Tag Archives: paul

FA Cup 2013: Giant-killings could end because of new FA Cup ball

FA Cup underdogs have been having a ball – but that could be about to change…

By
Simon Cass

PUBLISHED:

15:16 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 18 February 2013

It is not just the balls that come out of the bag that those teams intent on FA Cup giant-killing will be concerned about.

Championship sides Blackburn, Millwall, Barnsley and Middlesbrough, along with League One Oldham, are all still dreaming of a trip to Wembley and a semi-final encounter with one of the Barclays Premier League big boys.

But with goalkeepers already having had to contend with an unpredictable Umbro FA Cup ball, those stoppers from further down the league now face the disadvantage of having to get used to the flight of the Nike Premier League ball from the final four of the competition onwards.

Cup Magic: But Colin Kazim-Richards' Blackburn Rovers, who knocked out Premier League Arsenal on Saturday, may have trouble with the Premier League ball, used in the FA Cup semi-finals onwards

Cup Magic: But Colin Kazim-Richards' Blackburn Rovers, who knocked out Premier League Arsenal on Saturday, may have trouble with the Premier League ball, used in the FA Cup semi-finals onwards

Unpredictable: Goalkeepers have had to get used to the ball for the earlier rounds, the Umbro Neo 2

Unpredictable: Goalkeepers have had to get used to the ball for the earlier rounds, the Umbro Neo 2

As part of the FA’s megabucks deal with Nike, from the semi-final of the Cup the ball used will be a de-branded version of the Maxim, which Premier League strikers have been lashing into the net all season and which top-flight keepers have been tipping around the post.

Having spent hours on the training ground trying to get to grips with the Umbro Neo 2 used so far in the competition, Football League keepers must now familiarise themselves with the Nike ball whose flight is second nature to the Premier League counterparts.

MK Dons goalkeeping coach, Paul Heald, who watched his keeper David Martin ship in three in Saturday’s defeat by Barnsley, explained: ‘We work all year with a certain match ball but for cup games we use Umbro balls which are totally different, move differently and have a different texture to them. Some people don’t realise that it is a big difference.

Knock-out: MK Dons keeper David Martin, left, conceded three goals in Saturday's cup loss to Barnsley

Knock-out: MK Dons keeper David Martin, left, conceded three goals in Saturday's cup loss to Barnsley

‘All the balls are made slightly
differently. The Premier League balls are different to the Football League
balls but the FA Cup balls just seem to travel quicker.

'They have got a
little bit more bounce and they shoot off the surface, especially on
wet surfaces, and move a lot sharper.

‘The
balls are different every year and the manufactures try and keep it
interesting. Even the way the leather is cut, the design is to make the
ball unpredictable.

'I take my hats off to young keepers. It is great for
the strikers and supporters but it is an absolute nightmare for
goalkeepers.’

All change: Any lower league side facing Robin van Persie in the semi-final will have to deal with the same ball, pictured above, that he has scored with 19 times in the Premier League this season

All change: Any lower league side facing Robin van Persie in the semi-final will have to deal with the same ball, pictured above, that he has scored with 19 times in the Premier League this season

There were
presumably plenty of sleepless nights for goalkeepers over the weekend
as 25 goals were scored in seven matches, suggesting the preparation on
the training pitch had not gone according to plan despite there being no
limit on how much you can practice with the ball.

Umbro’s technical specifications of their Neo 2 claim it features ‘just 14 panels to offer larger strike zones and a smoother, more accurate flight.’ Nike, by comparison, claim their Maxim’s Geo II Balanced technology ‘distributes pressure evenly for consistency and accuracy’ while it also features a ‘carbon-latex bladder for acceleration and superior air retention.’

But despite such space age technology, Heald certainly feels the advantage lies with the strikers in the modern game.

He said: ‘We have a laugh and a joke amongst keepers and say that outfield players, all they do is close their eyes, keep their head down, hit and hope and the ball does the rest.

'We say that all they do is swing the leg and hit the ball and the art is really in the goalkeeping.’

Mansfield chairman John Radford gives boss Paul Cox an 85,000 Aston Martin as reward for thrashing Barrow

Mansfield chairman gives boss Cox an 85,000 Aston Martin as reward for thrashing Barrow

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

00:48 GMT, 10 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:50 GMT, 10 February 2013

Mansfield Town were motoring when they clocked up an 8-1 win over Barrow — and so impressed was chairman John Radford, he gave his Aston Martin to manager Paul Cox as a reward.

The keys to the 85,000 Vantage Coupe, with the registration MT51 COX, were handed over after a Matt Green hat-trick, helped wrap up a Blue Square Premier win.

Gift: John Radford rewarded his manager handsomely

Gift: John Radford rewarded his manager handsomely

Radford, 56, who is also the club’s owner, had only got to One Call Stadium at half-time after returning from Ireland and was so blown away by the 5-1 scoreline that he told Cox the car was his.

The manager said: ‘I’m not sure if it’s a wind-up. Maybe I’ll get to the car park and find a bike with some stabilisers on it.’

Dowie emerges as leading contender for vacant Oldham job after Scholes link is dismissed

Dowie emerges as leading contender for vacant Oldham job after Scholes link is dismissed

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

01:15 GMT, 5 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:02 GMT, 5 February 2013

Iain Dowie is leading the race to become the next Oldham Athletic manager, despite bookmakers installing Oldham fan Paul Scholes as shock favourite.

Latics chairman Simon Corney is eager to install a new boss before the club’s FA Cup fifth-round clash against Everton next Saturday.

Surprisingly the 38-year-old midfielder was labelled as a front-runner but Corney has denied any suggestions that the Old Trafford legend would be taking the post.

Out of work: Dowie's last managerial job was in 2010 he unsuccessfully tried to keep Hull City in the Premier League

Out of work: Dowie's last managerial job was in 2010 when he unsuccessfully tried to keep Hull City in the Premier League

‘If Paul Scholes was to so much as express a desire to come here, it would refresh the whole club and of course I would be interested,’ Corney said.

‘But is it going to happen No, it isn't and there has been no contact between ourselves and Paul Scholes.

‘For one thing, I cannot see him wanting to go from earning 60,000-a-week at Manchester United to 600-a-week at Oldham!

Despite engineering their famous victory over Liverpool, Paul Dickov resigned on Sunday after a run of poor form in League One which left the Boundary Park side just outside the relegation zone.

Relaxed: Scholes at United's Doha training camp

Favourite: Scholes, seen here relaxing at United's Doha training camp, has emerged as the bookies choice for the Oldham job

Dowie has previous experience of managing Oldham after taking the club to the League One play-offs in 2002-03 and

Corney confirmed that he has been in contact with the former QPR manager.

‘Iain and I are good friends and we speak on a regular basis, but the club has time to make the right appointment,’ added Corney.

‘I would certainly expect a manager to be in place in time for the FA Cup tie against Everton next week and hopefully the issue may be resolved before the game against MK Dons this weekend.’

Pep Guardiola agrees Bayern Munich deal

BREAKING NEWS: Pep's back! Guardiola snub for Chelsea as Barca legend agrees three-year deal with Bayern Munich

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

15:58 GMT, 16 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:16 GMT, 16 January 2013

Pep Guardiola has snubbed a move to the Premier League and joined German giants Bayern Munich on a three-year deal.

Guardiola has been linked with Manchester rivals United and City as well as European champions Chelsea since taking a break from the game at the end of last season.

Bayern bound: Pep Guardiola is reported to be joining the Bundesliga giants

Bayern bound: Pep Guardiola is reported to be joining the Bundesliga giants

The Spaniard has been spending most of his time in New York since calling time on a trophy-laden spell with Barcelona but will move to Munich to replace Jupp Heynckes, who is set to retire in the summer.

Guardiola was the most wanted coach in the business after creating arguably the best club side in the world in Catalonia.

He came through the ranks at the Nou Camp and served Barca as a player between 1990 and 2001.

What a signing: Bayern Munich confirmed the Guardiola signing on Twitter

What a signing: Bayern Munich confirmed the Guardiola signing on Twitter

Guardiola, who celebrates his 42nd
birthday on Friday, represented Spain 47 times and had brief spells with
Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli and Dorados.

He took charge of his boyhood club in
2008 and won the Champions League twice, the Primera Division three
times, two Spanish Cups, three Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups
and two Club World Cups.

Swansea to bid 7m for Thomas Ince

Swansea set to spark 7m bidding war with Liverpool for Blackpool star Ince

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

09:45 GMT, 12 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:46 GMT, 12 January 2013

Swansea are reportedly ready to hijack Liverpool's bid for Thomas Ince with a 7million offer for the Blackpool midfielder.

Ince, 20, had been expected to complete a move back to Anfield when the transfer window opened but Brendan Rodgers has been frustrated in his atttempts to complete the deal.

Blackpool rejected an opening offer of 5m and Liverpool are yet to return with an improved bid.

Wanted: Thomas Ince has attracted interest from Liverpool and Swansea

Wanted: Thomas Ince has attracted interest from Liverpool and Swansea

And that could leave the door open for Swansea to swoop, according to The Times.

Ince was originally released by Liverpool just 18 months ago and joined Blackpool for 250,000.

He has impressed at Bloomfield Road, scoring 13 goals this season and recently insisted he is happy to remain with the Championship club.

In the market: Ince has long been a target for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

In the market: Ince has long been a target for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

'My future right now is here,' he said. 'I’m a Blackpool player, I’m contracted to Blackpool and I’ll continue to give 100 per cent for this team.

'I don’t only do it for myself and for the fans but I do it for my team-mates.

'These lads are a great bunch of lads. The team spirit in this team is fantastic.'

Bradford v Aston Villa live

CAPITAL ONE CUP LIVE: Bradford v Aston Villa – as it happens from the Coral Windows Stadium

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 8 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 8 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Capital One Cup as Bradford host Aston Villa in the first leg of their semi-final at the Coral Windows Stadium. The League Two side will fancy their chances having already knocked out Premier League opposition in Wigan and Arsenal, while Paul Lambert's team have struggled in the top flight this term. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Bradford v Aston Villa (7.45pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Bradford starting XI: Darby, Hanson, Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Jones, Hines, Wells, McArdle, Doyle, Good.

Aston Villa starting XI: Given, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Delph, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

All the latest from League Two

19.09: From OptaJoe:

3 – Bradford are aiming to become the first fourth tier side in history to knock out three top-flight sides from the same League Cup. Target

19.06: Bradford starting XI:

Darby, Hanson, Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Jones, Hines, Wells, McArdle, Doyle, Good.

19.03: Aston Villa starting XI:

Given, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Delph, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

19.00: So who is backing Bradford to eliminate a Premier League team for the third round in a row

Arsenal and Wigan have already paid the penalty (a nice puntastic way to start the evening) but surely Aston Villa won't fall into the same trap in this League Cup semi-final.

From what I've seen in this season's Capital One Cup though, I'm not ruling out anything. Team news coming right up.

Hotshot: Christian Benteke will try to help Aston Villa avoid an upset at Bradford in the League Cup semi-final

Hotshot: Christian Benteke will try to help Aston Villa avoid an upset at Bradford in the League Cup semi-final

Paul Cox hoping for FA Cup honeymoon against Liverpool after training-ground wedding

Now this really is the magic of the FA Cup! Mansfield boss to get married at TRAINING GROUND ahead of giantkilling bid against Liverpool

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

11:07 GMT, 3 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:14 GMT, 3 January 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox will begin the biggest weekend of his life on Friday by marrying his girlfriend at the club’s training ground.

Cox’s team from the Blue Square Premier host giants Liverpool at the One Call Stadium on Sunday in one of the ties of the FA Cup third round.

But Cox will begin the weekend by marrying his girlfriend Natasha Bertin on the training ground next to the stadium after honouring a promise he made to her ahead of the club’s replay with Lincoln in the previous round.

Happy couple: Paul Cox with his bride-to-be Natasha Bertin

Happy couple: Paul Cox with his bride-to-be Natasha Bertin

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground - in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground – in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground - in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Having drawn 3-3 at Sincil Bank in the first game, Cox told his partner he would marry her if Mansfield went through and, after a 2-1 win clinched a meeting with Brendan Rodgers’ team, he will keep his word tomorrow when the couple tie the knot in a specially erected marquee.

A Mansfield source said: 'It’s going to be a big three days for Paul.

'He gets married on Friday and then it’s Liverpool on the day of his 41st birthday on Sunday.'

Busy week: Cox is facing a 48 hours at Mansfield

Busy week: Cox is facing a 48 hours at Mansfield

Hope the weather improves... the view at Mansfield's training ground

Hope the weather improves… the view at Mansfield's training ground

Mansfield are currently ninth in the Blue Square after losing out in the promotion play-offs last season.

The club applied for permission to use their full capacity to 10,000 for Sunday’s game but their request was rejected on safety grounds. There will be only 7,500 fans in the stadium, meaning that club will lose in the region of 50,000 in possible takings.

Christian Benteke not for sale, says Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Don't call him the new Drogba: Lambert says it's unfair to compare Benteke to former Chelsea star

|

UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 21 December 2012

Paul Lambert believes it is unfair to label Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke as the new Didier Drogba but insists the Belgium international can have an outstanding career.

Benteke has been drawing comparisons with former Chelsea star Drogba with his physique and power and the way he tormented the Liverpool defence during last weekend's 3-1 win at Anfield.

The 22-year-old is already looking a bargain buy at 8 million from Genk during the latter stages of the summer transfer window.

A star is born: Christian Benteke has made a big impact at Villa since signing in the summer

A star is born: Christian Benteke has made a big impact at Villa since signing in the summer

Lambert, whose side visit Chelsea on Sunday, said: 'I can understand why people are comparing with Drogba with the size of the two guys – but Christian is his own man.

'It's unfair for me to turn around and say he's going to be the next Didier Drogba with the career he's had.

'Christian has only just turned 22. But the potential there is incredible, what he can achieve.

'He's been absolutely brilliant for me, not just as a footballer but as a guy he is really humble, which is important. He's been brilliant.'

In the goals: Benteke has scored eight goals for Villa this season

Didier Drogba

Don't compare: Paul Lambert has asked for Benteke not to be compared with Didier Drogba

Lambert has a long-term vision for Villa and is adamant Benteke is part of that future admidst speculation he could become a target for the leading clubs during the January transfer window.

He said: 'There's no point in us even being here if it's a case of bringing people in and then letting them go.

'What's the point in that We're trying to build something here which can take a few years and you need good players with you to achieve that.

'There's no point in them coming for half a season or a year and then we let them go. That's not the right way.'

Not for sale: Paul Lambert says Benteke is not going anywhere in January

Not for sale: Paul Lambert says Benteke is not going anywhere in January

Benteke is developing a thriving partnership with Andreas Weimann who has started to realise his potential since being an extended run of games under Lambert.

The understanding was demonstrated via Weimann's sublime finish after Benteke's back heel for the second goal at Anfield.

Lambert said: 'Andi (Weimann) was here long before I came in. He's a natural finisher and has an incredible work-rate for the game of football.
'Provided he does not lose that, he can be a right good player.

'He's a totally different player to Christian, but he certainly knows where the goal is.

'We try to let them have the freedom to go and play and create.

'The second goal against Liverpool had great build-up and the finishing touch was the backheel from Benteke while the hardest part of the game is putting the ball in the net.'

In good form: Chelsea beat Leeds 5-1 in the Capital One Cup

In good form: Chelsea beat Leeds 5-1 in the Capital One Cup

Villa are unbeaten in their last five league games and also reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Lambert still expects Chelsea to pose a formidable threat despite their hectic schedule and travelling back from the World Club Championship in Japan.

He also has immense respect for the Blues interim manager Rafael Benitez.

Lambert said: 'I hope the travelling affects them – but I don't think it will. They had a good result the other night against Leeds.

'The tiredness only comes in if you are not getting results, if you're winning nobody bothers.

'In terms of Rafa, you look at his managerial career and it is phenomenal.

'He's gone in there at a difficult time and tried to stabilise it and get results at the same time.

'You look at Chelsea's squad, and the players they've got, and there are some world-class players in there.'

Aston Villa want Glenn Murray

Another Bent blow as Aston Villa target 20-goal Palace striker Murray in 2m deal

|

UPDATED:

09:25 GMT, 20 December 2012

Aston Villa are reportedly lining up a 2million bid for Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray.

The 29-year-old has spearheaded the Eagles' bid for promotion to the Premier League, notching 20 goals so far this season.

And Paul Lambert wants Murray to add bite to his frontline at Villa Park, according to The Sun.

Main man: Glenn Murray has attracted the attention of Aston Villa

Main man: Glenn Murray has attracted the attention of Aston Villa

Murray joined Palace from fierce rivals Brighton last year and has 18 months left on his deal.

The move would cast further doubt on the future of 18m striker Darren Bent who has struggled to win over Lambert.

While Murray may join Villa next month, Steven Warnock looks set to leave the club.

On fire: Murray has scored 20 goals for Crystal Palace this season

On fire: Murray has scored 20 goals for Crystal Palace this season

The 31-year-old returns from his loan spell at Bolton next week but is unlikely to force his way into Lambert's plans.

He could return to the Reebok or be sold in the transfer window. His contract expires in the summer.

Harry Forrester in possible Aston Villa return

Forrester set for return to Villa in 300k January deal after impressing for Brentford

|

UPDATED:

09:33 GMT, 17 December 2012

Harry Forrester could be on his way back to Aston Villa – just 18 months after the club released him to Brentford.

Paul Lambert has continued to monitor the progress of 21-year-old Forrester at the London side, who are nine unbeaten in League One, and could be ready to bring him back, reports the Daily Mirror.

Back to Villa Brentford's Harry Forrester could be returning to the club where he started for 300,000

Back to Villa Brentford's Harry Forrester could be returning to the club where he started for 300,000

Villa beat off competition from Manchester United and Tottenham in January 2008 to sign Forrester from Watford for 1m.

But he was released in 2011 when he failed to make the first team grade.

Now however, Villa want to get the England youth player back and are prepared to pay 300,000 in January.

They may have to fight off competition from Reading, Southampton and Celtic, who have all been checking his development.