Tag Archives: makers

Steven Davis backs Nigel Adkins to stay as Southampton boss

Davis backs Adkins and urges Saints board not to make rash decisions

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 6 November 2012

Steven Davis has urged Southampton's decision-makers not to press the panic button at the St Mary's Stadium.

The Northern Ireland international says it is evident from the support manager Nigel Adkins has from the Saints' fans and the effort being put in on the pitch that they are trying to rally around the Merseysider.

Adkins fronted up to all the questions about his future after the 2-0 defeat at the Hawthorns on Monday night, saying he still 'relished' the challenge of leading Southampton.

Backing: Steven Davis says the manager is still supported

Backing: Steven Davis says the manager is still supported

And Davis suggested that any change might be counter-productive.

'Everyone wants the same thing,' said the midfielder, 'to work hard and get moving up the table.

'We have a home game against Swansea coming up and that's a good opportunity for us to get going and get some points on the board.

'We know where we are at. We're in a fight. The manager has tried to shield us from pressure. He lets us concentrate on our football.

'But results haven't been going our way so we are all under pressure.

'We are all pulling in the right direction and the fans clearly appreciate the job the manager's done. The club has come a long way in a short space of time.

'We haven't had the start to the season we would have wished for. We are not where we want to be.

'But we're showing in periods that we can play at this level. We are creating chances and scoring goals.

'We don't want to panic in this situation, although obviously that's not my decision to make.

Difficult: Adkins is finding it hard to get his defence right

Difficult: Adkins is finding it hard to get his defence right

'But the manager's done a great job in the time he’s been here to get back to back promotions and then come into the Premier League.

'The club’s trying to build again from there. But it’s been a tough start to the season, there’s no doubt about it.

'We’ve had disappointing results. But we’ve all got the belief that we are capable of staying in this league.'

Manchester City talking to Barcelona"s former director of youth Jose Ramon Alesanco

City continue following Barca blueprint with move for former youth team director Alesanco

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 31 October 2012

Manchester City are in talks over a role for Barcelona's former director of youth Jose Ramon Alesanco, while also showing interest in Real Betis midfielder Benat.

The stylish Spain international, 25, is struggling to agree new terms on his contract at Betis and can leave for his buy-out clause of 16million.

The Premier League champions have already appointed former Barca staff Txiki Begiristain as director of football and Ferran Soriano as chief executive as they bid to put the club permanently at Europe's top table.

Going for the top: Manchester City are continuing to build 'Barcelona Two'

Going for the top: Manchester City are continuing to build 'Barcelona Two'

With the Barca-blueprint seemingly the one to follow, City were forced to deny that Roberto Mancini's job was under threat from Pep Guardiola, who is currently out of work.

Mancini, who signed a five-year contract in the summer to become the highest paid manager in the Premier League, is safe, according to club sources.

'Roberto has won three trophies in two-and-a-half years and was given a new five-year contract in the summer, and that would not have happened if the powers that be thought they had the wrong manager,' the source told ESPN earlier this month.

'No, this is not about the manager, as some mischief-makers might assume. The possible recruitment of another former Barcelona man, that is just not what is going on here.'

Roberto Mancini not under threat from Pep Guardiola, say Manchester City

Manchester City deny Guardiola is primed to replace Mancini after arrival of pal Begiristain

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UPDATED:

09:50 GMT, 29 October 2012

Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola after the club lured Barcelona's former technical director Txiki Begiristain to the Etihad as director of football.

Begiristain's arrival, combined with that of recently appointed chief executive Ferran Soriano, another to have worked at the Nou Camp, had led to speculation that the currently-out-of-work Guardiola would be approached.

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials at the Etihad

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials at the Etihad

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials

Mancini, who signed a five-year contract
in the summer to become the highest paid manager in the Premier League,
is safe, according to club sources.

'Roberto has won three trophies in
two-and-a-half years and was given a new five-year contract in the
summer, and that would not have happened if the powers that be thought
they had the wrong manager,' the source told ESPN.

'No,
this is not about the manager, as some mischief-makers might assume.
The possible recruitment of another former Barcelona man, that is just
not what is going on here.

'We
have a monster of a project with our new academy and Brian is going to
oversee that while Txiki comes in as we need a division of roles.

Welcome aboard: Txiki Begiristain (left) is now City's director of football

Welcome aboard: Txiki Begiristain (left) is now City's director of football

MANCHESTER CITY HIERARCHY

Owner: Sheikh Mansour

Chairman: Khaldoon al Mubarak

Chief executive: Ferran Soriano

DoF: Txiki Begiristain Boss: Roberto Mancini

Academy director: Brian Marwood

'Brian [Marwood] met up with Txiki on Thursday and Friday and Brian has the respect of the chairman and has been a constant in all that has been going on with some big changes and the creation of a philosophy and everyone is working together toward that end.'

Guardiola has also been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, while clubs in Italy are among those monitoring his situation while he takes a sabbatical from the game.

Privately Mancini has told close associates he is relieved that more than two years of struggle with Brian Marwood – who was taken up the role of academy director – are now at an end. He is also said to be ‘open minded’ about the prospect of working with a director of football.

Pushed out Brian Marwood

Pushed out Brian Marwood

Marwood never actually carried that title after Mancini’s predecessor Mark Hughes objected to it when the former Arsenal winger was appointed four years ago.

It is clear that Begiristain’s role in the recruitment of players will be central to his day-to-day involvement at the Etihad Stadium. Whether Mancini will see that as helpful or obstructive will be interesting. The one thing he will not tolerate is being told which players he should or should not try to buy.

Mancini's season has not been without its problems so far, however, and he is currently trying to contain the mutterings of dissent from a small group of players in his dressing room.

Begiristain, 48, has been on City’s radar for some time and was finally lured from Barcelona at the end of last week by Soriano.

The two men worked successfully at the Nou Camp and City hope that the pairing of such experienced and talented men can help lead the group forwards as they look to build on last season’s Barclays Premier League win.

City were keen to stress that Marwood has not been demoted, claiming that the former Arsenal player retains the support of chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and underlining that the success of the club’s academy will be vital to the future of the club. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that this is a role Marwood would have chosen.

Indifferent: City's form in Europe has been dismal, and they aren't convincing at home, either

Indifferent: City's form in Europe has been dismal, and they aren't convincing at home, either

Begiristain, who played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona during his playing career, said: ‘I am very pleased indeed to have been offered such an exciting opportunity.

‘The progress and on-field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to their future success.

‘I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long-term future.’

Lionel Messi launches adidas competition to design his next pair of F50 boots

Make them dazzle! Barca superstar Messi wants fans to design his next pair of boots

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UPDATED:

10:22 GMT, 25 October 2012

Lionel Messi has challenged football fans to come up with the design for his latest pair of boots.

The Barcelona superstar wears the F50 'boot with a brain' – the studs Sportsmail exclusively revealed last November – which records the forward's every move from a small data chip inserted in the sole.

The 25-year-old, who is rumoured to be launching his own brand of boots next year, will wear the custom made pair in December but wants them to dazzle – just like he does on the pitch.

Boot room: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi wants fans to design his next pair of F50s

Boot room: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi wants fans to design his next pair of F50s

'In football you express yourself with your feet,' said Argentina international Messi.

'Knowing that your boots are unique makes you feel special and makes you play with more confidence.

'I’m excited to see the designs that my fans create for me and I look forward to playing in them.'

But boot makers adidas might want to keep the news from Martin O'Neill.

The Sunderland boss recently became the latest manager to speak out against brightly coloured boots and urged players to return to the old-style black boots.

He said: 'When they were introduced, I remember Alan Ball wore a pair of white boots. Of course, he thought he was a great player and, to be fair, he was.

Make the dazzle: Messi wants his next design to shine like his performances on the pitch

Make the dazzle: Messi wants his next design to shine like his performances on the pitch

'But to wear really luminous boots you had to be a really good player, but nowadays you don’t have to be a good one to wear them.

'I would love if it came back to just wearing black boots. It would be great. I wore black boots. I certainly wouldn’t have worn orange!

'Under Cloughie, we were allowed two pairs of boots every season and then you had to buy your own after that. Honestly.

'We had to go down to a place in Nottingham called Redmayne & Todd with a chit and buy your boots. And if the boots you wanted were more expensive, you had to put some extra money to it. And we’d only won the European Cup — twice.’

Other Premier League managers share O'Neill's views, including QPR boss Mark Hughes.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes

Old school: Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill and QPR manager Mark Hughes (R) prefer traditional black boots

He said: 'When I played you kept the one pair that you broke in and you wanted to last for the season. At the moment it seems if the boot company says you’ve got to wear green ones one week then you have to wear green ones. It comes from the boot company rather than the player.'

Everton boss David Moyes said: ‘I’m a traditionalist, so it is black boots for me. If you are a centre half, you can’t wear anything other than black.'

And Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, said: ‘I don’t like these flashy boots. But I won’t be too critical. I don’t want a big wall between me and the players.

'If they feel they should play in pink then they should. On the other hand I always tell them that I feel they play better with black boots. We always played in black boots.'

Fans can create a unique pair of adidas adizero f50s for Messi by visiting the new miadidas configurator at www.miadidas.com and submitting their designs.

Chris Robshaw may not be England captain for autumn Tests

Robshaw limbo: Lancaster holds fire on naming England captain for autumn Tests

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 25 September 2012

Stuart Lancaster has left the door open to a renewed contest for the England captaincy by stopping short of endorsing Chris Robshaw as the long-term Test leader.

The head coach on Tuesday insisted that he and his assistants would name a skipper for the autumn series at Twickenham once the squad are together again, prior to the opening match against Fiji on November 10.

Harlequins flanker Robshaw did an accomplished job during the Six Nations and in the first two Tests against South Africa in June. But in his absence through injury, hooker Dylan Hartley took over and led England to a draw with the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.

In the balance: Robshaw has not been confirmed as England captain for the autumn internationals

In the balance: Robshaw has not been confirmed as England captain for the autumn internationals

Robshaw was present at the launch of the new national kit last week, suggesting his status is not in immediate danger, but Lancaster will bide his time over an official announcement.

‘We haven’t decided on the captain yet,’ he said. ‘We’ll sit down when we meet in camp, we’ll look at who’s available in terms of form and fitness, obviously. Clearly Chris has done a fantastic job. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t be strongly considered. But Chris could get injured as he was for the third Test when Dylan stepped up. So it’s too early to say this guy is going to be captain.’

Lancaster, speaking at the launch of the BMW Performance Academy, agreed that the principle is to choose the best team first, then the captain.

‘That’s the only way to do it,’ he said. ‘In terms of the captaincy, I wouldn’t say it’s over-played – being England captain is a big job. But a strong leadership group surrounding the captain is equally important – the decision-makers that support the captain; the nine, 10 and line-out caller.

Kitted out: Robshaw modeled England's new strip last week

Kitted out: Robshaw modeled England's new strip last week

‘The plan is ideally to name him for the autumn internationals. But we named Chris for the South Africa tour, then lost him for the last Test so we’ve got to be able to change and adapt as we go. While Chris was missed on the field, Dylan did a fantastic job captaining the side. The fact we got a performance out of the team on the back of a long, hard season was credit to Dylan and the rest of the players.’

Both Robshaw and Hartley have begun the season in fine style for their clubs, Quins and Northampton, who are both unbeaten from four Aviva Premiership games. The equation may be further complicated by the return of Saints flanker Tom Wood, who was thought to be Lancaster’s first-choice leader until a foot injury struck him down.

Meanwhile, the coach confirmed that injured trio Ben Youngs, Alex Corbisiero and Louis Deacon are expected to be back in action by the middle of October, but Tom Croft’s rehabilitation is likely to drag on longer.

Fine form: Hartley (carrying ball) is also in contention

Fine form: Hartley (carrying ball) is also in contention

Bath prop David Wilson has been called into the senior squad in place of Matt Stevens, who has retired from international rugby, with the vacancy in the Saxons ranks being filled by Mako Vunipola of Saracens.

ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux has reignited the TV rights war with leading English clubs by criticising Premiership Rugby’s controversial deal with BT Vision.

Referring to the four-year agreement worth up to 152million, the Frenchman said: ‘This is illegal. The English did not say anything about how the money will be shared between the domestic and European competitions and how it will be shared with the other countries’ (clubs). We may have to move on without the English, though I do not want it.’

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert makes profit as stars flout phone ban

Villa boss Lambert rings up profit as stars flout phone ban

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UPDATED:

10:24 GMT, 22 September 2012

Paul Lambert's hard-line approach at Aston Villa is reaping cash rewards after several players ignored his ban on mobile phones.

The Scot has clamped down on the use of personal computers and phones at his Bodymoor Heath training base.

But it seems that some members of Villa's first team have not taken the rule seriously.

Hit in the pocket: Carruthers was fined for making a phone call

Hit in the pocket: Carruthers was fined for making a phone call

Samir Carruthers, who scored against Liverpool on his debut at Anfield last season, used Twitter to reveal he had been hit in the pocket.

Brandishing a fistful of notes, the 19-year-old playmaker wrote: '500 fine for a phone call. #paul lambert has me on toast #wallet heavy until tomorrow.'

No nonsense: Lambert has taken a hard-line approach

No nonsense: Lambert has taken a hard-line approach

When quizzed, Lambert said: 'Yes, that's right, he's been fined. No, I didn't text him to inform him he was getting it. But those are the rules and I'm not going to bend them for anyone.'

Asked if other players had erred, he joked: 'Let's put it like this, I won't go short of bread. So if you guys want a lunch – or five – with me that will be fine.'

Lambert heads to Southampton this afternoon on the back of Villa's encouraging 2-0 win over Swansea.

Like under-pressure home boss Nigel Adkins, the Scot managed back-to-back promotions with Norwich. City did not manage a victory in their first four matches last season and Lambert has a warning for the St Mary's decision-makers.

'I think it has been proven that if you give good people time, they will get it right. But if you make a knee-jerk reaction, then you will be back at square one again,' he said.

'I know where he is at. I got my head down and worked through it and I'm sure Nigel will do the same.'

Sebastian Coe believes Olympic Stadium will maintain athletics legacy

Coe has faith Olympic Stadium will maintain athletics legacy whatever lies ahead

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 9 September 2012

Sebastian Coe believes it is within the 'wit and wisdom' of decision makers to keep a track and field legacy at the Olympic Stadium.

It has yet to be finalised what to do with the 80,000-seat stadium after London 2012, with Premier League outfit West Ham among four bidders interested in becoming tenants.

The process has been hit by a series of delays and legal wrangles, while there has also been a focus on keeping to the original promise of an athletics legacy at the venue.

Drawing to a close: Lord Sebastian Coe watches the last night of the athletics

Drawing to a close: Lord Sebastian Coe watches the last night of the athletics

London 2012 chairman Coe remains confident that a track and field legacy will remain at the stadium and believes there will be an outcome that works for all parties.

'I only tend to interfere when I get irritated about things,' he said.

'I was very committed to the Olympic legacy. I felt very strongly that it was a commitment I made and I made it to a lot of people in international sport. I certainly wasn't going to walk away from that.

What lies ahead The Olympic Stadium's future has not been decided

What lies ahead The Olympic Stadium's future has not been decided

'I still think it is perfectly within the wit and wisdom of all of us to make a multi-purpose sporting arena work for track and field.

'The rest of it is now firmly in the lap of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

'I do think it would have been a fairly mystifying set of images that would have come through in six weeks had we have been watching the news and the roller derby was taking place as the stadium disappeared.

'I am not sure that would have met with public approval.'

Powell praises Team GB"s history makers after getting Olympic campaign going

Powell praises 'history makers' after GB get Olympic campaign up and running

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UPDATED:

19:43 GMT, 25 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Hope Powell hailed her 'history makers' after Great Britain launched their Olympic campaign with a 1-0 win over New Zealand in Cardiff.

Steph Houghton scored the only goal, curling home a superb 65th-minute free-kick which, given the nature of this 12-team competition, is almost enough to secure a quarter-final berth.

However, as the very first match GB have played in women's football, and the first event of the entire Olympics, Powell knows GB have made a statement that can never be erased.

'The girls have made history today,' said Powell. 'It has been mentioned so much we couldn't ignore it. We were the first women's GB team ever and we won. That will never change now.

Magic moment: Steph Houghton wheels away after firing the only goal of the game

Magic moment: Steph Houghton wheels away after firing the only goal of the game

'We wanted to enjoy the experience. We recognised it was the first event and that it was an opportunity for the girls to showcase their talent. I wanted them to embrace it and have a go. As it happens, we did alright.'

Despite the Football Association's pre-match claim that in excess of 31,000 tickets had been sold, the official attendance of 24,549 meant that it wasn't the UK record for a women's international the game had been billed as.

Nevertheless, Powell and her players have been overwhelmed by the entire Olympic experience so far.

'It was a great crowd,' she said. 'It is nice to come to a big stadium. That inspires the girls to do well.'

All good: Hope Powell oversees Ebngland's opening win

All good: Hope Powell oversees Ebngland's opening win

GB will hope to enjoy a similar experience when they take on Cameroon in the same stadium on Thursday.

New Zealand boss Tony Readings saw enough in the hosts' performance to believe they can make a major impact in the competition.

To do that, they will need to become more clinical in their finishing. After a nervous opening, GB blew a succession of chances before Houghton stepped up for her big moment.

It was some kind of redemption for the Durham-born defender, who has twice missed out on major tournaments because of injury.

Winner: Houghton fires in her free-kick

Winner: Houghton fires in her free-kick

'She has been really unlucky,' said Powell.

'She suffered major injuries before the World Cup in 2007 and the Euros in 2009. She has worked really hard to get back into condition and is now one of the fittest players in the squad. Scoring today was a great honour for her.'

Powell claimed Houghton was 'in shock' as the ball went in, an assessment the 24-year-old did not dispute.

'It is almost impossible to put into words,' she said. 'I knew I had struck it well and when I picked my head up it was in the back of the net. I didn't really know what to do with my celebration.

'I was trying to head towards the bench but I got tired and tried to slow down because it was so hot. It was a really special moment for me, the best of my career without a doubt.'

Chelsea hold training session at Seattle airport

Not your average plane delay… Chelsea stars enjoy ad hoc runway training session

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 21 July 2012

When faced with an airport delay, most holiday makers take a nap, finish their book or order in another pint.

But when the Chelsea squad was unable to take to the skies in Seattle, they chose to stretch their legs during an impromptu training session.

The Blues are travelling to New York where they will face mega rich Paris St Germain in a friendly at the Yankee Stadium.

Hard at work: The Chelsea squad are put through their paces at the airport in Seattle

Hard at work: The Chelsea squad are put through their paces at the airport in Seattle

This is how you fly it: The Chelsea players appear to be showing the pilot how he should control the plane

This is how you fly it: The Chelsea players appear to be showing the pilot how he should control the plane

Late start: John Terry left London on Friday

Late start: John Terry left London on Friday

Meanwhile, boss Roberto Di Matteo wants Chelsea to forget about being kings of Europe and concentrate on becoming rulers of England again.

In his first in-depth interview since
being appointed permanent manager, the Italian spoke about the 12 weeks
that changed his life last season, when he led Chelsea to an FA Cup and
Champions League double after the turbulent tenure of Andre
Villas-Boas.

'Those weeks were the craziest and
most amazing of my life,' said Di Matteo. 'We were fighting for fourth
place, the FA Cup and the Champions League. We had to switch from one
competition to another and the pressure was so intense. It was just
crazy.'

But he is refusing
to bask in the euphoria of that special night in Munich. The
42-year-old said: 'Manchester City have raised the bar. That is our
challenge, to make up the 25-point gap in the league.

'They
are doing what Chelsea did in 2004, in terms of how they have come on
to the scene, signed a lot of players and tried to build a foundation.
That's the challenge.'

Di Matteo will have John Terry in
his squad this weekend for the first time since the defender was found
not guilty of a racial offence involving Anton Ferdinand.

And
the Chelsea manager said: 'JT just wants to play football. He never
once looked fazed by having the court case hanging over him. But he is a
strong character.'

Stretch those legs: The Chelsea players loosen up... or practice their latest team dance

Stretch those legs: The Chelsea players loosen up… or practice their latest team dance

Put your hands in the air: Chelsea take on Paris St Germain in New York as part of their pre-season tour

Put your hands in the air: Chelsea take on Paris St Germain in New York as part of their pre-season tour

Michael Holding guide to Kemar Roach

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Holding's guide to West Indies' new spearhead… Kemar Roach

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UPDATED:

22:44 GMT, 15 May 2012

West Indies have finally got a young fast bowler to get excited about – the 23-year-old Kemar Roach, who has taken 62 wickets in 17 Tests. Windies legend Michael Holding examines the tourists' likeliest match-winner…

The lowdown

Kemar Roach looks like a proper attack leader. He bowled really well against Australia recently, and he's now removed Ricky Ponting five times in Tests – not a bad bunny! He's accurate, and just fast enough to trouble the best batsmen.

Warming up: Kemar Roach at the West Indies nets session at Lord's on Tuesday

Warming up: Kemar Roach at the West Indies nets session at Lord's on Tuesday

His strengths

I like the fact he thinks about the game for himself. I've seen him bowl badly in his first spell, then improve in his second – without going off the field to get any advice. Not a lot of youngsters reflect so critically on their game.

His English targets

I can see him troubling Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, because he bowls very well to left-handers. Against Australia he went round the wicket a lot to the lefties, but the ball will do more in England so he can stay over the wicket and use his natural angle.

Accurate and fast: Roach's deadly combination

Accurate and fast: Roach's deadly combination

His trust for the coach

He gets on well with Ottis Gibson, who knows a thing or two about how to bowl in England. He's spoken well about his relationship with the coach, and that's key in a dressing room which has little time for supposed trouble-makers.

How to use him

My one concern is that he will be overbowled if West Indies persist with an attack of two quicks, plus the medium pace of captain Darren Sammy and a spinner. Ideally, Roach shouldn't bowl more than 16 overs in a day, preferably over three spells.

The goal

Roach has got to be careful about nailing the right length. A good length in England is fuller than it is in the Caribbean, but I'm confident he'll work this out pretty quickly. He's not a very tall man, so if he bowls too short, he could be pulled easily.

His run-up

Everything about his action is spot on – he looks the business. But I would like to see him use his run-up more efficiently. Does he realise the impact a more rhythmical and longer run-up can have If he can work that out, he can expend less energy too.