Tag Archives: hotshot

Sam Allardyce reveals how he once missed out on Robert Lewandowski

Big Sam: How I missed out on Champions League hotshot Lewandowski

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

08:25 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 26 April 2013

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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed how he missed out on signing Robert Lewandowski – during his time in charge at Blackburn.

The Borussia Dortmund striker was set to hold talks with Rovers in 2010 as he looked for a move from Polish club Lech Poznan.

But the cash-strapped Blackburn board struggled to find the money and the Iceland volcanic ash cloud put the final nail in the coffin when Lewandowski's flight to England was cancelled.

Dortmund stepped in to secure a deal for a fee reported to be around 4.5million euros and the rest is now history.

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

Allardyce told Sky Sports: 'It's true. He was put forward to sign very strongly by our recruitment staff and unfortunately it was one that got knocked back.

'My distant memory isn't that great but I think (former Rovers chairman) John (Williams) and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.

'I think they wanted three or four million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn. I watched him play. But I didn't get the chance to meet him.

'I think his agent said he couldn't come over because of the ash cloud, yes. He's probably worth 40 million euros now.'

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Allardyce is now left to rue the missed opportunity to sign the Pole who scored four goals against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.

He said: 'I think about it every time I see him play.

'He would have had a period of getting used to the level and the physical presence, but with a talent like that it wouldn't have been too long before he started to shine and score goals.

'The level he is playing at now is unbelievable, not just his scoring ability but his ability to retain possession.

'There were a lot of people looking at him at that time as well but we had the edge over everyone else because of the attraction of the Premier League.

'He could have used us as a stepping stone but it didn't happen.'

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

Loic Remy welcomes Newcastle interest in signing him from Marseille

Remy welcomes Newcastle interest after Pardew lines up Marseille hotshot

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 18 December 2012

Marseille striker Loic Remy has confirmed he would be interested in a move to Newcastle United.

The French club want Toon winger Gabriel Obertan as part of any deal for Remy, 25, but value the France international striker at around 16million.

Remy said: ‘Newcastle are a very good team, they are a big club with good players, very good fans and a nice stadium that is always full.

Toon target: Loic Remy could be set to swap Marseille for Newcastle

Toon target: Loic Remy could be set to swap Marseille for Newcastle

'The window opens in January, and
there will be speculation from now until the window closes – if I have
to leave then all parties must be happy. I have a contract so let's wait
and see what happens.'

Newcastle's need is accentuated by the on-going situation surrounding current leading scorer Demba Ba.

Up in the air: Demba Ba has a 7.5m release clause in his Newcastle contract

Up in the air: Demba Ba has a 7.5m release clause in his Newcastle contract

The
Magpies have played down previous links with the former Lyon, Lens and
Nice forward, but with Ba yet to agree a new contract at St James' Park
which would remove his infamous release clause, the club is understood
to be ready to bolster the manager's attacking options.

Pardew has no desire to allow Senegal
international Ba, who has 11 goals to his name so far this season, to
leave Tyneside, and the player himself has repeatedly spoken of his
happiness at the club.

However, amid speculation that
Arsenal, Chelsea and QPR among others could be ready to battle it out
for his signature next month, his admission in an interview with a
French TV company that the Gunners would be an attractive proposition
added to the sense of unease.

Dan Carter exclusive: Sportsmail goes sightseeing in London on a photography course with the planet"s best

EXCLUSIVE: From hotshot to snapshot: What happened when Sportsmail took the world's best rugby player sightseeing

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UPDATED:

02:53 GMT, 30 November 2012

On his one day off a week when on tour with New Zealand, Dan Carter likes nothing better than to roam with his camera.

So, ahead of Saturday's match against England, what better than to spend some time with a master of the art, Sportsmail’s Chief Photographer Andy Hooper

New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter goes sightseeing round London

Picture perfect: Carter poses (from top left) with his camera, with Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, in front of the London Eye and across the Thames in front the Houses of Parliament

Picture perfect: Carter poses (from top left) with his camera, with Andy Hooper, in front of the London Eye and across the Thames in front the Houses of Parliament

Dan Carter

New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter goes sightseeing round London

First, the All Blacks No 10 turned up unannounced to give a kicking lesson to the amazed and excited pupils of Gunnersbury School in west London. Then we jumped in a Range Rover and took Carter to some of the best-known sights of the capital, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

'When you are on quite a long tour it’s nice to go off on your own and do something when you get some spare time,' said Carter.

'I usually take a camera with me when I’m away and probably the best place I’ve ever photographed is the Grand Canyon.'

Unfortunately, security meant there was no No 10 appearance for the All Black fly-half.

Giving something back: Ahead of Saturday's Test, Carter also took time to give kicking lessons at a local school

Giving something back: Ahead of Saturday's Test, Carter also took time to give kicking lessons at a local school

Giving something back: Ahead of Saturday's Test, Carter also took time to give kicking lessons at a local school

Snap verdict: So, does Carter cut it Here are a collection of his pictures.

So how does Carter square up as a snapper Here is the verdict of award-winning chief sports photographer Andy Hooper.

'He’s obviously a keen amateur photographer and already has a pretty good idea about it. We were talking mainly about photoshopping, framing, positioning and exposure control.

'If he put his mind to it he would probably make a good sports photographer because he has the added advantage of knowing the
game. But I suggest he sticks to being the best rugby player on the planet!'

Clicking kicker: Dan Carter impressed Sportsmail's chief photographer Andy Hooper with his shots on London's South Bank

Clicking kicker: Dan Carter impressed Sportsmail's chief photographer Andy Hooper with his shots on London's South Bank

Clicking kicker: Dan Carter impressed Sportsmail's chief photographer Andy Hooper with his shots on London's South Bank

Clicking kicker: Dan Carter impressed Sportsmail's chief photographer Andy Hooper with his shots on London's South Bank

Chelsea ponder Wilfried Bony and Riechedly Bazoer moves

Chelsea weigh up 8m move for Vitesse hotshot Bony as Wallace and Bazoer moves loom

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 8 November 2012

Chelsea are considering a move for powerful Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony.

The Ivory Coast international has scored 12 goals in 11 games this season and is rated at around 8m.

The 23-year-old almost joined Aston Villa in August.

Predator: Wilfried Bony has scored more than a goal a game for Vitesse this term

Predator: Wilfried Bony has scored more than a goal a game for Vitesse this term

Meanwhile, Fluminense's manager Abel Braga has confirmed Brazilian full-back Wallace, 18, is to join Chelsea but paperwork has yet to be completed.

And PSV Eindhoven teenager Riechedly Bazoer is due to visit Chelsea and
Arsenal this week as he weighs up his future.

The 16-year-old defender
has been offered a three year contract by PSV but is keen to come to
England with Manchester City also among his suitors.

Arsenal want Adel Taarabt if they can"t sign Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal plot shock swoop for Taarabt if Wenger fails to land 20m-rated Zaha

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UPDATED:

07:03 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsenal could switch their attentions to Queens Park Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt if they are priced out of a move for teenage hotshot Wilfried Zaha.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants to bolster his forward line in January and has earmarked Crystal palace starlet Zaha, 19, as his top target.

But the Championship club have a slapped an unrealistic 20million price tag on the England Under 21 winger while Arsenal face competition for his signature from Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Target: Arsenal could make a January move for playmaker Adel Taarabt

Target: Arsenal could make a January move for playmaker Adel Taarabt

Arsenal will launch a 9million move in January having watched Zaha, who grew up as an Arsenal supporter, on several occasions this season.

The winger is settled in London and
is in no hurry to leave Selhurst Park, but it is understood the youngster
would find it difficult to turned down a switch to a top Premier League
club.

Arsenal are
likely to start their bidding with a deal worth 9m, an offer which will
comprise of a number of performance-related add-ons.

But
Palace will not let their teenage
sensation leave Selhurst Park without a fight. Financially,
the club are under no pressure to sell Zaha in January, while chairman
Steve Parish has publicly insisted it would take a 20million offer for
Palace to part with their Ivory-Coast born forward.

Wanted: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has been watched by several clubs

Wanted: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has been watched by several clubs

And according to the Daily Mirror, that could lead to Wenger moving instead for Taarabt, 23, who has played only six times this season but scored two goals.

The mercurial Moroccan joined Rangers from London rivals Tottenham on loan in 2009 before signing a permanent deal.

He helped the club win the Championship under Neil Warnock and was linked with a move to big-spending French side Paris Saint-Germain but the transfer failed to materialise.

Robin van Persie could win player of the year again – Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp: Hotshot Van Persie could be heading for a double

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 5 November 2012

Top form: Van Persie

Top form: Van Persie

If you could take one player from the Premier League at present, it would be Robin van Persie. He was outstanding again against Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo was the last man to win back-to-back Footballer of the Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year and there is no reason why Van Persie cannot do the same.

Noble for England

A good result for West Ham, for whom Mark Noble impressed me again. He has the excellent habit of passing to players in his own team and he’s made 44 tackles this season – more than any player in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson was watching and an international call-up could be on.

Time to gamble, AVB

The boos at White Hart Lane said it all. Taking your leading scorer Jermain Defoe off when you are losing is not what the Tottenham fans wanted to see. Andre Villas-Boas surely has to be more adventurous. When you are losing, you sometimes have to throw caution to the wind and get two strikers on.

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Join the squad, Jack

Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t want Jack Wilshere involved in England’s friendly with Sweden. But now he is suspended for next weekend, he could do a lot worse than link up with the squad. It would be good to reacquaint himself with his England colleagues – even if he doesn’t play.

Look for Silva lining

Manchester City are badly missing David Silva’s guile. At the moment they are reliant on Yaya Toure’s power but they need the Spaniard’s finesse. At the start of the season he had a bad spell and now he’s injured but Roberto Mancini will be hoping he returns soon. His ability to dribble and hit a killer pass is just what City need.

Fellaini a perfect fit

When Marouane Fellaini arrived as a defensive midfielder at Everton, I thought he was too big for the role. But his confidence is amazing and he is now unplayable further up the field. Against Fulham he was holding two players off and still winning the ball.

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Show us you feel it

Little annoys me more than players who don’t celebrate goals against their former clubs. Robin van Persie and Kaspars Gorkss did it this weekend. Scoring is one of the best feelings – so don’t act like you’re not enjoying it. If you loved your old club so much, you wouldn’t have left.

Jonny's so good

How is this for an amazing stat Jonny Evans has not committed a foul this season. He’s played seven Premier League matches for Manchester United, so that is incredible, even though he should have been given cards against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Lewis Holtby – Schalke star coming for Arsenal

Lewis Holtby – England lost a young star to Germany… and now he's coming for Arsenal

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 24 October 2012

LIVE: Arsenal v Schalke

Click here to follow all the action during Wednesday night's Champions League clash

When Schalke walk out at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal fans will scan the teamsheet for some familiar names.

They’ll find the Dutch hotshot Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has already helped himself to six club goals this season. There’s Jefferson Farfan on the right flank, the Peruvian who's been in Germany for four years and PSV before that, and Ibrahim Afelay opposite him, on loan from Barcelona.

And in between them, in the pivotal role behind the striker, a player called Lewis Holtby. A man with a very English name whom the English know very little about.

We would know all about him if the FA and Fabio Capello hadn't let him slip through the net.

The one that got away: Lewis Holtby (left) in training with Schalke at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday

The one that got away: Lewis Holtby in training with Schalke at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night

The one that got away: Lewis Holtby in training with Schalke at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday

The one that got away: Lewis Holtby (left) in training with Schalke at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday

In the aftermath of England’s disastrous World Cup in 2010, as a beleaguered Capello tried to rebuild and restore our credibility on the international stage, there was a brief thought that Holtby could be part of the solution.

But Holtby had committed himself to playing for Germany – the side who had thrashed the Three Lions, 4-1, at the tournament. It was too late.

The 22-year-old was born in Erkelenz near Monchengladbach and has represented Germany at youth and Under 21 level. So far, so German.

Lewis Holtby – the story so far…

2007-2009
Alemannia Aachen
33 league appearances, 8 goals

2009-present
Schalke 04
37 league appearances, 7 goals

2010
VfL Bochum (loan)
14 apps, 2 goals

2010-11
Mainz 05 (loan)
30 apps, 4 goals

INTERNATIONAL

Germany Under 21
20 caps, 12 goals

Germany
2 caps, 0 goals

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find
that Holtby’s father, Christopher, is a Liverpool-born,
Everton-supporting British Army soldier who served in the Falklands War
and married a German girl, Heidi.

Until Joachim Low handed Holtby his first senior cap against Azerbaijan in June 2011, this was enough to qualify him for England.

Holtby freely admits he dreamed of playing for England as a kid and he cheered when Michael Owen led the Three Lions to that 5-1 win in 2001. But Germany showed greater interest and affection for him, and he repaid their loyalty.

‘Before I played for Germany, there was a slight hope [of an England call-up],’ Holtby told the BBC in the run-up to Wednesday night's Champions League group stage match in north London.

‘But when Germany called me up and I had my first game, I learned the German FA was absolutely fantastic and I’m really enjoying playing for Germany now.

‘I didn’t want to be a traitor [having played for Germany Under 21s] and if England called I probably would have said no. If you want to play for a country, you stick to that country and do your best for them. That’s my point of view.’

Holtby’s position has never wavered – in an interview with Sportsmail two years ago he said: ‘I have both countries in my heart. I supported England as a child, but I’m not a traitor. I must have honour and respect for Germany.

‘I love the country of England, but Germany have given me the honour of the captaincy at Under 21 level and I have to give them back that respect.’

Too late: Holtby may be an Everton fan, but England have lost him to Schalke (above) and Germany (below)

Too late: Holtby may be an Everton fan, but England have lost him to Schalke (above) and Germany (below)

Too late: Holtby may be an Everton fan, but England have lost him to Germany

His use of the word ‘traitor’ is
interesting – few football fans in England will have heard of Holtby and
know his back story, let alone claim he has betrayed them.

But with Schalke riding high in the Bundesliga – a 2-1 away win at defending champions and fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund at the weekend took them to third – and Holtby impressing with his passing and movement, it could be a matter of time before we do finally get to see more of him.

He is in the final year of his contract with the Ruhr club and his performances have Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool on alert.

Flying the flag: Holtby exploded into stardom in the Bundesliga after his star showings on loan at Mainz

Flying the flag: The midfielder exploded into Bundesliga stardom after his star showings on loan at Mainz

Like his father, Holtby supports Everton
– an early memory is of watching Paul Rideout win the 1995 FA Cup final
against Manchester United at Wembley – and he’s on record as saying a
Premier League move would be a ‘dream’.

He first caught the eye in the autumn of 2010, when his excellent performances while on loan helped Mainz 05, an unfancied side from Germany’s Rhineland, set a German top flight record by winning their first eight games.

Holtby returned to Schalke in March of that season and is on track to become one of their most influential players. His pass to release Marco Hoger for the decisive second goal against Dortmund on Saturday was yet another example of his class.

In the Gunners' sights: Holtby is set to line up behind striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (above, centre) against Arsenal

In the Gunners' sights: Holtby is set to line up behind striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (above) against Arsenal

In the Gunners' sights: Holtby is set to line up behind the main striker in Schalke's front line against Arsenal

‘It was a great result to win against
our biggest rivals,’ he said. ‘And it gave us so much confidence to
play against Arsenal on Wednesday.

‘I think it will be a similar game to the one against Dortmund. We are ready for the challenge and happy to play there.’

A characteristic Holtby performance against Arsenal will only increase his stock further and the German is hoping Jack Wilshere completes his return from injury so they can have a test of strength in the midfield.

It’s not beyond the realms of
possibility that Holtby and Wilshere could now be sparring for a place
in England’s midfield had things turned out differently.

The stage is set: England could discover at the Emirates Stadium that they have let a great talent slip away

The stage is set: England could discover at the Emirates Stadium that they have let a great talent slip away

‘For me it was always a dream to play in the Premier League and it was always a team like Arsenal that I would like to play for,’ added Holtby. ‘Now I play for Schalke and I am happy to be here.

‘My agent is there to handle the rumours. I want to put all my concentration on football. I cannot be fussed in my head with other clubs who want to sign me or whatever.’

For England, the match at the Emirates could be a glimpse of what might have been. For the Premier League, it could be a glimpse of what is still to come.

Aston Villa join Newcastle and Reading in hunt for Charlie Austin

Aston Villa join Newcastle and Reading in the hunt for Burnley hotshot Austin

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 9 October 2012

Aston Villa are showing interest in Burnley striker Charlie Austin.

The 23-year-old has scored 15 goals in 12 games and has also been watched by Newcastle and Reading.

Villa are also monitoring Dynamo Moscow’s 21-year-old Russia international forward Aleksandr Kokorin who is ready to leave in January.

Fine form: Charlie Austin has scored 15 goals in 12 games so far this season

Fine form: Charlie Austin has scored 15 goals in 12 games so far this season

Rickie Lambert believes he can play for England

I am good enough to play for England, insists Southampton hotshot Lambert

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 3 September 2012

Rickie Lambert has promised to lure Roy Hodgson back to Southampton with more Premier League goals.

Lambert scored one and created one for the Saints against Manchester United on Sunday with Hodgson in the stands as cries of 'Lambert for England' echoed around the St Mary's Stadium.

'You never know,' said England coach Gary Neville on Sky TV, but it proved to be not enough to earn the 30-year-old striker his first international call-up as a replacement for the injured Andy Carroll.

High hopes: Lambert (right) challenges England international Rio Ferdinand

High hopes: Lambert (right) challenges England international Rio Ferdinand

'Maybe not right now but hopefully in the future,' said Lambert. 'That's my dream. That's everyone's dream. It's a serious ambition. I just want to improve every single day at this club.

'At Southampton we've got something good. What we have achieved in the last two years has been magnificent. I think we've got more to come as well.

'We just need to start picking up points and I believe we will.'

It has been a meandering route into the top-flight for Lambert since he was released by Blackpool manager Steve McMahon at the age of 19 before making his name with a blaze of goals at Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale – where he forged a brief but lethal partnership with Grant Holt – and Bristol Rovers.

Southampton were in League One when he was signed by Alan Pardew, three years ago, and has been the spearhead as they climbed back into the Premier League, developing and improving his game each step of the way.

Struggling: Southampton are yet to win a game in the Premier League this season

Struggling: Southampton are yet to win a game in the Premier League this season

'When I moved up from League One to the Championship, people were saying: 'He's not going to make it' and that's the best thing I can hear, especially from people who think they know a bit about football,' said Lambert.

'I've always believed in myself. It's not a different game. You still try and score in the same goals and you still play with a round ball. It's not too much different.

'I've got better each season and that's a massive thanks to Southampton but in the last few years my confidence has got so high. I was confident I could do well, honestly.'

Holt can tell his old Spotland strike-partner it is not easy to break into the England set-up from an unfashionable club, especially not when you have worked your way to the top the hard way.

In the goals: Lambert has netted twice this season already

In the goals: Lambert has netted twice this season already

The 31-year-old Norwich centre-forward scored 17 goals last season without international recognition and Hodgson has tended to prefer young, quicker strikers since he took over from Fabio Capello.

Lambert may have impressed as Saints surrendered the lead to lose 3-2 against both Manchester United and City but his England dreams will rest heavily upon his ability to help Nigel Adkins' young team preserve their top-flight status.

'The lads are gutted,' said Lambert. 'There's no getting away from that. I felt confident we could hold out for at least a draw but it wasn't to be. We have to keep our heads up and take confidence from that form.

'Our performances haven't been worrying. We would have liked some points on the board but we're going to keep our spirits high and take confidence from it.

'We'll learn from it. That's twice now when we've been leading in games that we could have got something out of.'

Manchester United eye Leandro Damiao move

United ready to rival Spurs and Liverpool in race to sign Brazil hotshot Damiao

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 3 September 2012

Manchester United are considering a January move for Brazil striker Leandro Damiao.

Tottenham failed in a 20m bid for Damiao last week while the 23-year-old was offered to Liverpool on loan but the deal was considered too expensive.

United held talks over Damiao in February and intermediaries met his representatives in Sao Paulo Airport on Monday to outline a proposal for January.

Hot property: Brazil striker Leandro Damiao has attracted several big clubs

Hot property: Brazil striker Leandro Damiao has attracted several big clubs

The striker won a silver medal at the Olympics and was tournament top scorer with six goals.

Tottenham signed midfielder Sandro from Internacional in 2010 and had hoped that deal will help smooth Damiao’s transfer.

United bolstered their front line with the 24m signing of Robin van Persie from Arsenal this summer and also boast Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez among their ranks.

But Leandro is fast becoming one of world football's hottest properties after his star showing at London 2012.