Tag Archives: opportunity

Arsenal gunning for Tottenham after West Brom win at the Hawthorns

Watch out Tottenham: Arsenal are Gunning for you after West Bromwich victory

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 7 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

Arsenal fans sang ‘Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you,’ at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as their team moved into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League for the first time since Boxing Day.

Their glee was understandable. Arsenal's victory at the Hawthorns was their sixth win in their last seven Premier League outings and allowed Arsene Wenger's side to put their feet up on Sunday and see how Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham and Chelsea responded.

'Playing on Saturday is fantastic when you win,' said Wenger. 'When you lose, it's a disaster. But, as long as we win, it's always better for me to play, if you can, before (our rivals).

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Premier League table

'Ideally, I would like to be in the Champions League as well, but – if you are on a good run – maybe it can be a little advantage because you can recover more.'

Arsenal's league run has been marred by their FA Cup and Champions League exits and defeat in the North London derby, but Tottenham and Chelsea's exploits in the knock-out competitions have provided a little window of opportunity for Wenger's side.

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City means their Premier League clash with Spurs at Stamford Bridge on April 14 has been postponed.

Arsenal will therefore contest two home games – against Norwich and Everton – before their main rivals for a Champions League spot play in the league again.

Chelsea and Spurs also, of course, have Europa League quarter-finals to consider. The scorer of both Arsenal goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win, Tomas Rosicky said: 'I hope that will happen (and we will take advantage).'

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

'We've got two home games which we've got to win if we're talking about fourth or third place. Our home form has to improve.

'But when you get a good run of results the confidence returns. Every day you have to be prepared 100 per cent to come to training and fight for your club.

'Sometimes it's not easy when you see and hear what is going on around. That's what you've got to do.

'We're in a position where we just need to concentrate on ourselves. Sometimes it is tricky to be saying where are Tottenham playing and when are Chelsea playing. It's important to just concentrate on ourselves and what we're producing.'

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France 0 Spain 1: match report – Pedro scores as Paul Pogba is sent off

France 0 Spain 1: Pedro steals the glory in Paris as ex-United man Pogba sees red

PUBLISHED:

21:51 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Pedro scored the only goal of the game as Spain closed the gap on Group I leaders France.

Spain's returning playmaker, Xavi, created the opening with an outstanding ball to Nacho Monreal. The Arsenal left back found the incoming Pedro, who put the ball past Hugo Lloris.

Raphael Varane had a golden opportunity to equalise when Victor Valdes flapped at a corner, but the Real Madrid wonderkid could not get the ball under control in time to slide the ball into the empty net.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who was outrstanding on his second performance for his country, was sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes with just over 20 minutes to play.

More to follow…

One up: Pedro wheels away in celebration after putting Spain in the lead

One up: Pedro wheels away in celebration after putting Spain in the lead

Just about: Hugo Lloris (left) can't keep out Pedro's second-half effort

Just about: Hugo Lloris (left) can't keep out Pedro's second-half effort

Futile: Hugo Lloris watches as the ball bounces over the line

Futile: Hugo Lloris watches as the ball bounces over the line

MATCH FACTS

France: Lloris, Jallet (Giroud 90), Koscielny, Varane, Evra, Cabaye (Menez 70), Matuidi, Pogba, Valbuena, Ribery, Benzema (Sissoko 82)

Subs Not Used: Mandanda, Fanni, Sakho, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gonalons, Remy, Payet, Clichy, Landreau

Sent off: Pogba (78)

Booked: Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba

Spain: Valdes, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Monreal, Alonso, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta (Mata 90), Villa (Jesus Navas 61), Pedro (Fabregas 76)

Subs Not Used: Reina, Albiol, Javi Garcia, Azpilicueta, Negredo, Isco, Cazorla, De Gea

Booked: Xavi, Fabregas, Arbeloa

Goal: Pedro 58

Attendance: 80,000

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

.

Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

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You're surrounded: Karim Benzema (centre) tries to weave his way past three Spain defenders

You're surrounded: Karim Benzema (centre) tries to weave his way past three Spain defenders

Big chance: Franck Ribery (left) tries to sneak the ball underneath Victor Valdes

Big chance: Franck Ribery (left) tries to sneak the ball underneath Victor Valdes

.

Booked: Xavi remonstrates with the referee as he is given a yellow card

Booked: Xavi remonstrates with the referee as he is given a yellow card

Mature: Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba played in the middle for France

Mature: Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba played in the middle for France

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Block: Patrice Evra chases down Barcelona striker David Villa

Block: Patrice Evra chases down Barcelona striker David Villa

Diego Maradona takes to the court with tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki

Video: Watch out, Rory… Maradona proves a smash hit with tennis ace Wozniacki

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

19:41 GMT, 21 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 22 February 2013

It's safe to say that Diego Maradona is having a busy week.

Following the news of his fifth child being born last Thursday, the ex-Argentina World Cup winner was snapped alongside Caroline Wozniacki at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.

It looks hard to tell who was more excited, with the pair swapping a signed football shirt and tennis racket courtside.

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Signed: Diego Maradona takes time out from watching the tennis for a photo alongside Caroline Wozniacki

Signed: Diego Maradona takes time out from watching the tennis for a photo alongside Caroline Wozniacki

Elated: Both Maradona and Wozniacki were full of smiles as the Dane towered over the sporting icon

Elated: Both Maradona and Wozniacki were full of smiles as the Dane towered over the Argentine

With her boyfriend Rory McIlroy away in snowy Arizona at the moment, Maradona may have seen his chance to get a photo with the in-demand former World No.1.

He also couldn't keep his hands off American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who appeared delighted at the attention.

After a little peck on the hand, a strangely long-faced Maradona posed for another picture.

Peck: Bethanie Mattek-Sands was next to receive the affections of father of five Maradona

Peck: Bethanie Mattek-Sands was next to receive the affections of father of five Maradona

Maradona currently resides in Dubai as 'honorary sports ambassador', helping the state with media relations in all major international sports events.

He has said in the last week that he will only be able to see his new son, Diego Fernando, when his commercial obligations finish in June.

As for now, he seems to be enjoying the high-life in Dubai, and can't keep away from a photo opportunity with the good and the great from sport.

Frown: A sullen faced Maradona may have been getting tired of posing with tennis players

Frown: A sullen faced Maradona may have been getting tired of posing with tennis players

An excited Diego Maradona meets Dubai semi-finalist Caroline Wozniacki

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Benitez will have no more money to spend in the transfer window

Window of opportunity closing for Benitez as Chelsea tighten the purse-strings

By
Ben Rumsby, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:44 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 29 January 2013

Rafael Benitez today admitted he does not think Chelsea will give him any more money to spend before the transfer window closes.

Interim Blues boss Benitez confirmed last week he had told owner Roman Abramovich that his squad was not strong enough to cope with the unprecedented fixture pile-up facing them this season.

But he appears to have given up hope of being allowed to add to the January signing of Demba Ba before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Benitez admits there are no more funds for transfers

The well runs dry: Benitez admits there are no more funds for transfers

Benitez isn't expecting to add any signings to Demba Ba

No more: Benitez isn't expecting to add any signings to Demba Ba

David Moyes is said to be a possible replacement for the manager next season

On the way out: David Moyes is said to be a possible replacement for the manager next season

Asked if he anticipated any movement in the final 48 hours of the window, he said: 'I don’t think so but my job is to improve my squad and manage the situation we have.'

Abramovich and the board’s reluctance to back Benitez in the transfer market will reinforce the view that he has become a dead man walking at Stamford Bridge just over two months after succeeding Roberto Di Matteo.

It is understood there is currently no prospect of him losing his job before his contract expires this summer but reports persist that the club are already actively discussing replacing him next season.

Benitez shrugged off the speculation, which has included Everton boss David Moyes being linked with his job.

'My position is exactly the same,” he said, confirming he had held talks with technical director Michael Emenalo in the wake of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round draw at Brentford.

'I was speaking about football with Michael Emenalo, as normal.

'I will try to do my job as well as I can, and try to do my best every game.'

Vegard Forren set for Liverpool trial

Liverpool offer Forren trial in bid to beat Fulham and Everton to Molde defender

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

18:21 GMT, 14 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:51 GMT, 14 January 2013

Liverpool are giving a trial to Norway defender Vegard Forren with a view to a possible move.

There had been suggestions Forren was booked in for a medical at Melwood on Tuesday ahead of a 4.2million move from Molde but that is not the case.

He will train with Brendan Rodgers’ squad from tomorrow for a short period. Should he impress, the 24-year-old could yet be signed during the transfer window.

Liverpool bound: Vegard Forren looks set for a move to the Premier League

Liverpool bound: Vegard Forren looks set for a move to the Premier League

Forren has been on the radar of a number of English clubs in recent months, most notably Liverpool's local rivals Everton.

Manager David Moyes watched him twice
in the space of two weeks in November, once when Norway played Hungary
in Budapest, the other when Molde played FC Copenhagen in the Europa
League. Moyes took three of his coaching staff on the latter trip.

Rodgers, though, has been looking to
strengthen Liverpool’s defence in January, particularly as he will allow
Sebastian Coates to move on loan if a suitable opportunity arises.

‘It has been difficult for him to get
games and the best thing for Sebastian would be to go out and get his
games,’ said Rodgers of the Uruguay international, who was not included
in Liverpool’s 18-man squad for Sunday’s game at Old Trafford.

'But that might not be the best thing
for the club. I have got to protect the club, that is my job as
manager. We certainly won’t be left short but I feel for the guy.’

Fulham were also reported to have
lodged a 4million bid for Forren, who would link up with international
team-mate Brede Hangeland should he decide to move to Craven Cottage
over Anfield.

Forren has been capped five times by
Norway, after representing his country at Under-21 and Under-23 level.
He has also been linked with Fulham.

Snub: Forren may refuse a move to join international team-mate Brede Hangeland (left) at Fulham

Snub: Forren may refuse a move to join international team-mate Brede Hangeland (left) at Fulham

New team-mate Forren could be set to join Liverpool centre back Martin Skrtel on Merseyside

New team-mate Forren could be set to join Liverpool centre back Martin Skrtel on Merseyside

Robin Van Persie reveals family rift after move from Arsenal to Manchester United

'Seeing you in United colours makes our baby sick!' Van Persie's wife reveals family rift in spoof video

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

11:41 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:41 GMT, 2 January 2013

The sight of Robin Van Persie moving to Manchester United in the summer made many an Arsenal fan feel a bit sick.

But it appears the Dutch star's 24m move north has had an nauseating effect on his life at home too.

A tongue-in-cheek programme by a Dutch television channel filmed inside the Van Persie family home, and translated by talkSPORT, has revealed that his young daughter and 'lifelong Gooner' Dina regularly spews up at the sight of her daddy playing in a United shirt.

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Goal machine: Robin van Persie has already scored 19 goals across all competitions for Manchester United since his 24m move from Arsenal in the summer

Goal machine: Robin van Persie has already scored 19 goals across all competitions for Manchester United since his 24m move from Arsenal in the summer

Not impressed: In the tongue-in-cheek Dutch TV programme, Van Persie's wife Bouchra jokes how young daughter Dina didn't like his move to Manchester

Not impressed: In the tongue-in-cheek Dutch TV programme, Van Persie's wife Bouchra jokes how young daughter Dina didn't like his move to Manchester

And the prolific striker, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions so far this season, said that he laughed at Arsenal's offer of a new contract in the summer and threw it in the bin.

The clip starts with Van Persie talking about how difficult it was to leave Arsenal and shows pictures in his living room wearing an Arsenal tracksuit while cradling baby Dina.

He says: It wasn't easy to leave the Gunners, I didn't want to, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My kids are both Gooners, so it was tough.

'But I've more than doubled my wages, which is ace. That gives my two little ones a better chance in life.'

Nauseating: Bouchra tells the presenter that Dina feels sick thinking about her daddy playing in United colours

Nauseating: Bouchra tells the presenter that Dina feels sick thinking about her daddy playing in United colours

Traitor! Right on cue, Dina spews up on the kitchen floor and Van Persie has to clean up the mess

Traitor! Right on cue, Dina spews up on the kitchen floor and Van Persie has to clean up the mess

His wife Bouchra and baby daughter then take centre stage.

Speaking in the kitchen, Bouchra says: 'I must admit the move was very stressful for the baby. As a lifelong Gooner, she was disgusted by her old man.

'It still makes her feel sick just talking about it. She saw a photo of daddy with Fergie…'

Right on cue, Dina throws up on the kitchen floor and Robin has to mop it up as his wife jokingly calls him a 'traitor.'

Time to go: Van Persie talks in the clip about how the move was right for him

Time to go: Van Persie talks in the clip about how the move was right for him

Not good enough: Van Persie then says he dropped Arsenal's contract offer in the bin and walked out

Not good enough: Van Persie then says he dropped Arsenal's contract offer in the bin and walked out

Later, she says: 'The baby told me she has lost all respect for her old man.'

The programme may be intended to be light-hearted, but Gunners fans might take offence at these comments at the end: 'I know the baby is upset, but I had to leave.

'It still makes me laugh to think about the new contract I was offered by them. I said 'Oh really' Then I dropped it in the bin and packed my bags.'

VIDEO: Van Persie explains family rift after his move to Man United

David Moyes could quit Everton if no Champions League

Champions League or bust for Moyes as Everton boss ponders future at Goodison

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 29 December 2012

Everton manager David Moyes is seriously considering ending his 11-year association with the club after the season if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.

Having established his reputation as one of the best managers in England over a decade, Moyes feels this year represents his best chance of a top-four finish since 2005, when Everton were knocked out in the Champions League qualifying stages by Villarreal.

The Scot, whose side face Chelsea on Sunday, believes Everton must take advantage of a relatively weak Premier League to break into the elite, with Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman at their peak.

Up in the air: David Moyes has six months left on his Everton contract

Up in the air: David Moyes has six months left on his Everton contract

He wants owner Bill Kenwright to back him with two new signings in January. But Moyes knows it will be hard to keep his squad together should they fail in their top-four quest.

‘It’s easier to attract top players if you are in Europe, particularly the Champions League. I think it would help to keep Marouane Fellaini. The only reason then for him to leave would be money. That’s why if you want to keep your best players you need to give them European football.’

Fellaini, who completes a three-match ban for butting Ryan Shawcross of Stoke, is being watched by Chelsea and clubs in the cash-rich Russian League, and failure to finish in the top four could see the likes of Fellaini, Ross Barkley and Leighton Baines go to balance the books and also leave Moyes seeking a new challenge, possibly abroad,.

Moyes has just six months left on his contract and has not had talks about a new deal. Regularly overlooked for top jobs in England, the only feasible opportunity left at home is at Manchester United, which would depend on when Sir Alex Ferguson chooses to retire.

Moyes is more likely to follow the route taken by former England manager Steve McClaren, who went to coach in Holland and Germany.

Heading out Marouane Fellaini has been linked with a move in January

Heading out Marouane Fellaini has been linked with a move in January

Moyes is a keen student of European football and knows it may offer a better route into the Champions League than he will get in England. He has already expressed a wish to manage in Germany. He is the third-longest serving manager in the Premier League behind Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

Everton could leapfrog Chelsea into third place if they win today but Moyes accepts there is a huge chasm between the two clubs in their long-term prospects, particularly when Roman Abramovich can splash out 35million on an exciting young player like Belgium’s Eden Hazard.

‘We knew all about Hazard through (international team-mate) Fellaini but it was always going to be biggish cash for us. We’ve had a few like that, I can tell you,’ said Moyes.

‘Can you measure Everton against Chelsea I think there would be an unfair advantage somewhere in there. I don’t think we have spent as much here on players when you include outgoings as they have in pay-outs for managers.

Europe calling: Everton hope to gatecrash next season's Champions League

Europe calling: Everton hope to gatecrash next season's Champions League

‘Everton supporters realise we have a different model. Tottenham have proved that you can get into the top four. We had a nibble at it in 2005 but it’s not been consistent enough.'

Moyes knows, if Everton can qualify for the Champions League, the long-term prospects for the club would alter dramatically.

He said: ‘Last January we needed 5.5m to turn it around. I would hope if we make it to the Champions League we will be getting far more than that.

‘It would help us for the next couple of years and that would help me keep Everton’s progress going. What worries me is keeping the progression going. If we are lucky enough to make the Champions League, we could try and make another step up the ladder. What would you get for getting into group stages 10m- 20m

‘That could change a lot that would happen here.’

Watford 2 Nottingham Forest 0: Matej Vydra double

Watford 2 Nottingham Forest 0: Vydra double has Hornets flying

PUBLISHED:

17:42 GMT, 22 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 22 December 2012

Matej Vydra scored twice as Watford moved into the npower Championship play-off places with victory over Nottingham Forest.

The double took his tally for the season to 10, with the goals coming either side of Daniel Ayala being sent off for the visitors before the break.

Happy Hornets: Matej Vydra blasts his and Watford's second

Happy Hornets: Matej Vydra blasts his and Watford's second

Match facts

WATFORD: Almunia, Hall, Hoban, Ekstrand, Cassetti, Pudil, Hogg, Abdi (Battocchio 84), Chalobah (Mujangi Bia 90), Deeney,
Vydra (Beleck 74). Subs Not Used: Bonham, Neuton, Yeates, Geijo.

Booked: Cassetti, Deeney, Beleck.

Goals: Vydra 15, 40.

NOTTM FOREST: Camp, Collins, Ayala, Ward, Harding (Halford 46), Hutton, Moussi, Cohen, Reid (Guedioura 46), Cox (Blackstock 79), Sharp. Subs Not Used: Darlow, Gillett, Lansbury, Majewski.

Sent Off: Ayala (38).

Booked: Ayala, Ward, Cox, Sharp.

Att: 15,143

Ref: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

The visitors had an early chance to
take the lead when Andy Reid swung in a dangerous free-kick but Danny
Collins glanced his header just wide.

Watford threatened soon after and
Elliott Ward had to be alert to black Almen Abdi's goal-bound effort
after the Swiss midfielder burst through the middle.

Billy Sharp spurned a glorious opportunity to hand Forest the advantage with 15 minutes gone.

Chris Cohen found Simon Cox in space down the right and his low cross was turned wide by Sharp at the back post.

And they were made to pay when Guy Moussi conceded possession in the middle of the pitch.

Abdi pounced to play in Vydra and the Czech made no mistake from inside the box. Daniel Pudil's 20-yard drive once more highlighted the hosts' threat, with Lee Camp diving to his left to tip it past the post.

Forest's task was made even harder when Ayala, who was booked earlier, picked up his second yellow in the 38th minute.

Having already got away with a
blatant foul on Vydra moments earlier, the defender on loan from Norwich
brought down Troy Deeney on the edge of the box and was given his
marching orders.

The Hornets exploited their numerical
advantage to great effect just before the break, with Abdi again laying
on the assist for Vydra to finish from 12 yards.

Facing an uphill battle, Forest
manager Sean O'Driscoll made two changes at the interval, bringing on
Adlene Guedioura and Greg Halford for Dan Harding and Reid.

Those changes failed to stem the tide
of Watford attacks and it should have been 3-0 after an hour when the
ball fell kindly for Pudil on the edge of the box but he snatched at the
shot and cleared the bar.

Forest, to their credit, showed some
resistance after that, Guedioura firing into the side-netting and Sharp
dragging a shot wide from a promising position.

But Watford were worthy of their lead
and remained resolute in the closing stages, sealing a fifth win in
eight league games to climb into sixth place.

Alex Ferguson says Manchester United will not buy in January transfer window

Window of opportunity: Man City offered January hope in title race as Fergie rules out signing reinforcements for United (so, will Mancini swoop for Walcott)

|

UPDATED:

10:12 GMT, 18 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making any January signings to bolster Manchester United’s bid for the Barclays Premier League title, leaving the window open for rivals City to strengthen their squad and catch up with the league leaders.

While City manager Roberto Mancini is expected to add to his star-studded squad as he desperately looks to defend his Premier League title, Ferguson has ruled moving for anyone, including Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

No go: Sir Alex Ferguson will not be signing anyone in January

No go: Sir Alex Ferguson will not be signing anyone in January

Walcott’s negotiations over a new contract at the Emirates is ongoing, but Ferguson is refusing to spend an inflated January fee.

Asked if he would make a single signing during the winter window, Ferguson told Yahoo: ‘No, the January transfer market has never been the best transfer market and that has been proven over the years with very few big transfers happening. All the big transfers happen in the summer.’

The United manager, who saw his team maintain their six-point lead over neighbours Manchester City with a 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday, is adamant he will not be doing any business in the transfer window unless it is to allow several of his reserve-team players to go out on loan.

Wanted man: Theo Walcott could be at the centre of a transfer tussle

Wanted man: Theo Walcott could be at the centre of a transfer tussle

Ferguson, who rarely takes advantage of the mid-season opportunity to augment his first-team squad, believes he has enough resources to cope with challenging for the Premier League title and the European and FA Cups.

‘I will not be bringing anybody in, in January – definitely not,’ he confirmed.

It means that while title rivals City
are targeting Atletic Bilbao’s Fernano Llorente; Chelsea are ready to
splash on Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao and Walcott and Liverpool
want Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince from Blackpool, the United
boss will stick with what he has as the club chase a 20th league title.

How many do you want Roberto Mancini is expected to buy

How many do you want Roberto Mancini is expected to buy

Walcott’s future at Arsenal is in doubt with the club refusing to agree to his contract demands. But if the Gunners decide to cash in on the winger in January, he is now more likely to end up at Stamford Bridge than Old Trafford.

Ferguson’s confidence comes from now having a fully fit squad at his disposal after skipper Nemanja Vidic returned to the team as a second-half substitute against Sunderland.

‘It will take him a bit of time but that is a start,’ Ferguson said. ‘He is a warrior and he is our captain. He always battles for you and sticks his head on that ball in the penalty area. That is what he is great at.’

Goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney were enough to claim all three points and Ferguson added: ‘People keep saying we are weak in midfield but these guys are very good players.’

For more insight from Sir Alex Ferguson and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

UEFA will launch youth competition to rival NextGen series

UEFA will launch youth competition to rival NextGen series

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UPDATED:

15:14 GMT, 7 December 2012

UEFA are to launch a new under-19 club competition which will be in direct competition with the English-founded NextGen series.

The new UEFA youth competition will be open to the 32 clubs who qualify for the Champions League group stage.

That will clash with the NextGen series, co-founded by Mark Warburton, the former City trader now sporting director at Brentford, and already involving top clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona and Inter Milan.

New competition: UEFA will launch a rival to the English-founded NextGen series

New competition: UEFA will launch a rival to the English-founded NextGen series

NextGen

UEFA president Michel Platini said: 'There is a private company organising a tournament with the agreement of certain people who thought UEFA would agree.

'We realised it is a private company organising that and the executive committee requested it should be up to us to organise that and we are doing that with the European Clubs' Association.

'We have created a carbon copy of the Champions League and we will have this test for two years.

'We have now created a competitive opportunity for youth players to be involved in international matches at club level. It allows us to provide a development opportunity and great experience not only for the players, but also for referees, who will be appointed on an international basis.'