Tag Archives: levels

David Moyes must be given money to spend at Everton or he"ll be off

Everton must let Moyes splash the cash or face losing him

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 30 December 2012

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There was a theory doing the rounds yesterday that Everton have to secure a place in the Champions League to keep David Moyes at Goodison Park beyond this season.

If so, anxiety levels in and around Goodison are likely to rise sharply between now and May, as Moyes monitors Everton’s position in the Barclays Premier League and ponders his future.

There is a way of cutting short the waiting time, though, and ensuring the unthinkable is not allowed to happen.

Cold feet Everton manager David Moyes could be tempted by a move away from Goodison Park if he doesn't get a decent transfer kitty in January

Cold feet Everton manager David Moyes could be tempted by a move away from Goodison Park if he doesn't get a decent transfer kitty in January

A simple pledge of transfer funds for next month’s window ought to do it. Easier said than done, of course, given Everton’s modest resources but Bill Kenwright has found ways of delivering for his manager in the past and must pull out all the stops to do so again.

Fortunately for all concerned, the Everton chairman doubles up as a fan, as devoted as they come, and will, it is safe to assume, hand over every penny he can lay his hands on.

As a fan who sits on the front row of the directors’ box and kicks every ball, Kenwright will also appreciate why facilitating his manager’s wishes next month is so crucial to a project that has been a decade in the making.

Everton have flirted with the Champions League before, only to falter at the qualifying stage, but a breakthrough is surely closer than ever.

So close: Nikica Jelavic rues a late missed chance as Everton pushed for an equaliser in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea

So close: Nikica Jelavic rues a late missed chance as Everton pushed for an equaliser in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea

It is tantalisingly close, as was evident in an epic battle with Chelsea that eloquently argued the case for and against their prospects of finishing in the top four.

It was gripping stuff, a classic Premier League encounter that both illustrated how Everton’s strongest starting XI can be a match for anyone and exposed their need for greater strength in depth.

Moyes (right) wants to address the latter as a matter of urgency and needs no reminding of the perils of relying on a wafer-thin squad.

Injuries to the likes of Phil Neville, Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson and a suspension for Marouane Fellaini — by no means an uncommon roll call at this stage of the season — left him glancing over his shoulder at a bench containing the likes of Bryan Oviedo, Apostolos Vellios and untried 18-year-old Tyias Browning.

Ill timed: An injury to captain Phil Neville didn't help Moyes in the Chelsea game

Ill timed: An injury to captain Phil Neville didn't help Moyes in the Chelsea game

Everton still ran rejuvenated Chelsea close, despite the telling absence of the influential Fellaini, yet, as limbs tired and managers looked for reinforcements, the two camps were shown to be poles apart.

While Everton’s replacements had the look of reserves about them, Rafa Benitez was able to choose between Oscar and Victor Moses for an injection of attacking impetus, or Paulo Ferreira to lend an experienced steadying hand at the back.

Little wonder that Everton’s challenge ultimately ran out of steam, and Moyes was left venting his frustration on referee Howard Webb’s failure to spot an added-time foul on the edge of the area that denied his side the chance of an equaliser.

However, Moyes did give the much-maligned Respect campaign’s tarnished image a welcome shot in the arm by apologising for a post-match rant at Webb, making amends immediately with a show of remorse that may spare him any disciplinary action.

Frustration: Moyes was annoyed that referee Howard Webb missed a foul on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area in injury time

Frustration: Moyes was annoyed that referee Howard Webb missed a foul on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area in injury time

‘I did have words with the referee when I was coming off,’ said Moyes, whose side missed the opportunity to move into the top four.

‘I was wrong to do so and I apologised about it to him afterwards. I just thought there was a foul by Frank Lampard on Leon Osman on the edge of the box in the 92nd minute but he didn’t give it.

‘The way the game went, the players deserved to get something out of it because they played ever so well. It was harsh on us.’

There will doubtless be words with Kenwright, too, in the coming days, and the answers Moyes gets could determine whether one of the Premier League’s most enduring and fruitful partnerships continues to thrive into a second decade.

Sunderland fans spur on manager Martin O"Neill

Sunderland faithful spur on manager O'Neill as 2,000 fans make trip to Southampton

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

More than 2,000 Sunderland supporters will make the 300-plus mile trip to Southampton on Saturday.

The away allocation is sold out and
manager Martin O'Neill says such commitment to the club's cause, just
three days before Christmas, is one reason why he is desperate to
succeed for the club.

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

O'Neill said: 'That really sums it up. Last year we went down and played Tottenham and then a couple of days later we played at QPR a couple of days before Christmas and we filled the stand behind the goal which is absolutely remarkable support.

'They're travelling down to Southampton in their numbers three or four days before Christmas shows you all you need to know about this club. It's great motivation for us to achieve something for the club.

'You work every single day to try and put a mark on the club and try and improve results and it's for people like that who're the heart and soul of the football club.'

Sunderland have recalled Republic of Ireland international David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull City.

The midfielder has scored twice in a successful month at the Championship club with former manager Steve Bruce.

O'Neill added: 'At least if he gets on the field of play with us, which I imagine he will, his fitness levels won't worry me as much as it might have done before.'

India v England: India must improve – David Lloyd

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: A billion reasons why India must improve… (and leave Samit alone)

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UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 9 December 2012

England were a bit frenetic on the final morning but the bottom line is that India got a good hiding. The home side now need to show 1.1 billion people that they actually care.

We are talking about players who earn more money than Rooney, Balotelli and Lampard (via endorsements and sponsors) and their fans deserve more. I want to see a major reaction from their players but can't see them beating England unless they improve their skill levels and attitude infinitely.

Well beaten: India must improve to please their fans

Well beaten: India must improve to please their fans

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Zaheer today, gone tomorrow

We now have back-to-back Tests and India had no real time to consider their defeat but they have still reacted and made several changes. But I am certain they have not picked better players.

Zaheer Khan may be a surprise omission to some but he looks out of condition. He's just one who showed no life or intensity in the field.

Jimmy back to his best

Nagpur is the venue for the final Test and the last three matches there have produced resounding results. India should produce a spinning pitch but they must bat better.

For England, they just pick the same team. It was absolutely right for Steven Finn to play in front of Stuart Broad and it was noticeable that Jimmy Anderson had more spark about him because the team had been freshened up.

Leave Samit alone

Get off Samit Patel's back. There is all sorts of Twitter and internet criticism over his ability and place in the team but just leave the lad alone.

He needs to do more, he'll know that, but he produced an attractive little innings in this Test and he'd also be a star fielder in this India team!

Under pressure: Patel has both Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan waiting in the wings

Under pressure: Patel has both Bairstow and Morgan waiting in the wings

Get it done in four

It was terrific to hear captain Alastair Cook say that when you win, you go and have a good night. Just one personal wish though. I hope England wrap the next Test up in four days, these early-morning starts are killing me!

When it became obvious on Saturday that we'd have be back in for just an hour's work at 3am yesterday, Mike Atherton (who is in India) was quick to text and say 'good luck!'. So come on Jimmy, come on Swanny, pull your fingers out!

Bailed out

Finally, in all my years of watching cricket, I have never seen a bail fall from its groove as it did when Jimmy Anderson bowled Pragyan Ojha. The ball just clipped the bail which took an eternity to move but finally dropped…it was as though someone had wind!

Juan Mata: Chelsea eat sausages, bacon and beans for breakfast

Sausages, bacon and beans for breakfast No wonder Chelsea have slipped down the table

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 7 December 2012

Perhaps the reason Chelsea are getting stuffed on the pitch is because, as Juan Mata has revealed, they are gorging themselves off it.

The Spain star has told of the squad's preference for eating sausages, bacon and beans for breakfast before lunchtime kick offs.

And the fatty pre-match meal is leaving them with a fat chance of succeeding when they go out to play, according to a nutrition expert.

Admission: Mata has revealed details of Chelsea's pre-match grub

Admission: Mata has revealed details of Chelsea's pre-match grub

Food for thought…

WHAT CHELSEA ARE EATING:

Sausages (2) = 4g saturated fat (20 per cent of daily allowance), 8g protein

Bacon (2) = 2g saturated fat (10 per cent), 6g protein

Beans (One portion) = 52g carbs (17 per cent), 12g protein

WHAT THE EXPERT RECOMMENDS:

Grilled tomatoes (2) = 10g carbs, 4g protein

Poached eggs (One large) = 2g saturated fat, 6g protein

Wholegrain toast (2 slices) = 26g carbs, 2g protein

Vicky Warr, head of fitness training firm Beez Kneez, said: 'Sausages, bacon and beans I am surprised. The reason why they're going for that kind of breakfast, I think, is get plenty of protein in.

'They want to build lean muscle tissue and obviously meat is a good source of protein. But with sausages you've got quite a lot of processed meat so plenty of saturated fat.

'That is difficult to digest sometimes and it can lead to issues when they're playing. They may feel a little heavy and it could affect their energy levels.'

Mata reveled: 'I had a lot of trouble with that at the start. I said to myself: “How can we eat stuff like this” But now I'm used to it… which proves I've adapted perfectly.'

Traditional: Chelsea prefer sausages, bacon and beans before lunchtime kick-offs

Traditional: Chelsea prefer sausages, bacon and beans before lunchtime kick-offs

Hopefully, the calorific breakfast is eaten well in advance of playing.

'They'd need to eat a good two or three hours before they go on the pitch,' Ms Warr said.

'They want to be getting up and eating your breakfast straight away, not waiting until 10am, because their blood sugar levels will be really low by that point. So I'm presuming they're eating before that anyway.'

There is one potential plus point from having a Full English though. While the beans provide a form of carbohydrates for energy, they also lead to something else entirely.

'Beans aren't the best carbs,' Ms Warr said. 'I don't want to be rude but they'll probably still have flatulence. They'll be putting the other team off that's for sure. Maybe that's there tactic!'

An healthier alternative is to use a cleaner form of protein, such as eggs, and to eat whole grain toast for carbs.

Ms Warr added: 'If they are having really good, organic, homemade sausages, and if they're grilled rather than fried, that's an okay option. If the bacon was unsmoked and again grilled, and had the fat cut off it, that would be better.

'Because they are burning off a lot of energy, obviously they are not trying to lose weight. But they do still need to stay in really good shape in order to be performing well on the pitch.

'I'd give them smoothies made form bananas, natural yoghurt, water, loads of berries, some ground almonds. Put that in a blender and that would give them loads of vitamins and nutrients in and provide good energy.

'Or they could have grilled tomatoes, eggs – poached, scrambled or boiled – they are really could source of protein, and leaner. A couple of slices of whole grain toast as well for carbohydrates so they can sprint around on the pitch.

'Ideally they want slow releasing carbohydrates for breakfast. But because matches aren't that long, they could have the whiter variety of pasta or bread about and hour before because they're going to burn it off. It will give them that short burst. They're not running a marathon.'

Tal Ben Haim handed QPR trial

EXCLUSIVE: Redknapp turns to Ben Haim as defender takes up chance to win QPR move

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 3 December 2012

Tal Ben Haim could become Harry Redknapp's first signing for QPR after being invited to train with the Barclays Premier League strugglers.

The vastly-experienced Israel defender is due at QPR's training ground on Tuesday, as he bids to secure a fresh start with a new club in the next few weeks.

After reaching a settlement with Portsmouth in August, following a dispute over wages, Ben Haim has been without a club and has not played since Israel's 4-0 World Cup qualifying defeat against Russia in September.

Familiar face: Tel Ben Haim (left) could make a Premier League return with QPR

Familiar face: Tel Ben Haim (left) could make a Premier League return with QPR

He feels ready to relaunch his career, though, after training with Israeli clubs such as Maccabi Netanya and Bnei Yehuda to keep up his fitness levels.

Should he impress Redknapp with his form and physical condition, the 30-year old could be recruited in the New Year to add his experience and versatility to QPR's survival fight.

He can operate at centre-half, right-back or as sweeper, and his adaptability could prove useful to Redknapp as he tries to plot an escape for a side rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

The QPR manager may face competition from Guangzhou, though, following claims that the Chinese Super League team believe they can persuade Ben Haim to link up with former Blackburn and Everton striker Yakubu at their club after Christmas.

England v New Zealand preview with Ben Kay

England must not be conned by All Black rope-a-dope tactics

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UPDATED:

23:35 GMT, 30 November 2012

There are a lot of myths about the way the All Blacks play. People have this perception they’re an all-singing, all-dancing team who always have the ball and are always attacking, always expansive.

The truth is different. /11/30/article-2241211-16492714000005DC-110_634x422.jpg” width=”634″ height=”422″ alt=”Dan stays in the picture: The All Blacks most potent weapon, Dan Carter, checks out the news in Sportsmail, including pictures of his day out in London” class=”blkBorder” />

Dan stays in the picture: The All Blacks most potent weapon, Dan Carter, checks out the news in Sportsmail, including pictures of his day out in London

Steve Hansen’s side conceded the second-highest number of penalties and, when it came to time-in-possession stats, they were third of the four teams. The message is clear; it’s not about how much ball they have, it’s about what they do with it.

But there were several areas where the All Blacks were well ahead of the rest – passes completed, number of off-loads, defenders beaten, clean breaks, metres gained and tackle completion, highlighting their clinical work.

For a long time, New Zealand have been the finest counter-attacking side in the world. When they win a turnover, it’s as if they flick a mental switch. They all go up a gear, they raise their intensity levels. More often than not, they will score.

What the All Blacks do well is control and vary their pace. A lot of other nations play at the same high intensity, but they are one-paced, they lack that variety. New Zealand are able to operate and succeed with less possession. Their tackle-completion rates are really good, then when they get the ball, they immediately go up three gears.

Masters of the art: New Zealand are the best counter-attacking side in the world

Masters of the art: New Zealand are the best counter-attacking side in the world

Last weekend, Manu Tuilagi intercepted the ball and broke upfield against South Africa, but England were unable to take the scoring chance. In the same circumstances, the All Blacks would have flicked that switch and scored a try. The initial reaction is crucial. As soon as they see a turnover, the players all quickly get into position and flood through on the right support lines. In contrast, some of the England players might have seen Chris Ashton receive the ball from Tuilagi and subconsciously thought ‘he’s quick’ so they just watched him run.

New Zealand always ensure that as many players as possible work themselves into attacking positions. They would have had someone up in close support of a player in Ashton’s position, ready to take an off-load when he ran hard at the last defender.

Opta stats reveal that, of all the All Blacks tries since the World Cup, 44 per cent start when they regain possession in their own half. With England, that figure drops to about 20 per cent. New Zealand are always alert to potential try-scoring opportunities, even from deep.

It is like rope-a-dope – their ability to soak up pressure and pounce when chances come along. Their belief that they will always find a way to win borders on arrogance.

rugby.jpg

They will look at the opposition and
think, ‘Whatever you do, we will surpass you’, which is the mindset we
had with England in the run-up to the 2003 World Cup. The All Blacks
believe they are bullet proof.

Another advantage they have over England and other sides is an innate willingness to take risks. They have so many supreme physical specimens who can dominate collisions, but they also have the mind-set to play positively – always looking to offload.

In England, if you throw an offload that ‘wasn’t on’, it can lead to heavy criticism and that can make players go into their shells. Perhaps we have to change our national psyche when it comes to risk-taking.

England captain Chris Robshaw has been slated for his decision to go for goal with a late penalty last weekend, but he made the right call. Stats show that from 40 attacking line-outs within 10 metres of the opposition line since the start of 2010, England have scored just four times.

Under pressure: Robshaw will come in for intense scrutiny on Saturday

Under pressure: Robshaw will come in for intense scrutiny on Saturday

If time is almost up, the defending side can keep infringing, knowing that the attacking team need more than a penalty to win the game. They basically have a licence to cheat.

My hope is that Robshaw can block out all the criticism the next time that he faces a similar scenario, but my fear is that all the stick he’s had will affect him.

On this occasion, there are no areas where England have a clear advantage. Rugby is a strange game, so all hope is not lost, but I think the All Blacks will win, say 29-13.

headtohead.jpg

Alex Ferguson claims he foresaw struggle at Galatasaray

I knew we'd struggle: Ferguson says he feared second string would suffer in Istanbul

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UPDATED:

00:51 GMT, 21 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he feared how Manchester United's patched-up defence were going to handle Galatasaray before watching his side lose in Istanbul.

Ferguson's concerns were justified as United slipped to a 1-0 defeat thanks to Burak Yilmaz's second-half header.

It cost the Red Devils their 100 per cent record in this season's competition, and means they have now conceded the first goal an incredible 12 times in 17 matches in both the Premier League and Champions League.

Not tonight: Sir Alex Ferguson knew his side could struggle in Turkey

Not tonight: Sir Alex Ferguson knew his side could struggle in Turkey

However, with 18-year-old Nick Powell hitting the bar on his first start, and Phil Jones making his first appearance of the season after back and knee problems, there were obvious plus points as well.

'We worried about set-pieces and that was the area we suffered,' said Ferguson.

'That was always going to be a problem considering the lack of experience and height.

'But otherwise it was a decent performance. Parts of the game were good and we handled the atmosphere.'

Ferguson was critical of early challenges from Felipe Melo and Semih Kaya, both of which he felt warranted red cards.

Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo opted to keep his cards in his pocket though, and Galatasaray took advantage, with Hamit Altintop twice coming close in addition to Yilmaz's fifth goal in the competition.

At least though, the damage is not as serious as 19 years ago, when United were sent crashing out of the competition.

The stadium is different as well, even if the incredible noise levels seem to be the same.

'It is a fantastic stadium and obviously an improvement from the old one,' said Ferguson.

'There is not much difference in the atmosphere.

'The biggest change since then is that we have won the competition twice and we have qualified for the last 16 this year too.'

Tough crowd: The atmosphere was hostile inside the stadium

Tough crowd: The atmosphere was hostile inside the stadium

Defeat: Jonny Evans (right) was unable to prevent a loss

Defeat: Jonny Evans (right) was unable to prevent a loss

Galatasaray will join them if they match Cluj's result at Old Trafford in a fortnight.

'We'll play a similar team against Cluj, that goes without saying,' said Ferguson.

'We've qualified and there's no reason why we shouldn't use the squad.'

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim was understandably delighted at securing such a notable triumph.
'We deserved this victory,' he said.

'We dominated the game and in the end found the goal that we needed. When you play against a team like Manchester United, you cannot go slowly. You have to be enthusiastic and wise.

'I am fortunate my players were able to be both things this evening.'

Relaxed: Ferguson's side have already qualified

Relaxed: Ferguson's side have already qualified

Oscar: Chelsea are Premier League"s answer to Brazil

Chelsea are the Premier League's answer to Brazil! Oscar hails Blues' samba style

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UPDATED:

08:41 GMT, 9 November 2012

Brazilian playmaker Oscar reflected on another Champions League wonder goal, claiming afterwards that Chelsea are playing just like Brazil.

The midfielder added to a spectacular strike against Juventus with a stunning 40-yard effort that helped defeat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.

He said that his performance levels will raise as he becomes used to the demands of English football and as he develops an understanding with his team-mates.

Magical: Oscar reacted quickly to Andriy Pyatov's botched header

Magical: Oscar reacted quickly to Andriy Pyatov's botched header

But what is making the transition to
life in England that much easier is the style of football being played
by the Blues, so much so it reminds him of playing for Brazil.

'As a player, I have a lot to learn
and there is room for improvement. I have to show what I'm capable of
and I feel I'm getting better with every day.

'It's the same with the relationship
with my team-mates. You can feel that improving and it's a pleasure to
play for a team which attacks like Chelsea does.

'I'm Brazilian, so of course, I like
playing this style of football a lot. It makes me happy to be playing in
a team which plays this way and be at a club that I enjoy. It's
important to me.'

All four of his goals this season have come in the
Champions League. And although he has yet to make the same sort of
impact in the Premier League, he says his time will come.

Samba style: Oscar's long-range effort illuminated the Champions League clash with Shakhtar

Samba style: Oscar's long-range effort illuminated the Champions League clash with Shakhtar

Samba style: Oscar's long-range effort illuminated the Champions League clash with Shakhtar

'I feel as though I've settled well,
although all my goals so far have come in Europe,' he said, 'the most
important thing is I'm adapting myself to Chelsea.

'I have to keep that process going, keep getting used to my team-mates. I can do better.

'It is a very different sort of football here – compared to Brazil in particular, and it does take some getting used to.

'These
are my first experiences in English football, so naturally there is a
process of adaptation as I get used to the different environment but I'm
pleased with everything so far.

Samba beat: Oscar is finding his feet in west London

Samba beat: Oscar is finding his feet in west London

'Every game I play I will get more used to it, so I know I will keep improving.

'I've
been really happy with the move. Both in terms of the football and in
terms of the city – London is a marvellous place to live.'

And what of those spectacular strikes

'I've not scored many like that in my career,' he added. 'It's definitely the first time I've scored from that sort of distance. I can't remember another one from that range. It was a beautiful goal.'

Chelsea"s Oscar pledges to bring electric Champions League form into the Premier League

Look out City and United! Oscar pledges to bring electric Euro form into the Premier League

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 8 November 2012

Brazilian playmaker Oscar reflected on another Champions League wonder goal, claiming afterwards that he can do even better.

The midfielder added to a spectacular strike against Juventus with a stunning 40-yard effort that helped defeat Shakhtar Dontsk 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.

He said that his performance levels will raise as he becomes used to the demands of English football and as he develops an understanding with his team-mates.

All four of his goals have come in the Champions League. And although he has yet to make the same sort of impact in the Premier League, he says his time will come.

Magical: Oscar reacted quickly to Andriy Pyatov's botched header

Magical: Oscar reacted quickly to Andriy Pyatov's botched header

'I feel as though I've settled well, although all my goals so far have come in Europe,' he said, 'the most important thing is I'm adapting myself to Chelsea.

'I have to keep that process going, keep getting used to my team-mates. I can do better.

'It is a very different sort of football here – compared to Brazil in particular, and it does take some getting used to.

'These are my first experiences in English football, so naturally there is a process of adaptation as I get used to the different environment but I'm pleased with everything so far.

'Every game I play I will get more used to it, so I know I will keep improving.

'I've been really happy with the move. Both in terms of the football and in terms of the city – London is a marvellous place to live.

You little beauty: Fernando Torres and Ramires grab Oscar after his opportunist strike

You little beauty: Fernando Torres and Ramires grab Oscar after his opportunist strike

'As a player, I have a lot to learn and there is room for improvement. I have to show what I'm capable of and I feel I'm getting better with every day.

'It's the same with the relationship with my team-mates. You can feel that improving and it's a pleasure to play for a team which attacks like Chelsea does.

'I'm Brazilian, so of course, I like playing this style of football a lot. It makes me happy to be playing in a team which plays this way and be at a club that I enjoy. It's important to me.'

And what of those spectacular strikes

'I've not scored many like that in my career,' he added, 'it's definitely the first time I've scored from that sort of distance. I can't remember another one from that range. It was a beautiful goal.'

Manchester City and Liverpool worry for Theo Walcott as Juventus enter bids

EXCLUSIVE: City and Liverpool on alert as Conte orders Juventus to bid for Walcott

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UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 23 October 2012

Juventus are ready to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for Theo Walcott after Antonio Conte urged his bosses to enter the bidding for the Arsenal forward.

Sportsmail understands Conte is a huge admirer of Walcott’s pacey, direct style and has earmarked a role for him on the right of a front three at the Juventus Stadium.

Wanted man: Theo Walcott is the final year of his contract with Arsenal

Wanted man: Theo Walcott is the final year of his contract with Arsenal

Alerted by the deadlock over contract
talks at The Emirates, Juve have been monitoring Walcott’s form for the
best part of a year and closely following movements from other
interested parties.

Conte is convinced the 23-year old England flyer is the answer to his search for a right-sided attacker and has put him ahead of Manchester United winger Nani on his list of priorities.

The Juve coach is confident of pipping Arsenal for Fernando Llorente, after drawing up a provisional contract for the Athletic Bilbao striker worth 145,000 a week, and wants Walcott to operate on the right of him.

As Serie A leaders and reigning champions, he believes a revitalised Juventus may appeal to Walcott, who turned down Arsenal’s five-year 75,000-a-week offer in August and is now in the final 12 months of his current contract.

He is thought to be looking for 100,000 a
week, which would be well within range for Juventus, given the terms
promised to Llorente.

Get him: Juventus coach Antonio Conte wants to strengthen his ranks with Walcott as well as Fernando Llorente, who himself is being tracked by Arsenal

Get him: Juventus coach Antonio Conte wants to strengthen his ranks with Walcott as well as Fernando Llorente, who himself is being tracked by Arsenal

Get him: Juventus coach Antonio Conte wants to strengthen his ranks with Walcott as well as Fernando Llorente, who himself is being tracked by Arsenal

The one ray of hope for Liverpool is a suggestion that Conte’s enthusiasm for recruiting Walcott may not be shared within the Turin club’s boardroom, following close scrutiny of scouting reports on performance levels that have varied over the past 12 months.

Paris St Germain are also keen and could, along with Juventus, open talks on a pre-contract agreement in January.