Tag Archives: players

Arsenal guard of honour for Manchester United and Robin van Persie

Arsenal players OBJECT to giving old boy Van Persie and champions United guard of honour

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

11:35 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 April 2013

Reluctant Arsenal players are
privately unhappy about giving newly crowned champions Manchester United — and their
former captain, Robin van Persie — a guard of honour when they meet at
the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – but they are still expected to perform the honour.

A
guard of honour is a tradition in games involving teams who have just
won the title. Privately, a number of Arsenal players have expressed
objections towards the gesture, particularly in front of their own
supporters, but it is understood it will still go ahead.

Arsenal’s
pain will be offset by a 1.5million bonus they will receive due to a
clause inserted in Van Persie’s contract when he signed last summer. The
clause was activated when United won the title.

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

NOW READ ASH WEDNESDAY…

CLICK HERE: As much as it will hurt Wenger, Arsenal should give United a guard of honour… just as Ferguson did in 1991

Meanwhile, David
Gill has promised the champions will invest in new players this summer, though he expects Manchester City to be active, also.

He said: 'I’m sure they will come back. They’ve got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy. But that’s what the excitement of the Premier League is. I’m sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer – as we will be – with a view to come back all guns blazing next year.'

The out-going chief executive has also praised the work of the American owners. Gill claims United's success proves the determination of the Glazers to keep things progressing on and off the pitch, and that some of the criticism they get is unfair.

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

He
added: 'The Glazers have definitely demonstrated that since they have
taken over they have shown that what happens on the pitch is crucial to
the club’s ambitions off it.

'There
are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there
and they have had long held views which they are not going to change. We
respect those, but ultimately, someone has to own the club.

'They
[Glazers] get the personal enjoyment and the important thing is that
there is really no ego about them. They operate behind the scenes here,
they don’t walk around saying “we own the club”, and they are very
mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people.

'Clearly, if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 20th title, it’s unbelievable.'

Mario Balotelli named as one of TIME"S 100 most influential people

Which former Premier League bad boy has made the list of the world's top 100 influential people And which three other sporting giants are there too

.

One thing nobody could dispute is Balotelli's news value, with the 22-year-old often finding himself plastered over pages at the front end of newspapers, as well as at the back.

Former French Open tennis champion Na is back at the very top of women's tennis. The popular Chinese player narrowly missed out on another Grand Slam title in January, when she lost the Australian Open final to Victoria Azarenka.

Top star: Li Na, seen here in action last month in Florida, has made the TIME list

Top star: Li Na, seen here in action last month in Florida, has made the TIME list

Speaking about Na, tennis legend Chris Evert said: 'Tennis has exploded in China. The country now has some 15 million tennis players; 116 million people watched Li win the French Open. That kind of exposure is crucial to our sport, and it never would have happened without Li.

'At tournaments, I’ve seen her charm the crowds. When she smiles, everyone melts. She’s such a breath of fresh air. And like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova before her, Li Na has transcended her sport.'

James is quite simply a superstar of American sport. The Miami Heat forward became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points earlier this year.

Jump to it: LeBron James goes up for a dunk against Philadelphia last month

Jump to it: LeBron James goes up for a dunk against Philadelphia last month

He is one of the most well-known characters in American public life, and New York Yankees baseball stalwart Derek Jeter said: 'I’ve had the chance to meet LeBron James, and I know he’s a Yankees fan. I also know it must be tough to root for the Yankees while living in Miami and Cleveland.

'Most people in LeBron’s position aren’t as grounded as he is. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, and he’s given back so much to Ohio and Akron, his hometown. LeBron cares deeply about these places, and that says a lot about him.'

Vonn is a titan of winter sports, with the American at the top of skiing for more than a decade.

Looking good: Vonn has made her name on the slopes

Looking good: Vonn has made her name on the slopes

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn

Supporting Tiger: Lindsey Vonn was at Augusta last week to watch Woods play at the Masters

The Olympic downhill champion will be best remembered this season for a terrible crash in the super-giant slalom at the World Championships in Austria. Despite serious injuries suffered by Vonn, she insists that she will be fit and ready for next February's Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

If Vonn wasn't already famous enough in her own right, the identity of her significant other ensures an even higher profile. She is of course dating golfing icon Tiger Woods.

England players sneak headphones back on despite FA ban

Those cans are banned! England strugglers sneak headphones on despite crackdown

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 28 March 2013

England stars' shameless tactic of wearing headphones to avoid requests for interviews from reporters following international matches appears to be creeping back in.

Ashley Young was the latest star to cover his ears after England's 1-1 draw in Montenegro – despite Football Association rules specifically outlawing the practice.

In the aftermath of games, players pass through an area known as the mixed zone where journalists wait to talk about matters of importance and interest.

Ashley Cole

Wayne Rooney

Can you hear us Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young show off their oversized headphones last summer on England duty. They are often worn to dodge post-match interviews

Theo Walcott

Steven Gerrard

Ashley Young

There was a time when these discussions would be open and frank but then came the trend for certain players to wear headphones in order to swerve any post-game chat.

Last October, the FA issued wide-sweeping guidelines on player conduct and included a directive aimed specifically at stopping the practice. If there was a breach, it said, an investigation would be carried out by Club England.

The media clauses led to FA personnel ensuring England players did not go through the interview zone after England's match against Poland that month wearing headphones.

Mario Balotelli

It's not just England players who wear them: Mario Balotelli, Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Ramos with their cans

Rio Ferdinand

Sergio Ramos

Young, however, shuffled through following the disappointing draw in Podgorica on Tuesday. Ashley Cole has also been known to employ the tactic.

This latest headphone headache comes after last year’s Olympics ambush by Dr Dre’s popular brand of Beats headphones.

Customised versions with Union flag colours were delivered to members of Team GB, despite strict IOC rules regarding any non-rights holder advertising. Goalkeeper Jack Butland sent an ill-advised tweet praising the gear, leading to a reprimand from senior BOA officials.

Newcastle vow to keep spending big as scout Graham Carr"s search for new talent goes on

Newcastle vow to keep spending big with super scout Carr scouring the globe (possibly in disguise) for new talent

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

23:06 GMT, 27 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:29 GMT, 27 March 2013

Newcastle United have vowed to keep spending and scour Europe for new talent after re-entering the world's top 20 spenders.

And managing director Derek Llambias says chief scout Graham Carr, the man responsible for Newcastle's successful forays into France, may have to travel in disguise in his personal bid to find the best the continent has to offer.

His comments came after Newcastle announced they made a profit for the second year running in their financial figures, released yesterday. The figure of 1.4million is significantly down on last year's 32.6million, but that was largely down to Andy Carroll's 35million sale to Liverpool.

Classy: France international Yohan Cabaye has proved a superb signing

Classy: France international Yohan Cabaye has proved a superb signing

Disguise needed Newcastle's Graham Carr

Disguise needed Newcastle's Graham Carr

Newcastle, who are back among the game's big-spenders after increasing turnover by 5.4 per cent to 93.3million, increased their wage bill to 64.1million. But that 20 per cent rise is thanks to the addition of players Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon, Sylvain Marveaux and the recently departed Demba Ba.

Even after adding five more French players to their squad in January, Llambias has vowed to continue backing manager Alan Pardew, and the judgement of Carr in their summer's transfer window.

Although he admitted the Newcastle chief scout may have to go disguised as comedian son Alan to see off competition from Barclays Premier League rivals.

Scouted: Papiss Cisse was a surprise signing but has also impressed

Scouted: Papiss Cisse was a surprise signing but has also impressed

Llambias said: 'I think Graham Carr has more company when he is out there. He's not wearing a disguise just yet but definitely has more company. If he started wearing glasses, he would start looking like his son, Alan.

'There is still money available. There are several positions we are looking at. Next year, we will have the TV money. There is a budget to spend.

'But our transfer policy remains the same. No trophy buys. Basically, we will continue our model as it is. It works so we won't break it.

Healthy profit: Newcastle received a good fee for Demba Ba from Chelsea

Healthy profit: Newcastle received a good fee for Demba Ba from Chelsea

'We are actively looking at players and have been since October. All over Europe. It's not just France. That's been a good market for us but there are only so many you can get from there.

'There is again a profit this year and we are pleased with any profit, considering where we were in 08-09 to where we are now. It is a huge difference and we have increased the size of the squad in the meantime. We are definitely going in the right direction. We had a 17million operating loss in our first year.'

Neville Neville arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Gary Neville's dad arrested on suspicion of indecent assault hours before England coach takes on Montenegro in World Cup crunch tie

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

15:54 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:17 GMT, 26 March 2013

The father of former Manchester United and England stars Gary and Phil Neville has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.

It is understood that Neville Neville was arrested by Greater Manchester Police following an alleged incident in his home town of Bury in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The arrest comes only hours before Neville's son Gary – No 2 to England coach Roy Hodgson – will play a key role in helping England prepare to face Montenegro in their crunch World Cup qualifying tie against the group leaders at Podgorica.

Bailed: Neville Neville (L) has been bailed by Greater Manchester Police until May pending further enquiries

Bailed: Neville Neville (L) has been bailed by Greater Manchester Police until May pending further enquiries

Party time: Neville Neville, father of Gary and Phil, leads the songs at party for England players' families at the 2006 World Cup in Baden-Baden, Germany

Party time: Neville Neville, father of Gary and Phil, leads the songs at party for England players' families at the 2006 World Cup in Baden-Baden, Germany

A brief statement released by GMP today
said: 'Police are investigating a sexual assault which happened in early
hours of March 23 in the North Manor area of Bury.

'A 63-year-old man from Bury was
arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and has been bailed until May
pending further enquiries. Enquiries are on going.'

Neville Snr is a well-known figure on
the football scene in the north west, having served as a director at
Bury FC in the past and having also represented the professional
interests of both sons.

Phil is still playing at Everton
while Gary has gone on to make a name for himself as a respected Sky
pundit and newspaper columnist for the Mail on Sunday since retiring from the game two years ago.

More to follow…

Arrested: Neville Neville, the father of Gary and Phil, has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Arrested: Neville Neville, the father of Gary and Phil, has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Son: Gary Neville

Son: Phil Neville

Family: Neville Neville is the father of England coach Gary and Everton midfielder Phil (R)

Distraction: Son Gary is away on international duty as part of England's coaching staff for their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro

Distraction: Son Gary is away on international duty as part of England's coaching staff for their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro

Paul Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in American rehab clinic

Gazza flies back for 'one last chance': England legend Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in rehab clinic

By
Emma Clark, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne thought he was going to die during his latest stretch in rehab to beat alcohol addiction, it has been reported.

The ex-England and Newcastle player returned to Britain on Saturday after more than a month at the clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, during which he was treated in intensive care.

Doctors said it was the worst detox they had ever seen when the shock of giving up alcohol sent his body into seizure, Gascoigne told The Sun on Sunday.

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

He said: 'Three doctors didn't think I would make it.

'It has got to inspire me to never let this happen again.

'I've come through that – death. I was dead.'

He added: “I thought I was on my way out. I looked like a corpse. I was a total wreck.'

The 45-year-old said he woke up in
intensive care strapped to the bed to stop tubes from falling out of his
arms and was repeatedly injected.

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Gascoigne, who also played for Lazio
and Tottenham, said he feels grateful to be alive and is determined to
stay away from alcohol.

His latest stint in rehab was
organised by talkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie
Irani and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of
Gascoigne.

The move came following a charity
appearance in Northampton during which the star appeared unwell and
shaking, before breaking down and sobbing on stage in front of a room
full of fans.

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

The world of football has shown its
concern at the latest troubled period in the life of Gascoigne, one of
England's most naturally gifted players ever.

Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past, was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act.

Warren Gatland meets England squad

An awkward squad meeting! Lions coach Gatland sees England players just a day after saying he is reluctant to pick them

By
Joe Ridge

PUBLISHED:

12:38 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:53 GMT, 13 February 2013

Warren Gatland has met with the England squad just a day after his comments regarding selection for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia caused a storm.

The Lions and Wales head coach was with Stuart Lancaster's side at St George's Park for a pre-scheduled meeting on Wednesday just three months ahead of the trip to Australia.

Gatland, who has handed over the reins of the Wales side to his assistant Rob Howley for the ongoing RBS Six Nations Championship while he focuses on his Lions role, told the London Evening Standard on Tuesday that he was reluctant to pick too many Englishmen in his squad.

Causing a storm: Gatland said he is reluctant to pick too many Englishmen

Causing a storm: Gatland said he is reluctant to pick too many Englishmen

The New Zealander was at the National Football Centre in Burton to go through video footage of England's 12-6 win over Ireland on Sunday – a result which has left Lancaster's side top of the Six Nations table after two games.

‘England did well in the autumn,’ the Kiwi told the Standard. ‘And if they do well in the Six Nations, there will be a reasonable contingent of English players.

‘But that brings a certain element of – how do I say it – other pressures. We all know what happened with England at the World Cup and the circus that was created.

On a roll: England have won both of their Six Nations games so far

On a roll: England have won both of their Six Nations games so far

‘It becomes a much greater media focus for the English papers; potentially a negative focus for the Australian papers. And English players are targeted by other countries. They are not always the most popular with other countries because of the history. People like having a pop at them.

‘It’s just being aware of potential issues that may arise. I’ve got to be aware of the possibilities that, if there are a number of English players on the tour, the same sort of things could be instigated, through stings through the media or set-ups trying to create controversy.’

Gatland later insisted that his words were taken out of context.

Backtracking: The Kiwi later insisted his words had been taken out of context

Backtracking: The Kiwi later insisted his words had been taken out of context

‘I would happily pick 15 English players in the first Test at Brisbane if I though they were the best 15 players for the job,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

‘Hand on heart I would never be able to look myself in the mirror if we didn’t pick a player who deserved to go on Tour because he was English. I just couldn’t do that to any individual. Morally it is just wrong.’

England v Brazil: Greatest Brazilian players

Zico spraying passes in midfield, Pele's lethal finishing and Cafu's marauding runs from right back… ahead of England v Brazil, Sportsmail recalls the greatest Samba stars

PUBLISHED:

13:14 GMT, 5 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 5 February 2013

As the next generation of Brazilian players prepare to take on England at Wembley tomorrow night. Sportsmail's writers reveal their favourite Samba stars.

From Pele to Zico; from Ronaldo to Neymar, the South American country has delivered world class players for decades.

Do you agree with our experts Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

GARRINCHA

JEFF POWELL: Garrincha
is the player who most Brazilians regard as being their greatest,
greater than Pele. They have a point. Pele was dynamic but Garrincha was
beautiful to behold, the most exquisite player on the ball and a
goalscorer with flourish as well as power. He was almost impossible to
read on the dribble as a consequence of the rickets which afflicted him
in his impoverished youth and made him virtually double jointed at the
knee. A bon viveur, he used to go back to his home town after Brazil
matches at the Maracana to drink with the boys and kickabout with the
kids. A genius and a true man of the people.

JOHN GREECHAN:
Born crippled and left with one crooked leg even after restorative
surgery, the little winger looked as if he was forever swaying in a
strong breeze. The little footage that survives shows, however, that he
most often left opponents twisting in the wind. Oh, and he was Pele’s
hero. Enough said.

ZICO

MARK ALFORD: What a name, what a player. He floated around the pitch in his sweat-stained golden shirt, socks rolled down to his ankles, spraying passes about like a Latino Glenn Hoddle. He scored 52 goals in 72 international appearances… FROM MIDFIELD! It wouldn’t have been the same if they’d called him by his real name, Arthur. Gooooooooooooal Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiico.

Zico

Legend: Brazil's Zico leaps for joy after scoring against Scotland in the 1982 World Cup

Main man: Zico ran the show from midfield, scoring 52 goals in just 72 internationals for Brazil

LEE CLAYTON: My PE teacher at school – the brilliant and inspiring Phil Rider –
was nicknamed after him (well, he nicknamed himself!). He’d sign the
team sheet ‘Zico’ and seeing as I was usually sub, I was closest to the
‘sign-off’. It was the closest I got to being near Zico. That midfield
of Zico, Socrates and Falcao in 1982 was something magnificent. Roberto
Carlos is another sensation. He redefined playing at left back. I
interviewed Pele once and he was funny, charming and classy. And of the
modern team I like David Luiz. Can I keep going Sorry, I was only meant
to say one: so it’s Zico.

MATT BARLOW: Star of the first Brazilian team to come into my orbit and the
very essence of what Brazilian football seemed to be about: making
passes with the outside of the boot, bending the ball and scoring
sensational free-kicks with a No.10 on his back. That said, my abiding
memory of him is the penalty miss against France in Mexico 86.

PELE

MATT LAWLESS: His four goals at the tail end of 2009-10 season helped West Ham survive in the Premier League but no, Ilan is NOT my all-time favourite Brazilian. That honour goes to the unrivalled legend, Pele. Sadly, I never saw him play in the flesh yet his overhead kick goal in Escape to Victory will live long in my memory. Absolutely Brazil-liant!

JOHN EDWARDS: Ronaldinho, at his peak, was virtually unstoppable, but, overall, it has
to be Pele. Brazil circa 1970 boasted the greatest array of attacking
talent ever assembled, yet they all looked up to him. He was player of
the tournament in that year’s World Cup in Mexico, and he launched an
unsurpassable display of Brazilian brilliance with the opening goal in a
4-1 final win over Italy. As well as being the youngest player to
appear in a World Cup final, when he scored twice in a 5-2 win over
hosts Sweden in 1958 aged 17, he is the only holder of three World Cup
winner’s medals. Immense in every way.

STEVE CURRY: Pele stands out for me as a complete footballer who combined all the
natural gifts that have become associated with Brazilian footballers,
skill, grace, pace, freedom of expression and the ability to score great
goals. He was a wonderful player to watch live with his lithe movement –
a true match winner.

ROMARIO

MIKE ANSTEAD: Now this guy could finish. Toe pokes, curlers, dinks – Romario could do it all. And the ball usually ended up in the back of the net.

At the 1994 World Cup, he was unstoppable. Ronaldo, then a relatively-unknown 17-year-old with a goofy smile, was stuck on the bench watching the master in action as Brazil won the tournament for the first time since 1970.

Ronaldo would eventually take his crown as Brazil’s and Barcelona’s goal king. But Romario motored on, going on to score over 1,000 goals by the end of his career.

CAFU

LUKE BENEDICT: Not because he is the most capped Brazilian of all time, or because he played such a significant role in putting two of the five stars on the iconic shirt, but simply because of the way he controlled a football. With a single shoelace he could stop a spinning bullet and land it on a 5p coin. It was mesmeric.

SAMI MOKBEL: Pioneer of the modern day right-back. As good in the attacking
third as he was in his own box. Changed the conception of what was
needed to be a top-level full-back. Brilliant player.

Marauding: Cafu is the most capped Brazilian of all time and appeared in three World Cup finals, winning two

Marauding: Cafu is the most capped Brazilian of all time and appeared in three World Cup finals, winning two

RONALDO

PHIL GRADWELL: The original Ronaldo. The Nineties version was one of the best strikers of all time, combining frightening speed with a superb touch, immense power and the ability to score from all angles. This was best exemplified by his goal for Barcelona v Compostela in 1996, where he ran 60 yards, beat half the opposition and scored. The scorer of the most World Cup goals (15), even when his weight started becoming an issue he could still produce performances like the one for Real Madrid at Old Trafford in 2003. There’s only one Ronaldo…

ALEX HORLOCK: The first player who I was truly enamoured by as a child was a young striker who led the line for Barcelona back in 1996. Ronaldo was a colossus up front for a number of other clubs – and, of course, his country – but as an eight-year-old boy I was fascinated by the unstoppable striker who terrorised defences time and again. He was strong, quick, immensely skilful, a clinical finisher and his legs were the size of tree trunks. What more could you want

ROBERTO CARLOS

ADAM SHERGOLD: Everyone remembers the first time they saw that brilliant flash of Brazilian yellow – whether in person or on their TV screens. For me, it was that physics-defying free-kick of the millennium by Roberto Carlos against France at Le Tournoi in 1997.

Surely it was impossible to generate such a shot of such bend and strength to locate the net like a laser-guided missile – but Carlos managed it. He was also a player who redefined his role on the pitch – talk about defenders as frustrated strikers!

RIK SHARMA: Not as technically talented as some of the greatest Samba stars, but so unequivocally Brazilian in his willingness to attack. The former Real Madrid star was renowned for his thunderbolt shooting which, as well as worrying goalkeepers in real life, terrified my brother during countless football videogame sessions.

KAKA

ANDREW MAGEE: Fewer tricks and flicks than your typical Brazilian but still immaculate on the ball. His destruction of Man Utd in the Champions League semi final in 2007 sticks out, a potent combination of lethal finishing and graceful playmaking. He doesn’t run, he glides. Don’t believe me See his wonderful solo goal against Argentina where he even outpaces the great Lionel Messi.

NEYMAR

BRIAN LEE: It feels wrong going for any player other than Ronaldo but for me it’s Neymar. With his ridiculous hair and socks pulled up far too high it should be easy to dislike him but I’ve watched him live and have never seen quicker feet. There’s one goal on YouTube (against Flamengo and winner of the Puskas Award for 2011) that has everything. Pace, powerful running and a brilliant one-two. I’ve played it, slowed down, again and again and I’m still as confused as the defender he waltzed past before finishing.

JOSE LEANDRO FERREIRA

IAN LADYMAN: The team that Brazil took to the 1982 World Cup in Spain was the first that I really remember. I was 12 at the time and was captivated by the way they played the game. I was a right-back for my school team at the time – we won ONCE in five years – and decided I would model myself on the defender they called Leandro. Full of attacking intent, he spent more time in the opposition half than he did in his own and at times seemed to simply play as a second right winger. My PE teacher didn’t appreciate it when I tried to do the same. Leandro only played for one team – Flamengo – in a 12-year domestic career. I also only played for one team. For different reasons.

JUNINHO

COLIN YOUNG: Having watched him transform a small town and club and establish himself as Middlesbrough’s greatest ever player I’m going to say Juninho. He was quite simply a genius and absolute joy to watch.

JOSIMAR

DOMINIC KING: The 1986 World Cup is the first major tournament I really remember vividly. Mexico may have ended up belonging to Diego Maradona but, before the World Cup began, my Dad told me to make sure I watched Brazil when I could. The first game was against Northern Ireland and Josimar, making his debut at right-back, scored with an outrageous strike against Northern Ireland. He was the first Brazilian to grab my attention, so gets the vote.

No need for pain in Newcaste"s French revolution – Martin Keown"s Premier League bootroom

Premier League bootroom: No need for pain in French revolution

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

23:41 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 1 February 2013

Seeing so many French players arrive at Newcastle reminds me of when Arsene Wenger turned up at Arsenal in 1996.

Newcastle have added Mathieu Debuchy,
Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara
to their squad and we did a similar thing during our most successful
period.

Wenger brought in Emmanuel Petit,
Gilles Grimandi, Remi Garde, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Nicolas
Anelka, Sylvain Wiltord and Thierry Henry (below).

thierry henry

You could see they were all coming in ready to win something. It was impressive and a challenge to the rest of us.

Some things changed straight away. I used to go to the gym after training but suddenly I couldn’t get a machine because the French were all in there tuning up different parts of their bodies. They were generally very quiet at first off the pitch — because of the language barriers they couldn’t join in the dressing-room banter straight away.

Wenger made a point of conducting everything in English, which helped them learn the language but he occasionally had a quiet word in French with some of the new boys. But they learned English fast — I’m sure Henry couldn’t speak English one week and the next he was better than me.

In Toon: Newcastle fans embrace the influx of French players while Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (below) celebrate Arsenal's triumph in 1998

In Toon: Newcastle fans embrace the influx of French players while Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (below) celebrate Arsenal's triumph in 1998

Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit

There was of course some resistance to the influx of players. Some of the Brits felt the French lads were more quickly praised and indulged in training on occasions. If we talked during the warm-up we’d get a ticking off, while if they did the same it wouldn’t be mentioned. But any wariness soon disappeared as we started winning things. It will be the same at Newcastle. If they win games, the fans and rest of the dressing room will love them.

Some of our values rubbed off on the French players too, particularly our will to win. We trained at 100 per cent in every session while the French peaked for matches.

Main man: Theo Walcott has become a central figure for Arsene Wenger's side this season

Main man: Theo Walcott has become a central figure for Arsene Wenger's side this season

It was important to retain that Britishness and Wenger is still doing that by having Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and others in the team.

We gave our French team-mates important information too, warning them that a trip to Ipswich or West Ham was going to be tougher than they thought. No doubt the new boys at Newcastle will be guided by their team-mates too.

Top Gaul Scorers

Play the game

Our top managers were wheeled out to
say nice things on the FA’s 150th anniversary. Now they have to follow
up and help Roy Hodgson. He has World Cup qualifiers coming up and needs
to see his squad together, against Brazil on Wednesday. We can’t have
tactical withdrawals just to give players a rest.

Whats The Score.jpg

Becks misses a trick

It’s a shame that David Beckham has
joined Paris Saint-Germain. I would have liked to have see n him in the
Premier League one last time to see what he had to offer. He’s from the
same stable as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who are doing meaningful
jobs at Manchester United. I think playing again in England would have helped cement his place as one of the greats.

Teams 2

109 Teams 1

Peter Odemwingie transfer request rejected by West Brom amid QPR interest

West Brom reject Odemwingie's transfer request as QPR target desperately seeks exit

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

17:37 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 25 January 2013

West Bromwich Albion have turned down a transfer request from striker Peter Odemwingie.

The Baggies rejected a bid from QPR for the Nigeria forward earlier this month and the club insist none of their core players are for sale.

Sporting & technical director Richard Garlick said: 'Peter is hugely popular with our supporters and it is disappointing that he has decided to hand in a transfer request.

Snub: West Brom have rejected a transfer request from Peter Odemwingie

Snub: West Brom have rejected a transfer request from Peter Odemwingie

'It was immediately turned down and has done nothing to change our stance during January.

'Peter is under contract until the summer of 2014 and we have no need or desire to sell our core players.

'We want to keep the squad intact to enable us to build on an encouraging first six months of the season.'

Waving goodbye: Odemwingie has expressed his desire to leave West Brom

Waving goodbye: Odemwingie has expressed his desire to leave West Brom

Odemwingie sent a mixed message to supporters after the final whistle against Aston Villa last weekend and said: 'It's normal that players move clubs.

'There has been an offer – I'm 31 now and I was thinking to secure my future in the Premier League which is my desire.

'I had a good talk with the owners of the club, I'm here and I'm happy, this is always my club that I love.'