Tag Archives: force

Paul Lambert warns Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke against leaving Aston Villa for a bigger club too soon

Do you want to sit in the reserves Lambert warns Weimann and Benteke against move to bigger club too soon

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

Paul Lambert has warned his young strike-force that the grass isn't always greener as he tries to persuade both Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke to remain at Villa Park.

Villa face Manchester City tonight with two of the club's old boys, James Milner and Gareth Barry, likely to feature against their former club.

Both England midfielders left Villa when the financial bait from the current champions was set.

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

And now Lambert is facing a fight to keep hold of his two forwards.

Benteke has been linked with a move to Spurs and contract talks with Weimann are likely to resume only when the club's fate is known.

However, Lambert said that, given the duo's age and experience, they may be better off playing week in, week out, rather than becoming part of a squad.

'I think if you asked Gareth Barry and James Milner whether they enjoyed their time here, I'm pretty sure, without knowing them, that they would say they loved it.

'It was great for them. We are not necessarily a selling club. If someone gets more money somewhere else, then people will look at it.

'Everyone in this room would do the same.

'With Andy and Christian, you have to get into their heads and let them know what you think.

'The difference is those two are really young lads, I don’t know what age Gareth and James moved on, but those two are young.

'The thing is do they want to go to a side where they are sitting in the reserves and don’t get a shot at it'

Lambert's future plans to avoid drop have not been helped as it seems that Darren Bent will miss the next three weeks with a foot injury.

Bent has not been featuring ahead of Weimann or Benteke even when fit but the inclusion of an established international in Villa's match-day squad would be an obvious advantage.

'Darren is still struggling,' added Lambert. 'It is a little bit of a concern at the moment.'

James Milner

Gareth Barry

Return: James Milner and Gareth Barry both left Villa to join Manchester City

England beat New Zealand by five wickets to win ODI series

England clinch ODI series win as Finn blows away Black Caps in Auckland

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:59 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:06 GMT, 23 February 2013

England cashed in on a fine performance with the ball and in the field to coast to victory at Eden Park and wrap up the one-day international series 2-1 against New Zealand.

Steven Finn was the driving force as the tourists bowled their hosts out for 185, and today's decider turned into a mis-match.

Even Brendon McCullum's third successive half-century was unable to rescue a defendable total for New Zealand, albeit on a pitch which had offered plenty early on to well directed seam bowling after Alastair Cook had won the toss.

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

Finn when you're winning: The England fast bowler (left) picked up three wickets

England's two premier exponents, Finn and James Anderson, soon reduced the hosts to a hapless 11 for three.

McCullum (79) refused to let England have it all their own way with six
fours and five sixes but, without significant support, could not turn
the tide on his own.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that England would make light work of their target.

In the event they were not flattered by a five-wicket margin, and it was
more instructive that they also had 12.3 overs to spare.

More to follow…

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

Swann dive: England spinner Graeme Swann swoops to catch James Franklin out

Lewis Hamilton warned by Sir Jackie Stewart not to get carried away with own importance – F1

Don't get carried away with your own importance, Lewis! Legend Stewart fires warning to Mercedes star

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:48 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:01 GMT, 29 January 2013

Sir Jackie Stewart has urged Lewis Hamilton not to get carried away with his own celebrity if he is to propel Mercedes forward this year.

Hamilton last week embarked on a new era in his Formula One career at Mercedes after six seasons with McLaren, a team he initially joined at the age of just 13.

There is no doubt Hamilton has taken a significant gamble, but the need to savour pastures new has been his driving force in signing up to the German manufacturing giant for the next three years.

Lewis Hamilton

Sir Jackie Stewart

In black and white: Lewis Hamilton must find the right balance to win titles, according to Sir Jackie Stewart

It is also almost certain Hamilton will enjoy greater freedom off track than was the case at McLaren, considering the emphasis placed on sponsorship commitments by the Woking-based marque on their drivers.

However, three-times champion Stewart feels Hamilton needs to make sure such liberty does not go to his head.

Hamilton can boast a pop-star girlfriend in Nicole Scherzinger and an array of friends from the music world, while there are suggestions he is planning on making his own music.

Bearing in mind Hamilton's desire to transform Mercedes into a winning team, Stewart is hoping the 28-year-old does not let his focus drift elsewhere.

New kid on the block: Hamilton ended his lengthy association with McLaren to join Mercedes on a three-year deal

New kid on the block: Hamilton ended his association with McLaren to join Mercedes on a three-year deal

Stewart said: 'Personally, if I'd been Lewis, I wouldn't have left McLaren. 'But as a 28-year-old, he should know what he is doing now.

'You just have to be damn careful you don't get carried away with your own importance, your own celebrity, or your own schedule outside of being in the cockpit. It can be quite intoxicating.

'What Lewis needs to do is have more consistently good drives, never mind the mechanical issues, and he shouldn't be distracted, something he should keep in the back of his mind.

'It's about who you hang out with, what you do in your off time, how you are committing your off time towards your real time – and your real time is being a racing driver.'

Famous faces: The British racer can boast a pop-star girlfriend in X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger

Famous faces: The British racer can boast a pop-star girlfriend in X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger

Such efforts will be noticed by team principal Ross Brawn, who has been accustomed to working with one of the greats in seven-times champion Michael Schumacher.

Although the last three years failed to produce the results hoped for by Schumacher prior to stepping back into retirement, the German was renowned for his meticulous and methodical nature in working with his engineers.

Stewart added: 'The Ross Brawn factor is important. 'He knows how to do it, and Lewis will have to work with him and depend on him, and Lewis, in time, will have to deliver.

'Ross has worked with drivers who have really delivered. He worked with Schumacher from Benetton all the way through, and he knows how much Michael put in.

'Therefore he will think Lewis will have to put as much into that team, time-wise, commitment-wise, not just race-time wise, as Michael did.

That's going to be quite demanding, but there's no reason why he shouldn't go straight in and be competitive up front, not at all.'

With just one victory in the last three years, though, since Mercedes returned to F1, the pressure is on both Brawn and Hamilton to deliver.

'Daimler (Mercedes' parent company), are only interested in being up front and being the best,' said Stewart.

'If they're not going to be that, it's a five-minute decision for the Mercedes-Benz board to withdraw from motor racing if there's another recession and they're not selling cars. 'In that respect, they're slightly vulnerable.'

Gerd Muller receives Lionel Messi"s signed Barcelona shirt

Special delivery! Muller receives gift from gracious Messi after Barcelona striker breaks German's goalscoring record

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Muller had held the record since 1972, when the man affectionately known as ‘Der Bomber’ fired in 85 goals while at Bayern.

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

But the ever-graceful Messi’s first thought upon breaking the record was for the man he had surpassed.

The 25-year-old sent his beaten adversary a signed Barcelona shirt with the message: ‘For Gerd Muller, with my respect and admiration. A hug. Leo.’ scrawled into the yellow No 10 on the back of the jersey.

Muller was delighted with the gift Messi has shipped to him, and said he was ‘happy and proud’ to be the recipient of such a gesture from 'the best player in the world'.

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

The Bayern reserve team coach, who was a truly fearsome striker for club and country during his playing days, watched Messi’s unparalleled goalscoring run last year earn him another record earlier this month: a fourth Ballon d’Or crown.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes that Muller’s goalscoring record was a driving force for the Argentina captain in his bid to score as many goals as possible.

He said that Muller’s prolific performance 40 years ago was ‘a great motivating factor and stimulus for Leo.’

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Roberto Mancini still searching for a "Plan B" as Manchester City slip up again on Wearside

Mancini still looking for 'Plan B' as Man City slip up again on Wearside

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 26 December 2012

Manchester City's afternoon finished with Joleon Lescott at centre forward, Joe Hart pitching up for two added-time corners and City coach Brian Kidd on the touchline. All are signs of tension, and yesterday, not good signs.

As City pushed in vain for an equaliser, Kidd will have heard the comeback news from Old Trafford with familiar bewilderment. Everyone did. Then the final whistle blew and Roberto Mancini stood apart, literally, with a thousand-yard stare and a seven-point deficit. There had been no release.

Out of touch: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

Out of touch: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

City had lost again on Wearside. The champions of England have it all to do if their fans are to sing that line this time next year.

The 'champions' song had got an early airing at the Stadium of Light, along with an un-witty ditty about Robin van Persie.

But by five o'clock City fans bore silent witness to their first away defeat since April. The noise from United must have disturbed them as much as their team's frustration and while Mancini played down the significance of one day in a 38-game campaign, the halfway mark comparison with last season is revealing.

City are not just seven points off United, they are six points short of their own tally of a year ago. Then they arrived at Sunderland top of the table, with a first title in 44 years to chase but lost 1-0 to Ji Dong-won's 90th-minute goal.

Mixed message: Defender Joleon Lescott finished the game upfront

Mixed message: Defender Joleon Lescott finished the game upfront

An appealing contrast yesterday should have been that they had time to recover from Adam Johnson's 53rd-minute strike, which had so embarrassed Hart and led to him seeking late atonement.

But City couldn't level matters. They don't look like the rising force they were 12 months ago; they look like they are searching. Mancini blamed 'soft' attacking, a reference to Sergio Aguero's 70th-minute chance and an earlier one for David Silva, both saved by Simon Mignolet. Mancini's lack of panic was understandable. City flowed for the opening 20 minutes, Mignolet's importance to the home win tells a story and Aguero and Carlos Tevez showed a great understanding.

Yet before kick-off Kolo Toure had sounded concerns about City requiring a 'Plan B' when faced by opponents who sit deep. That followed Saturday's stoppage-time winner from Gareth Barry to beat Reading.

Adam family: Johnson returned to haunt his old club

Adam family: Johnson returned to haunt his old club

But Toure cannot have been talking about throwing on Lescott in the 89th minute as a regular viable alternative. Lescott replaced midfielder Javi Garcia, whose performance was neither energetic nor creative.

City must have both in places like this, but Yaya Toure displayed only flashes of his authority. Privately, he'd probably like some help.

But this wasn't all about City. The teamsheet sparked a legitimate debate as to which Sunderland players would get on the City bench, never mind the first XI. Johnson came from that bench. Yesterday he reminded City of his talent. Johnson's new manager, Martin O'Neill, did the same.

Liverpool set to sign Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea

Liverpool set to sign 12m Sturridge after agent cash row is resolved

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 22 December 2012

Liverpool believe they have resolved the cash wrangle over Daniel Sturridge’s proposed move to Anfield and expect to confirm that a deal has been agreed in the next 48 hours.

The 12million-plus transfer was in danger of collapsing after Liverpool took exception to agents’ demands over sell-on fees and threatened to pull out.

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

But Sportsmail understands agreement has been reached over the terms of the 23-year old Chelsea frontrunner’s departure from Stamford Bridge to reinforce a depleted Liverpool strike force.

Sportsmail first revealed Liverpool’s pursuit of Sturridge at the end of August.

Marouane Fellaini banned for three matches for Ryan Shawcross headbutt

Fellaini banned for three matches after accepting violent conduct charge for Shawcross headbutt

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 17 December 2012

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been banned for three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct for his clash with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross.

The Football Association brought the charge retrospectively after reviewing footage of Everton's 1-1 draw with Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Fellaini and Everton accepted the
charge, little surprise considering the player had already apologised
and his manager David Moyes also condemned the incident, meaning he will
miss the Toffees' next three games.

Headbutt: Fellaini makes contact with Stoke skipper Shawcross

Headbutt: Fellaini makes contact with Stoke skipper Shawcross

The games he will miss…

West Ham (away), Saturday, December 22

Wigan (home), Wednesday, December 26

Chelsea (home), Sunday, December 30

The ban is the equivalent of what the 25-year-old would have received had referee Mark Halsey seen the incident at the Britannia Stadium and issued a red card.

Fellaini will now miss Everton's Christmas fixtures against West Ham, Wigan and Chelsea and will not be available again until the trip to Newcastle on January 2.

A statement from the FA also referred
to two other clashes between Fellaini and Shawcross at the Britannia
Stadium but Halsey has confirmed he saw both and did not consider them
violent conduct.

Fellaini's absence will be sorely felt by Everton after an inspirational first half of the season.

The
Belgium international has scored eight goals and been the driving force
of a team currently fifth in the table and pushing for a Champions
League place.

Floored: Shawcross was left in a heap after the incident

Floored: Shawcross was left in a heap after the incident

The FA's statement read: 'The FA has charged Everton's Marouane Fellaini retrospectively with violent conduct following his side's game at Stoke City on Saturday 15 December, 2012.

'The charge is in relation to an incident in the 59th minute involving Fellaini and Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross, which was not seen by the match officials, but caught on video.

'The referee confirmed that he saw two further incidents in the 71st and 91st minutes, also involving Fellaini and Shawcross, neither of which he deemed to be violent conduct.'

A report on Everton's website confirmed that the Merseyside club would accept the charge.

Fellaini issued a statement after the game apologising for his actions.

He said: 'I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team mates and to our fans at the game.There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn't feel I was getting any protection from the officials.

Fall from grace: Fellaini was named Premier League player of the month for November

Fall from grace: Fellaini was named Premier League player of the month for November

'Nevertheless I know I shouldn't have done what I did.

'I have also apologised to the manager and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me.'

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, gave credit Fellaini for his apology and to Moyes, who said he expected punishment.

Taylor said: 'It is good to see the lad has apologised for his actions.

'It is disappointing, he has had a great season and obviously it is an aberration.

'It was refreshing to hear the manager accept what he did was wrong and for the player to apologise. He's prepared to accept what comes his way.'

Sunderland and QPR eye former Everton striker Tim Cahill

Sunderland and QPR want ex-Everton striker Cahill to bolster their strike force

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 14 December 2012

Sunderland and QPR are among the clubs showing interest in New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill.

The Australian, 33, is ready to return to England on a two-month loan and had been hopeful of joining former club Everton.

For hire: Red Bulls striker Tim Cahill

For hire: Red Bulls striker Tim Cahill

Manager David Moyes said: 'We have not made a decision yet but, if you are asking today, it wouldn't be what we are doing.'

Sunderland need to bolster their strike force and may struggle to sell to help finance recruits. They are keen on Manchester City's John Guidetti, also on an initial loan deal.

QPR are looking for similar deals and manager Harry Redknapp is an admirer of Cahill's all-action style.

Nottingham Forest are close to tying up a 100,000 deal for Derry winger Stephen McLaughlin, 22.

Peter Crouch set to return for Stoke this weekend after visit to dentists

EXCLUSIVE: Crouch set to return this weekend after visit to the dentist's chair

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UPDATED:

14:42 GMT, 4 December 2012

Peter Crouch will have a mouth guard fitted at a top London dentist on Wednesday in a bid to return to Stoke’s strike force for their trip to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Crouch lost two front teeth while another two were pushed into his gums after being caught in the mouth by Fabricio Coloccini’s flailing arm in Stoke’s win over Newcastle last week.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis joked ahead of Saturday’s victory away to West Bromwich Albion that his towering striker was desperate to ‘sink his teeth into them’.

Lost his bite: Peter Crouch lost two front teeth after a collision with Fabricio Coloccini (below) in Stoke's win over Newcastle last week. He is expected to return this weekend after having a mouth guard fitted

Lost his bite: Peter Crouch lost two front teeth after a collision with Fabricio Coloccini (below) in Stoke's win over Newcastle last week. He is expected to return this weekend after having a mouth guard fitted

Stoke City's Peter Crouch (L) and Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini jump for the ball

But Crouch was deemed unfit to play at The Hawthorns as Dean Whitehead’s goal was enough to register Stoke’s fourth win in five games.

Should all go according to plan in the dentist’s chair then Crouch will return to training with his club on Thursday.

It remains to be seen whether Crouch will require further work to repair the damage but Stoke’s top scorer is clearly determined to fight tooth and nail to be involved at Villa Park this weekend.

Celtic"s Anthony Stokes sent death threats on Twitter

Celtic's Stokes sent death threats on Twitter after allegedly attending benefit for Irish gangster

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 3 December 2012

Celtic’s Anthony Stokes has been sent a death threat on twitter after it was claimed the striker attended a tribute in memory of a notorious Irish gangster.

Stokes, who is also an Irish international, was targeted by a user named @gonzo1690, who said he hoped that the Ulster Volunteer Force, a paramilitary group, would ‘put a bullet’ in his head.

The user tweeted: ‘Hope the UVF put a bullet in your head you f****** p****’.
In the same tweet, the user added: ‘If I ever see you you’re getting smashed ya ****.’

Threat: Anthony Stokes has been targeted on Twitter

Threat: Anthony Stokes has been targeted on Twitter

The 23-year-old is considering reporting the abuse and the death threat to police, tweeting in response to his followers: ‘Do I need to send this to the police or do they just pick up on it’

The attack on twitter came after claims that Stokes, a former Hibs and Arsenal forward, had attended a benefit event for murdered Irish gangster Alan Ryan, a senior figure within the Real IRA, in Dublin.

Ryan was killed last September, executed at close range outside his home.

Celtic fans were quick to unite in condemnation at the abuse. Tam Selleck CSC, wrote: ‘This coward @gonzo1690 just told Stokes he hopes the UVF put a bullet in his head. Won’t be smiling in court.’

Another tweeted: ‘Anybody placing bets on when @gonzo1690 will get a chap on his door from police’