Tag Archives: flavour

Arsene Wenger expects Jack Wilshere to become an England centurion

Bale is the flavour of the month… But Wilshere will be an England centurion, claims Wenger

Jim Van Wijk, Press Association


22:50 GMT, 2 March 2013



09:40 GMT, 3 March 2013

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt midfielder Jack Wilshere can outlast the hype and go on to earn a century of caps for England.

Wilshere, 21, returned from more than a year out injured in October, but is already being heralded as an integral part of the future hopes of both club and country.

Arsenal head to Tottenham on Sunday, where they will come up against in-form Welshman Gareth Bale, who has drawn comparisons with Europe's best after his match-winning performances this season.

Wenger believes his own talented midfielder has everything ahead of him.

'Bale is the flavour of the moment. When you look at Wilshere, who will deny that this guy will get 100 caps for England Nobody, if he has no injury,' said Wenger.

'My worry is not to compare Wilshere with anyone else. My only worry when you are a footballer player of that talent is to become as good as you can become.

'That is the only thing that is of interest to me. I leave the comparisons to other people. My job is to get the best out of him.'

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Wenger feels it is sometimes overlooked just how much Wilshere has achieved since arriving at the club aged nine.

'You tend to forget how old he is when you see him play. You never come out of a game and think 'this guy is 21 years old'. He's at a stage where the others have not started,' said Wenger.

'You think of Jack (as) an established player in the Premier League and at international level, that is still something special.'

Wenger feels Wilshere will develop into Arsenal's natural leader. He continued: 'Jack breathes football. He doesn't talk too much, but he understands everything.

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

'What he has exceeded is the speed of his physical fitness in the game. Honestly, I never expected that.'

Wilshere has yet to score in the Premier League this season, but Wenger feels that the goals will soon come.

'I believe it's part of his development to play a bit more advanced,” the Arsenal boss said.

'In some games, he is more comfortable deeper. I believe he has a little dribble that can get him through in the final third and the finishing will come.

'He's a bit in a situation like (Cesc) Fabregas was for a while. He said to me “but I cannot score goals', however you could see that it would come.

'Jack doesn't talk about it, but who doesn't want to score goals He is more a team player than a goalscorer.

'He will never be a goalscorer, but he can be capable to score.'

Arsenal head across north London defending a five-match unbeaten run, with three victories on the bounce, as they look to move back to just one point behind their rivals.

Wenger accepts there are no longer any margins for error if his team at to secure another top-four finish.

'It is still open, but I am realistic and we cannot drop points,' he said.

'One or two of the other teams will always win over the weekend. If we drop points we can fall quickly behind.

'So there are two things we cannot do – drop points and also speculate over the weaknesses of our opponents because that can be deadly as well.'

David Bentley joins FC Rostov – but who are they?

From Tractor to Torpedo, the curious case of FC Rostov, David Bentley's new club



14:43 GMT, 7 September 2012

Few will be surprised David Bentley has finally left Tottenham after a miserable four years at White Hart Lane, but nobody expected him to end up on loan in the Russian top flight.

But as the midfielder prepares to pack his suitcase with the warmest winter garments he can find, Sportsmail gives you the lowdown on his new side, FC Rostov.

So who are this lot

Rostov are a club that has undergone more name changes than Prince. Starting out in 1930 as Selmashstroy, they switched to Selmash six years later and Tractor in 1941, the latter being the flavour of the month when they played their first official match in 1950.

Yellow fellows: FC Rostov is the new - and surprising - home of David Bentley

Yellow fellows: FC Rostov is the new – and surprising – home of David Bentley

In 1953 they became Torpedo before the name Rostselmash was taken up five years later. They stuck with that until 2003 when FC Rostov was introduced.

And I thought Cardiff fans had it bad when their club switched the kit colour, have they at least played in the same area through all those changes

In fairness they have played at the Olympus 2 Stadium in Rostov-On-Don, which is around 100 miles from Donetsk in Ukraine, since formation.

The ground is an all-seater one-tier stadium and holds 15,840, but as part of their bid to host matches at World Cup 2018, the club have submitted plans for a new stade-of-the-art centre.

Any pots in the trophy cabinet

No major ones although they came close after narrowly losing the Russian Cup final to Spartak Moscow in 2003. While Bentley was sealing a 15m switch to Tottenham in 2008 they won the second tier championship in Russian football… if that counts.

For this: Rostov currently play in front of a capacity crowd of 15,840...

For this: Rostov currently play in front of a capacity crowd of 15,840…

To this: A new state-of-the-art stadium has been planned for the World Cup

To this: A new state-of-the-art stadium has been planned for the World Cup

No, it doesn’t. What's their highest league placing

Since becoming a member of the Russian top flight in 1992 their best placing was sixth in 1998. They have been relegated twice in the last 20 years but have won instant promotion on both occasions.

Any European nights

Consecutive appearances in the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and 2000 are their only continental showings to date. The first time around they were trounced 9-1 on aggregate by Juventus in the semi-final, while a year on in the third round, they lost their only tie against Auxerre 5-1 on aggregate.

Enough of the history lessons, who is the manager lucky enough to play the midfielder formerly known as the next David Beckham
That would be Miodrag Bozovic. He’s only been in charge since June but has a fair reputation in the top flight of dragging sides away from a relegation fight. The 44-year-old’s best success was guiding Amkar Perm to the Europa League for the first time in 2008.

Any star players we may know about

Man in charge: Miodrag Bozovic

Man in charge: Miodrag Bozovic

Bentley aside, Roman Adamov is a handy striker for the club and has been top scorer for the past two terms. After making a two-year loan deal from Rubin Kazan a permanent switch this year, the 30-year-old is back for a second spell following a period at Rostov between 2001-2004.

Alongside Roman Pavlyuchenko, he was the Russian league’s top scorer in 2007 and featured for Russia at Euro 2008.

Any other names we may know

Just a couple. Stipe Pletikosa became the club's No. 1 keeper last year following a short spell at Tottenham, while former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle is also on the books. Not bad for a club that was suffering financial difficulties last season.

And it wasn't just financial difficulties that have had the club worried recently.

Correct, they struggled on-field as well, finishing 13th last season and only surviving the drop into the second tier by winning a relegation play-off.

In truth it’s like that every season. In a field of 16 they haven’t recorded a top-eight finish in the Premier division since 1999.

So what has DB got himself into How are Rostov doing this term

True to form, another battle against relegation. After seven games they lie 13th with just one win. The glory days of the Intertoto Cup look to be long gone.

Neymar boost for Chelsea and Manchester City

Neymar boost for Chelsea and City as Santos president rules out secret Barca deal

Chelsea and Manchester City have been given a boost in their ambitions to sign Brazilian wonderkid Neymar after Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro dismissed rumours an agreement has been reached with Barcelona.

Andre Villas-Boas wants the 45million-rated 19-year-old Brazil international to help reignite the Blues” faltering season.

But the west London club face stiff competition from Manchester City who are also keeping tabs on the situation.

No deal! The Santos president has dismissed reports of Neymar signing with Barca

No deal! The Santos president has dismissed reports of Neymar signing with Barca

It has been reported that a secret agreement had been reached between the Brazilians and Catalans that would see the striker join Barcelona in 2014.

But this was ruled out by Santos president Alvaro, who said: “The issue is so secret that even I don’t know about it! Such an agreement would be made if only if someone forged my signature.

“It”s something that makes no sense. Neymar became the flavour of the month and now (journalists) need to fill up space and waste ink.”

“The Catalans are very creative, and it is no wonder,” said the 69-year-old.

“From there came great artists such as Gaudi, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali. The problem is that in between imagination and reality lies an ocean.”

Neymar has scored eight goals in just 15appearances for Brazil and recently penned a new deal at his Brazilian club, which includes a buy-out clause that Chelsea could match.

Scramble! A number of Europe

Scramble! A number of Europe”s elite are tracking the Brazilian

Vincent Kompany: Manchester City ready for title fight

Kompany says Manchester City are up for classic title fight as United battle back

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is relishing the prospect of a duel for the title with arch-rivals Manchester United.

The two Manchester clubs are now level at the top of the Barclays Premier League after leaders City were held to a goalless draw at West Brom and United thrashed Wigan.

City”s goal difference is still five better but even that is a diminished figure after successive 5-0 wins from the champions.

Bring it on: Vincent Kompany toasts City

Bring it on: Vincent Kompany toasts City”s 6-1 win at Old Trafford

The warnings from Old Trafford are clear but Kompany is all the more excited about a title race he expects to be tight right to the end.

The Belgium defender said: “Personally, I love it. I am looking forward to that month, knowing that every game is going to be a big game.

“It is something that usually makes me raise my personal level and makes the team raise their level.

“We are a team capable of doing good things on big occasions. For us that is maybe not a bad thing.

“We knew it would be close, there was no doubt that would be the case. We just need to pick up the points we should pick up.

“It is going to be an interesting second half to the season. To be honest, I wouldn”t have liked anyone else to be battling for the title with. It is United – a good way to battle for the title.

“Hopefully it would give a special flavour to that trophy if we could bring it home.”

Edged out: Mario Balotelli and City were thwarted in the Black Country

Edged out: Mario Balotelli and City were thwarted in the Black Country

City lacked their usual bite at The Hawthorns as, after scoring 53 goals in their first 17 games, they were shut out for the first time this season.

Yet they still had a number of chances to take a grip on the game and Kompany was not concerned about the performance.

The 25-year-old said: “I thought we had a decent game. I have seen far worse performances coming to places like this. I think we were just unlucky we didn”t score that goal.”

Mario Balotelli went closest for City when he hit the bar from long range early in the second half.

The Italian earlier had a goal disallowed for offside and saw a free-kick into the wall bobble wide.

David Silva also spurned two good opportunities as he scooped over from in front of goal in the first half and later shot at Ben Foster.

Homing in: Dimitar Berbatov hit a hat-trick as United romped to their second straight 5-0 victory

Homing in: Dimitar Berbatov hit a hat-trick as United romped to their second straight 5-0 victory

West Brom were starved of possession at times but they were well organised in defence and made the most of the ball when they had it.

Captain Chris Brunt fired wide early on and Paul Scharner tested Joe Hart before Shane Long headed wide from six yards and Jerome Thomas hit the post.

Kompany said: “Their defending was brilliant as well and you have got to give credit to them.

“You always encounter teams like this during a season, who on a good day can bring a lot of trouble to you.

“I am not bitter about it. Credit is due where credit is due and we had chances.”