Tag Archives: manager

Hatem Ben Arfa to return for Newcastle against Sunderland

Ben Arfa could return to bench for Benfica… and is set to take on Sunderland in derby

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

09:30 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 9 April 2013

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa could make a shock return to the bench for tomorrow's Europa League tie with Benfica.

The France midfielder, who has missed the last month with a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has hampered most of his season, was originally ruled out for the rest of the campaign by manager Alan Pardew.

But Ben Arfa, who suffered the injury in Moscow last month, has given Pardew a welcome boost as the Toon boss contemplates whether to field his strongest side for the European quarter-final, which Portuguese league leaders Benfica lead 3-1 from last week's first leg at the Stadium of Light, or for Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby at St James's Park.

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Captain Fabricio Coloccini and France
international defender Mathieu Debuchy are also in line for comebacks
from injury in Sunday's North East while Yohan Cabaye, who suffered a
foot injury in Sunday's win over Fulham, is unlikely to be risked
against Benfica so he will be fit to face Sunderland.

Ben Arfa had a short run-out at St
James' on Sunday ahead of the Fulham clash and has made excellent
progress under the watchful eye of Pardew's medical team, and a
consultant from France.

Pardew said: 'He thinks he is now 100
per cent and we are treating him as that. He is running and there could
be a cameo against Sunderland.

'He has a week's work and if he gets through that he could be involved.'

With a sell-out expected at St James'
tomorrow night, the Newcastle boss has warned supporters they will need
to be patient to help the team through a testing night.

Alan Pardew

Paolo Di Canio

Touchline passion: Both Alan Pardew and Paolo Di Canio will be targeting three points on Sunday

Benfica, who lead Porto in their
domestic league, are unbeaten in 30 games but face a Newcastle side who
have not in 13 European home games – 24 if the Intertoto Cup defeat to
Deportivo La Coruna more than 10 years ago is discounted.

Pardew added: 'We just need to get
ourselves in a good position. If we can get a goal with 20 minutes to go
we can do it. That's the agenda for me.

'Our fans need to understand we go
gung-ho for two goals we are just going to get killed. They have real
quality on the break and we have got to be very intelligent and
patient.'

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio
has no fresh injury worries for the weekend, although he must find a
central midfield replacement for Craig Gardner who is suspended after
picking up his 10th booking at Chelsea on Sunday.

The former Birmingham City midfielder blamed former Newcastle striker Demba Ba for his caution.

'It was not a yellow card,' Gardner said of the challenge which many felt could have earned a red.

'He just rolled around and forced the booking.'

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says Blues" fans offer him support when they meet him

'Rafa, we love you really!' Benitez insists he has plenty of support on the street as Chelsea fans finally offer him backing

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 8 April 2013

Unpopular Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez believes Blues supporters do love him really — at least they tell him that when they bump into him in the street.

The interim manager at Stamford Bridge has had to endure almost consistent hostility from the club’s faithful, but he says it isn’t the same in the streets.

Benitez told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘I spend most of my time here at the Cobham training centre and almost never go into London. And I have to say this – people are very civil to me out on the streets. Many Blues fans stop me and tell me to keep on plugging away and not to listen to the critics. I have a lot more day-to-day support than is shown, and people think.’

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

He also believes this Chelsea side — who are enjoying a run of form under the Spanish manager — are in a period of transition.

He
added: ‘We do have a squad which is a bit thin in some areas. People
still think that this is the Chelsea of Drogba, Essien or Lampard at its
finest. But now it is a side in transition, with Hazard, Mata, Oscar,
Marn and Moses. They are young players who have to adapt. We are moving
away from a physical side like the old one to a team which is much more
technical.’

Meanwhile,
Benitez knows Chelsea’s Champions League fate could hinge on the
Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham but is relaxed about the
twists and turns in the race for the top four.

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

A win for Arsenal on Saturday saw last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea in fifth ahead of their match with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland yesterday.

But the Blues returned to third with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, moving above Tottenham on goal difference after Spurs were held to a draw by sixth-placed Everton.

'We knew that we had to win and especially because they (Tottenham and Arsenal) will continue winning,' Benitez told Chelsea TV.

'The main thing for me is the big picture, so keep calm. We have a good team, if we perform at our level we can win against anyone.

'You have some bad games and good games but it will be the same for them.

'We have to carry on. We have one game in hand on Tottenham so if we can do well, especially against them, maybe it’s a game that can mean six points.'

A date for the Tottenham fixture is still to be determined after Chelsea’s progress to Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City forced the game to be rearranged.

Should Chelsea confirm their place in the Europa League semi-finals by completing an aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan on Thursday, the window of opportunity for the Spurs fixture will be small and it will likely take place in the first week of May.

Sam Allardyce confirms he wants to keep Andy Carroll at Upton Park after two-goal display

I want him to stay: Allardyce confirms desire to keep Carroll at Upton Park after his two-goal display against West Brom

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 30 March 2013

Sam Allardyce cautiously underlined his desire to keep Andy Carroll at Upton Park next season after watching the striker fire West Ham to a vital 3-1 victory over West Brom.

Carroll has endured a difficult time in east London since he arrived on loan from Liverpool last summer, but he looked back to his menacing best today, scoring a fine brace which eased any lingering fears of relegation for Allardyce's men.

The 24-year-old fired a bullet header past Ben Foster to put West Ham 1-0 up and he then sealed the victory with one of the goals of the season following Gary O'Neil's strike.

Flying : The on-loan striker celebrates his goal

Loan ranger: Carroll notched his third goal of the season with a thumping header

Carroll watched the ball come over his shoulder after James Collins had sent a long punt up field and he volleyed past Foster with his right foot from a tight angle.

When asked whether he would like to retain the 6ft 3in striker's services next season, the West Ham manager said: 'The answer to that would be yes.

'There is always a possibility. We will look at the end of the season and we will se what negotiations can be done.'

Carroll's time in London has been blighted by injury, but he is now fully fit and judging by today's performance, it will only be a matter of time before he earns an international recall.

Opener: Carroll (centre) heads home O'Neil's cross to give West Ham the lead

In the air: Carroll headed home to give the Iron an early lead

Roy Hodgson omitted Carroll from his squad for the double-header against San Marino and Montenegro, but when the England manager comes to watch the footage of today's game at Upton Park, he will be impressed, Allardyce reckons.

'That was the best we have seen of him here,' Allardyce added.

'Because he has put two goals in, on top of a good performance.

'I hope this kicks him on to being a regular scorer for us in the next eight games.

'He is in a good frame of mind now and finally after a long wait his fitness is good and that's why you are seeing these performances and the goals are coming.'

West Ham are now two points short of the 38-point mark Allardyce thinks the club will need to avoid relegation.

Happy Hammers: West Ham players celebrate Carrol's early effort

Happy Hammers: West Ham now sit six points off the relegation zone with 36 points

The only disappointment for the West Ham boss today was the fact that he is likely to be without George McCartney for the rest of the season after he hobbled off with the same knee injury that had kept him out of the previous four months.

'I would have thought (he will miss the rest of the season),” Allardyce said of the left-back.

'It's a recurrence of the same injury, his medial ligaments, which is a very big disappointment for him and for us.

Downcast: Steve Clarke was disappointed with his side after the 3-1 defeat

Downcast: Steve Clarke was disappointed with his side after the 3-1 defeat

'That was the only downside for us today. Otherwise, it was a great day for us.

'It was a great performance and it takes us ever closer to that safety margin.'

West Brom were poor throughout
today's encounter. Aside from a deflected Romelu Lukaku free-kick in the
first half, Jussi Jaaskelainen barely had a save to make.

The only time the Baggies beat the Finn was three minutes from the end courtesy of a Graham Dorrans penalty.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke said: 'I can have no complaints about the result. West Ham deserved to win.

'It was a difficult afternoon but we haven't had too many of those this season.'

Clarke will speak to Youssouf Mulumbu tomorrow about his red card for petulantly kicking the ball at O'Neil in injury time.

'I said to the group after the game that they must control their frustrations,' the Scot said.

'It doesn't affect today's game but it affects our group and our squad and the next three games.
“We have a small group and it's a big loss for us.

'The time to speak about it is tomorrow. He probably did it out of frustration.'

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1: Rafael Benitez stays calm and insists there is a long way to go in race for Champions League qualification

There's a long way to go: Chelsea boss Benitez stays calm despite top-four setback

By
Mark Bryans, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:35 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:36 GMT, 30 March 2013

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez maintains the race for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League will run until the end of the season despite seeing his much-changed side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton.

First-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert handed Mauricio Pochettino another prized scalp, with Chelsea briefly drawing level courtesy of a John Terry header.

The Blues have now lost three successive away games in the league and dropped below Tottenham into fourth place, with fellow London rivals Arsenal just two points adrift in fifth.

Undone: Rafa Benitez's Chelsea side were defeated 2-1 by Southampton at St Mary's

Undone: Rafa Benitez's Chelsea side were defeated 2-1 by Southampton at St Mary's

Despite the result Benitez, who was again the victim of jeers and negative chanting from the travelling Chelsea support, reckons no-one will be certain of a Champions League position until the very end of the campaign.

'It is the same situation, if we had three points more it would be easier,' he said. 'We still have one game in hand and we have to carry on and concentrate and move on and start thinking about Monday (FA Cup quarter-final replay v Manchester United).

'In the league you still have a lot of games and I think it (the battle for a top-four finish) will run for the rest of the season.'

Opener: Jay Rodriguez slotted the ball past Petr Cech to give Southampton the lead

Opener: Jay Rodriguez slotted the ball past Petr Cech to give Southampton the lead

Back on level terms: John Terry headed home from a corner to equalise for Chelsea

Back on level terms: John Terry headed home from a corner to equalise for Chelsea

This was Chelsea's first game in a run of six matches in a 16-day period and Benitez made no fewer than seven changes from the team that won against West Ham before the international break.

The former Liverpool boss said the fixture pile-up is something the Football Association needs to 'look at' in the future but did not regret rotating his players.

'We had to manage the squad,' he said. 'We didn't have many options in some positions so we had the players we had to use. You have to approach every game like it is the most important and we thought with these players we would be fine.

'I think that you could see that in the first half we didn't have the intensity we were expecting.

'We improved in the second half, made more chances, but still we didn't make the right decisions in the final third but at least we were there and made the chances.'

Sublime: Rickie Lambert scored a beautiful free-kick to put the Saints back ahead

Sublime: Rickie Lambert scored a beautiful free-kick to put the Saints back ahead

Pochettino, who has now won three, drawn three and lost three games since replacing Nigel Adkins as Saints manager in January was quick to defend his Chelsea counterpart following the game.

'I have a lot of sympathy (for Benitez's position),' he said.

'I fully recognise the job that he has done. For me he is one of the best managers in the world and he has my full respect for what he has achieved in football.'

Going places: Mauricio Pochettino believes his Southampton side are on the right path

Going places: Mauricio Pochettino believes his Southampton side are on the right path

The win against Chelsea follows earlier home successes against Manchester City and Liverpool and Pochettino believes beating some of the league's biggest names can only boost the morale around the club.

'Victories like those of today prove that we are on the right path,' he said.

'It is very important for the confidence of my players and especially the people surrounding our club – the technical staff.

'It is important that we believe we can achieve results as we saw today and we can continue achieving them in the future.'

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott out of Arsenal"s Premier League clash with Reading

Crocked Wilshere STILL missing for Arsenal and Walcott is out, too… but Wenger confident Gunners will finish in top four

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

09:56 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 28 March 2013

Jack Wilshere has been ruled out of Arsenal's Barclays Premier League clash with Reading on Saturday.

The Arsenal midfielder hasn't played for the North London outfit since he injured his ankle in their defeat at Tottenham earlier this month.

Theo Walcott, who picked up a pelvic muscle tear on international duty, will also miss the visit of the relegation-threatened club this weekend.

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere will not be fit to face Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere will not be fit to face Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott

Blow: Theo Walcott left the England camp early after picking up a groin strain before the San Marino clash

'Wilshere is still out,' said Wenger. 'Walcott is an accident that could have happened.'

The Arsenal boss also insisted he had no issue with England manager Roy Hodgson.

'When it’s competitive for England, like it was in the last two games, the manager has to pick his best team,' added Wenger.

'There's no ideal way when your
international manger is under pressure to deliver. There can be
complications between the two medical departments – because you can send
a player who is half-injured and they still play, so it is about
communication. But we have a good relationship with England.'

Arsenal host Reading on Saturday four
points adrift of rivals Tottenham having played one game less, and
despite the injury concerns at Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger remains
confident the Gunners will qualify for the Champions League.

'There are nine games to go, five at
home and four away, and with the form we showed at Bayern Munich and
Swansea, I think we have a very good chance of finishing in the top
four.

'We have a special desire to be together at this club. This is a good opportunity for us and we want to grab this chance.'

Reading will arrive at the Emirates
seven points adrift of safety and under a new regime after former
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was appointed earlier this week.

'We may play a team who are fighting
not to go down, but we fight to get in the top four so those games are
just as important for us, too,' added Wenger.

More follows…

Roy Hodgson will "wait and see" if Rio Ferdinand has an international future after withdrawing from England squad for San Marino and…

Rio can do what he wants… but I can't guarantee he'll get another England invite, says Hodgson

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

17:29 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 21 March 2013

England manager Roy Hodgson has said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future following the United defender's decision to withdraw from the national squad this week.

Hodgson's side take on San Marino on Friday with a depleted defence after Ferdinand withdrew from the squad to look after his chronic back problem.

But Ferdinand
sparked fresh controversy as Sportsmail exclusively revealed that the
Manchester United defender will fly to Qatar to work on a television
broadcast of Friday’s World Cup qualifier.

Waving goodbye Roy Hodgson said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future

Waving goodbye Roy Hodgson said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future

Unhappy: Hodgson is disappointed that Ferdinand is not with the England team

Unhappy: Hodgson is disappointed that Ferdinand is not with the England team

When pushed on Ferdinand's future as
an England player, Hodgson said: 'I think we should just wait and see, I
think it's more a question of how his injury situation will impact upon
him playing for England, so we'll have to wait and see what happens in
the future.

'At the moment it's speculation about
a longer-term future whereas my focus is on these next two games, which
are important for us in our bid to qualify. I am happy with the squad
we've got.'

Hodgson deflected questions on what he thought of Ferdinand's decision to miss the two World Cup qualifiers.

He said: 'I don't have any serious
thoughts on it. I was disappointed when he couldn't accept our
invitation. It would have been nice to have him here.'

Double header: England take on San Marion on Friday night before facing Montenegro next week

Double header: England take on San Marion on Friday night before facing Montenegro next week

Hodgson also refused to comment on Ferdinand's decision to embark on a 15-hour round trip to Doha to work as a TV pundit.

'As we all know he wasn't able to
accept the invitation so what he actually does now and how he operates
in the coming couple of weeks, that's his business and the club's
business.

'You're asking me questions that I
really don't want to go into. It really shows a lack of respect to some
extent for the players who are here,' he said.

'In this instance Rio made it clear
that he wasn't able to accept my invitation on this occasion and we will
see what happens in the future.

'What happens during this period of
time when he's looking after himself, it's up to us to look after
ourselves and do the job we've got to do in these next two matches.'

Plane stupid: Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad before agreeing to work as a TV pundit in Qatar

Plane stupid: Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad before agreeing to work as a TV pundit in Qatar

Hodgson also dismissed suggestions that Michael Carrick could step in at centre back to solve England's defensive crisis.

The England boss said: 'To accept that I would have to
accept we have problems in central defence. I think we have four very
good central defenders here.

'As far as I’m concerned I would be
loathed to start using people like Michael Carrick who has been selected
for his prowess as a midfield player.

'It would be harsh on those who have been selected as central defenders.'

Not interested: Captain Steven Gerrard is not dwelling on Ferdinand's withdrawal

Not interested: Captain Steven Gerrard is not dwelling on Ferdinand's withdrawal

England captain Steven Gerrard
believes the team have trained well without Ferdinand and is not
dwelling on the United defender's absence.

He said: 'I don't think it's for me to comment. That's something for the manager to deal with to be honest. I just look at the players in the squad and worry about them players really.

'Of course it's disappointing Rio's not here, because he's a fantastic player and he's in top form, and it would've been nice for him to be here, but he's not, we move on without him and training's been really good.'

Asked if England can cope without Ferdinand, Gerrard said: 'Yes I do, certainly on the evidence I've seen in training the last few days.

'Repeating what the manager said, the four guys have been working hard and training well and they are all pushing for places.

'I'm confident that they can not only do the job tomorrow but on Tuesday night as well.'

Harry Redknapp – Footballers" Football Column: La Liga is better than the Premier League

HARRY REDKNAPP: Life as a football boss is scary… A few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club, his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the manager is sacked!

PUBLISHED:

09:32 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 15 March 2013

Harry Redknapp

QPR manager Harry Redknapp was hotly tipped to replace Fabio Capello as England manager. That job went to Roy Hodgson and Harry now finds himself battling relegation at Loftus Road. Redknapp enjoyed a magical four-year spell at Tottenham during which he took Spurs on a Champions League adventure. In his Footballers' Football Column, Redknapp looks at why there are no English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League, explains why he believes La Liga is better than the Premier League and why foreign owners need to give English managers a chance….

One-on-one with Harry Redknapp

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If I am honest, at the start of the year, I don't think you could see an English team winning the Champions League. You looked at Manchester United and thought they might go close. They were unlucky against Real Madrid – the referee's decision to send off Nani cost them.

It has been one of those years for
English clubs in the Champions League. We've not got a single club in
the quarter-finals, but I'm sure next year will be different.

I think we will probably see a stronger Chelsea and a stronger Manchester City. The
Barclays Premier League is exciting, it is probably the most exciting
league in the world. But in terms of actual football, I think the
Spanish league takes some beating.

When you watch a La Liga game, you will always see two teams who are technically very good. Our league has the excitement, every game is a tough game.

It isn't always pretty, but on any given day, you can see an upset in our league whereas you don't get that so much in Spain.

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

More from The Footballers' Column…

The Footballers' Football Column – Luther Blissett: People say Watford have exploited a loan 'loophole' but Zola has established us as a force really quickly
12/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Martin Allen: There is nothing wrong with Harry taking his squad to Dubai… I took my players to France but only let them play Monopoly and Pictionary
12/03/13

Steven Reid – The Footballers' Football Column: Liam Ridgewell went to a Justin Bieber gig… he didn't even have the excuse of taking his kids – he went with one of the other West Brom lads!
09/03/13

Curtis Davies – The Footballers' Football Column: I knew I'd score against Blackpool, I always get goals when I play the B-teams
07/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Mark McChrystal: I haven't given up hope of winning my first full cap… And don't judge James McClean unless you know him or understand Northern Ireland
05/03/13

Ruud Gullit – The Footballers' Football Column: German teams are doing better in Champions League because they have homegrown players… English clubs have too many overpaid foreigners
02/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Brian Clark: Newcastle's 28m super scout on discovering the Ameobi brothers… oh and a chubby lad called Gascoigne
28/02/13

The Footballer's Football Column – Carolyn Radford: Life in non-League It's all fast cars and 70-year-old club secretaries
25/02/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The top teams dominate in Spain. They've got two fantastic teams in Barcelona and Real Madrid. They have also got Atletico Madrid who are outstanding.

For me, technically, La Liga is a better league than the Barclays Premier League. The football they play, the passing of the ball; it's of better quality than the Barclays Premier League.

Why is is it a better league technically Because they don't play like we do.

They don't put crosses into the box too often, they don't have teams taking long throws, they don't have teams just booting the ball up the pitch.

They all play. They play out from the back, pass the ball and their movement is good. But you can see that style coming into our league now.

Look at the way Swansea and Wigan. It's no secret that a Spanish manager, Roberto Martinez, started the Swansea philosophy.

And he has done the same at Wigan. Yes, they are struggling but they have spent no money and Roberto has got them playing to the best of their ability.

As well as Spain, I also think the Bundesliga has come on leaps and bounds. Their two top teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, are excellent.

You saw that in Dortmund's Champions League group. They were in with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax but came out on top in that group of death.

I watch plenty of lower division football and you see the ball being booted up the pitch a million times in 90 minutes. The ball is booted from one end of the park to the other so many times the ball must have a headache.

It gets booted up the pitch, one team heads it away and vice-versa. There's too much of that; we need to encourage teams and players to play football.

Nurturing kids to play a passing game has to start from park football. Kids games on Sunday mornings are geared too much towards winning the game.

The priority for them is to win. That absolutely has to change. You need to be able to let kids take chances when they play.

Rio Ferdinand was 17 when he played for me at West Ham, I told him to play. I wanted him to come out of defence with the ball and pass it.

If he made a few mistakes, it wasn't a problem for me. But when you've got parents on the sidelines ranting and raving at their kids because they lose the ball, that's when it becomes very difficult.

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hopefully, the introduction of St George's Park can improve our elite kids technically. We'll see, let's hope we've got the right coaches in there, that is the key.

The identity of how this country wants to play football has to come from the very top. We have to pick a way of playing and stick with it.

Are we going to play out from the back Are we going to ask the centre backs to spilt and let a midfield player pick the ball up from a goal kick Are we going to try and play our way through

If that's what we want then we need to coach our kids to pass, pass, pass, pass and pass again.

Or are we just going to boot it up to the big centre-forward If England want to do that then what's the point in coaching the kids to pass the ball

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

Out identity needs to come from the top. We need to pick a way to play and stick with it all the way through the system. Otherwise there is no point.

The problem we've got is that it's difficult to see an end to that cycle of playing long-ball. We are in a results business. We all need results.

We don't have time. It might take a year to change the attitude of the players and change the philosophy. But do you get that sort of time with chairman at half of the football clubs

After a few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club; his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the next thing you know the manager's sacked. It's scary.

It's like a merry-go-round. How are you supposed to improve teams in six months

Brian McDermott did a great job at Reading and they sacked him, how can you get your head round that decision Nigel Adkins earned two consecutive promotions and still got sacked. ]

Brian McDermott

Nigel Adkins

Out of work: Both Brian McDermott and Nigel Adkins were sacked after winning promotion last season

In many ways, for managers in the Championship, it seems like there is no point in getting promoted because you've got more chance of getting the sack in the Barclays Premier League.

When you're in the Barclays Premier League, unless you've got the resources, you're going to come back down again. And if it looks like you're going to be relegated then the manager is in trouble.

It's crazy, but that's how it seems to work.

British managers just don't get a chance in the top league anymore because of the number of foreign owners. This country will eventually have all foreign owners.

That's why I think it's great to see people like Dave Whelan do so well at Wigan, or if you look at West Ham, they have got David Gold and David Sullivan.

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

They are West Ham people, West Ham are their club. We need more people like that in our game,

All the foreign owners are successful people, they are all billionaires. They think whatever they are involved in they should be winning.

They think if they are winning in business, why aren't they winning in football They can't understand it if their team aren't winning every week or top of the league. That's the problem.

They only see they are not winning, they don't think about why they are not winning. They don't think to themselves: 'We haven't got the players.'

They only see they aren't winning games. They don't understand why, so they sack the manager.

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

BARCLAYS TICKET OFFICE

Harry Redknapp was speaking on behalf of Barclays Ticket Office.

Every 90 minutes throughout the season, Barclays is offering fans the chance to win free tickets to Barclays Premier League matches by going to a Barclays ATM and requesting a receipt, or by visiting barclaysticketoffice.com

People always say I should be managing England rather than be in a relegation fight with Queens Park Rangers now, but I don't look back at what might have been. I don't think like that.

What
happened last year has gone, that's life. Even when I've called it a
day, I won't look back and regret not managing England.

I'm looking forward to the game against Aston Villa on Saturday, that's all. I've been very lucky to have managed in the Barclays Premier League all these years, doing something I love and getting paid for it. It's a fantastic life.

I'm 66-years-old, but I'm not even contemplating retirement at the moment, I'm still enjoying it. Just look, at Sir Alex Ferguson, he is's older than me.

Arsene Wenger is around the same age…even though he looks older!

Arsene Wenger urges Arsenal players to complete the impossible dream by defeating Bayern Munich

Dream the impossible: Wenger urges players to defy the odds and complete the stunning turnaround in Munich

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:02 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:16 GMT, 12 March 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his players to produce a performance which will define their careers and knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League against the odds tomorrow night.

The runaway Bundesliga leaders look all set to take their place in the quarter-finals having delivered a European masterclass in their 3-1 victory in north London three weeks ago.

Bayern's home defensive record is formidable and have not conceded three since losing to Inter Milan two years ago, while this season they have let in only 10 goals in 25 Bundesliga matches.

Prepared for battle: Arsene Wenger looks ready to take on the media during his press conference in Munich

Prepared for battle: Arsene Wenger looks ready to take on the media during his press conference in Munich

Still hopeful: Despite having to recover from their 3-1 first-leg defeat, Wenger believes his team still stand a chance of progressing tomorrow

Still hopeful: Despite having to recover from their 3-1 first-leg defeat, Wenger believes his team still stand a chance of progressing tomorrow

Despite his side having travelled to Bavaria without injured England midfielder Jack Wilshere, set for around three weeks out because of an ankle problem, and first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny rested, Wenger insists now is the perfect moment for his team to return all his belief with what would go down as one of the greatest European comebacks.

'I am convinced that if this team can find a big game, with a big win, you will see a completely different animal. This season we have fought to find that in the big games and we have another opportunity tomorrow night and I hope the team takes this chance,' Wenger said at the Allianz Arena tonight.

Chilling effect: Wenger is without injured star man Wilshere

Chilling effect: Wenger is without injured star man Wilshere for the trip to Germany

'I have a great respect for this team and its attitude and they have not been rewarded yet. It is important for the end to our season that we do it tomorrow.'

Despite everything seemingly stacked against them, Wenger insists it is not a case of Mission: Impossible.

He said: 'It is a difficult task, we know that, but we think it is not impossible.

Stepping in: Aaron Ramsey (second left) is more likely to start in Wilshere's absence

Stepping in: Aaron Ramsey (second left) is more likely to start in Wilshere's absence

'The only way to make it possible is to have a real go and play at our best tomorrow night, that is what we will do.

'I am confident we will be completely focused and up for it, and give it our best shot.

Keeping watch: Wenger (centre) during training before tomorrow's crunch clash

Keeping watch: Wenger (centre) during training before tomorrow's crunch clash

'Football is football – everything is possible.'

Steven Taylor puts off Asmir Begovic during Newcastle v Stoke

VIDEO: Watch Taylor put off Begovic by clowning around before Cabaye free kick

By
Angus Paterson

PUBLISHED:

00:24 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:12 GMT, 11 March 2013

Steven Taylor is known as an eccentric sort and he proved why on Sunday as Newcastle faced Stoke.

The Newcastle defender was spotted clowning around in front of Asmir Begovic as he tried to put the Potters keeper off before Yohan Cabaye's free kick.

And maybe it worked, because the French midfielder sent a peach of a strike over the wall and in to the top corner.

Scroll down for video

Sneaky: Steven Taylor (centre) put off Asmir Begovic (left) before Yohan Cabaye's goal

Sneaky: Steven Taylor (centre) put off Asmir Begovic (left) before Yohan Cabaye's goal

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has once again urged England manager Roy Hodgson to take a look at the centre back.

The 27-year-old, a former captain of his country at Under-21 level, was one of the stand-out performers as the Magpies fought back from a goal down to defeat the Potters 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League at St James' Park.

Pardew said: 'He was immense today. Steven Taylor gave a performance of England standard today.

'They really do need to have a look at him at centre-half because I think it's a problem position for England and his performance against [Peter] Crouch and everything else that they threw at us today – because we had no height in the team.

Belief: Alan Pardew thinks Roy Hodgson should consider the defender for England

Belief: Alan Pardew thinks Roy Hodgson should consider the defender for England

'Steven Taylor had to do everything today on that side of it and he was brilliant.'

Taylor's hopes of winning recognition at senior international level have not been helped by a succession of injuries over the years, although he has been on the fringes of the squad in the past.

Pardew admitted earlier this season that keeping the Greenwich-born, Tyneside-raised defender fit is something which may require a tailored approach.

However, he has few doubts about his ability and firmly believes he has what it takes to warrant serious consideration.

Clowning around! Steven Taylor puts off Asmir Begovic

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Arsene Wenger expects Jack Wilshere to become an England centurion

Bale is the flavour of the month… But Wilshere will be an England centurion, claims Wenger

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

22:50 GMT, 2 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:40 GMT, 3 March 2013

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt midfielder Jack Wilshere can outlast the hype and go on to earn a century of caps for England.

Wilshere, 21, returned from more than a year out injured in October, but is already being heralded as an integral part of the future hopes of both club and country.

Arsenal head to Tottenham on Sunday, where they will come up against in-form Welshman Gareth Bale, who has drawn comparisons with Europe's best after his match-winning performances this season.

Wenger believes his own talented midfielder has everything ahead of him.

'Bale is the flavour of the moment. When you look at Wilshere, who will deny that this guy will get 100 caps for England Nobody, if he has no injury,' said Wenger.

'My worry is not to compare Wilshere with anyone else. My only worry when you are a footballer player of that talent is to become as good as you can become.

'That is the only thing that is of interest to me. I leave the comparisons to other people. My job is to get the best out of him.'

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Wenger feels it is sometimes overlooked just how much Wilshere has achieved since arriving at the club aged nine.

'You tend to forget how old he is when you see him play. You never come out of a game and think 'this guy is 21 years old'. He's at a stage where the others have not started,' said Wenger.

'You think of Jack (as) an established player in the Premier League and at international level, that is still something special.'

Wenger feels Wilshere will develop into Arsenal's natural leader. He continued: 'Jack breathes football. He doesn't talk too much, but he understands everything.

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

'What he has exceeded is the speed of his physical fitness in the game. Honestly, I never expected that.'

Wilshere has yet to score in the Premier League this season, but Wenger feels that the goals will soon come.

'I believe it's part of his development to play a bit more advanced,” the Arsenal boss said.

'In some games, he is more comfortable deeper. I believe he has a little dribble that can get him through in the final third and the finishing will come.

'He's a bit in a situation like (Cesc) Fabregas was for a while. He said to me “but I cannot score goals', however you could see that it would come.

'Jack doesn't talk about it, but who doesn't want to score goals He is more a team player than a goalscorer.

'He will never be a goalscorer, but he can be capable to score.'

Arsenal head across north London defending a five-match unbeaten run, with three victories on the bounce, as they look to move back to just one point behind their rivals.

Wenger accepts there are no longer any margins for error if his team at to secure another top-four finish.

'It is still open, but I am realistic and we cannot drop points,' he said.

'One or two of the other teams will always win over the weekend. If we drop points we can fall quickly behind.

'So there are two things we cannot do – drop points and also speculate over the weaknesses of our opponents because that can be deadly as well.'