Tag Archives: feelings

Rafa Benitez and John Terry laugh together in Chelsea training ahead of Europa League game

Best of Friends: Benitez and captain Terry all smiles during Chelsea training session

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

13:07 GMT, 20 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:16 GMT, 20 February 2013

Rafa Benitez looks as if he’s finally found a friend at Stamford Bridge, with the interim manager and captain John Terry sharing a joke at the Chelsea’s Cobham training ground today.

The rest of the squad also looked in
good spirits as they prepare to face Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge
tomorrow in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie, which
they lead 1-0.

Two players who won't be involved are Frank Lampard and defender Branislav Ivanovic, who Benitez confirmed would be rested.

Reports last week suggested Benitez and the Chelsea captain had a falling-out over Terry being selected on the bench due to a recurring knee injury, but there were clearly no hard feelings.

Scroll down for Kevin Quigley's video from Chelsea training

Buried the hatchet: Terry (right) and Benitez joke around during Chelsea's Cobham training session today

Buried the hatchet: Terry (right) and Benitez joke around during Chelsea's Cobham training session today

benitez terry

benitez

luiz

Still got it: Benitez (left) controls the ball while Brazilian defender David Luiz (left) has a laugh at training today

cfc training

Wrapping up warm: Fernando Torres (left) and Yossi Benayoun laugh as training begins today

Wrapping up warm: Fernando Torres (left) and Yossi Benayoun laugh as training begins today

The former England skipper insisted he had no problem with starting games on the bench, as long as Chelsea were winning games, while accepting fans’ criticism of the unpopular Benitez’s reign.

‘They pay their money so they are entitled to echo their thoughts,’ said Terry. ‘The most important thing is the team winning games.

'People speak about things but it’s not about Rafa, it’s not about me, it’s not about Lamps, it’s not about anybody.

Good spirits: Frank Lampard (left) and David Luiz share a joke today while the squad prepare for the visit of Sparta Prague in the Europa League tomorrow night, with the Blues ahead 1-0

Good spirits: Frank Lampard (left) and David Luiz share a joke today while the squad (led by Gary Cahill, below) prepare for the visit of Sparta Prague in the Europa League tomorrow night, with the Blues ahead 1-0 in the tie

cfc training

cfc training

‘It’s about this football club winning games and if we’re doing that the fans are happy. That’s all they want to see.

‘If that’s with me in the side, great; if not, then I will be their biggest supporter and I’ll sit there and support the team like the fans will.

‘If you are losing games, the pressure is on the manager. If you’re winning games, that gets taken away. Hopefully, as a group of players we can do that and it takes the pressure off him.’

VIDEO See the team warming up ahead of their Europa League clash

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37684','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37684”,
'videoPlayer' : “2177304454001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2281673/Rafa-Benitez-John-Terry-laugh-Chelsea-training-ahead-Europa-League-game.html”

});

UEFA overturn Steven Caulker"s two-game ban but uphold Tom Ince"s one-match suspension after England Under 21 match in Serbia

UEFA overturn Caulker suspension but UPHOLD Ince ban for scuffles in Serbia despite Young Lions suffering racist abuse

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

20:20 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 15 February 2013

Steven Caulker is free to play at Euro 2013 after UEFA overturned the two-game ban he was given in the wake of England Under 21s' controversial game in Serbia.

But there were mixed feelings for head coach Stuart Pearce, as Tom Ince's one-match suspension was upheld following a lengthy disciplinary hearing at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.

The hearing stemmed from UEFA president Michel Platini appealing against the severity of the punishment that Serbia were given after their fans racially abused several of England's black players during a Euro 2013 play-off in Krusevac last October.

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince's one-game ban was upheld (left) but Steven Caulker's two-game ban was overturned (right)

Serbia survived the threat of expulsion from the 2015 European Under 21 Championship but they will have to play two qualifiers behind closed doors, rather than the one match they were initially ordered to, and the fine of
65,900 administered before Christmas was unaltered.

Pearce said: 'We respect UEFA's
decision and we move on. We welcome the verdict on Steven Caulker's
suspension and choose to accept the verdict with regards to Tom Ince.
Both players should be proud of the way represented themselves to UEFA.'

Europe's governing body had the
capacity to increase the lengths of bans Caulker and Ince were going to
serve had they deemed the appeals to be frivolous.

They were looking to impose a
three-match ban on Tottenham defender Caulker, a two-game suspension for
Ince and hit the Football Association with a 50,000 fine for failing
to control their players.

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

However, Caulker, Ince and Pearce all
conveyed the extreme circumstances that England faced at the end of a
game they won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Connor Wickham.

As a result, there was no fine for
the FA and while Ince, who is understood to be disappointed, will sit
out the game against Italy on June 5, Caulker is free to play in the
tournament.

His only punishment for his
involvement in the melee that erupted after Wickham's last-minute
goal is one day's community service.

The post-match brawl began after
England defender Danny Rose complained of monkey chants whenever he
touched the ball. He was sent off after the final whistle for after
kicking a ball into the stands, gesturing to the crowd as he walked off
the pitch.

The Walcott is being chased by Manchester United and Chelsea, but is he worth it?

Theo-logical debate: Untapped potential or a waste of money

|

UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 14 December 2012

Arsene Wenger has made it clear he wants to keep Theo Walcott at Arsenal, but so far the young forward has been holding out for higher wage than currently on offer.

But read around club forums and listen in at stadiums, and you will find that no player splits opinion quite like the man who inherited Thierry Henry's No 14 shirt. And it's no different at Sportsmail HQ.

Adam Crafton sits firmly in Theo's corner, insisting the Gunners would be crazy to let him go, while Mark Alford simply can't see what all the fuss is about.

Mixed feelings: Theo Walcott splits opinions like no other player in the Premier League

Mixed feelings: Theo Walcott splits opinions like no other player in the Premier League

Mixed feelings: Theo Walcott splits opinions like no other player in the Premier League

/12/14/article-2248191-0B13D1CC000005DC-674_634x344.jpg” width=”634″ height=”344″ alt=”Familiar tale: Aside from his shortcomings as a player, Walcott has a disappointing injury record” class=”blkBorder” />

Familiar tale: Aside from his shortcomings as a player, Walcott has a disappointing injury record

Arsenal would be better off without him, according to the stats. They concede fewer goals when he isn’t playing, averaging 1.14 goals conceded per game when he’s in the team and 0.83 when he’s absent.

Damningly, Arsenal’s win percentage is 54 per cent with him in the team and 54 per cent without him. No Theo, no difference. No-one would notice.

And here’s the clincher. Theo Walcott, potent attacking force…161 career appearances for the Gunners, just 30 goals and only 29 assists.

Dear me, he’s been nicking a living.

He’s turned down a 75,000-a-week contract offer, holding out for 100,000-a-week. I pity the fool willing to pay him that.

Arsenal PL
With Walcott Playing
Without Walcott Playing
Games
161
83
Wins
87
45
Draws
36
28
Losses
38
10
Average Goals For
1.97
1.72
Average Goals Against
1.14
0.83
Win %
54%
54%
Points Per Game
1.84
1.96

Game changer: Walcott's pace is a hugely valuable asset to any team

Game changer: Walcott's pace is a hugely valuable asset to any team

/13 Min Per GoalsPlayer
Country
Goals
Mins/Goal
Defoe, Jermain
England
9
140.67
Walcott, Theo
England
4
149
Rooney, Wayne
England
6
153
Le Fondre, Adam
England
4
207
Lambert, Rickie
England
6
209

Arsene Wenger hints at leaving Arsenal as fans protest

Is Wenger ready to quit Under-fire Arsenal boss hints at end of season exit after fans protest during shock loss against Swansea

|

UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 2 December 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he may consider his future at the end of the season after his misfiring team slumped to another defeat and he had to endure a torrent of abuse from fans.

The 2-0 home defeat by Swansea City made it the club's worst start to a Premier League season under Wenger – and it followed an angry protest by fans against what they claimed was the 'greed' of the Arsenal board.

Wenger, criticised in some quarters for Arsenal's seven years without a major trophy, has never even hinted that he might be close to quitting the club he loves.

Making their point: Arsenal fans march prior to the game

Making their point: Arsenal fans march prior to the game

Not flagging: Supporters make their feelings known to the board

Not flagging: Supporters make their feelings known to the board

New motto: These fans held placards suggesting profit had taken precedence over points at Arsenal

New motto: These fans held placards suggesting profit had taken precedence over points at Arsenal

March: Arsenal fans make their way towards the Emirates behind a banner saying 'Let's kick greed out of football'

March: Arsenal fans make their way towards the Emirates behind a banner saying 'Let's kick greed out of football'

But after this defeat, asked whether it was crossing his mind to resign, Wenger replied: 'Not at all. You make your assessment at the end of the season. I know we've got unrest everywhere. It's a good opportunity to stick together and show we're a strong club.'

Although Wenger was clearly keen to dispel any thoughts that he might walk away in mid-season, his remarks were being interpreted as a clear indication that he will give his future careful thought when the last ball of the season has been kicked. And if he has not managed to turn Arsenal's season around, he may be ready to end his remarkable era in North London.

Asked if it hurt that a once-glorious club were languishing in 10th place, Wenger said: 'Of course. But I'm not as worried about the places. We need to get the quality of our game back.'

But Arsenal fans vented their fury at Wenger and he admitted: 'I can understand that.'

Not good enough: Arsene Wennger saw his side slump to a home defeat

Not good enough: Arsene Wennger saw his side slump to a home defeat

Magic Michu: Swansea's Miguel Michu celebrates after scoring against Arsenal

Magic Michu: Swansea's Miguel Michu celebrates after scoring against Arsenal

Oh dear: Santi Cazorla (left) and Mikel Arteta look defeated after the defeat left them in 10th in the Premier League

Oh dear: Santi Cazorla (left) and Mikel Arteta look defeated after the defeat left them in 10th in the Premier League

Arsenal have collected just 21 points from 15 games and only the 1994-95 season was worse for them since the Premier League began.

Asked if he needed new players, Wenger said: 'It's difficult to comment straight after a defeat like that but I can't say No. I believe the board are there for us to spend the money if we can find the players.'

But if Wenger's faith in the board is not rewarded with cash for players in January, and the club fail to qualify for the Champions League, the Frenchman could call time on his Arsenal career.

Certainly a hard-core army of fans believe that their money is not being spent by the club where they believe it should be – on players.

Mutiny: Fans have started the Black Scarf Movement to make their feelings known over the way the club is being run

Mutiny: Fans have started the Black Scarf Movement to make their feelings known over the way the club is being run

Vocal: The protest march ended outside the Emirates stadium, though there were jeers inside after the final whistle

Vocal: The protest march ended outside the Emirates stadium, though there were jeers inside after the final whistle

Around 1,000 angry fans called for the removal of what they claimed were Arsenal's 'greedy' board of directors and complained that profit had been put before trophies. The protest was directed at the board not Wenger. But he was not entirely spared criticism.

Dan Deamer, 27, explained: 'I've been an Arsenal fan for 20 years and I do have a gripe with Wenger. It's a joke that he is paid 7.5million and hasn't won anything for years.'

Wenger added: 'The quality of our game wasn't there. But I'm in this job to turn it round and I'm confident we will.'

John Obi Mikel set to be dropped by Rafael Benitez at Chelsea

Mikel fears Benitez axe as Chelsea boss aims to win fans over by beating Fulham

|

UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 27 November 2012

John Obi Mikel could be the first victim of Rafa Benitez's Chelsea reign.

The midfielder may be axed from the side for Wednesday's match against Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

As Benitez aims to produce more opportunities for under pressure 50million striker Fernando Torres, Mikel could pay the price for his lack of creativity.

Decisions: Rafael Benitez might put Oriol Romeu in ahead of John Obi Mikel (below)

Decisions: Rafael Benitez might put Oriol Romeu in ahead of John Obi Mikel (below)

At risk: John Obi Mikel could be chopped by Benitez for Fulham clash

The Spaniard wants to reshape his side and believes that Mikel is too defensive in his position in front of the back four.

Mikel was missing from the key
preparations for Chelsea's derby with Fulham and could now be replaced
by Oriel Romeu, who came on for him on Sunday.

Benitez said on Tuesday: 'I understand the feelings of the fans because of my time at Liverpool, where we had rivalry and it was quite difficult.

'But at the same time I will try to prove I'm here for the right reasons. We want to win, and we can do that together.

'I'll try and improve players and it'll be easier to win games and bring the fans back.

When told that a large number of fans were dead set against his appointment he replied: 'I know how they feel.

'I understand how they feel. It's not a situation we can change in one minute. But working hard, winning games, I can improve it. Starting with Fulham.

'I don't know if the fans will be kinder. But I can say that since coming here I've worked really hard, coming in at 8.30am and leaving at 8.30 at night, doing my job, talking to players and staff and trying to be ready for the game.

'I know how they feel, but the only thing I can do is try and win their trust working hard and doing my best.

Eyes open: Benitez has been working long days at Cobham

Eyes open: Benitez has been working long days at Cobham

He added: 'I can't worry if I'm upset or not. If it was a player, I'd be telling him to concentrate on his job. The best way to change things is to win games.'

Benitez also admitted he did not know whether Torres could recapture his Liverpool form at Chelsea.

He acknowledged the 28-year-old was not the same player he had been before joining Chelsea and needed to improve physically to stand a chance of recapturing his glory days.

Three Blues managers have failed to get Torres scoring regularly, each repeatedly insisting there was nothing wrong with the forward.

The man who knows his fellow Spaniard better than any of them said today: 'He's not exactly the same player now, because he was at maximum level at this time [at Liverpool].

'But I think he can come back. How close I don't know. It depends on the rest of the team. I'm sure he can improve, but the team has to help him.'

Hope: Benitez is trying to revive Fernando Torres' (second left) goalscoring form

Hope: Benitez is trying to revive Fernando Torres' (second left) goalscoring form

Torres also has to help himself, as does Benitez, following a run of just 19 goals in 88 games for the European champions.

'The first thing is to give him some confidence, instructions as to how he can do things in a different way, improve him a little bit physically,' said Benitez, who wants Torres's team-mates to create more chances for the striker and win the ball back more quickly in defence.

'You need to be stronger in defence, regain the ball easier and then you can create your own chances. That will benefit Torres.

'Players with mobility, quality… we can improve all these things.'

Benitez denied he was under pressure to pick Torres amid reports previous Chelsea managers had been given the impression by owner Roman Abramovich that the club's record signing must play.

'It's easy at the moment because [Daniel] Sturridge is still injured,' he said.

Watching on: Bolo Zenden and Chelsea interim manager Benitez

Watching on: Bolo Zenden and Chelsea interim manager Benitez

Indeed, Sturridge is Chelsea's only other recognised centre-forward and it seems unthinkable they will not attempt bolster their attack in the January transfer window.

But Benitez said: 'I can guarantee I've been so busy, I haven't had time to watch any DVDs, or have conversations about this or that player.

'I have to improve the players who are here.'

Chelsea's game against Fulham is a rather one-sided derby in that the Blues are far less excited about it than the Cottagers.

But Benitez insists his team will take to the game with the right attitude.

'I have some information. I know a derby's a derby. Maybe it's not the biggest rivalry for us, but we have a lot of respect for Fulham,' he said.

'We know it's a derby but not the biggest rival for us.'

Arsene Wenger slams Roy Hodgson over Jack Wilshere England recall

Wilshere needed a break! Wenger slams Hodgson over England recall just three games into fragile star's comeback

|

UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsene Wenger believes Roy Hodgson is
taking an unnecessary risk with Jack Wilshere by selecting the young
Arsenal midfielder for what he considers to be a meaningless
international fixture designed only to make money.

Wilshere has played in only three
games since missing 17 months with a stress fracture injury but has
still been included in Hodgson’s England squad to face Sweden next
Wednesday, as Sportsmail revealed.

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

His club manager insisted he has reached a ‘good compromise’ with Hodgson — which is expected to mean Wilshere is only used for a maximum of 45 minutes — but maintained the recall has come too early for the 20-year-old.

Wenger said: ‘I wouldn’t like to come out on my feelings on this because they are not very positive. I think it is early for him. He has played three games now and only one full game. He has been out for 17 months. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery. Let’s touch wood and hope he gets through well.

'The ideal solution would be yes [he
wouldn’t be involved]. It is as it is. He has played three games now,
and of the three games only one [has been a] full game.

'He has been out for 17 months. It’s good to have a little break after three games.

'What we like of him is he won’t play over the weekend so will recover. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery.

Wenger revealed he was expecting the call-up because the midfielder is banned for Saturday’s match against Fulham, after his red card against Manchester United.

He added: ‘I saw it coming because of the suspension and the fact that England are looking for some midfielders. What helps is that he is not playing over the weekend because he is suspended, of course. Roy wants him in the group.’

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere has not appeared in an England shirt since facing Switzerland in June 2011

Wilshere has admitted this week that he fears he might never be as good a player as he was before his long injury lay-off.

But Wenger insists that, slowly but surely, Wilshere will get better and better as his comeback intensifies.

'Jack is generous on the football
pitch – he gives 100 per cent. I feel physically, he is quite there –
slowly he gets stronger in every game. That means his basic fitness is good,' he said.

'Sometimes,
you need, when you accumulate games, to have a little rest again and to
build on that and to recover and then go even harder. For us, what is important to know, is to stop him before he gets to that point.'

Wenger is also unhappy Spain
midfielder Santi Cazorla will play a friendly match in Panama on
Wednesday night.

He said: ‘These friendlies in November — you don’t know
how they can prepare you for a game in February.

‘There are a lot of politics behind
these games because when you see some teams travelling during that
period, you think it is more to pay back some corporation rather than
preparing a team for the next official game. I believe the friendly
games are there as well to help some federations raise money playing
against big teams.’

Mario Balotelli avoids row with Manchester City over Christmas baby

Here's an early Christmas present, City fans: Balotelli avoids daddy of all rows with Mancini by NOT asking for paternity leave

|

UPDATED:

12:36 GMT, 6 November 2012

Manchester City have denied that striker Mario Balotelli will take two weeks' paternity leave over Christmas.

The Italian's model girlfriend Raffaella Fico is due to give birth on Christmas Day and it had appeared that Balotelli could be
heading for another row with Roberto Mancini if he decided he wants to
be at home in Italy when his baby is born during the busy festive period.

However, City said the club has checked with its human resource department, coaching staff and the 22-year-old's representatives.

A spokesman said: 'No request relating to paternity leave has been made by the player/his representative or received by the club.'

Row brewing: Mario Balotelli could decide to be in Italy over Christmas for the birth of his first child

Expecting: Raffaella Fico

Row averted: Balotelli has not asked to be in Italy over Christmas for the birth of his child with Raffaella Fico

The City striker, pictured on Monday
wearing boots embroiderd with ‘Super M Angel’, would miss a number of
games if he were to be by Fico's side for a prolonged period.

City are due to travel to Sunderland
on Boxing Day then head to Norwich on December 29, before hosting Stoke
at the Etihad Stadium three days later,

Meanwhile, AC Milan have subtly reopened their pursuit of Balotelli after the striker's latest spat with Mancini.

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

The Italian was hauled off after 70
uninspiring minutes of the champions' snore draw with West Ham on
Saturday, and was noticeably frustrated as he stormed back to his seat,
mouthing his angry feelings towards the manager.

Mancini pulled no punches after the match, hitting out at his 25million man.

The Italian said: 'I think that a player like Balotelli, when he has a chance like to today, he should score.

'Because when you are a top player, if you have a chance, you should score this – but I don't think he didn't want to score.'

On the player's reaction to being substituted, Mancini added: 'It's normal. A player is never happy to leave the pitch, but if Mario had scored he'd have stayed on the pitch.

'I'm the manager, I decide. I cannot play with four strikers.

'He should be disappointed with the chance he missed, not leaving the pitch in the last 25 minutes. It was a bad chance he missed.'

Balotelli moved to the Premier League from Inter in 2010 and has made several trips back to Milan, most recently to watch the city's big football derby.

Despite his connections to Inter, Balotelli left the club under a cloud and would have little concern joining their fierce rivals.

And it seems AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani is warming to the idea despite admitting it would be difficult.

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

Speaking on Monday, he said: 'I have a profound love for Mario Balotelli, but many loves in life don't always end well.'

Galliani also took the opportunity to dismiss rumours in his homeland that AC Milan's star turn this season, Stephen El Shaarawy, would be making a move to the Premier League.

The Italy international, nicknamed 'The Pharaoh', has enjoyed a stellar campaign to date, scoring 10 times in 17 Serie A games.

But Galliani insists any talk of a switch for the 20-year-old is wide of the mark.

He added: 'Manchester City are interested in signing El Shaarawy Enough of this talk. He has contract with Milan until 2017, and soon he will sign an extension until 2018. He’s an enchanting player.'

Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan

Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan

Robin van Persie and Kaspars Gorkss should have celebrated scoring against old clubs

Celebrate good times, come on! Forget the false modesty… we want a reaction when players score against former clubs

|

UPDATED:

10:18 GMT, 5 November 2012

Whether it is a sheepish smile or an embarrassed wave – the non-celebration has become an all-too-familliar sight in the Barclays Premier League.

Players have an uncanny ability to score against their former clubs, but rarely do they celebrate.

Sportsmail's Jamie Redknapp believes it is a form of fake modesty when players are actually as delighted as ever to get on the scoresheet – particularly strikers who are by nature selfish beasts obsessed with goals.

Playing it cool: Robin van Persie didn't celebrate his goal against Arsenal

Playing it cool: Robin van Persie didn't celebrate his goal against Arsenal

'Little annoys me more than players who don't celebrate goals against their former clubs,' said Redknapp.

'Robin van Persie and Kaspars Gorkss did it this weekend. Scoring is one of the best feelings – so don't act like you're not enjoying it.

If you loved your old club so much, you wouldn't have left.'

It is a valid point. If Van Persie was so happy to quit the Emirates and pick up a healthier pay cheque from the Glazers, then why act modest, coy and apologetic when you do a job for your new employers

It only took him three minutes to haunt Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday, and despite being subjected to all forms of abuse from fans who used to worship him, he refused to look chuffed (even if he was mobbed by team-mates). Afterwards he was full of respect.

He's in there: Kaspars Gorkss (centre) kept his head down as Reading celebrated

He's in there: Kaspars Gorkss (centre) kept his head down as Reading celebrated

'I honestly did not hear any abuse,' he insisted. 'I respect the fans. It was a special day for me. It was the first time I have played against a former club, but I have had only three.

'I spent eight years at Arsenal and I respect the fans, the manager, the players, the whole club. I should have scored a second, but we won and we played well.'

Just enjoy it: Gorkss delighted the away fans with this volley but kept quiet

Just enjoy it: Gorkss delighted the away fans with this volley but kept quiet

Gorkss put Reading 1-0 up at Loftus Road on Sunday with a superb volley, but similarly refused to rub salt in the wound.

Of course, there is always the Emmanuel Adebayor theory of scoring against your old club.

It involves running the length of the field in frenzied celebration and then diving on to your knees in front of your old friends – just so they truly realise how much it means to score against them.

Arsene Wenger: I"m not after revenge over Robin van Persie

You sure, Arsene Arsenal boss insists he ISN'T after revenge over Van Persie

|

UPDATED:

15:28 GMT, 1 November 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains Saturday's showdown at Manchester United will not just be all about trying to get one over on former captain Robin van Persie.

The Gunners are likely to come up against the Dutchman for the first time since his 24million summer transfer to Old Trafford.

Wenger has called for travelling Arsenal supporters to show Van Persie respect rather than hurl abuse from the terraces – and insists his squad are all focused on their own performances.

Pastures new: Van Persie left Arsenal in the summer after seven years this summer

Pastures new: Van Persie left Arsenal in the summer after seven years this summer

'For us, what is important is the result at the end of the game, and the quality of our performance. We do not even talk about that (van Persie),' Wenger said.

'I hope it (reception) is a respectful one because he has played for us for eight years, and he has done very well for us.

'We campaign against discrimination, it was still the case last week so why should it not be the case this week'

Van Persie netted a total of 132 Arsenal goals – 37 of which came last season to help secure third place in the Barclays Premier League.

The Holland forward, 29, has certainly come a long way since Wenger brought him to the club as a raw, temperamental talent from Feyenoord in 2004.

Much of that is down to the guidance of the Gunners boss.

'You would think that one of the parts of my job is to have a positive influence on people's (lives) as a player. When you manage to do that, you are always kind of satisfied,' said Wenger.

No hard feelings: Wenger says he isn't after revenge over Van Persie

No hard feelings: Wenger says he isn't after revenge over Van Persie

'You want to try and have a positive influence on people you cross in your life. I think my influence was not too bad.'

Van
Persie, who turned down a lucrative offer from champions Manchester
City, has settled quickly into his new side, scoring seven Premier
League goals already.

Wenger said: 'I am not surprised by how well he is doing.

'In Manchester United, you have good players around him, and Robin is very intelligent around the box, his runs are fantastic and his technique is absolutely amazing.

'There are a lot of players in offensive positions, so with his intelligent runs, of course he will take advantage of that. Robin is certainly the most efficient striker.'

Happier times: Wenger isn't surprised the Dutchman has started so well

Happier times: Wenger isn't surprised the Dutchman has started so well

Steven Fletcher disallowed goal v Wales – Craig Levene furious

Scotland boss Levein furious at linesman blunder for disallowed Fletcher header

|

UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 13 October 2012

Scotland manager Craig Levein expressed his anger after seeing his side denied a legitimate goal in their 2-1 defeat to Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Having already provided the assist from which James Morrison put the Scots 1-0 up in the 27th minute, Steven Fletcher – back in the side for the first time in over two years – thought he had doubled their advantage in the second half when he headed in Charlie Adam's cross.

The effort was disallowed, though, with the delivery from Adam adjudged to have gone out of play – despite replays suggesting otherwise.

Disallowed: Steven Fletcher thinks he has doubled Scotland's lead

Disallowed: Steven Fletcher thinks he has doubled Scotland's lead

Gareth Bale subsequently equalised from the penalty spot in the 81st minute after it was deemed he had been fouled in the box by Shaun Maloney, and then rifled in a delightful winner with a minute of normal time remaining to leave Scotland with just two points from three games in World Cup Qualifying Group A.

Referring to the disallowed goal, Levein said: 'You can understand my frustration.

'Everybody who watches it can make up their own mind about whether it was a good or poor decision by the officials.

See for yourself: The ball clearly stays in play before Fletcher's header

See for yourself: The ball clearly stays in play before Fletcher's header

Fletcher

Fletcher

Fletcher

Fletcher

'I can only relay my feelings, and I am extremely angry about this happening to us again.

'We have been subject to a couple of really poor decisions and it has a huge effect on our chances of qualifying.'

He added: 'With 10 minutes to go I just could not see us losing the match.

'Getting the second goal was always going to be crucial, though, because a 1-0 lead can be fragile, and so it proved.

'That second goal was so important for us, and I believe the officials made a serious error with the chalked-off goal that Steven Fletcher scored. That is very hard to take.'

Fury: Craig Levein was unimpressed at the call

Fury: Craig Levein was unimpressed at the call

After they had lost their two opening Group A fixtures, Wales are now off the bottom and up to fourth, behind leaders Belgium and second-placed Croatia, who both have seven points, and Serbia, third on four points.

That will ease the heat on Dragons boss Chris Coleman, but it is only being turned up on Levein, whose fifth-placed team had already made a disappointing start to their campaign with home draws against Serbia and Macedonia – the new rock-bottom side – last month.

Asked how much pressure he felt he was under ahead of Tuesday's away clash with Belgium, Levein said: 'Any time you take to the field for an international match, the pressure is exactly the same.

'I don't want to talk about 'what if this happens' or “what if that happens”.

'The important thing now is that I do the job to the best of my ability and get the players up for Tuesday.'