Tag Archives: finalised

Raheem Sterling signs new Liverpool contract

Sterling ends speculation by signing new long-term contract with Liverpool

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UPDATED:

14:53 GMT, 21 December 2012

England whizzkid Raheem Sterling has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

The 18-year-old winger has been in negotiations with the Anfield club for weeks over a new deal.

But, as revealed by Sportsmail this week, both parties have shaken hands on a deal for Sterling to stay with the Merseysiders for the foreseeable future.

Signed, sealed, delivered: Raheem Sterling agreeing his new contract with Brendan Rodgers

Signed, sealed, delivered: Raheem Sterling agreeing his new contract with Brendan Rodgers

'It's every 18-year-old's dream. I'm just really grateful to be at such a big club like this,' Sterling said.

'There's a lot more to be done. I haven't begun yet, as the manager has said. Hopefully I can kick on after the New Year and try to do my best for the team and the football club.'

Manager Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool provide the ideal environment in which Sterling can flourish.

There was a slight hold up to the deal being finalised as negotiations had to be thrashed out over the scale of his pay rise – from a reported 2,000-a-week to nearer 40,000.

But Rodgers insisted extended discussions were also about football as well as financial decisions.

Shake on it: Sterling with Liverpool boss Rodgers

Shake on it: Sterling with Liverpool boss Rodgers

'It was just making sure that we take
care in terms of the financial – but also the football – plan for the
player,' said the Reds boss.

'This was about a young player who
has rocketed from playing in the youth teams and the reserves into
becoming a full England international.

'A lot has happened in his young life and it was just about making sure that there was that protection for him going forward – both in his financial situation and his football plan.

'I have always been confident that this was going to be the best place for him and thankfully the kid is very focused and devoted to Liverpool.'

Jamaican-born Sterling had just 18 months left to run on his existing contract and ensuring the teenage sensation penned an extension was a top priority for the club.

And after several meetings between managing director Ian Ayre and Sterling's representatives the England international can now concentrate on establishing himself as a key member of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

A number of the Premier League's elite were lining up to take advantage of the uncertainty regarding Sterling's future next month.

Both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea have watched Sterling extensively with a view to swooping for the forward in January.

Sterling, who started his career at Queens Park Rangers, has made rapid progress for Liverpool since breaking into the first team under Kenny Dalglish last season.

And his impressive breakthrough culminated in his first England cap, as he started in the defeat against Sweden last month.

However, he is still eligible to play for his native Jamaica given he has not played for the Three Lions in a competitive fixture yet.

Ayre said: 'This is another positive step forward for the football club in securing the long-term future of one of the country's brightest young talents.

One to watch: Sterling has come to the fore this season under manager Brendan Rodgers

One to watch: Sterling has come to the fore this season under manager Brendan Rodgers

'The negotiations were very positive and both parties acted in a very responsible way to reach an outcome that benefits both Raheem and Liverpool FC.

'Since the summer, Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso have all signed new long-term contracts and it's a clear indication of our intent to keep the players we believe are crucial to bringing success on the pitch.

'It also shows the belief the players have in the vision and leadership of Brendan Rodgers and everyone at this football club.'

David Beckham nearly joined Botafogo

Beckham wanted samba sabbatical at Botafogo, claims Alberto

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 9 November 2012

David Beckham came close to taking a year-long sabbatical from LA Galaxy to soak up the samba style with Brazilian club Botafogo.

Becks penned a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January, but it has now been revealed he was on the verge of jetting to Brazil for a season.

Botafogo landed their top transfer target Clarence Seedorf, but were also negotiating the signature of the former England international.

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Carlos Alberto was in Holland while the Seedorf deal was being finalised, and details of Beck's interest in the Brazilian club was revealed.

'When the negotiation was about to close, I spoke with the president – he and I have a pretty cool relationship,' Carlos Alberto told ESPN Brasil.

'I was in Amsterdam in May and an influential businessman, a famous player, came to me at the hotel, saying there was a player interested in playing for a year in Brazil: David Beckham.

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

'If it did not work with Seedorf, he had this player to come to Brazil.'

Botafogo president Mauricio Assumpcao later confirmed that Beckham was prepared to make the switch.

'That's exactly what happened, there really was this interest,' Assumpcao told Lancenet.

Leeds takeover talks continuing – Ken Bates

Slowly but surely: Bates confirms Leeds takeover talks are continuing

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UPDATED:

18:43 GMT, 18 September 2012

Leeds remain the subject of a takeover bid but it is only progressing slowly, according to chairman Ken Bates.

The Elland Road club announced on June 26 they had entered an exclusivity period with potential investors but 84 days later, the situation remains unresolved.

Leeds have only released a statement to confirm that the exclusivity period had ended but talks remain on going.

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

And 80-year-old Bates said: 'Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST (Leeds United Supporters Trust).

'That included a TV interview that said a deal was 'imminent'. It wasn't then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different.'

Writing in the club programme ahead of Tuesday's clash with Hull, Bates added: 'The current situation is that as I write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers.'

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

GFH Capital, who are working on the deal on behalf of a Middle Eastern consortium, have sent representatives to one of United's games this season but have not made any comment on the nature of the talks.

Disgruntled Leeds fans have arranged a protest against Bates, who they accuse of putting off-field investments before the purchase of players, ahead of and during Tuesday's game.

Kevin Pietersen deliberations delay England tour of India squad announcement

England tour squad up in the air as Pietersen discussions go on

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UPDATED:

15:30 GMT, 12 September 2012


Uncertain future: The announcement of England's Test squad for the winter tour of India has been delayed as deliberations over whether to include Kevin Pietersen continue

Uncertain future: The announcement of England's Test squad for the winter tour of India has been delayed as deliberations over whether to include Kevin Pietersen continue

England have shelved plans to announce their squad for the Test tour of India on Thursday, as discussions over Kevin Pietersen's future continue.

Team director Andy Flower had previously stated that he wanted the touring party finalised before flying to Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20 but, while selection discussions are at an advanced stage, the planned announcement has been delayed until at least Tuesday.

Reports on Wednesday indicated a call has already been made to go without Pietersen for the four-Test series, but it is understood the door has not been closed just yet.

Although unlikely given the issues of 'trust and mutual respect' that have undermined Pietersen's relationship with sections of the dressing room, there is a chance the 32-year-old could travel if private negotiations with the England and Wales Cricket Board bear fruit in the coming days.

Pietersen has admitted sending 'provocative' messages to friends in the South Africa dressing room, but also harbours grievances of his own and as such was not offered a central contract when the 2012/13 batch were drawn up.

He has not played for England since the second Test against South Africa, missing the series decider against the Proteas, the subsequent limited-overs matches and also the forthcoming T20 tournament.

Should the selectors decide a Pietersen return in November would be too soon, they have to resolve how best to replace him.

Back to basics: Pietersen has been playing in the County Championship for Surrey since being dropped from the England team

Back to basics: Pietersen has been playing in the County Championship for Surrey since being dropped from the England team

With former captain Andrew Strauss having retired at the end of the South Africa series, England have already lost one experienced campaigner and must think long and hard about the make-up of their top six if they leave Pietersen at home.

With 117 England appearances to his name, albeit only 13 of them in Tests, Ravi Bopara has enough international cricket under his belt to soften the blow of Pietersen's absence, but is currently in chronically bad form.

His awkward medium-pacers may yet see him play in Sri Lanka and, if he can turn his wretched batting around in that tournament, he would go to India.

Eoin Morgan, dropped from the Test side earlier this year after a troubled run of his own, appears certain to make the squad after being awarded one of ten full central contracts this month.

Back in the fold: Eoin Morgan is likely to return to the England team after being awarded a central contract

Back in the fold: Eoin Morgan is likely to return to the England team after being awarded a central contract

That leaves Jonny Bairstow as the most likely pick of the younger generation of middle-order batsmen, ahead of both Jos Buttler and James Taylor.

England have also been wrestling with the question of who will take Strauss' place alongside captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order.

Yorkshire's Joe Root is the most obvious long-term bet, but at 21 may be given more time to develop. With uncertainty over the credentials of Michael Carberry, 31, and Nick Compton, 29, England may ask Jonathan Trott to open and shift Ian Bell to number three.

Promotion Jonathan Trott could be move up the order to open on England's tour of India

Promotion Jonathan Trott could be move up the order to open on England's tour of India

The identity of the spin contingent will also have been discussed, with Monty Panesar favourite to continue as second choice to Graeme Swann.

A third slow bowler is a certainty, with Samit Patel, Danny Briggs and James Tredwell all offering different qualities.

Patel's batting prowess could ultimately count in his favour, especially given the question marks over the specialist batsmen.

All will become clear when national selector Geoff Miller finally chooses to make the panel's decisions public.

Victor Moses unveiled at Chelsea

Chelsea seek to crank up title pressure after Moses deal takes summer spending past 80m

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UPDATED:

17:03 GMT, 25 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Chelsea may have taken their summer
spending past the 80million mark but manager Roberto Di Matteo claimed
his spectacular transfer spree has not put him under added pressure.

Chelsea sealed the 7m capture of
Spanish right back Cesar Azpilicueta, 22, from Marseille on Friday and
finalised the 9m transfer of Wigan forward Victor Moses after he passed
a medical.

New recruit: Victor Moses with his Chelsea shirt after completing his move

New recruit: Victor Moses with his Chelsea shirt after completing his move

The European champions admitted in a statement that the 21-year-old’s display against them last week had impressed and he was unveiled before the Newcastle match on Saturday.

The Moses deal takes Chelsea’s spending just past 80m — owner Roman Abramovich’s biggest outlay in a single transfer window since he sanctioned a 112m spree in 2003, his first summer in charge.

Di Matteo said: ‘I already have enough pressure. I think the pressure is always there, new signings or not.’

Chelsea have spent more than any other Premier League club this summer but Di Matteo insisted champions Manchester City and runners-up Manchester United remain the favourites for the title.

Audition: Wigan forward Victor Moses (left) in action against Chelsea last Sunday

Audition: Wigan forward Victor Moses (left) in action against Chelsea last Sunday

He said: ‘We need to make up 25 points and I don’t think any team have done that in the history of the Premier League. They are still the two teams you need to beat.’

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s hopes of
off-loading Florent Malouda are being scuppered by the midfielder’s wage
demands. He is in the last year of his 70,000-a-week contract and has
been told he can leave Stamford Bridge by Di Matteo but he does not want
to take a pay cut.

The 32-year-old has attracted interest from Brazil but no clubs are
willing to meet his current wages, leaving the Frenchman in limbo ahead
of the close of the transfer window next Friday.

Transfer saga: Moses' protracted move has rumbled on for most of the summer

Transfer saga: Moses' protracted move has rumbled on for most of the summer

Malouda knows he could possibly earn a lucrative free transfer when his contract expires next season.

However, Malouda, who has not featured in Chelsea’s opening two
fixtures, is facing up to an entire season on the sidelines if he digs
his heels in to stay.

Di Matteo also insisted defender David Luiz, 25, was not for sale at any
price and claimed Chelsea are big enough and successful enough to keep
him after Barcelona were rumoured to be interested.

Luka Modric: Real Madrid prepare 33m-bid

D-day for Modric as Real Madrid prepare 33m-bid to prise midfielder from Tottenham

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UPDATED:

22:15 GMT, 27 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Real Madrid will offer 33m for Luka Modric in an effort to get his transfer from Tottenham concluded over the weekend.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas turned down Nuri Sahin on loan as part of the deal and Madrid may offer more in add-ons to satisfy Spurs.

Jose Mourinho has himself taken charge of negotiations with Spurs in a bid to clinch a deal for Modric.

The Real boss knows White Hart Lane chairman Daniel Levy personally and hopes this will be decisive in bringing an end to the transfer saga.

Final countdown: Modric's White Hart Lane career could be over in days

Final countdown: Modric's White Hart Lane career could be over in days

Modric is desperate to join the Spanish giants but talks are at a stalemate, with Madrid’s offer 10million short of Spurs’ 40m asking price.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have also expressed interest in the 26-year-old, but he has told friends his heart is set on La Liga.

Villas-Boas branded Luka Modric unprofessional over his recent mini-strike. The Croatia midfielder was fined 80,000 after failing to attend pre-season training and then snubbing the club's pre-season tour of the United States, infuriating club chiefs.

Headache: Villas-Boas has had plenty top say about Modric's strike

Headache: Villas-Boas has had plenty top say about Modric's strike

Headache: Villas-Boas has had plenty top say about Modric's strike

Modric later apologised and returned to training at Tottenham's Chigwell base to try and smooth the way for his exit.

Meanwhile, Steven Pienaar's move to Everton is close to being finalised on Saturday.

Stepping in: Mourinho has taken charge of negotiations to force through the deal

Stepping in: Mourinho has taken charge of negotiations to force through the deal

Stepping in: Mourinho has taken charge of negotiations to force through the deal

Kolo Toure urges Robin van Persie to join Manchester City

Come and join us, Robin! Toure urges Van Persie to help Man City win Champions League

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UPDATED:

10:37 GMT, 6 July 2012

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure believes former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie would boost their chances of winning the Champions League if he opted for a move to the Etihad Stadium.

City had been linked with the Holland international even before he announced on Wednesday he would not be extending his contract, which has a year to run, with the Gunners.

Join the team: Toure (fourth left) has urged Van Persie to move north and play for City

Join the team: Toure (fourth left) has urged Van Persie to move north and play for City

Having played with him at Arsenal, Toure is well aware of what Van Persie can offer a side and would welcome him at City.

'Robin is a top player. I've played with him, I know him and he's a great man,' the centre-back told the Manchester Evening News.

'At City we have great players and the club does what it wants in transfers. But for me, if Robin comes it's great because I know what he can do.

'You have to build your squad every year to do better; to win the Champions League is very difficult as we have seen.'

Barcelona and AC Milan are considering joining the race to sign Van Persie alongside City and United who both want Arsenal’s talisman, while it is no secret that Juventus have him at the top of their wish list.

Gunned down: Van Persie has signalled his intention to leave, but Arsenal may hold him to his contract

Gunned down: Van Persie has signalled his intention to leave, but Arsenal may hold him to his contract

Gunned down: Van Persie has signalled his intention to leave, but Arsenal may hold him to his contract

Juve won the Serie A title last season for the first time since they were relegated following the Calciopoli scandal of 2006, and they want a marquee signing to spearhead their assault on Europe.

The Turin club are thought to be willing to offer Van Persie 180,000-a-week, and the 28-year-old is reportedly keen for a challenge outside the Premier League – where he has been playing since 2004.

Van Persie is keen to have his exit finalised by the time the club’s Asia tour kicks off on July 24. It is understood that he would rather not be included in the squad that flies to Malaysia as it would delay his pending move.

Champions challenge: Toure wants to see the Dutchman line-up alongside the likes of Tevez next season

Champions challenge: Toure wants to see the Dutchman line-up alongside the likes of Tevez next season

Champions challenge: Toure wants to see the Dutchman line-up alongside the likes of Tevez next season

But manager Arsene Wenger is unlikely to take a lenient view on him missing the trip.

Wenger has not given up hope of persuading Van Persie to change his mind and is planning a heart-to-heart meeting with the striker when he reports for pre-season training in around 10 days.

But there is a feeling at the Emirates Stadium that Van Persie’s position is untenable after he admitted he does not agree with the club's direction.

Man of the moment: Van Persie was the Players' Player of the Year

Man of the moment: Van Persie was the Players' Player of the Year

Arsenal look at Robert Lewandowski and Stevan Jovetic as Robin van Persie replacements

Arsenal forced to look at Lewandowski and Jovetic in hunt to replace skipper Van Persie

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 5 July 2012

Arsenal’s scouting team will hold a meeting at the club’s London Colney HQ at the start of next week to discuss the prospect of replacing wantaway skipper Robin van Persie.

Sportsmail understands Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic and Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski were both watched by the scouts last season and will be on the agenda.

Van Persie is keen to have his exit finalised by the time the club’s Asia tour kicks off on July 24. It is understood that he would rather not be included in the squad that flies to Malaysia as it would delay his pending move.

RVP replacement Stevan Jovetic

RVP replacement Robert Lewandowski

Can they replace RVP Stevan Jovetic (left) and Robert Lewandowski (right)

But manager Arsene Wenger is unlikely to take a lenient view on him missing the trip.

Wenger has not given up hope of persuading Van Persie to change his mind and is planning a heart-to-heart meeting with the striker when he reports for pre-season training in around 10 days.

But there is a feeling at the Emirates Stadium that Van Persie’s position is untenable after he admitted he does not agree with the club’s direction.

I'm off: Robin van Persie announced he will not be signing a new contract

I'm off: Robin van Persie announced he will not be signing a new contract

As Sportsmail revealed, both Manchester clubs will battle it out for Van Persie’s signature in the coming weeks.

City would prefer to off-load one of their strikers before committing to a move for the 28-year-old — but with talks over Emmanuel Adebayor’s permanent move to Tottenham progressing well, that problem could soon be solved.

Juventus remain in the running to sign Van Persie despite holding talks with Napoli forward Edinson Cavani and remain confident of luring the Holland striker to Italy.

Hitting out: Russian-based billionaire and Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov (L),sat beside Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, has launched an attack on the cluib

Hitting out: Russian-based billionaire and Arsenal shareholder Alisher
Usmanov

On Thursday, Arsenal's turbulent week descended into civil war after the club’s second biggest shareholder launched a withering attack on primary owner Stan Kroenke.

Less than 24 hours after Van Persie revealed his intention to leave the Gunners with a statement questioning the club’s ambition, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri — who own close to 30 per cent of Arsenal shares through investment vehicle Red and White Holdings — criticised the Kroenke regime.

WHAT USMANOV SAID…

Read the letter in full HERE

In a strongly worded five-page open letter addressed to the Arsenal board, Usmanov and Moshiri claim what they view as Kroenke’s lack of investment has led to:

* the loss of the club’s best players

* Arsenal signing second-rate stars

* the club no longer being able to challenge for trophies

Under pressure: Usmanov's attack has turned up the heat on Stan Kroenke

Under pressure: Usmanov's attack has turned up the heat on Stan Kroenke

An extract from the letter read: ‘As a consequence of this (Mr Kroenke’s) policy, which is dressed up as prudent financial planning, it is down to our manager, and not our shareholders, to have to deal with the club’s tight finances, carry the burden of repaying the stadium debt by selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements.

ARSENAL SHAREHOLDERS
Kroenke Sports Enterprises UK Ltd – 41,581 shares = 66.83 per cent
Red and White Securities Ltd (Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri)
18,495 shares = 29.72 per cent
Other shareholders = 3.45 per cent

‘This policy is leading to the loss
of our best players, often to our main competitors, and even causes the
players themselves to question their future at the club and the club’s
ambitions.’

The letter continued: ‘It appears a place in the Champions League will be the pinnacle of our ambition again next season.’

Usmanov
and Moshiri’s attack plunges the club into further controversy after
Van Persie confirmed he would not be signing a new contract.

While
Red and White Holdings have no major influence at the club due to the
fact they have not been granted a place on the Arsenal board, the letter
turns up the heat on Kroenke and the club’s hierarchy as the prospect
of another summer of losing their prized asset looms.

Emirates exit Winger Theo Walcott (right) could be the next to leave

Emirates exit Winger Theo Walcott (right) could be the next to leave

Meanwhile, Theo Walcott could become the next big-name player to depart.

Like
Van Persie, the England forward is in the final 12 months of his
contract but the club have yet to call him in for talks over a new deal.

Chelsea are monitoring the 23-year-old’s situation.

Sylvain Distin signs one year Everton deal

Staying with the Blues: Distin signs new one-year deal at Everton

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UPDATED:

13:18 GMT, 25 May 2012

Everton defender Sylvain Distin has signed a new one-year contract to keep him at the club next season.

The 34-year-old centre-back's existing deal had expired but he was always determined to remain at Goodison Park and a new agreement was not long in being finalised.

'Sylvain Distin has signed a new one-year contract with Everton which will keep him at Goodison Park for the 2012/13 season,' said a statement.

Staying on: Sylvain Distin has signed a new deal at Everton

Staying on: Sylvain Distin has signed a new deal at Everton

Distin has made 115 appearances for the Toffees since joining from Portsmouth almost three years ago and was recently voted Players' Players of the Season.

'I don't need any boost to go into next season. I love my job and I know how lucky I am to do this kind of job,” he said .

'I want to carry on as long as I can. No matter what happens, you can be sure I'll be there the next day.

'It's a good squad here with a great atmosphere. I feel so comfortable with the lads, so it's a pleasure.

'Guys like (Leighton) Baines, (Marouane) Fellaini, (John) Heitinga, (Phil) Jagielka, (Tim) Howard – there's a lot of quality in this squad.'

Stuart Pearce would scrap 30-man selection process

EXCLUSIVE: Pearce would scrap 30-man squad selection process if made boss for Euros

Stuart Pearce will consider scrapping the process of selecting a 30-man provisional squad if he is England manager for Euro 2012.

It is common practice for England bosses to pick 30 players ahead of naming their final 23-man squad before tournaments.

But Sportsmail understands Pearce is keen on the idea of not naming a provisional squad, instead going straight into announcing his final 23.

All change: Pearce would scrap the system England have traditionally used

All change: Pearce would scrap the system England have traditionally used

Pearce feels their would be a number of advantages to bypassing the usual method of naming a preliminary squad.

There is a feeling that it would
prevent the seven players who would fail to make the final cut from
having to go through the heartache of missing out on a major tournament.

The move would also allow Pearce to
spend more time with the players who will actually lead England’s Euro
2012 assault, rather than the opening days deciding on the make up of
his final 23.

Pearce also feels having the squad
finalised early will make for a more relaxed camp leading up to the
tournament and end unnecessary speculation over who will and will not go
to Poland and Ukraine.

The stand-in manager – who has put his
name forward as a candidate to take England into the tournament – will
discuss the idea with FA chiefs if he is handed the task of leading the
Three Lions this summer.

UEFA's deadline for the submission of
each nation’s final squad is May 29, though the Football Association
have planned a training camp ahead of that date.

Leader: Pearce knows much of the squad from the Under 21s

Leader: Pearce knows much of the squad from the Under 21s

Leader: Pearce knows much of the squad from the Under 21s

Pearce has made a positive impact on a number of England players during his first taste of senior international management.

Sportsmail sources from within the
England camp claim Pearce’s cool and calculated manner – a complete
contrast to the Psycho stigma that was attached to him during his
playing days – was well received by squad members.

The players were also said to be
impressed with how clearly Pearce communicated his instructions before
and during Wednesday's defeat against Holland, something that was
sometimes deemed a problem under Fabio Capello due to the language
barrier.

'There was no ranting or raving from the manager during any part of the squad's time together,' said the source.

'He had worked with a lot of players from the Under 21's so they knew what was expected of them.

'And for the players who had not
worked with him, there was an instant respect because of what he
achieved during his playing career.'

Respect: The players recognise Pearce achieved a great deal during his career

Respect: The players recognise Pearce achieved a great deal during his career