Tag Archives: handful

Spurs are competing with Fiorentina to sign Dutchman Jordy Clasie

Spurs eye Dutch talent Clasie but Fiorentina first to table offer

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

Tottenham will have to make their move soon if they want to sign Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie before Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old, who has been called the Dutch Xavi by some, has been attracting interest from Europe's top clubs, but the Viola appear to have been the first to table on offer, according to the Metro.

Clasie has already played a handful of games in the national side, and could be a perfect fit next to Sandro in the heart of Spurs' midfield.

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

If a move to White Hart Lane was successful, it could mean the end of Scott Parker's career in North London, with a switch to Fulham, or even QPR if they stay up, on the cards.

Feyenoord's technical directior Martin Van Geel said: 'We do not need to sell him, nor do we
particularly want to, but we have to think of the player’s ambitions and
evaluate the offers from other clubs.

‘There is an offer from Fiorentina, but
we’ll only discuss it at the end of the season. Right now the players
must focus only on Feyenoord.’

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Jack Butland may be forced out as Birmingham face administration

Butland may be forced out as to save Birmingham from administration

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UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 28 December 2012

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Jack Butland could be forced out of Birmingham in the January transfer window in order to save the club from administration.

The 19-year-old England goalkeeper is being chased by several teams, most notably Liverpool, who are understood to have already been in talks with the midlands outfit.

The Blues rejected a 6million bid from Southampton for Butland in the summer, but acting chairman Peter Pannu has admitted the cash-strapped club may not be able to resist such temptations next month as they bid to ease their increasing financial struggles.

'I can't say that we are in a very wonderful situation, I would be lying if I said that,' Pannu told the Birmingham Mail

'This is a very tricky question (player sales). What I can say is that – and I might be blasted for this by the fans – but no-one is for sale and everyone is available. As at any club.

'Give me a 15m offer for Jack Butland, can I say no

'I have rejected 6m from Southampton (in the summer) but I rejected it when our finances were okay.

'As the time is ticking, I might not be able to reject it if I get something similar.

'I do have a responsibility to keep the club running.

'My top priority now – and if I do offend anyone, I care not – is to make sure this clubs stays afloat.'

Butland is not the only player facing a possible exit, with a handful of other high earners troubling Birmingham's wage bill, most notably Nikola Zigic's 50,000-plus a week wages.

Pannu has been exploring the potential for bringing in new owners or finding investment in the club for some time.

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

The board of Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), City's parent company, announced late last month they were in talks with two parties from Hong Kong and one from the UK – Gianni Paladini's Italian-backed consortium.

They were at an advanced stage in discussions with one of the Hong Kong bidders – which has now fallen through.

Providing an update on the situation, Pannu said: 'It is no secret that there are two parties in Hong Kong that we have been dealing with.

'The fans also know that my preferred party, which was reported in the media, the Charles Chan and SMEG group, unfortunately did not transpire.

'But we still have another very big party we are dealing with in Hong Kong.'

Pannu also revealed he continues to be in discussions with Paladini's consortium and met a member of the bid for talks recently, although he is demanding greater clarity on those behind the offer and their plans.

West Ham v Liverpool: Martin Skrtel relishes Carlton Cole battle

Let's get physical! Skrtel relishing battle with Hammers frontman Cole

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 8 December 2012

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is looking forward to the rough and tumble of the physical challenge posed by West Ham.

The Slovakia defender may not have to face on-loan Anfield team-mate Andy Carroll, who would have been ineligible to play even if he had not been ruled out for two months with a knee injury, but expects a similar test from another big frontman, Carlton Cole.

Cole scored his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Chelsea last weekend and Skrtel knows he can be a handful – but that makes it even more enjoyable for the centre-back.

Up for it: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel is relishing his upcoming battle with West Ham forward Carlton Cole

Up for it: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel is relishing his upcoming battle with West Ham forward Carlton Cole

'For me personally it is better if they play with a big striker because that is what I like,' said Skrtel.

'I am more comfortable than playing against smaller guys.

'But it is no different who is playing, whether it was Andy or Carlton Cole.

'They are all dangerous and we have to focus and be careful for 90 minutes and don't let them score.

'I am looking forward to it and I'll try to do my best to make sure they don't.

'It is going to be a difficult game because it is going to be physical and we have to be ready for that.

'We have to play our game and try to beat them and I hope the quality is on our side and we can beat them.'

Defensive stability has returned to some degree in the last few weeks combined with players other than Luis Suarez finding the net.

As a centre-back, Skrtel takes great pride in the former as he admits Liverpool were shaky in defence earlier in the season as the team tried to adjust to new manager Brendan Rodgers' different ways of working.

Hammer time: Carlton Cole was on target against his former club Chelsea last week

Hammer time: Carlton Cole was on target against his former club Chelsea last week

'For me as a defender, but also for the whole team it is good when we don't concede a goal because that is where we start from,' added the 27-year-old.

'If you don't concede a goal you have a good chance of winning the game and I think we have tightened up in recent weeks.

'Of course we know from the beginning of the season it wasn't working well because too many things had changed, but in the last few weeks we have started to play better and we are stronger at the back.'

Liverpool have successfully bounced back from the ending of their eight-match unbeaten league run when even the performance in the defeat at Tottenham was encouraging.

Missing man: Reds hitman Luis Suarez is suspended for the visit to East London

Missing man: Reds hitman Luis Suarez is suspended for the visit to East London

Having beaten Southampton at home last weekend they progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League with a victory over Udinese in Italy.

Skrtel believes momentum is growing and insists they need to use that to mount a push for the top four, which is still tantalisingly in reach despite a disappointing start to the Reds' campaign.

The next month will probably determine – both on and off the pitch where January signings are expected to, at the very least, bolster the forward line – whether they in a position to mount a bid

'In the last three weeks we have got better and the confidence is growing,' he added.

'It was a big game in Italy and we knew we had to win and we got it to get through to the next round.

'We just have to carry on this way and be better and better now.

'The period up to and over Christmas is very important and I think we have to get as many points as we can going from game to game and try to get closer to the top four.'

Andy Carroll not worth 35million, says Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Fergie: He'll be a handful but I'd never pay 35m for Carroll like Liverpool did

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UPDATED:

07:29 GMT, 28 November 2012

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Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would never have paid 35million for Andy Carroll.

The much-maligned England forward heads to Manchester United with West Ham tonight fresh from scoring the first goal of his loan stint at Upton Park.

For a team who have made a habit of conceding the first goal this season, Carroll is an obvious threat.

In the firing line: Manchester United manager has said he would never pay 35million for Andy Carroll like Liverpool did

In the firing line: Manchester United manager has said he would never pay 35million for Andy Carroll like Liverpool did

Yet Carroll continues to struggle to live up to his billing as England's most expensive player thanks to that extraordinary move from Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011.

'He has only played something like a dozen games for Newcastle and then he had to deal with a 35million transfer to a club like Liverpool. That's quite a big jump,' Ferguson told United's official website.

'I'd certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money.

'We've gambled on young players in the past, maybe a couple of million or whatever, but when you get that level you really have to do a bit more homework and see how he is in his second season maybe.

Head scratching: Ferguson admits Carroll will cause his defence some problems at Old Trafford

Head scratching: Ferguson admits Carroll will cause his defence some problems at Old Trafford

'He's still not had a lot of games but he is a big lad, aggressive and a great header of the ball.

'He'll be a handful for our defenders.'

After working alongside the 23-year-old at close quarters during Euro 2012, Wayne Rooney knows the reality of Carroll's performances is nowhere near the perception many have of him.

He said: 'That type of player doesn't always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems.

'I am sure that is what Sam Allardyce wants him to do.'

Rather like Rooney, Carroll demands attention. It seems he cannot have a quiet game, when he blends into the background.

Head start: Carroll opened his account for West Ham during their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham

Head start: Carroll opened his account for West Ham during their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham

He has to either be brilliant or awful, with the brutal assessment often falling on the latter.

Rooney knows from personal experience such situations are never quite so black and white.
However, he accepts they come with the territory.

'It is something you get used to,' he said.

'In the Premier League, you are there to be judged, whether that is good or bad. You just have to deal with it.'

With Paul Scholes suspended, Ferguson has already confirmed Anderson will start for only the second time in the Premier League this season.

It is also possible either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will replace Rafael at right-back, whilst David de Gea might also come in for Anders Lindegaard.

Lewis Hamilton using PS3 to practice for US grand prix

Hamilton reveals extra hours on the Playstation have got him ready for US grand prix

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UPDATED:

09:25 GMT, 14 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton has turned to his Playstation as he bids to end his final season with McLaren on a high and make history in the United States.

The Brit, who will begin next season at Mercedes, hopes to become the first person to win at the new 250million Circuit of the Americas when the F1 bandwagon rolls into Texas.

The 5.5km track in Austin has only recently been completed, meaning drivers are yet to test themselves against the 20 turns and handful of straights.

It's only a game: Lewis Hamilton has been getting some unusual practice ahead of the US grand prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas

It's only a game: Lewis Hamilton has been getting some unusual practice ahead of the US grand prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas

Hamilton, therefore, has been brushing up on his knowledge with the help of his computer games console.

The 27-year-old said in The Sun: 'I've only driven the track on the PS3 and simulator, but I think its going to be a track that drivers enjoy. I'm looking to be the first grand prix winner there.'

The race on November 18 is the first time a grand prix to be held in the United States for five years, when Hamilton won in Indianapolis.

Texas holds them: The world of F1 will descend on Austin this weekend

Texas holds them: The world of F1 will descend on Austin this weekend

And it is with those happy memories still fresh in his mind that the Briton hopes to end a miserable run of form that has seen him forced to retire with a fuel-pressure problem twice in the last five races.

He added: 'It's crazy to think the last US grand prix was five years ago. It's a race I still remember like yesterday. I took my second grand prix win in the space of a week.

'Those were incredible times and I'm made up we're going back to the States.'

Wayne Rooney will score 20 goals – Alex Ferguson

Fergie backs Rooney to score 20 goals despite striker's sluggish start to season

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UPDATED:

10:22 GMT, 9 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Wayne Rooney to get 20 goals this season even though he has been left in the shade by Robin van Persie.

Rooney's penalty in Braga on Wednesday night was only his third goal of the season while Van Persie is on 11 and Javier Hernandez has six.

Ferguson said: 'Wazza will get to 20 goals plus I'm sure of that.

Spot on: Wayne Rooney slots home a penalty during United's Champions League win over Braga

Spot on: Wayne Rooney slots home a penalty during United's Champions League win over Braga

'It’s a healthy combination we’ve got up there.

'Robin is experienced. Eight years at Arsenal helps and he’s come to us at the right time, there’s no doubt.

'He’s got us 11 goals so far and Chicharito’s on six and getting back to what he was a couple of years ago and a summer of rest has helped enormously.

'He's looking fresh and aggressive with his running always a handful.'

Main man: Robin Van Persie has hit the ground running at Old Trafford

Main man: Robin Van Persie has hit the ground running at Old Trafford

Ferguson is confident his strike force, led by Van Persie, will ensure the Premier League title race will not come down to goal difference again.

'Last year we lost on goal difference and I don’t expect us to lose on goal difference again and Robin may make that difference. Wayne had goals last year and the way Chicharito has started this season I’m certain he’ll get to 20 plus.

'Chicho enjoyed a summer’s rest and there’s no doubt that the combination they are winning games.'

Kevin Pietersen hits 86-ball century

Welcome back Kevin! Pietersen smashes 86-ball century in warm-up against Haryana

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UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 8 November 2012

Kevin Pietersen reacquainted himself with the feel of bat on ball to make a murderous century as England cashed in against some weak Haryana bowling on the opening day of their four-day match in Ahmedabad.

With the first Test against India only a week away, Pietersen chose the quickest possible route to reintegration, smashing 110 from 94 deliveries in his only his second innings of the tour. At stumps, Alastair Cook’s side had butchered 408 for 4. They may never score easier runs.

Cook himself cracked an authoritative 97, studded with 18 fours, and put on 166 in 34 overs with his opening partner Nick Compton, who is now inked in for a Test debut and scored 74 before falling lbw to leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs
HARYANA V ENGLAND

Click here to view the full scorecard

Compton had stretched a long way
forward, but his point had already been made: a pair of half-centuries
after beginning his first senior trip with 0 and 1 oozed the kind of
grit England will need in the weeks ahead.

Jonathan Trott fell on the sweep to
Mishra for 46 – his fourth successive middling score, following 56, 28
and 30 – before Ian Bell completed a satisfactory day for England with
an undefeated 57, having earlier reduced his team-mates in the pavilion
to hysterics by falling off his chair.

Pietersen was in no mood for a
similar pratfall. After getting out to his old buddy Yuvraj Singh for 23
nine days ago against India A, he had only this game to find some form
ahead of the first Test.

And with the match taking place in
front of only a handful of spectators at the low-key Motera B Ground –
essentially a field next to the Test venue enclosed by a six-foot-high
whitewashed wall – he had to draw on his own motivation.

Nailed on: Nick Compton was in brilliant form again and looks set to start in the four-Test series against India

Nailed on: Nick Compton was in brilliant form again and looks set to start in the four-Test series against India

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

He did so with aplomb, making liberal
use of his trademark flamingo shot early on against the Haryana
seamers, then tucking into the novice off-breaks of Jayant Yadav.

Yadav should have had him on 85, but –
the ball after a sweep for six – Pietersen was badly dropped at deep
midwicket by Amit Vashisht. And when he glanced the hapless Vashisht for
four soon afterwards, he had moved to a century from just 86 balls.

A cursory raise of his bat said more
about the questionable quality of the bowling than anything more
sinister, for Pietersen knows that the real business starts next
Thursday.

Blunt attack: Jaywant Patel (centre) celebrated a wicket, but there was little spin on display for England to practice against

Blunt attack: Jaywant Patel (centre) celebrated a wicket, but there was little spin on display for England to practice against

Off you go: Alastair Cook and Compton (left) jog between the wickets

Off you go: Alastair Cook and Compton (left) jog between the wickets

Even so, some of his strokeplay was
magnificent, and by the time he retired out with seven overs of the day
to go, it was with the air of a man who had merely devoured his starter.

Bell had already become the third
player of the day – after Compton and Pietersen – to reach his
half-century with a straight six, and England can now go into the first
Test reassured that each member of their top six has now spent decent
time in the middle.

The only downside was the
half-heartedness of the examination.

Mishra, who has played 13 Tests for
India, did not bring himself on to bowl his leg-breaks until the 50th
over, and stayed on for only nine before returning briefly late in the
day.

Good warm-up It's debatable how much benefit the match against Haryana will yield as the England batsmen were not playing against India's famed spin attack

Good warm-up It's debatable how much benefit the match against Haryana will yield as the England batsmen were not playing against India's famed spin attack

Arsenal red-faced after Robin van Persie and Alex Song are cover stars of fans" mag

Arsenal red-faced after former Gunners Van Persie and Song are cover stars of fans' mag

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 6 November 2012

Bungling Arsenal bosses scored an own
goal after trying to win over young fans with former favourites Robin
van Persie and Alex Song.

The Premier League club sent out an annual fans' membership pack to Junior Gunners, aged four to 11, featuring Van Persie,
who controversially left in a 24million move to join rivals Manchester
United, and Song, who quit in the summer to sign for Barcelona.

Cover star: Robin van Persie

Cover star: Robin van Persie

Rubbing it in: Robin van Persie scores against Arsenal on Saturday

Rubbing it in: Robin van Persie scores against Arsenal on Saturday

Supporter Elliott Gerner was stunned to see the former players on the cover of the fan's pack along with current stars Jack Wilshere and Gervinho after paying the 20-a-year membership for his eight-year-old son Noah.

He told the Daily Star: 'It is an absolute disgrace. They are the two most prominent players and neither of them play for us any more. This is a season where they have put up the price of season tickets and sold our best players, but they can't afford to reprint this.

Former favourite: Alex Song (left) quit Arsenal for Barcelona in the summer

Former favourite: Alex Song (left) quit Arsenal for Barcelona in the summer

'My son was supposed to be excited about his and instead he's asking why Van Persie is on the front.'

An Arsenal spokesman said the packs arrived in early September just after the two players had left the club. They had sent out more than 20,000 packs and received only a 'handful' of complaints.

Ashley Young returns to Manchester United training

Man United boost as crocked Young returns to training after knee complaint

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 10 October 2012

Manchester United have been boosted by the return to first training of Ashley Young for the first time more than a month.

England international Young has been out of action with a knee problem since feeling discomfort during United's Barclays Premier League win over Fulham on August 25.

In the stands: Young is set for a return to first-team action after a month out

In the stands: Young is set for a return to first-team action after a month out

However Young joined in full training with the handful of senior United players who are not on international duty this week.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hopes that Young may be available for the home game against Stoke City on October 20.

He is also hopeful that central defender Chris Smalling will be available although he didn't train yesterday as expected.

ICC world Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad wants England to beat India

Broad keen for England to keep momentum going as India await in Group A showdown

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UPDATED:

11:58 GMT, 22 September 2012

Stuart Broad's defending champions will be playing for the pride of England, rather than any tangible ICC World Twenty20 reward, when they meet India.

The structure of this short tournament dictates that once the routine business of beating a group minnow – Afghanistan in England and India's case – is safely out of the way, the two heavyweights can lock horns without direct consequence.

The Super Eight venues and oppositions for both teams will not change, irrespective of the outcome under the Premadasa Stadium lights.

So it is that the final Group A match will surely be billed in a broader context by many, and the significance or otherwise of the Indian Premier League will doubtless be inferred from the result.

Winning start: Stuart Broad runs out Karim Sadiq during England's 116-run victory over Afghanistan

Winning start: Stuart Broad runs out Karim Sadiq during England's 116-run victory over Afghanistan

Hundreds of IPL matches on one side's CV contrasts with barely a handful, courtesy of Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright, on the other.

Captain Broad, of course, will diplomatically let others do the talking on that topic.

But he does have to make sure his team can make the mental leap required to convince themselves that, if not the reputation of the IPL, then something certainly is at stake.

Asked what that might be, the England captain surprisingly avoided that great abstract notion of all cricket tournaments and series – 'momentum'.

National pride, instead, will be his motivation – and, by natural consequence, his team's too.

'I think it's hard to call any game meaningless when you're putting on the Three Lions of England and you're taking the field as an international,' said Broad.

'Whether it is a must-win for us or whether we don't have to win to go through, it won't change the way our approach to the game.

'Any game against India is huge. It will have massive viewing appeal, and we know how passionate the Indian fans are about their cricket so we want to put on a fantastic show.

'It certainly won't dampen the mood that we're already through – it will be a fantastic game of cricket.'

Shake on it: Broad and Gulbodin Naib share pleasantries in Colombo

Shake on it: Broad and Gulbodin Naib share pleasantries in Colombo

Broad is heartened that, quite apart from the ruthless 116-run dismissal of Afghanistan on the back of a brilliant 99 not out from Luke Wright, England have been toughened up for this assignment by some pedigree opposition.

A drawn home series against South Africa was followed by hard-fought warm-up wins here against Australia and then Pakistan.

'We've been performing and competing against top-level teams, so it's not like we're coming up against India and it's our first real challenge in the last few weeks,' he said.

'We do know the dangers they offer. But if we focus on what we did really well [against Afghanistan] we can be a challenge for anyone.

'Throughout the whole batting line-up, we struck it really well. If we have batsmen in towards the end, you can see how dangerous we can be, and the aggression we showed with the ball and in the field to take the chances like we did was superb.'

Broad has great respect, but no fear, for an opposition line-up – under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni – crammed with superstar talent.

He is confident England can match them at every step.

'India have got a powerful batting line-up. We know the dangers they offer – they've played a lot of Twenty20 cricket domestically and internationally,' he added.

'But one thing I will say if we play cricket like we have here – the way we went about things, the passion, energy we showed in the field – we'll be in a good position.

'You look through our batting line-up – we've got guys who can clear the ropes from ball one – and our bowling unit is powerful as well.

'We've got guys who can hit people on the head, brilliant slower balls, good yorkers and good spinners – and if we field like we did on Friday all tournament, we'll win some games with our fielding as well.'

Returning hero: Yuvraj Singh (left) gets a spray of sun cream from MS Dhoni

Returning hero: Yuvraj Singh (left) gets a spray of sun cream from MS Dhoni

One of the biggest names in India's stellar batting order is Yuvraj Singh, back at centre stage after his battle to recover from lung cancer.

Broad is full of admiration for a player he will never be able to forget, having been hit by him for six sixes in an over at Durban in the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament five years ago.

'To have an illness like that is horrible to see, and the whole cricketing world got behind him,' he said.

'It's great to see him back playing for India; we know what a dangerous player he is, and he's someone you look out for and do your research on.

'It's amazing for a player come back from an illness like that and come back as strongly as he has.'

Meanwhile Kevin Pietersen's absence from England's campaign remains an issue more for opponents than Broad's team, it seems.

While a disaffected Pietersen is working instead in a nearby television studio as a broadcast pundit, others – most recently Wright – are making enough runs to serve England well.

Broad's opposite number Dhoni insists nonetheless that the unavailability of Pietersen makes England less formidable.

'It is very difficult to replace Pietersen in this format,' he said.

'If Pietersen was part of their side they would be a slightly more difficult side to beat.'

India are considering several changes, to give their squad players some match time in case they are needed in the later stages of the tournament.

'We are looking to make a few changes to our playing X1 so that most of the players get at least one game before going into the next stage,' added Dhoni.