Tag Archives: game

Stoke fans refuse to back Tony Pulis

'Staying up' but Stoke fans still not potty about Pulis despite QPR win

By
Simon Cass

PUBLISHED:

22:00 GMT, 21 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:01 GMT, 22 April 2013

The chants of ‘We are staying up’ rang out from Stoke City’s fans after the club was rescued from the drop at QPR’s expense.

But there were no songs of support for manager Tony Pulis, despite Stoke almost certainly assuring Barclays Premier League football for a sixth season.

Pulis’s relationship with Stoke fans is suffering because his side scores under a goal a game.

Taken for granted Tony Pulis has established Stoke in the Premier League

Taken for granted Tony Pulis has established Stoke in the Premier League

So something has to give, whether that be a change of manager or a change in their manager’s approach if next season is not to be a carbon copy of this one.

WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Phil Jones is an animal: Manchester United defender backed to play up front by Sir Alex Ferguson

Step aside, Van Persie: Fergie backs 'animal' Jones to play as STRIKER

-Why-did-Roy-Hodgson-Phil-Jones–Martin-Samuel.html” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Baresi of England. It seems Sir Alex Ferguson agrees!

'Jonny's been really brilliant this season,' Ferguson told Inside United.
'He's 25 years old now and, hopefully for the next six or seven years,
he could be a regular centre back for us.

'Obviously, Rio (Ferdinand) is
34 now and (Nemanja) Vidic is 31. (Patrice) Evra is 31 so, in that
sense, players like Smalling, Jones and Evans will come to the fore.

'Jones is going to be a fantastic
player, his talent is unbelievable. Yes (his best position is
centre back) but you could play him anywhere. I think you could play him
centre forward! He’s just that type of player.

John O'Shea

Phil Neville

Utility men: Before Jones, John O'Shea and Phil Neville both once played many important roles for Ferguson

'He’s
an animal for football. He grasps the game, he understands it. Play him
right back Brilliant. Play him centre midfield No problem. Play him
centre back Terrific.'

United players were preparing themselves for the Manchester derby on Monday, which could see Jones start in midfield.

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones... or maybe not

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones… or maybe not

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Phil Jones

Robin Van Persie

Unusual: Jones (left) is extremely versatile and Ferguson is predicting big things for him

Ferguson continued: 'He’s just one of those unusual players you get now and again who can play anywhere. We’ve not had a player like him in terms of someone who can play at that performance level since, well the closest you would get would be Brian McClair.

'Now, Brian McClair was a fantastic player. He could play anywhere, McClair. I remember kidding him on once; I said to him, just go and play in the right-back area and he laughed.

'I said to him, “What are you laughing at” and he said, “Next week I’ll be centre half.” But that was his character, so composed about life. Nothing bothered him.'

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Tim Bresnan back to bowling in a fortnight after elbow operation

Bresnan to get back in the swing of things in a fortnight after undergoing elbow operation

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:54 GMT, 3 April 2013

On the comeback trail: Tim Bresnan

On the comeback trail: Tim Bresnan

England bowler Tim Bresnan will return to action in a fortnight following an operation on his right elbow.

The 28-year-old, who was named in a 30-man England squad for the summer season, underwent an operation in February and missed the tour of New Zealand.

The Yorkshireman is set to play in the three-day friendly against Lancashire at Headingley, which starts a week on Tuesday.

Bresnan said: ‘It would be wise to go into a friendly first up. I’m hoping to be fully fit and take a full part in that game and all the other games after that.’

Robin van Persie says Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup tie won"t be a "great game" because of tiredness

It won't be a thriller! Van Persie believes fatigue could affect blockbuster FA Cup tie

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

Robin van Persie has warned fans not to expect an FA Cup classic between Manchester United and Chelsea on Monday.

With Chelsea still involved in the Europa League and UEFA frowning on fixtures between England's top clubs on Champions League designated days, the FA were left with little option other than to schedule the eagerly-anticipated quarter-final replay just two days after Premier League fixtures.

Even the potential for an evening kick-off was ruled out as Fulham are due to take on QPR in the Barclays Premier League at Craven Cottage.

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

It means United will be in action 48 hours after today's win at Sunderland, with Chelsea having marginally less time to prepare following their defeat at Southampton.

It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.

And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.

'We just have to deal with it.

'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Van Persie was speaking after United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.

City will be the opponents for Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since 2004.

'It has been a while,' he said.

'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.

'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'

Fulham stalwart Brede Hangeland signs two year contract extension

All smiles as Fulham stalwart Hangeland finally puts pen to paper on new deal, ending years of speculation surrounding his future

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

19:25 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 28 March 2013

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland has ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a two-year contract extension at the club.

The 31-year-old's new deal includes an option for a further year, which if exercised would see the Norway international remain at the London club until the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

All smiles: Hangeland had been linked to moves away from Craven Cottage on several occasions.

All smiles: Hangeland had been linked to moves away from Craven Cottage on several occasions.

A statement on Fulham's website confirmed: 'Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce that captain Brede Hangeland has signed a two-year extension to his current contract, with an option for a further year, which will keep the defender at the club until at least the summer of 2015.'

Hangeland, whose existing deal was due to expire at the end of the season, joined Fulham from FC Copenhagen in January 2008 and has since made 233 appearances for the club in all competitions.

'I'm so happy, delighted,” Hangeland said on fulhamfc.com.

'It's taken a long time but we're there now and I hope the club is happy – I'm certainly really happy to have signed.

'I've loved my time with Fulham. It's been a little over five years and I've felt right at home from the very first game.

'I couldn't really see myself leaving, so to finally have signed gives me a great feeling.'

Hangeland was linked with a move to QPR in January, but Fulham rejected two bids from their West London rivals.

He featured in every Premier League game last season for Martin Jol's side, and has appeared 23 times this campaign.

Fulham currently have several players whose contracts are up in the summer, including Mladen Petric, Mark Schwarzer, Chris Baird, Mahamadou Diarra, Giorgos Karagounis and Neil Etheridge.

Mainstay: Hangeland has made 233 appearances for the Cottagers since joining in January 2008

Mainstay: Hangeland has made 233 appearances for the Cottagers since joining in January 2008

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Contract up: Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (left), forward Mladen Petric (centre) and midfielder Giorgos Karagounis (right) will leave the club in the summer if their contracts are not renewed.

Mladen Petric of Fulham

Greece's Giorgos Karagounis

Arsene Wenger will seeks talks with Roy Hodgson over Jack Wilshere"s use in England"s end-of-season friendlies

EXCLUSIVE: Wenger's friendly fire! Arsenal boss wants showdown talks with England manager Hodgson over Wilshere's use

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 20 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:00 GMT, 21 March 2013

Arsene Wenger will seek talks with England manager Roy Hodgson over his use of Jack Wilshere during the end-of-season internationals.

England face the Republic of Ireland on May 29 – 10 days after Arsenal’s final game of the season against Newcastle – before travelling to Rio de Janeiro to face Brazil on June 6.

Both games are friendlies and Arsenal manager Wenger is keen to liaise with Hodgson and the FA to establish a clear plan of how his midfielder should be utilised.

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere hasn't played since suffering an ankle knock in the north London derby

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere hasn't played since suffering an ankle knock in the north London derby

Engine: Wilshere is already a key man for England despite playing for the national side just seven times

Engine: Wilshere is already a key man for England despite playing for the national side just seven times

Wenger was disappointed Wilshere played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil in February and, understandably, wants to avoid a similar scenario during the summer internationals.

Despite 17 months out with foot and ankle problems, Wilshere has been Arsenal’s best performer this season but Wenger wants Hodgson to go easy during the end-of-season international period, given Wilshere will have featured in what is likely to be an intense race for a top-four spot.

Wenger also wants Wilshere to have maximum rest ahead of next season, which looks set to be one of the most important in the Frenchman’s long tenure at Arsenal.

Wilshere is already showing signs of this season catching up with him. He is currently on the sidelines with an ankle injury picked up in the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham on March 3.

Wenger sent him on a mid-season break to Dubai to aid his recovery from the injury but the trip was also designed to recharge his batteries after a tiring 28-game season. Arsenal hope Wilshere will be able to return to first-team action for the visit of Reading on March 30 but it is more likely the 21-year-old will make his return against West Bromwich Albion on April 6 or Norwich seven days later.

Wenger faces more problems after Wojciech Szczesny’s father accused the manager of making his son a scapegoat and claimed Arsenal ‘played’ with the keeper’s fitness last season.

Szczesny, 22, was dropped for Arsenal’s
Champions League match against Bayern Munich last week after Wenger said
he had been mentally affected by his form, casting doubt over his
future.

Talks: Arsene Wenger will seek clarification from Roy Hodgson on Wilshere's role in friendlies

Talks: Arsene Wenger will seek clarification from Roy Hodgson on Wilshere's role in friendlies

Benched: Wojciech Szczesny's (right) dad Maciej criticised the Arsenal boss

Benched: Wojciech Szczesny's (right) dad Maciej criticised the Arsenal boss

His father, Maciej, who also played for Poland, told Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy: ‘Wenger already started to look for the scapegoat. It is not the way the boss should behave. Wojciech has had two serious injuries. He played with one in April and May (last year). He shouldn’t have agreed to play that time, but the coach insisted.

‘Wenger was playing with the young man’s good health and Wojciech agreed foolishly.

‘In my opinion Mr Wenger messed up a lot in April and May.

‘Then in August there was a foot (ankle) injury, after which he played almost instantly. After seven weeks out Wojciech trained for just seven days and played. How on earth can he be on his highest form’

Szczesny Snr added: ‘This last period has not been successful, however, I think my son can be the No 1 goalkeeper over 10 years. He just needs to come back to form.’

VIDEO: Interview with Arsenal and England star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Manchester City"s Edin Dzeko plays around in the club"s boot room

What is Dzeko doing fooling around in the Manchester City boot room

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

11:26 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

On the face of it, Edin Dzeko seems to have taken his eye off the ball.

Following on from the club's attempt at a Harlem Shake, Dzeko has embarked on a solo career in the world of wacky internet posts and is taking time out from City's attempt to gurn, sorry turn, around their season.

The Bosnia striker, who has just racked up his 100th appearance for City, put up a photo of himself messing around with back-room staff in front of rows a of extravagantly coloured designer boots.

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

It is not known if Dzeko is claiming every pair in the room as he looks to find a way to kick-start City's title charge.

With Sergio Aguero still out injured, Dzeko is likely to feature against Everton at Goodison Park in the Saturday lunchtime game.

Here's hoping he picks the right pair of shoes for the occasion.

Ashley Barnes referee trip red card

VIDEO: Brighton's Barnes faces long ban after straight red card for tripping referee during defeat to Bolton

By
Joe Ridge

PUBLISHED:

11:11 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 10 March 2013

Brighton forward Ashley Barnes is facing a lengthy ban after being sent off for appearing to deliberately trip referee Nigel Miller at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

With his side trailing the npower Championship clash 1-0 deep into stoppage time, Barnes left a foot dangling in front of Miller as the official ran past him.

The trip did not send Miller to the floor, but it was enough to break the referee's stride. He then immediately stopped the game, turned to Barnes and gave him a straight red card.

Scroll down to watch footage of the incident…

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

The forward's face was a picture of disbelief as he was pointed to the tunnel, but despite the cameras not capturing the incident, this video evidence recorded by a fan in the stands is pretty damning.

VIDEO: Watch Barnes's trip on referee Miller from 50 seconds in

Final moments of Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv2216231331001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Final moments of Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion”,
'videoId' : 1001886,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2216231331001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2216231331001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2291012/Ashley-Barnes-referee-trip-red-card.html”

});

Miller did not address the media after the game, but The Argus report that a Bolton official who spoke to the referee said: 'It was for misconduct, trying to trip the ref.'

Seagulls boss Gus Poyet felt Barnes deserved his red card, though he sympathised with the 23-year-old.

Poyet told Sky Sports: 'In football sometimes you do things that regret after, but (I have) nothing to complain about.

Unhappy trip: Brighton were beaten thanks to a goal from Marcos Alonso (left)

Unhappy trip: Brighton were beaten thanks to a goal from Marcos Alonso (left)

'I think you would normally probably say you're not happy with him (Barnes).

'Angry It's difficult to say because I played football, I know when you're on the pitch you do things which sometimes you regret after but I was one of those players so I'm not going to say anything to Ashley Barnes – I hope it doesn't happen too much.

'He knows what he's done and I'm not going to kill him, you try to make sure he controls himself better the next time.'

The red was Barnes's second dismissal of the season. He was sent off only last month for violent conduct as he kicked out at Sheffield Wednesday's Kieran Lee during a 3-1 loss at Hillsborough.

Sympathy: But Poyet (left) felt that Barnes deserved his red

Sympathy: But Poyet (left) felt that Barnes deserved his red

As a result, the former Plymouth player will miss the next four games of Brighton's run-in, starting with Tuesday night's trip to Barnsley.

Barnes' absence leaves Poyet facing a striker crisis. Craig Mackail-Smith has been ruled out for the season with an achilles injury picked up during last week's 0-0 draw at Bristol City, leaving Leonardo Ulloa as Brighton's only fit frontman.

Marcos Alonso's winner for Bolton on Saturday saw Brighton slip out of the Championship play-off places. They now sit one place and point adrift of Nottingham Forest in sixth, but they do have a game in hand on Billy Davies's side.

David Beckham named by China as a global football ambassador in a bid to revive game

Save us Becks! China name PSG midfielder as a global football ambassador in a bid to revive their faltering domestic game

Olympics last year and Chinese officials expect his popularity and influence to restore the game's credibility in their country.

At a loss: David Beckham came off the bench but couldn't save PSG from a 1-0 defeat by Reims at the weekend

At a loss: David Beckham came off the bench but couldn't save PSG from a 1-0 defeat by Reims at the weekend

Game changer: David Beckham was a second-half substitute as PSG crashed to a shock defeat at Stade Reims

'2013 marks the 20th anniversary of professional football in China and the special ambassadorship of David Beckham will attract global attention to Chinese football and the CSL,' said a spokesman for the CFA.

'While in China, he will attend the CSL and visit clubs to get a deeper insight into football in China.

'He will also help us to inspire and motivate many children to participate in this beautiful game.'

Didier Drogba

Nicolas Anelka

Brief: Former Chelsea forwards Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka both quit early into their spells at Shanghai

VIDEO: Watch match highlights of Reims v PSG here…