Tag Archives: martinez

Wigan v Millwall FA Cup semi-final open to neutral spectators following poor ticket sales from Premier League side

Wembley woe for Wigan as FA open neutral section after Latics fail to sell 10,000 tickets

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 10 April 2013

Saturday's FA Cup semi-final between Millwall and Wigan at Wembley will be open to 'neutral' supporters following the Premier League team's struggle to sell tickets.

Wigan's ticket sales have so far not sold 10,000 of their 31,000 allocation for the last-four tie against the Championship side and the FA have intervened by opening a mixed zone for spectators.

Both teams were given just over 31,000 tickets and Millwall – who are, of course, based in London – are expected to sell their full quota.

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

But Wigan's Wembley woe is not exactly unexpected. Roberto Martinez's men rarely sell out home matches and the average attendance for Premier League games at the DW Stadium this season is just shy of 19,000.

Perhaps more of a surprise is that Millwall, who only had around 9,000 at their home game against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, have managed to shift nearly 31,000 tickets.

The FA have now made a maximum of 6,000 seats, from what was due to be Wigan's allocation, available to neutrals.

Even so, Wembley is still expected to be far from full on Saturday with officials estimating around 15,000 empty seat.

Sunday's more glamorous semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea is expected to sell out, though.

Wigan qualified for their first ever FA Cup semi-final thanks to a surprising 3-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park.

Millwall,
meanwhile, advanced to the last four after Danny Shittu's header saw
off Blackburn in their quarter-final replay at Ewood Park.

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Chelsea want Manuel Pellegrini as manager – says agent

Chelsea target ex-Real Madrid boss Pellegrini after failing to land Guardiola and Klopp

By
Matt Fortune

PUBLISHED:

17:24 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 15 February 2013

Pedigree: Pellegrini spent a year as Real Madrid boss

Pedigree: Pellegrini spent a year as Real boss

Chelsea have made an approach for former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini, according to the Chilean’s agent.

The 59-year-old is currently in charge of Malaga, but has been widely linked with a move away during the summer due to the perillous financial situation at the La Liga club.

Pellegrini has enjoyed a mixed career in Spain following his first move to the country, with Villarreal in 2004. There, he led the Yellow Submarine to the brink of a Champions League final, before they were beaten by Arsenal in the 2006 semi-final.

His spell at the Andalucian club ended
in 2009 when he took charge at Madrid. His year in the capital, though,
ended empty handed despite a haul of 96 points leaving them second to
Barcelona.

Interim: Benitez (left) is in charge at Chelsea until the end of the season

Interim: Benitez (left) is in charge at Chelsea until the end of the season

Chelsea, meanwhile, are currently being led by Rafael Benitez on an interim basis and are on the hunt for a permanent manager.

Roman Abramovich has missed out on No 1 target Pep Guardiola, who joined Bayern Munich, while Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp dismissed suggestions last week that he would move to Stamford Bridge.

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guradiola (left) and Klopp (right)

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guradiola (left) and Klopp (right)

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guardiola (left) and Klopp (right)

And now speaking to Spanish paper El Mercurio, Jesus Martinez has revealed Chelsea, as well as Italian side AS Roma, have enquired about his client.

He said: ‘Less than 15 days ago we had an offer from Roma, but we declined outright. We said no because we are midway through the season.

‘Chelsea and other clubs have asked, but nothing else official has been said. Manuel would love to manage in the Premier League, but he’d also like to go to Germany, Italy and other championships. There is plenty of time to analyse where he will be next season.

Highly rated: Pellegrini's Malaga won their Champions League group this season

Highly rated: Pellegrini's Malaga won their Champions League group this season

‘Manuel has a contract with Malaga. I believe that in April or May we will know clearly what will happen with his future, to see if the sporting project is changing and we need to make a decision.

‘Our first intention is to respect our commitment, but that also depends on the conditions which exist.’

Carl Frampton stops Kiko Martinez to claim European title

Frampton wins European title and becomes first man to stop Martinez with dominant win

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

23:44 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:13 GMT, 10 February 2013

Carl Frampton sent out a chilling message to the super bantamweight division by becoming the first man to stop Kiko Martinez and rip the European title from the stunned Spaniard in Belfast.

Frampton, 25, had twice seen a meeting with the champion postponed when Martinez pulled out and had promised to make his adversary pay the ultimate price.

And he did just that, knocking the 26-year-old out with a bludgeoning right hand in the ninth round.
Martinez is no stranger to Ireland having stunned Bernard Dunne inside one round in Dublin six years ago and he had promised to silence the fervent home crowd once again.

Champion: Carl Frampton stopped Kiko Martinez in the ninth round to claim the European title

Champion: Carl Frampton stopped Kiko Martinez in the ninth round to claim the European title

Frampton meanwhile delivered a
career-best performance in September when disposing of two-time world
champion Steve Molitor in six rounds.

But the Canadian was clearly past his
best on that occasion and Martinez, who shares a trainer with world
middleweight champion and namesake Sergio, was expected to pose an
altogether tougher test.

And so it proved as he went in search
of his younger opponent in a cagey first round. Frampton, content to
box on the back foot, landed the first meaningful punch with a solid
left hook to the body.

Martinez was quick out of the blocks
in the second stanza, forcing the home favourite back on to the ropes.
While Frampton stuck to the game plan for the most part, boxing at range
and picking his punches; when he did engage at close quarters, he was
given a sharp reminder of the visitor's knockout power.

Team: Frampton celebrates with his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan

Team: Frampton celebrates with his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan

Frampton picked up the pace in the
subsequent round, delivering impressive combinations before withdrawing
to the outskirts of the ring.

By the middle of the fourth session, a
bad cut had opened up under Martinez's left eye and Frampton
immediately set to work with his right hand. But the Spaniard remained
dangerous, landing a solid left jab, perhaps sensing that his days were
numbered, only to be pinned against the ropes as Frampton sensed the
finish.

Although Martinez continued to stalk
his prey in the fifth, Frampton was proving more and more elusive,
slipping and sliding out of range as he moved further ahead on the
scorecards. A quieter sixth round followed but Frampton upped the pace
again as the fight entered its second half.

Martinez, whose cut opened again, was more reluctant to come forward and the Belfast favourite landed several plum shots.

Finally: Frampton had twice seen his meeting with the Spaniard postponed

Finally: Frampton had twice seen his meeting with the Spaniard postponed

Frampton was drawn into a toe-to-toe
brawl at the start of the eighth round but slipped on to the back foot
as the session progressed, allowing him to pick his shots with unerring
accuracy.

Martinez had shown exactly why he had
always heard the final bell when he shipped several huge shots at the
start of the ninth but his resistance proved futile when a huge straight
right left him floundering on the canvas.

The Spaniard rose unsteadily but
after staggering back towards his corner, the referee waved the fight
off. Frampton, who was ahead on all three scorecards by four rounds
(twice) and two rounds on the third, extends his unbeaten record to 16
professional contests.

Frampton, who will likely return to
Belfast on May 11, potentially in a final eliminator for the IBF world
title, said: 'I can't remember much about the [knockout] punch. It was a
decent shot.

'I proved I've got a good chin. I
could feel his power but he didn't hurt me. He didn't make my legs
wobble but you can see from face that he hits hard.

'He's not been wobbled before but I
took him out. The plan was to box from the outside but when we traded, I
felt I got the better of him.

'I want to be a world champion. I
feel the buzz and its getting better. The best man won on the night but
he's a tough man. I was hitting him and he was coming back.'

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as beaten Brazil make low-key departure from London

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

Neymar at Heathrow as the Brazilian team leave the UK

On his way: Neymar at Heathrow on Thursday to catch a flight to Brazil

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years.'

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the 50s and 60s, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

07:34 GMT, 31 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 31 January 2013

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is hoping to push through a late 5million move for Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady.

Sportsmail revealed last week that the Latics were looking to bring in McGeady on loan from Spartak Moscow, but now the Daily Mirror are reporting that the two clubs have agreed a fee for a permanent deal.

McGeady will have to take a pay cut from the 70,000-a-week wage he earns in the Russian capital, but the former Celtic man is thought to be keen on a move back to Britain.

The 26-year-old has 18 months left on his contract at Spartak and the
club are ready to cash in on the man they paid for 9.5m for back in August 2010.

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

McGeady, who has 57 caps for his country, is wanted by Martinez to help Wigan's survival bid and it is thought the Spaniard has beaten Sunderland to his signature.

Barcelona lose to Real Sociedad after Gerard Pique red card

Barcelona stunned as Liga leaders unbeaten record unravels in Sociedad after Pique sees red

By
William Griffiths

PUBLISHED:

23:50 GMT, 19 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:17 GMT, 20 January 2013

Real Sociedad hit back from two goals down to end Barcelona's unbeaten Primera Division record in stunning fashion at the Anoeta this evening.

All looked to be going to plan for Tito Vilanova's visitors when Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez put them 2-0 up within 25 minutes.

Not used to this: Barcelona kick-off during their 3-2 defeat to Real Sociedad

Not used to this: Barcelona kick-off during their 3-2 defeat to Real Sociedad

No you don't: Sociedad's goalkeeper takes the ball away from Lionel Messi

No you don't: Sociedad's goalkeeper takes the ball away from Lionel Messi

Get off the pitch: Gerard Pique (background) was dismissed by the referee

Get off the pitch: Gerard Pique (background) was dismissed by the referee

But Gonzalo Castro's brilliant strike gave Sociedad hope before half-time and then, after Barca had lost centre-back Gerard Pique to a red card, Castro's curling effort was deflected into his own net by Barca substitute Javier Mascherano.

That sent the home fans wild, but it got even better in stoppage time when Imanol Agirretxe poked Carlos Martinez's cross from the right past Victor Valdes to clinch a dramatic 3-2 win.

Best in the world Sociedad didn't care about Messi's reputation as they turned over the favourites

Best in the world Sociedad didn't care about Messi's reputation as they turned over the favourites

It started off so well: Barcelona went 2-0 up with goals from Messi and Pedro

It started off so well: Barcelona went 2-0 up with goals from Messi and Pedro

Barca had headed to San Sebastian having dropped only two points in La Liga this season – in October's 2-2 Clasico draw with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

Second-placed Atletico Madrid could move within eight points of the leaders if they beat Levante on Sunday, while third-spotted champions Real Madrid can get within 15 points if they overcome Valencia at the Mestalla.

Eyes on the ball: Tito Vilanova could do nothing as his side lost their unbeaten record

Eyes on the ball: Tito Vilanova could do nothing as his side lost their unbeaten record

Wigan defender Ivan Ramis ruled out for season with cruciate ligament damage

Huge blow for Martinez as Wigan defender Ramis is sidelined for season with cruciate injury

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:27 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 15 January 2013

Wigan defender Ivan Ramis will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Fulham.

Latics boss Roberto Martinez feared the worst immediately after the game and scans have now revealed the Spaniard will be out until the start of next season.

'Nothing can disguise the fact this is a massive blow because Ivan is a key member of the group but we are relieved that the injury is not a severe as we feared it could have been,' Martinez said.

Down and out: Ivan Ramis will miss the rest of the campaign

Down and out: Ivan Ramis will miss the rest of the campaign

The news is a massive blow to Martinez as another senior defender, Antolin Alcaraz, is still to return after suffering a groin injury in August.

Wigan do have another alternative in Roman Golobart but the 20-year-old's relative lack of experience means Martinez may be forced to use Emmerson Boyce as an orthodox defender, rather than in the wing-back role where he has excelled over the past 12 months.

A summer arrival from Real Mallorca, 28-year-old Ramis endured a difficult debut against Chelsea but has since come into his own, making 19 appearances. He had only just returned from a hamstring problem when he suffered the latest setback at the weekend.

'The most important thing now is to think of Ivan's welfare, get the operation completed, and for him to begin his rehabilitation,' said Martinez.

'Ivan is a very strong and positive character and he is determined to return to fitness as soon as he can.

'He will receive the best possible medical rehabilitation as the club ensures to have him return as an even stronger footballer.'

Manchester United block striker Angelo Henriquez from representing Chile for loan to Wigan

United anger Chilean fans by loaning striker Henriquez to Wigan

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UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 31 December 2012

Manchester United have blocked Angelo Henriquez from representing Chile to allow him go to Wigan on loan.

The striker had planned to play for his country in the South American Under-20 championships in Argentina next month but United are keen to see him stay in England.

Henriquez, 18, has revealed United have ordered him to stay put in order to gain some Premier League experience.

Devastated: Henriquez is unhappy at United's decision not to let him represent Chile

Devastated: Henriquez is unhappy at United's decision not to let him represent Chile

The move has angered fans in Henriquez’ homeland but he insists the matter is out of his hands.

'I asked repeatedly to go and showed desire to do so,' Henreiquez told the Daily Mirror.

'But they want me to go to Wigan and keep playing in the Premier League.

'I would never say no to Chile,' he added.

Lethal: Henriquez has one goal in his only appearance for the Chilean first team

Lethal: Henriquez has one goal in his only appearance for the Chilean first team

'It would be a serious mistake, but United are not letting me go.'

The teenager will fight for a starting berth at Wigan who are set to lose Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

He added: 'I already talked to the manager Roberto Martinez and he told me that I would have more chances.

Boost: Martinez is keen to add Henriquez to his striking options

Boost: Martinez is keen to add Henriquez to his striking options

'His idea is to have me as a substitute for Kone.'

'It will then depend on me taking advantage of the opportunity.'

Henriquez scored on his debut for Chile in a 3-1 defeat against Serbia in November and is highly rated at Old Trafford since his move from Universidad de Chile in the summer.

Wigan hoping for repeat win over Manchester United – Roberto Martinez

'Desperate' Wigan are out to repeat historic victory over United, warns Martinez

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 31 December 2012

May 13, 2012, will go down in Premier League history as the day Manchester United lost the title on goal difference with practically the last kick of the season.

Those who witnessed United's alarming collapse over those final few weeks, however, know that it began long before Sergio Aguero's unforgettable goal for Manchester City left Sir Alex Ferguson and his players bereft on the pitch at Sunderland.

April 11, to be precise. United were eight points clear with six games left and odds-on for the title when the wheels began to come off on a fateful Wednesday night at Wigan, Shaun Maloney's second-half strike condemning the champions to a shock 1-0 defeat that turned the title race.

Desperate: Wigan has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that his Wigan side are desperate for points

Desperate: Wigan has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that his Wigan side are desperate for points

United go back to the DW Stadium on Tuesday with a seven-point advantage knowing they can ill afford another slip with second-placed City once again leading the chase.

Roberto Martinez is convinced the secret behind one of the most famous results in Wigan's history was sheer desperation to win points in their own battle against relegation, which made his players focus on their own game rather than the calibre of their opponents.

Worryingly for United, the Wigan boss believes they are just as desperate this time around.

'Nobody could have expected what was going to happen in the following weeks,' said Martinez. 'But last season we had such a massive need to get points we couldn't afford to look who we were playing against. Too many times in the past we'd played Manchester United and that affected us.

'That day we learned we had to play Wigan Athletic.

Next in town: Alex Ferguson and his players will try to avenge last season's defeat at the DW

Next in town: Alex Ferguson and his players will try to avenge last season's defeat at the DW

In the spotlight: Ashley Young and Co will be expected to leave with all three points

In the spotlight: Ashley Young and Co will be expected to leave with all three points

'The desperation factor is still there. We need to understand that 18 points at this stage of this season is desperation.

'We're not happy with that points tally, it's nowhere near good enough. There is desperation going into every game left at home this season, and Manchester United is no different.'

Wigan's impressive financial figures for the year ending May 31, released on Monday, underline the gulf between the two clubs. Despite adding to the squad, their wage bill has dropped to 37.7million compared to a whopping 160m paid out at Old Trafford.

Soaring: Wigan battered Aston Villa 3-0 away from home

Soaring: Wigan battered Aston Villa 3-0 away from home

Easily done Emmerson Boyce celebrates after scoring the second at Villa Park

Easily done Emmerson Boyce celebrates after scoring the second at Villa Park

Indeed, before Maloney's stunner in April, United had never dropped so much as a single point to their opponents in 13 encounters. The aggregate score for the previous five was 21-0.

Normal service was resumed when United won 4-0 at Old Trafford in September, and Martinez has warned his players not to dwell on the events of last season.

'It would be very dangerous to think what happened that day will happen again,' he said. 'If we do that we're in for a very long game.

'We have that recent picture of what's required to beat a team like Manchester United but I don't think the result last season will change the way they approach the game.

'They're going to come here believing they're the team that's going to win the title and to get the three points. You need to overcome that feeling of superiority.'

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

If there is any encouragement for Wigan, it is that an alarming number of the 28 Premier League goals conceded by United this season have been against teams in the bottom half of the table.

'We've conceded 28 and it's only New Year,' said Ferguson. 'I remember one season with Peter Schmeichel we conceded a lot less than that over the whole season.

'We're stretching ourselves all the time. We've been forced to up the ante all the time because we're losing goals. If we stop giving them away we've got a great chance.'

Roberto Martinez backs David Moyes for European role

Martinez hails rival Moyes as he backs Everton boss for successful stint abroad

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Roberto Martinez believes that Everton manager David Moyes would be a success if he pursued his ambition to manage abroad.

Moyes, whose fifth-placed team host Martinez’s Wigan on Boxing Day, said last week that he would one day like to test his abilities in a European league, citing the Bundesliga as a preferred option.

Euro adventure: Roberto Martinez says David Moyes would be a success abroad

Euro adventure: Roberto Martinez says David Moyes would be a success abroad

Euro adventure: Roberto Martinez says David Moyes would be a success abroad

And Martinez is convinced that he would prosper after a decade at Everton overcoming the Premier League’s challenges.

He said: ‘David has been there 11 seasons, a man of knowledge and experiences that he’s built up over the years — and always finding the solutions to have a competitive team reaching the target that they need to achieve.

'It makes him capable of going anywhere in the world, that’s very clear.'