Tag Archives: furrow

Liverpool loan move for David Villa rejected by Barcelona

Cough up if you want Villa! Bold Liverpool loan move rejected as Barca hold out for 16m

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 31 December 2012

Liverpool have been rebuffed in a bold attempt to take Barcelona striker David Villa on loan.

The 31-year-old is frustrated at the Nou Camp due to his lack of game time and is keen to come to England.

However, Barcelona will not entertain the idea of letting the Spain international go out on loan and will only consider a bumper transfer offer to sell in this window.

Hotshot: But David Villa has found opportunities hard to come by at Barca this term

Hotshot: David Villa has found opportunities hard to come by at Barca this term but his goalscoring record with both the Catalan giants and Spain is exceptional

David Villa

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has already agreed a deal with Chelsea for Daniel Sturridge and is advanced with talks over a move for Thomas Ince. However, that deal has dragged because Blackpool want 6million for a player they bought from Liverpool for 250,000 18 months ago.

Villa was seen as a player of quality and experience who could share the burden with Luis Suarez and fit into Rodgers' ideal 4-3-3 formation having also played on the left for Barcelona and Spain.

Brendan Rodgers

Lone furrow: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers (above) is in the market to
bring in some support up front for Luis Suarez (below), despite his two goals against QPR

Luis Suarez

The move would have been an exception to Liverpool's normal guidelines with the club reluctant to bring in players who are over the age of 24.

Arsenal were interested in Villa but are reluctant to become embroiled in another bidding war with Barcelona having been told the price would be at least 16m.

Chelsea have been sounded out also but Rafa Benitez is unlikely to move for Villa with other options still ahead of him, despite the breakdown in the move for Demba Ba.

Villa has made 17 appearances for Barca this season and scored five goals. However, he would also be cup-tied in Europe having figured against Spartak Moscow, Celtic and Benfica in the Champions League.

Arrigo Brovedani is only Udinese fan at Sampdoria Serie A clash

Loneliness of the (ONE) long distance fan: Solitary Udinese supporter in away end at Sampdoria for Serie A clash

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 12 December 2012

When Udinese travelled to Genoa for their Serie A game against Sampdoria on Monday, just one man showed up to support them in an otherwise empty away section.

The prospect of a 600-mile round trip from Udine in the north east of Italy to Genoa appeared too much for most Udinese fans, leaving wine merchant Arrigo Brovedani to plough a lone furrow in the away end of Sampdoria’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

'I was in Genoa for a work meeting
and usually take a trip round the area around this time of year, but it
was pure coincidence Udinese were playing there at the same time. So I
took advantage and organised a ticket,' the 37-year-old told udinetoday.it.

'If I am in a city where Udinese
happen to be playing, clients tend to send me free tickets, as they know
my passion for the team. This time it wasn’t possible and I had to sort
it out myself.

Keeping you up Arrigo Brovedani, Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria, takes in the atmosphere

Keeping you up Arrigo Brovedani, Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria, takes in the atmosphere

Three points: It was a successful trip for loyal follower Brovedani as Udinese won 2-0

Three points: It was a successful trip for loyal follower Brovedani as Udinese won 2-0

'I made the journey to Genoa, arrived
at the stadium and only then did I realise I was the only Udinese fan
there! At that point the stewards asked if I wanted to sit in the main
stand, but I insisted on going into the away end, seeing as I had paid
for that ticket.

'I had the Udinese flag with me, as I
carry it everywhere in my car. The Samp fans applauded me after we
scored and they were really very kind. The stewards offered me coffee,
then the Samp directors arrived to give me a team jersey.

'At the final whistle when I left,
Samp fans came towards me and offered me a drink, complimenting me on my
passion. It’s a shame I couldn’t stay long, as I had to run due to work
commitments.'

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Even though Serie A attendances have
been dwindling in recent years, with fans believing that the atmosphere
in stadiums has been killed off by stricter safety regulation and
hard-to-obtain supporter identity cards, just one man turning up to support an
away team is unprecedented.

Indeed, attendances in Italy's top flight this season are amongst the weakest of the leading
divisions on the continent.

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

With an average attendance of 21,876, the division averages over
20,000 less than the Bundesliga, which leads the way with an
average crowd of 42,299.

The Barclays Premier League comes in with an average attendance of 35,629
while La Liga is lagging behind with an average of 29,665.

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu

Udinese
fans have become further disillusioned with their own football club due
to a perceived lack of ambition from the club’s owners, with leading
players including Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Alexis Sanchez all
sold in recent seasons.

But
it proved to be a worthy trip for Brovedani, as he saw Udinese
secure a 2-0 win to take the club into 8th position in Serie A.

His presence was a source of amusement
for the home support, who, rather than subjecting him to any abuse,
instead cheered the man and he reciprocated their affection with an
enthusiastic wave.

Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

One Udinese fan made 600-mile round trip to Sampdoria Serie A clash

Loneliness of the (ONE) long distance fan: Solitary Udinese supporter makes 600-mile round trip to Sampdoria for Serie A clash

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UPDATED:

19:02 GMT, 11 December 2012

When Udinese travelled to Genoa for their Serie A game against Sampdoria on Monday, just one man showed up to support them in an otherwise empty away section.

The prospect of a 600-mile round trip from Udine in the North East of Italy to Genoa appeared too much for most Udinese fans, leaving this curly-haired fellow to plough a lone furrow in the away end of Sampdoria’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Even though Serie A attendances have
been dwindling in recent years, with fans believing that the atmosphere
in stadiums has been killed off by stricter safety regulation and
hard-to-obtain supporter identity cards, just one man turning up to support an
away team is unprecedented.


Going it alone: Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria

Going it alone: Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria

Three points: It was a successful trip for this loyal follower as Udinese won 2-0

Three points: It was a successful trip for this loyal follower as Udinese won 2-0

Italy map

Serie
A attendances this season are amongst the weakest of the leading
divisions on the continent.

With an average attendance of 21,876, the Italian top division averages over
20,000 less than the German Bundesliga, which leads the way with an
average crowd of 42,299 people.

The
English Premier League comes in with an average attendance of 35,629
while Spain’s La Liga is lagging behind with an average of 29,665.

Udinese
fans have become further disillusioned with their own football club due
to a perceived lack of ambition from the club’s owners, with leading
players including Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Alexis Sanchez all
sold in recent seasons.

But it proved to be a worthy trip for the supporter, as he saw Udinese secure a 2-0 win to take the club into 8th position in Serie A.

His presence was a source of amusement
for the home support, who, rather than subjecting him to any abuse,
instead cheered the man and he reciprocated their affection with an
enthusiastic wave.

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu


Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

Barcelona firing under Tito Vilanova

New boss Vilanova has Barcelona firing heading into Champions League opener

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UPDATED:

07:31 GMT, 18 September 2012

Tito Vilanova is quietly stamping his authority on the Barcelona team and they head into their Champions League Group G opener at home to Spartak Moscow on Wednesday with La Liga's only perfect record.

It was a daunting task to step up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola in the Nou Camp hot seat, taking over from a fans' idol who won a record 14 trophies in his four years in charge.

Vilanova, who turned 44 on Monday, did not command the instant respect that the former Spain international Guardiola had accrued, but he has quickly shown he is not afraid to plough his own furrow.

On song: Barca have made a strong start to their La Liga campaign

On song: Barca have made a strong start to their La Liga campaign

At Getafe on Saturday, Vilanova rested World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Brazil international Dani Alves for a fixture Barca have often struggled with, and at a venue where champions Real Madrid fell 2-1 last month.

The side were also shorn of Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Alexis Sanchez, and during the Guardiola era often struggled with the so called 'FIFA virus' after breaks for internationals.

It had been a year since Messi was last rested for a league game and after Barca were held 2-2 at Real Sociedad, Guardiola never left him out again.
Vilanova's side, however, came through with 4-1 victory at Getafe, displaying the zip and hunger that had at times been missing towards the end of Guardiola's reign.

'The philosophy and method of working is basically pretty similar, but we have a new coach, a new form of doing things and we are very happy about him being with us,' Iniesta told www.uefa.com.

Back in action: David Villa has been among the goals

Back in action: David Villa has been among the goals

'He knows us very well and I am confident things will go well.'

Cesc Fabregas played in Messi's 'false nine' role and he helped set up the first goal for Adriano, before Messi entered the fray in the second half to bag a quick double, and another substitute David Villa notched the fourth.

Barca have a doubt over defender Alba who missed Saturday's game with a virus, and forward Alexis who is recovering from a muscle problem.

Captain Carles Puyol joined Iniesta on the injury list when he suffered a twisted knee ligament in the Getafe game, that has put him out for up to six weeks.

Vilanova's opposite number Unai Emery is having a tougher time settling in at Spartak, Russia's most popular and successful club with nine domestic titles between 1992-2001.

Rested: Messi came off the bench to score twice against Getafe

Rested: Messi came off the bench to score twice against Getafe

They have only taken one point from their last three league matches after being held to a 2-2 draw at unfancied Kuban Krasnodar on Saturday.

'Crisis I don't think so,' said the former Valencia boss Emery, who joined the Moscow club in May.

'We're working hard as a team but we are still a long way from a finished product. We're still trying to find the best way of organising our attack.'

After missing Europe's premier club competition last season, Spartak qualified for the group stage by beating Turkey's Fenerbahce in last month's playoffs.

The Muscovites will be without injured captain Sergei Parshivlyuk (knee), Brazilian striker Welliton (thigh) and Argentina defender Nicolas Pareja (calf), while Dutch midfielder Demy de Zeeuw is suspended.

Reading v Tottenham: Alex Pearce wears black boots

Madjeski Stadium match zone: Traditionalist Pearce stands out

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UPDATED:

21:24 GMT, 16 September 2012

Alex Pearce has played every minute of league football for Reading over the past 13 months. But he stood out on Sunday as the only starting outfield player to wear predominantly black boots.

Lone furrow: Alex Pearce (left) was the only player with black boots

Lone furrow: Alex Pearce (left) was the only player with black boots

Freedom for Dembele

Andre Villas-Boas persisted with having two holding midfielders although, as against Norwich and West Brom, it seemed excessive. Mousa Dembele looked much more comfortable when pushed further forward and allowed to make those surging runs.

Switching sides

Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale used to be Spurs team-mates and both played in Wales’ 6-1 defeat by Serbia last week, but were direct opponents on Tottenham’s left at the Madejski.

Switch: Gareth Bale and Chris Gunter played together for Wales

Switch: Gareth Bale and Chris Gunter played together for Wales

All change

Spurs looked most unlike Spurs as their grey and black third strip made its debut. A slight improvement on the lilac kit from last season though, perhaps

Silenced

The Madejski Stadium celebrated a record attendance of 24,160 but the home fans were taunted with shouts of ‘Shall we sing a song for you’ by the 2,149 Spurs supporters. The Royals, however, maintained a regal silence.

Roy Hodgson: What can he learn from Manchester derby?

So, what can the new England manager learn from Man-ic Monday

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 1 May 2012

He had not officially been appointed as England boss as City beat United on Monday night, but Roy Hodgson will surely have looked on with interest. Here are five things Fabio Capello’s successor may have learned ahead of the European Championship…

JOLEON LESCOTT HAS COME OF AGE

The former Wolves and Everton player struggled to fulfil his promise when Mark Hughes first brought him to City and Roberto Mancini considered buying a big-name central defender last summer. However, Lescott showed on Monday that he is a good enough player to do the job for club and country.

Towering: Joleon Lescott (left) was impressive against Manchester United

Towering: Joleon Lescott (left) was impressive against Manchester United

WAYNE ROONEY NEEDS A STRIKE PARTNER

There are few things in football that Rooney cannot do but Monday’s game provided further evidence that he is not suited to ploughing a lone furrow. He gets frustrated when he hasn’t got somebody to work with in the final third and this makes him less effective.

CHRIS SMALLING IS READY, PHIL JONES IS NOT

Smalling was criticised in Sportsmail by Martin Keown for failing to deal with the corner that led to City’s winning goal. Everyone is allowed to make a mistake, though, and on the whole Smalling was an impressive partner for Rio Ferdinand. Jones, on the other hand, struggled in the unfamiliar position of right back.

One in, one out Chris Smalling (left) is ready but Phil Jones (right) is not

One in, one out Chris Smalling (left) is ready but Phil Jones (right) is not

GARETH BARRY CAN RISE TO THE OCCASION

It has been a superb season for the former Aston Villa player. The central midfielder is utterly reliable and unflappable.

RIO FERDINAND IS BACK

Written off as an international defender at the start of the season, the 33-year-old has proved everybody wrong, managing his back problems superbly to enjoy a great season. Ferdinand was the one United player above all others who did not deserve to lose on Monday night. If he doesn’t go to Euro 2012, Hodgson will regret it.

Still got it: Rio Ferdinand (left) could yet dominate the England defence

Still got it: Rio Ferdinand (left) could yet dominate the England defence

Derby 0 Ipswich 0: Frank Fielding denies Tractor Boys

Derby 0 Ipswich 0: Fielding ploughs lone furrow to deny Tractor Boys

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 7 April 2012

Fine saves: Frank Fielding preserved point

Fine saves: Frank Fielding preserved point

Ipswich missed out on the chance to leapfrog Derby in the npower Championship table after the two sides played out an entertaining goalless draw at Pride Park.

The visitors were on the front foot for long periods and Rams goalkeeper Frank Fielding made a pair of fine first-half saves from Michael Chopra and Lee Martin.

After the interval Fielding touched a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas drive onto the post and Town were unable to find a way through.

Derby's main threat came from the
pace of Theo Robinson in attack and Ben Davies' set-piece delivery, and
Jason Shackell had a header from the latter's corner cleared off the
line in the closing moments.

MATCH FACTS

DERBY: Fielding, Naylor, Buxton, Shackell, Roberts, Green, Hendrick, Bryson, Davies, Ward (Tyson 78), Robinson. Unused subs: Severn, Bailey, Carroll, Bennett.

Booked: Shackell.

IPSWICH: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Delaney, Smith, Cresswell, Leadbitter, Drury, Emmanuel-Thomas (Bowyer 82), Martin (Scotland 69), Murphy, Chopra (Stevenson 84). Unused subs: Wright, Sonko.

Referee: Mark Hayward

The point lifts the Rams up to 12 in the table, while Ipswich remain a point behind them in 15th.

Jamie Ward returned to the Derby
attack in place of illness victim Steve Davies, the only change made by
boss Nigel Clough from last week's 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

Paul Jewell named the same Ipswich XI that recorded a 1-0 home triumph over Barnsley to face his former club.

In the 10th minute Darryl Murphy capitalised on an error from Rams
defender Jake Buxton to raid down the left wing and cut the ball back to
Chopra, whose shot on the turn drew a splendid save from Fielding
diving away to his right.

Derby
were a threat on the counter attack, largely through top-scorer
Robinson, but he delayed his shot at the vital moment when he found a
21st minute opening.

Fielding was undoubtedly busier than his opposite number Arran
Lee-Barrett and the former England Under-21 international produced an
acrobatic stop to deny Martin from 25 yards shortly after Town
midfielder Andy Drury drove narrowly past the post.

At the other end Robinson got on the end of a low Gareth Roberts cross but could only find the side netting.

Ipswich regained the assendancy after the interval and Grant Leadbitter flashed an effort over the bar following a well-timed run into the Derby area.

In the 51st minute Chopra teed-up Murphy on the edge of the box but his attempt also ended up beyond the crossbar.

Robinson continued to keep the Town defence on their toes and as the hour approached he was just off target with a spectacular scissor-kick from Davies' corner, before heading wide from his team-mate's next set piece.

Davies was then off target with a shot of his own before Emmanuel-Thomas came agonisingly close to giving Ipswich the lead.

The former Arsenal youngster cut in from the right wing and drilled towards the top corner, but Fielding got a vital touch and the ball cannoned back off the foot of the post.

Derby almost stole the points with five minutes remaining as the visitors once again failed to deal with a Davies corner and Shackell's header was hacked off the line by Aaron Creswell.

Carlos Tevez agent to talk to AC Milan

Tevez moves closer to City exit as Milan are granted permission to speak to agent

Manchester City have given AC Milan permission to speak to Carlos Tevez”s representative, according to the Italian club”s vice-president Adriano Galliani.

The Serie A champions are interested in signing Tevez on loan in January but have yet to open talks with City over the possible transfer of the 27-year-old Argentina striker.

“Tevez is a City player,” Galliani said to Gazzetta dello Sport. “The English club has authorised us to speak to his agent but we haven”t spoken directly to City yet.

Taking it easy: Carlos Tevez has been playing golf after going AWOL from City

Taking it easy: Carlos Tevez has been playing golf after going AWOL from City

“We don”t know what City want.

“I prefer not to speak too much about Tevez, otherwise his price will go up and this is not good.”

Tevez”s advisor Kia Joorabchian reportedly held talks with AC Milan last week in Italy.

The former West Ham and Manchester United forward looks set to leave the Blues in the new year after his latest fallout with the club.

Lone furrow: Tevez was training alone at Carrington before heading home

Lone furrow: Tevez was training alone at Carrington before heading home

Tevez returned to his homeland last month without City”s permission and is yet to report back to training.

Milan are looking to reinforce their attacking options with Italy frontman Antonio Cassano ruled out indefinitely after undergoing a heart procedure.

When asked about Milan”s winter transfer window activity, Galliani said: “If anyone arrives, it will be a striker as our aim is to cover the place of the injured Cassano.”

Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng earlier described the prospect of Tevez moving to the San Siro as “perfect”.

Join us! Kevin Prince Boateng wants Tevez to sign for AC Milan

Join us! Kevin Prince Boateng wants Tevez to sign for AC Milan

The 24-year-old told Corriere dello Sport: “It would be perfect for Milan.

“He is fast and can defend aggressively.

“I think that the San Siro wants a player like that. It is not for me to decide, though.”

He added: “We would still have five strikers. Among other things, anyway, Tevez could also act as a playmaker, or go to the right or left.”