup in Brazil

'But sometimes if you put so much pressure on these young people there's no doubt they can be hampered by that rather than encouraged.

'And it's that delicate balance of having the expectation which propels you forward because you want to succeed and you want to show people you can meet their expectations or freezing a little bit because you feel, 'whatever I do is never going to be good enough'.'

England currently sit second in World Cup qualifying Group H, two points behind Montenegro after four games.

Hodgson said: 'We are aiming to finish on top of the group and not have to go through a play-off situation where you can quite easily lose as well.

'If we can't win the group let's hope to God we can come second and give ourselves a chance at least in the play-offs because the goal is to reach Brazil in 2014.

Paying the penalty: Ashley Young was one of the players to miss during the Euro 2012 shoot out with Italy

Paying the penalty: Ashley Young was one of the players to miss during the Euro 2012 shoot out with Italy

'In an ideal world we would do it by winning the group and sailing through and be ready when it comes around, but there's no guarantee of course that winning the group and sailing through your group stages helps you when you get to the final competition. We've seen that with England.'

England went out of Euro 2012 following yet another penalty shootout defeat and Hodgson admitted he would be in favour of taking spot-kicks after friendlies next year to prepare players for the real thing in front of a packed crowd.

'It would be a good idea,' he added. 'You might be able to agree with one of our opponents that, 'if the game ends in a draw let's have a penalty shoot-out'.'

Hodgson also would not rule out going back to club management after his time with England.

Not a fan: Hodgson says things written about him on Wikipedia are not all true, he is not a big Rolling Stones fan

Not a fan: Hodgson says things written about him on Wikipedia are not all true, he is not a big Rolling Stones fan

Asked if the England job would be his last in football, he said: 'It would be nice to think it could be, it would be nice to think I could be in the job for a sufficient period of time when the time comes to an end to say, 'that's been a great career, I've enjoyed it, I m quite old, now it's time to pass over to younger people'.

'(But) it's a dangerous thing to say as well. Football's in your blood.'

Hodgson also urged people not to trust everything they read about him.

He added: 'I was told by my sister that on Wikipedia I have two sons and I don't know where the other one's come from because my wife and I only have one, Christopher; and that I'm a great Rolling Stones fan and, with great respect to the Rolling Stones, I was brought up with soul music and rhythm and blues.

'There're a lot of things that can the written about you. Another thing I heard strangely enough was that I'm a harmonica player. Someone less musical than me would be hard to find.'

Napoli goalkeeper Matteo Gianello tells court he tried to fix match

Napoli in the dock as shamed stopper Gianello tells court he tried to fix match

PUBLISHED:

19:21 GMT, 10 December 2012

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UPDATED:

19:21 GMT, 10 December 2012

Napoli went on trial for match-fixing on Monday and could be docked points after its former goalkeeper confessed to arranging the result of a game three seasons ago.

Matteo Gianello confessed to prosecutors that he attempted to fix the match between Sampdoria and Napoli in May, 2010.

Sampdoria won the match 1-0 with a goal from current AC Milan player Giampaolo Pazzini in the 51st minute.

Confession: Gianello admitted that he attempted to fix a game

Confession: Gianello admitted that he attempted to fix a game

It was the final weekend of the season and the victory secured Sampdoria fourth place and a spot in Champions League qualifying.

Current Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro and defender Gianluca Grava were also on trial in front of the Italian football federation's disciplinary committee for allegedly failing to report the fix.

Both players, along with Napoli, deny any wrongdoing. Cannavaro is the younger brother of former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.

Jen Chang wants to be director of football at Monaco

Now former Liverpool media chief Chang wants to be director of football at Monaco

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UPDATED:

12:02 GMT, 28 November 2012

Jen Chang, Liverpool’s hapless former
media chief who was never suited to the post, has shown an even more
unlikely interest in becoming director of football at Monaco —
especially as one of the reasons given for his departure from Anfield
was that his family was still based in New York.

One link for Chang is that Bruce
Bundrant, Liverpool’s former head of partnerships, is commercial
director at Monaco. But he only overlapped with Chang at Anfield for a
few weeks.

French fancy: Former Liverpool chief Jen Chang (right)

French fancy: Former Liverpool chief Jen Chang (right)

Chang left the club following the Twitter storm with spoof blogger 'Duncan Jenkins'.

The club were forced to apologise to Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for the 'inappropriate actions' of Chang, after they met in a Manchester restaurant.

Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.

The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket.

After accusing Cummins of costing the club 300,000 extra in the Fabio Borini transfer from Roma this summer because of 'information' posted on the Jenkins Twitter feed, Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.

Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed the turmoil at Liverpool

Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed the turmoil at Liverpool

It is then alleged that Chang demanded he tweet under the fake account to 'confess' there was no mole and the whole account was made up.

After Cummins complained, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spoke to both men before apologising for Chang’s error.

In his letter to Cummins he wrote: ‘I acknowledge some of the elements you highlight were not appropriate. I would therefore like to apologise to you on behalf of Liverpool FC, for any upset and distress this caused you.’

'Clearly it is not appropriate for me to comment on how the club is managing this internally, and I trust you understand this.'

Chang has been in New York sorting out the family home after Hurricane Sandy.

Victor Moses should be playing for England but Fabio Capello messed up, says Roberto Martinez

Capello messed up over Moses: Nigeria's gain is England's loss, says old boss Martinez

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UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 9 November 2012

England missed out on a potential world-beater, according to Roberto Martinez, after Fabio Capello let Victor Moses slip through the net and pledge his international allegiance to Nigeria.

The Wigan manager twice called Capello to outline Moses’ rich potential and eagerness to represent his adopted country England, rather than Nigeria, where he was born.

But the 21-year old winger, snapped up by Chelsea for 9million in August, abandoned his dream in exasperation after being called up for an Under 21 international at Doncaster but failing to make the final 16.

Hold on to him: Juan Mata and Gary Cahill grab Victor Moses after his dramatic winner against Shakhtar

Hold on to him: Juan Mata and Gary Cahill grab Victor Moses after his dramatic winner against Shakhtar

Nigeria’s gain is England’s loss, according to Martinez, who said: ‘Victor is a quite unique player. When you work with him you realise he is not a normal footballer, not a typical modern winger.

‘He is an old-fashioned type of winger, with incredible raw talent that allows him to go past people. He brings real penetration to the wide positions. Teams are so well set-up tactically these days that you need players who can bring something different, and they don’t appear that often.

‘Victor is that type, though. Even if you look at the great footballing cultures, like Spain and Holland, you see that players of this type are very rare. Victor could have been a real weapon for any team in world football.

‘His experience with the Under 21s was frustrating for him, and for us, because, from our point of view, we could see he was something special. He offers something very different.

Top finish: Moses nods Mata's corner beyond Andriy Pyatov

Top finish: Moses nods Mata's corner beyond Andriy Pyatov

‘Football is a matter of opinions, so there is no right or wrong over whether he should have been tied to England. But it is difficult to find players like him, not just in England, and I am sure he could have adapted to anything.

‘If he continues to have the same impact at Chelsea, he will get plenty of chances to show his talent. He is ready to compete at that level and show what he is about.

‘It is no surprise to see him playing at the highest level, and you have to remember he is still a very young man in football terms. He is going to be as good as he wants to be. You just have to admire his mentality. Nothing fazes him, and the best is yet to come, that is for sure.’

Marcelo out of Manchester City Champions League clash for Real Madrid

Champions League boost for City as Real Madrid defender Marcelo is ruled out

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 17 October 2012

Manchester City's chances of progressing in the Champions League have been helped by confirmation Real Madrid's in-form full-back Marcelo will be out for three months with a fractured metatarsal.

The 24-year-old is to undergo surgery in Amsterdam after damaging his foot on international duty with Brazil.

Best foot forward: Marcelo (centre) will be out for the next three months

Best foot forward: Marcelo (centre) will be out for the next three months

He said: 'I hope this will be the first and the last time I pick up a serious injury. I would not wish this on anyone.'

Real's Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain also picked up injuries while on international duty.

Real deal: Marcelo is one of the highest-rated full backs in the world

Real deal: Marcelo is one of the highest-rated full backs in the world

Jose Mourinho not interested in international management… yet

Madrid boss Mourinho rules out England and Portugal management role… for now

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UPDATED:

10:06 GMT, 7 September 2012

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admits his love of club football means he is unlikely to take charge of a national team any time soon.

The Portuguese has been linked with several jobs at international level during his illustrious career, most recently England after Fabio Capello stepped aside.

Mourinho has also hinted in the past
that he would be willing to take on the challenge of managing his own
country later in life.

Staying put: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has no intention of quitting

Staying put: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has no intention of quitting

However, in an interview with AS the former Chelsea boss admitted he has no immediate plans to accept such a role.

'We'll see although it will be later
rather than sooner, much later,' he said. 'I am 49 and will be 50 when
this season finishes, but I still think I'm at the beginning of my
career.

'A few years ago my wife said that
some day I would stop, we would enjoy our children, our hobbies. But
right now I'm a full-time coach.

'Even now, after all my experiences, I
still feel the same excitement, the same joy I felt on the first day I
won and I feel the same anger, the same disappointment on the first day I
lost.

Thrill: Mourinho says he still gets too much enjoyment from club management

Thrill: Mourinho says he still gets too much enjoyment from club management

'It's only when I look at pictures of
my early career in Porto that I realise this child has become a man who
is the Real Madrid coach. But only in photos, inside I feel like I did
20 years ago.

'So I say that for now, and for a long time to come, I'm not going to train a national team. That is not for me yet.

'I have to train 400 times a year and
manage 60 or 70 games. I need to be with players, on the pitch and the
dressing room every day. I like to train every day and see my players
three times a week.'

Fabio Capello dismisses Northern Ireland before Russia World Cup qualifier

It's only Northern Ireland! Cocky Fab dismisses O'Neill's men ahead of clash

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 6 September 2012

Confident: Capello

Confident: Capello

Fabio Capello approaches his first competitive game in charge of Russia with a confidence he never had with England – and less pressure.

The Russians host Northern Ireland in Moscow for their first 2014 World Cup qualifier and even with only two strikers available for selection, the former England boss is certain of a result, dismissing suggestions Michael O’Neill’s men could cause an upset.

'We do only have two strikers,' he said, 'and we will maybe call one up for the next game (against Israel on Tuesday).

'But it’s only Northern Ireland and I expect us to be fit enough against them.'

Capello shrugged his way through his press conference in Moscow, clearly placing the weight of expectation on his players.

When asked how different managing Russia has been compared to his time under the FA, Capello smiled.

Probable teams

Russia (4-3-3): Akinfeev; Anyukov, V Berezutskiy,
Ignashevich, D Kombarov; Denisov, Shirokov, Glushakov; Dzagoev,
Kerzhakov, Kokorin.

NI (4-3-2-1): Carroll; McAuley, Hughes, J Evans, Cathcart; Davis, Baird, C Evans; Shiels, Brunt; Lafferty.

'First of all, it is an honour for me. The Russian FA made me an offer which I gladly accepted. Russia and England, in terms of the jobs, are different realities for me. Russia is a vast country. I took the car to games in England. Here I travel by plane.

'I do my best to work well with the team and I’ve watched many of Russia’s matches. I have to, to succeed, but the pressure is less.'

Russia have brought in Spartak Moscow left-back Dimitri Kombarov to replace ex-Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov.

Former Coventry City captain Sammy Clingan has been drafted into the Northern Ireland side.