Tag Archives: france

Hatem Ben Arfa to return for Newcastle against Sunderland

Ben Arfa could return to bench for Benfica… and is set to take on Sunderland in derby

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

09:30 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 9 April 2013

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa could make a shock return to the bench for tomorrow's Europa League tie with Benfica.

The France midfielder, who has missed the last month with a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has hampered most of his season, was originally ruled out for the rest of the campaign by manager Alan Pardew.

But Ben Arfa, who suffered the injury in Moscow last month, has given Pardew a welcome boost as the Toon boss contemplates whether to field his strongest side for the European quarter-final, which Portuguese league leaders Benfica lead 3-1 from last week's first leg at the Stadium of Light, or for Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby at St James's Park.

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Captain Fabricio Coloccini and France
international defender Mathieu Debuchy are also in line for comebacks
from injury in Sunday's North East while Yohan Cabaye, who suffered a
foot injury in Sunday's win over Fulham, is unlikely to be risked
against Benfica so he will be fit to face Sunderland.

Ben Arfa had a short run-out at St
James' on Sunday ahead of the Fulham clash and has made excellent
progress under the watchful eye of Pardew's medical team, and a
consultant from France.

Pardew said: 'He thinks he is now 100
per cent and we are treating him as that. He is running and there could
be a cameo against Sunderland.

'He has a week's work and if he gets through that he could be involved.'

With a sell-out expected at St James'
tomorrow night, the Newcastle boss has warned supporters they will need
to be patient to help the team through a testing night.

Alan Pardew

Paolo Di Canio

Touchline passion: Both Alan Pardew and Paolo Di Canio will be targeting three points on Sunday

Benfica, who lead Porto in their
domestic league, are unbeaten in 30 games but face a Newcastle side who
have not in 13 European home games – 24 if the Intertoto Cup defeat to
Deportivo La Coruna more than 10 years ago is discounted.

Pardew added: 'We just need to get
ourselves in a good position. If we can get a goal with 20 minutes to go
we can do it. That's the agenda for me.

'Our fans need to understand we go
gung-ho for two goals we are just going to get killed. They have real
quality on the break and we have got to be very intelligent and
patient.'

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio
has no fresh injury worries for the weekend, although he must find a
central midfield replacement for Craig Gardner who is suspended after
picking up his 10th booking at Chelsea on Sunday.

The former Birmingham City midfielder blamed former Newcastle striker Demba Ba for his caution.

'It was not a yellow card,' Gardner said of the challenge which many felt could have earned a red.

'He just rolled around and forced the booking.'

Hatem Ben Arfa has been ruled out of the rest of Newcastle"s season with a hamstring injury

Hamstring injury rules Newcastle star
Ben Arfa out for the season

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

13:47 GMT, 15 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

Hatem Ben Arfa is out for the season.

The Newcastle United midfielder needs a hamstring operation.

Ben Arfa missed two months of the season and returned for the goalless draw in Moscow last week.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said: 'He needs a hamstring operation and that will probably leave him missing for the rest of the year.

Big loss: Hatem Ben Arfa will be unavailable as Newcastle chase Europa League glory

Big loss: Hatem Ben Arfa will be unavailable as Newcastle chase Europa League glory

'It is the news we didn't want to hear. The priority now is to get fit for pre-season.

'He gives us that x-factor which was missing from a game like last night but the team has responded well in his absence.'

Newcastle's stand-in captain Yohan Cabaye, however, could be fit to travel to Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

Optimistic: Yohan Cabaye, however, could recover in time to face Wigan

Optimistic: Yohan Cabaye, however, could recover in time to face Wigan

The France international limped off in the first-half of last night's Europa League win over Anzhi with a groin injury.

Pardew added: 'The good news is he has half a chance for Sunday. It is international week and he has to get through to be available for that and I am.'

He will be assessed by Newcastle medical staff in the coming weeks.

Ben Arfa tore his hamstring during a 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on December 10 and spent a frustrating three months on the sidelines.

Talented: Ben Arfa is often Newcastle's most dangerous player

Talented: Ben Arfa is often Newcastle's most dangerous player

He was thrown straight in at the deep end at the Luzhniki Stadium last Thursday night when he was asked to play as a lone striker, and he had a glorious second-half opportunity to snatch victory.

However, he was unable to take his place in the squad for Sunday's 2-1 win over Stoke, and was ruled out of last night's return against Anzhi, which saw the Magpies book their place in the quarter-finals, by Pardew on Wednesday.

Now it appears his season could be over, and a man who spent all but four games of his first campaign on Tyneside recovering from an horrific double leg fracture, may have to turn his attention to August.

'X-factor': Pardew rates Ben Arfa highly

'X-factor': Pardew rates Ben Arfa highly

Pardew said: 'That's the priority for him now because he's been a huge miss for us.

'He gives us that X-factor. In a game like last night's where he could open the door for us, we haven't got that luxury.

'Unfortunately for Hatem, that's the news that he didn't want to hear. But as far as we are concerned, the team has responded well in his absence and hopefully, we do that until the end of the year.'

Six Nations 2013: Gordon D"Arcy injured and out of Championship

Problems mount for Ireland as veteran centre D'Arcy is ruled out of remainder of Six Nations

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

15:58 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 15 February 2013

Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy will miss the rest of this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship due to a foot injury.

The Leinster player is likely to be sidelined for six weeks, the Irish Rugby Football Union announced.

Ireland have already lost wing Simon Zebo (foot) for the rest of the tournament, while fly-half Jonathan Sexton (hamstring) and lock Mike McCarthy (knee ligament strain) will also miss the game against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24.

Crocked: D'Arcy will miss the rest of Ireland's Six Nations campaign

Crocked: D'Arcy will miss the rest of Ireland's Six Nations campaign

D'Arcy experienced discomfort in his right foot following the 12-6 defeat against England in Dublin last Sunday.

'This failed to settle down before the Ireland training session on Thursday, and following a scan yesterday afternoon it was confirmed that D'Arcy has a stress injury to a bone in his foot,' the IRFU said in a statement.

'The injury will require immobilisation in a boot for at least four weeks, with a projected return to play of six weeks, pending further tests and specialist review.

'The Ireland training squad for the Scotland Test match week will be announced on Sunday evening following the completion of games in the RaboDirect Pro12.'

D'Arcy's injury means that Ireland coach Declan Kidney will need to make at least five changes for the trip to Edinburgh.

Big loss: D'Arcy has won 73 caps for Ireland since 1999

Big loss: D'Arcy has won 73 caps for Ireland since 1999

On top of the injuries to D'Arcy, Zebo, Sexton and McCarthy, prop Cian Healy is suspended after he was cited for stamping on England prop Dan Cole at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland currently lie fourth in the Six Nations table with one win from two games.

After the Scotland fixture, they host France on March 9 and then tackle Italy in Rome seven days later.

Healy will not be involved in Leinster's RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso in Dublin tomorrow.

Healy received a three-week ban on
Wednesday after being cited for stamping on England prop Dan Cole during
last weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash.

Missing: Exciting young wing Zebo was injured in Ireland's win over Wales

Missing: Exciting young wing Zebo was injured in Ireland's win over Wales

Mindful that under normal circumstances Healy would have been rested this weekend, an independent disciplinary hearing decided that the punishment for his stamp should be deferred by one week so that he would miss Ireland's Six Nations matches against Scotland on February 24 and France on March 9.

Banned: Healy stamped on Dan Cole

Banned: Healy stamped on Dan Cole

Six Nations Rugby Limited today issued a statement clarifying the position surrounding Healy.

'During the hearing of the citing complaint against Mr Healy, the chairman of the independent disciplinary committee, Roger Morris, of Wales, made it clear to Mr Healy and those representing him at the hearing that Mr Healy was suspended from the date on which he had been informed of the citing complaint against him (11 February 2013) until midnight on the night of Sunday, 10 March 2013,' a statement read.

'The disciplinary committee has not yet
produced its written decision, but Mr Morris has today written to Six
Nations Rugby Limited and those representing Mr Healy at the hearing to
confirm the position.

'Mr Morris says, in relevant part: “I do
not think anyone present at the hearing on Wednesday was in any doubt
that Mr Healy is not free to play again until after midnight on 10
March”.

'Accordingly, Mr Healy is currently
suspended and will remain suspended – subject to appeals – until 11
March 2013. He is therefore not eligible to play for Leinster in this
weekend's RaboDirect PRO12 match against Benetton Treviso.

'In addition, following clause 2.5.99 of the Six Nations disciplinary and anti-doping rules (which is consistent with IRB Regulations 17.19.10 and 17.19.11), and in keeping with other decisions, the disciplinary committee excluded this weekend from its calculations of the three-week suspension as a result of evidence given at the hearing to the effect that Mr Healy would not have been selected to play for Leinster in this weekends match against Benetton Treviso.'

Mark Cavendish takes overall lead inTour of Qatar

Cavendish claims back-to-back stage wins to take overall lead in Tour of Qatar

PUBLISHED:

14:54 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 6 February 2013

British racer Mark Cavendish today claimed back-to-back stage wins and the overall lead at the Tour of Qatar.

The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider won the 160km route from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, which is the longest of the race.

Stage success: Mark Cavendish on the podium after claiming a second consecutive stage win on the Tour of Qatar

Stage success: Mark Cavendish on the podium after claiming a second consecutive stage win on the Tour of Qatar

Yellow jersey: The win today, on the longest stage of the event from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, earned Cavendish the overall lead

Yellow jersey: The win today, on the longest stage of the event from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, earned Cavendish the overall lead

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who quit Team Sky late last year, beat Holland's Barry Markus and Italian Andrea Guardini in the battle of the sprinters to claim the Golden Jersey after the peloton reeled in the leading breakaway group by 146kms.

Cavendish stayed clear of a crash in the closing stages to cross ahead of Vacansoleil-Dcm racer Markus with Astana Pro Team's Guardini in third.

Number One: Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, celebrates crossing the finish line in first

Number One: Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, celebrates crossing the finish line in first

Delighted: The stage wins have left Cavendish well placed to win the event overall

Delighted: The stage wins have left Cavendish well placed to win the event overall

The victory, and the accompanying 10-second time bonus, saw Cavendish take the overall lead by two seconds from American Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing.

The fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar runs over 154km from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.

Cavendish felt his results in Qatar back up the decision to part company with Team Sky, who helped drive Bradley Wiggins on to success at the Tour de France.

'I am really, really happy right now. Three wins already, shows me, and shows [team manager] Patrick Lefevere, that I made the right move to Omega Pharma-Quick-Step,' Cavendish said.

'I get along really well with the guys already, and we have a good ambience with the team. I hope this can continue and we can keep getting good results this year.'

Loic Remy injured for two months

Blow for QPR's survival hopes as 8m Remy faces TWO MONTHS on the sidelines with groin injury

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 4 February 2013

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UPDATED:

15:27 GMT, 4 February 2013

QPR fear that 8million striker Loic Remy could be out for two months with the injury he suffered in training last week which forced him to miss Saturday's 0-0 draw with Norwich.

The France international scored on his QPR debut in the 1-1 draw at West Ham after signing from Marseille during the transfer window.

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was hoping that Remy could spearhead the club's survival bid as they look to bridge the six-point gap to safety in their remaining 13 games.

But now he faces the prospect of being without Remy for the next six games – including relegation clashes at Aston Villa and Southampton in March and possibly the visit of Wigan in April.

Redknapp initially said the injury was a tear after the Norwich game, but assistant manager Joe Jordan told the BBC it was a 'slight strain'.

Off to a flyer: Remy scored on his debut

Off to a flyer: Remy scored on his debut

'I have no idea how long he will be out. We will have to see how he is on Sunday and Monday,' Redknapp said.

'It was in the last minute of training, and he just struck a ball and felt it go.'

After failing to land Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie on deadline day Remy's injury leaves Bobby Zamora and Jamie Mackie as Redknapp's only fit first-team strikers.

Sir Dave Brailsford wants to make Team Sky into an admired sports team

We'll be the next Barca! Boss Brailsford wants Team Sky to be 'admired' like Messi and co

By
Richard Moore

PUBLISHED:

01:04 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:04 GMT, 29 January 2013

Sir Dave Brailsford has revealed that he is part of a group of elite coaches who hold regular meetings to share information and trade secrets.

Among those involved are Stuart Lancaster, head coach to the English rugby team, Mike Forde, director of football operations at Chelsea, Geoff McGrath of the McLaren F1 team, and Damien Comolli, former director of football strategy at Liverpool.

‘We meet regularly, and it’s expanding,’ said Brailsford, the British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal.

‘It’s about getting some leading guys together and thinking about things from a high performance perspective. Damien is the numbers guy, and Stuart’s an interesting guy who’s doing very well.’

Ambitious: Sir Dave Brailsford wants to make Team Sky into an 'admired sports team'

Ambitious: Sir Dave Brailsford wants to make Team Sky into an 'admired sports team'

The group – sport’s equivalent of a ‘brain trust’ – will hold their next meeting in April, said Brailsford, who added that he is keen to involve coaches from American sport, perhaps including Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s coach whose story was immortalised in the book and film, Moneyball. Brailsford has met Beane and declares himself an admirer.

‘It’s becoming a bit more formal, and we’ re moving towards having a name, but we’re in the nice position of having other people wanting to join,’ said Brailsford.

Brailsford also said that one of his ambitions is for Team Sky to become ‘the most admired sports team in the world.’

Stars: Barcelona are one of the top sports teams in the world

Stars: Barcelona are one of the top sports teams in the world

Citing Barcelona and McLaren as teams towards which he aspires, he explained that achieving their ultimate ambition of winning the Tour de France, which they did with Bradley Wiggins last year, led him to another question: ‘One of the issues with having a goal based only on results is you think, “what’s next” And we wanted to be as ambitious as we could be, so we asked: “what would the most admired sports team look like”

‘There are four elements,’ Brailsford continued. ‘Having the best performances, the most engaged fans, the most satisfied partners, and, most importantly, that we’re recognised as being clean.’

On this fourth point Team Sky endured a difficult off-season when, in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, they re-stated their zero tolerance doping policy and insisted that all members of staff sign a document promising no previous transgressions.

Hero: Sir Bradley Wiggins has become a national treasure following his Tour de France win and Olympic time trial gold

Hero: Sir Bradley Wiggins has become a national treasure following his Tour de France win and Olympic time trial gold

This saw Bobby Julich, a coach, and Steven de Jongh, a sports director, both leave after admitting to using EPO as riders, while Geert Leinders, the Belgian doctor now implicated in a doping case involving the former Rabobank team, was dismissed in October when it became clear that he represented, as Brailsford put it, ‘a reputational risk.’

Brailsford admitted that the team’s performance could suffer this season as a result of the departures, which also included Sean Yates, who has retired, and Michael Rogers, who has joined Alberto Contador at Saxo-Tinkoff. ‘It was a clear decision: do we compromise our 9zero tolerance9 policy or change the policy and be willing to take a step back in performance’ said Brailsford.

‘We decided that, yes, we will potentiallly compromise performance and stick to our policy. If managed correctly we shouldn’t see a drop in performance, but we’ll wait and see.’

Lance Armstrong drug confession saddens Roger Federer

Armstrong has damaged all sports… not just cycling, says 'saddened' Federer

By
James Andrew

PUBLISHED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

Roger Federer has expressed his sadness at American cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France wins and believes it will have a negative impact on all sport.

Armstrong confessed in a televised interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey this week to using banned performance-enhancing substances to establish himself as one of the biggest names in sport.

'What a sad story,' 17-times grand-slam winner Federer said after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

'I don't know what to say. It just really saddens me to see that someone did this for such a long time.

'Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.

'I'm an active athlete right now and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree. I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes of the interview and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care.

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

'It's just very saddening this story, to be honest.'

Serena Williams, who has won 15 grand slam titles, earlier admitted she had been 'glued' to the televised confessional.

'I think as an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was four or three, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general,' the American said.

Lance Armstrong

Roger Federer

Questions: Federer fears that Armstrong's admission will lead to people questioning other great athletes

'But I think overall it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.

'Unfortunately, I think a lot of people now look and are like, okay, if somebody that great (has been cheating) what about everyone else in every other sport'

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Loic Remy to join QPR after Newcastle deal is hijacked

Toon blow as QPR hijack 8m Remy switch with M'Vila also set to join Redknapp revolution

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

19:43 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:43 GMT, 14 January 2013

Queens Park Rangers are confident they have hijacked Loic Remy's move to England after they were given permission to speak to the Marseille striker by the French club on Monday night.

Newcastle had agreed to meet Marseille's 8million valuation of the France international and he travelled to Tyneside on Sunday for talks with Alan Pardew and director Derek Llambias.

Hijack: QPR are poised to sign Remy from Marseille

Hijack: QPR are poised to sign Remy from Marseille

Remy had refused to talk to QPR last
week but after the Barclays Premier League' s bottom club matched
Marseille's offer, they were given official permission to negotiate a
deal.

It is understood Rangers have
offered more than 70,000-a-week to the 26-year-old former Lyon and Nice
striker who was Newcastle's No 1 target following Demba Ba's move to
Chelsea.

Yann M'Vila is also set to join Remy at Loftus Road. Harry Redknapp flew to France after Saturday’s goalless draw against Tottenhan to look at the Rennes star, with a deal close to completion.

Former Newcastle and QPR midfielder Joey Barton revealed Remy had had a change of heart.

He tweeted: 'Just heard from a
magician that Loic Remy has signed for QPR. Not sure what happened at
Newcastle Llambias again'

Joey Barton scoops Marseille player of the month and loves life in France

J'adore La France! Marseille's player of the month Barton is back in love with football

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

16:54 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 9 January 2013

He has only been in France a few months but already Joey Barton has earned the respect of his Marseille team-mates.

The midfielder was named the club's player of the month for December – but apparently nobody had bothered to tell him.

He was taken aback when an interviewer said he had won the award, following Marseille's 2-1 win against second division Guingamp in the Coupe de France.

Honour: Joey Barton was named Marseille's player of the month for December

Honour: Joey Barton was named Marseille's player of the month for December

But Barton, who was kicked out by Queens Park Rangers in the summer following his shameful antics at Manchester City on the final day of last season, was quick to praise his team-mates and reaffirm his love for the Gallic game – and he didn't even put on the dodgy accent this time.

'It's always good that the fans appreciate the job you're doing but for me the most important thing is winning football matches and that's what I came here to do,' he said.

'My role in the team is not to score goals, my role is to help out the team and that means defending and getting the ball and getting some of the great players that we have in our team on the ball.

'The old water-carrier role is one I wasn't really renowned for in England, although I was able to do it.'

Enjoying life: Barton, kicked out of QPR in the summer, spoke fondly about his team-mates and life in France

Enjoying life: Barton, kicked out of QPR in the summer, spoke fondly about his team-mates and life in France

The 30-year-old added: 'I'm really enjoying my football – it's difficult for me because the change in the culture of football took me a little bit to adapt to.

'But now the team is winning and I don't think we're firing on all cylinders, that's generally a really good sign, when you don't play great but you're winning football matches.

'I believe winning is a habit, the same way losing is. When you get used to winning, you get hungry for success. The team is really together and it's great to be a part of.

'I'm really blessed to play for a great club, play with some great people and some great footballers. Long may it continue.'

Marseille are third in the French top flight, level on points with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon in a tight title race.

Marseille want Joey Barton

Marseille keen to tie down Barton on long-term deal after bad boy flourishes

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

13:38 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 7 January 2013

Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo has praised Joey Barton and suggested the Ligue 1 club would be interested in retaining the midfielder beyond his season-long loan from QPR.

The 30-year-old Barton was sent out on loan by the London club in disgrace this summer following his red card shame at former club Manchester City on the final day of last season, which brought him a 12-match ban.

Main man: Joey Barton (left) has been a hit during his loan spell at Marseille

Main man: Joey Barton (left) has been a hit during his loan spell at Marseille

But Barton has flourished in the south of France where, after being made to serve his ban and wait for a league debut, he has quickly become a key cog in a Marseille side in a three-way tie with Paris St Germain and Lyon at the top of Ligue 1.

And Anigo insisted Barton's impact had come as no surprise to him.

'He was described as an animal, but he is just the opposite. He is funny, intelligent, and he fights for victory,' Anigo told L'Equipe.

Trip home: Barton watched QPR lose to Liverpool last month

Trip home: Barton watched QPR lose to Liverpool last month

'We can see that the team has been lifted by his competitive spirit. He is now established as a leader in our group.

'He is very happy here, maybe he has found the right club for him. Should he desire (to stay) it could be very good. We have a very good relationship with his club QPR.'