Tag Archives: reassurance

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Alan Pardew wants to keep Demba Ba

Pardew hopeful of hanging on to Ba as striker's 7.5m release clause looms

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 11 July 2012

He signed a 7.5million release clause last summer when Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was the one man prepared to take a risk on him.

Twelve months on and Demba Ba’s future at the club is uncertain. But with less than three weeks left before that clause can be invoked, Pardew is optimistic the Senegal striker will still be a Newcastle player for the start of the new season.

Hopeful: Alan Pardew is hopeful Demba Ba will stay at Newcastle

Hopeful: Alan Pardew is hopeful Demba Ba will stay at Newcastle

Ba is back for pre-season at Newcastle’s sodden training ground and will be among the party travelling to Germany for a training camp and warm-up games on Wednesday.

Bargain: Ba has a release clause of 7.5million

Bargain: Ba has a release clause of 7.5million

Only France internationals Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa will be missing with Tim Krul and Papiss Cisse due to join the squad before the weekend.

Pardew said: 'I’ve not seen any sign from Demba since he came back, and he’s actually training very well, that suggest he wants to find another club. I don’ t sense that at all.

'I genuinely don’t see a situation where he wants to move on. He has not stressed to me he wants to move to pastures new.

'He has said to me he wants some reassurance from me, he wants more of a striking role this season and I think he will.

'He played a couple of roles that were unorthodox for me last season to help the team, that’s the sort of person he is.

'He wants to play through the middle and score goals, that’s what he does best.

'The situation has been the same since he arrived at the club. He has a contract to Newcastle and he is loved here.

'He had a brilliant season, especially the first half, then after the African Nations, I think it did not go as well for him as it could have.

Still team-mates: Ba (left) partnered compatriot Papiss Cisse up front

Still team-mates: Ba (left) partnered compatriot Papiss Cisse up front

'That is something we will look at because we want him to be at his very, very best.

'But we are planning for him to have another great season with us.’

After his failed medical at Stoke, and despite his seven goals in 12 games for relegated West Ham, Ba was perceived as a risk last year when Newcastle signed him for nothing.

His response, after an initial settling in period of a month, was to score 14 goals in 16 games from September.

And when news of his clause was leaked, the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool were quickly sniffing around the 27-year-old.

Star men: Pardew is holding on to players like Yohan Cabaye

Star men: Pardew is holding on to players like Cheik Tiote

Star men: Pardew will hope to hang on to Yohan Cabaye (left) and Cheick Tiote

His advisers, who will benefit from any sale, have not been backward in offering the forward to numerous clubs either.

Ba scored just once after the African Cup Nations, and the addition of fellow-countryman Cisse, but interest from Newcastle’s Barclays Premier League rivals remains while the club are hoping to re-open fresh contract negotiations with the striker and his advisers after initial talks earlier this week.

Pardew is relaxed about the on-going speculation. He has already fended off the link with Cabaye and Barcelona, and he knows the stars who guided Newcastle to fifth last season will be subject to increasing uncertainty until the transfer window closes in August.

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Liverpool face summer of discontent

Summer of discontent ahead for Liverpool as inquest into turbulent season begins

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 6 May 2012

They had billed it as the game when judgments could finally be made: a season-defining battle that would solve all those unanswered riddles.

In many ways, they were right. Liverpool’s FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea provided clarity on several key issues, such as the squad (it needs reshaping and strengthening), Andy Carroll (he deserves a chance to shine) and the campaign (it will be viewed with bitter disappointment).

Yet, wholly in keeping with this most puzzling 10 months, a fresh set of dilemmas emerged from the wreckage of their latest trip to Wembley, conundrums that must be tackled swiftly to prevent Liverpool being cut adrift from England’s elite teams.

Plenty to ponder: Kenny Dalglish watches his side lose to Chelsea

Plenty to ponder: Kenny Dalglish watches his side lose to Chelsea

Suddenly the picture of how Liverpool will move forward through the summer is murky and none of the club’s hierarchy would say plans are in place. Or who will oversee them.

Defeat led to inevitable conjecture about Kenny Dalglish’s position. Some supporters are open to the idea of change but the majority are firmly behind a man who was desperate to collect the 28th major honour of his Anfield career.

Yet, on this occasion, the words of reassurance that some longed for were absent. Managing Director Ian Ayre scuttled briskly through the media corridor, declining all interview requests, while principal owner John W Henry offered nothing more than convivial handshakes and ‘hellos’.

Dalglish batted away questions about his relationship with Henry. ‘We will wait and assess the season for everything that contributes to it until after the last games are finished,’ he said. ‘I cannot be any more honest than that. Everybody is going to sit down and assess what has happened.’

Decision time: Liverpool's owner John W Henry has a tough job on his hands

Decision time: Liverpool's owner John W Henry has a tough job on his hands

While it is vital to discover why the wheels came off in the Premier League, all eyes will be on Anfield to see how the massive improvements will be made.

Firstly, it is imperative Fenway Sports Group appoint a director of football to oversee the financial, scouting and contractual duties that have been left unattended since Damien Comolli was sacked. Dalglish has said as much himself.

Secondly, it is crucial that FSG decide quickly whether Dalglish is the man for them. If the doubt remains, the inconsistency that has blighted Liverpool’s season will not be expunged. ‘We have been two different teams this season,’ said a disconsolate Steven Gerrard. ‘We have not been good enough in the league but we have done exceptionally well in the cups.

‘There are no excuses. We as players need to take responsibility for that showing because the players we have in the dressing room are certainly not eighth best in the league.’

Down and out: Steven Gerrard is dejected after his Liverpool side lost

Down and out: Steven Gerrard is dejected after his Liverpool side lost

Pepe Reina, Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel are all top performers and the injured Lucas will be another plus, while Carroll seems to have come of age.

How things have changed for the 35million man. Having had to contend with criticism for buying him, Dalglish now finds himself being criticised for not starting Carroll.

It remains a curious fact that the England striker has not started more than three consecutive games this season.

‘We are Liverpool — we will bounce back,’ said Gerrard. ‘We will strengthen in the summer and we will come back and fight again. That’s what this club does. All through my career it’s been about highs and lows. This is a big low but we will be back. I will be back. We are Liverpool.’

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Manchester fans given police warning ahead of derby

Behave yourselves! Police warn rival fans ahead of Manchester derby

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UPDATED:

11:18 GMT, 26 April 2012

Police chiefs have vowed they will 'clamp down' on anyone intent on causing trouble around Monday's crucial Manchester derby.

Although Greater Manchester Police praised the respective supporters for their good behaviour at the FA Cup third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium in January, which United won 3-2, there have been problems in the past.

Twenty-nine people were arrested after the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg tie between the two sides two years ago, and with the latest meeting almost certainly going to decide the destination of this season's Premier League title, tensions are bound to be heightened.

Police presence: Troublemakers will not be tolerated

Police presence: Troublemakers will not be tolerated

trouble

United have been allocated 2,620 tickets for the fixture and there will be a heavy police presence on duty to ensure the match passes off without incident.

Any supporter caught with alcohol within the alcohol exclusion zone, stretching from the city centre to the stadium, will have it confiscated and police have also warned anyone arriving at the stadium under the influence of excess alcohol will be refused entry.

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare said: 'As so much rests on this game, emotions will be running high and our main aim is to ensure the game is a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans.

'Greater Manchester Police will have the appropriate number of officers and resources within the ground and the surrounding areas to both deal with any incidents and offer reassurance to the public.

On watch: Police will make sure everything goes smoothly

On watch: Police will make sure everything goes smoothly

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police

'The rivalry between the clubs really adds something extra to this fixture and should be embraced, but we must also ensure that this is not used as an excuse by some individuals to become involved in disorder.

'We want to make it clear to the minority who may be thinking of causing any trouble that we will clamp down hard on them. We want people to take responsibility for themselves and drink responsibly.

'We want to ensure that the city of Manchester, both of its clubs and its fans are remembered for the right reasons. We should celebrate the fact that the Premier League is coming to Manchester.'

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Rangers v Kilmarnock to go ahead after police assured over payment

Rangers clash with Kilmarnock to go ahead after police assured over payment

Rangers' Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Kilmarnock looks set to go ahead as planned at Ibrox on Saturday.

There was an element of doubt over the fixture being played after the Scottish champions went into administration earlier and Strathclyde Police sought assurances they would be paid for policing the event.

However, talks between the police and administrators Duff and Phelps have resulted in assurances that payment for policing will be made.

Uncertain future: Rangers were plunged into administration on Tuesday

Uncertain future: Rangers were plunged into administration on Tuesday

A Strathclyde Police spokesperson said: 'We have had a positive meeting with the administrators and received assurances about payment for the provision of police services at this weekend's match.

'We are working with the club and planning for the game as normal.'

Doubts were raised over the game when it was confirmed Rangers had appointed administrators to assume control of the running of the club, following a legal debate with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

An earlier statement from Strathclyde police read: 'Strathclyde Police is a public body and has a duty to make sure public resources are used appropriately.

'We are seeking an urgent meeting with the administrators to ensure that any payment for policing costs at future Rangers games is guaranteed.

Protests: Rangers fans attach a banner to a gate at Ibrox Stadium

Protests: Rangers fans attach a banner to a gate at Ibrox Stadium

'Until we have such a guarantee we would not be in a position to commit public resources to policing an event unless we had a reassurance that our costs would be met.'

Rangers joint-administrator Paul Clark said: 'We have already spoken to the police and we have certain issues that we need to cover off with them, and we'll be speaking to all of the suppliers over the coming hours to ensure that Saturday's game does proceed.'

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Tottenham 3 Cheltenham 0: Dos Santos stunner eases Spurs through

Tottenham 3 Cheltenham 0: Dos Santos stunner eases Spurs through

Giovani Dos Santos scored his third
Tottenham goal in four years and helped set up two more as Harry
Redknapp's men cruised in to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a
comfortable win over League Two side Cheltenham.

Dos Santos, who has spent most of
his time at Spurs out on loan, was visibly irked when Jermain Defoe
stole in to stab home from one yard after the Mexican had lobbed
Cheltenham stopper Scott Brown in the first half.

Can't miss: Jermain Defoe pokes the ball over the line

Can't miss: Jermain Defoe pokes the ball over the line

MATCH FACTS

Tottenham: Cudicini, Bassong, Livermore, Dawson (Carroll 88), Rose, Lennon (Bostock 82), Pienaar, Kranjcar, Giovani, Pavlyuchenko,
Defoe (Falque 76). Subs Not Used: Gomes, Kaboul, Van der Vaart, Parrett.

Booked: Dawson.

Goals: Defoe 24, Pavlyuchenko 43,Giovani 87.

Cheltenham: Brown, Bennett, Elliott, Garbutt, Jombati, Pack, Low (Smikle 58), Penn (Goulding 77), Summerfield, Spencer (Duffy 62), Mohamed. Subs Not Used: Book, Lowe, Andrew, Graham.

Att: 35,672

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

But the Mexican then set up Roman Pavlyuchenko for Tottenham's second before ending the match on a high by clipping a clever shot over Brown at the death to seal the Premier League side's passage.

Dos Santos was one of several fringe players who impressed to give Redknapp reassurance that he has plenty of quality to call upon in what could be the most important six months of his managerial career.

Spurs started the day 67 places above Cheltenham in the league ladder, but the League Two title chasers started confidently.

Roared on by their 5,000 travelling fans, Kaid Mohamed tested Carlo Cudicini early on.

Danny Rose released Dos Santos down the left in Spurs' first attack, but the Mexican's poor pull-back was cut out while Pavlyuchenko was lurking unmarked in the box.

Hammer blow: Roman Pavlyuchenko scores from close range

Hammer blow: Roman Pavlyuchenko scores from close range

The Russian got his chance soon after when he lost his marker in the box before curling a shot just over.

Steven Elliott blocked Pienaar's goal-bound effort before Luke Garbutt almost put Rose's cross in to his own net after the England Under-21 international was picked out by a great cross-field ball from Aaron Lennon.

Russ Penn blasted a 30-yard effort just over Cudicini's goal to raise the away fans' hopes, but they were soon dashed by Defoe's opener.

Hart felt: Over 5,000 Cheltenham fans roared on their side

Hart felt: Over 5,000 Cheltenham fans roared on their side

No Hart: Spurs striker Pavlyuchenko gestures to the Cheltenham fans

No Hart: Spurs striker Pavlyuchenko gestures to the Cheltenham fans

Dos Santos galloped clear and lifted the ball over Scott Brown after a slide-rule pass from Kranjcar but Defoe coasted in from the right to selfishly stab home the goal-bound effort from one yard.

The striker got another chance soon after when he found space in the box but Alan Bennett came to the rescue with a crucial block.

Tottenham continued to dominate and they doubled their lead three minutes before the break.

Dos Santos played Defoe in to the box and he squared for Pavlyuchenko, who tapped in to an empty net with Brown stranded at the near post.

Collector's item: Giovani Dos Santos scores third goal

Collector's item: Giovani Dos Santos scores third goal

Mohamed sneaked in behind the Spurs defence in injury time but his shot was easily saved.

Defoe slipped past his marker at the start of the second half but Brown raced out to block the England man's shot.

Jake Livermore saw his deflected shot trickle just wide before racing back to his own box minutes later to put in a crucial sliding block during a rare Cheltenham attack.

Kranjcar then picked up the ball on the edge of the box and found Dos Santos in space, but the former Barcelona man, desperate to score after Defoe denied him a place on the scoresheet earlier, rushed his shot and skied way over.

Up fir it: Jake Livermore (L) challenges Cheltenham Town's Kaid Mohamed

Up fir it: Jake Livermore (L) challenges Cheltenham Town's Kaid Mohamed

Defoe then twisted and turned in the box to gain a yard on his two markers before blasting a shot that would have gone in had it not for a top-class diving save from Brown.

Penn slipped at the back post while unmarked to let Tottenham off during a Cheltenham attack as the visitors went through a five-minute spell of matching the hosts.

Spurs were soon back on the attack however with Pavlyuchenko, who skipped past two Robins defenders and drove towards goal but his effort was deflected wide by Elliott.

On the run: Danny Rose takes on Sido Jombati of Cheltenham

On the run: Danny Rose takes on Sido Jombati of Cheltenham

Brown spilled Kranjcar's shot with 20 minutes to go and the ball fell to Dos Santos but his volley was blocked by a sea of Cheltenham defenders.

The away fans gasped when Smikle nutmegged Rose to break free down the right and square for Penn but he miscued his shot, which flew well over.

Brown dived well to his right to deny Bassong a rare goal as Tottenham looked for a third with 10 minutes left. Michael Dawson, playing his first game since August, went in to the book for tangling with Darryl Duffy 25 yards out.

Dos Santos finally got his name on the scoresheet with four minutes left when he picked up Rose's cross to float a brilliant shot over Brown and Tottenham ran out comfortable winners.

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New Liverpool race row fan abuses Oldham player

New race row rocks Anfield after Liverpool fan abuses Oldham player

Liverpool and the police are investigating an incident which took place during the 5-1 FA Cup third-round win over Oldham at Anfield, where visiting defender Tom Adeyemi was seemingly the target of abuse from fans.

Just when the aftermath of striker Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra was dying down, the Merseysiders have found themselves having to deal with another issue.

Late in the game the 20-year-old, on loan from Norwich, appeared to take offence to something shouted from the Kop.

Flashpoint: Adeyemi reacts with disgust after alleged abuse was directed at him

Flashpoint: Adeyemi reacts with disgust after alleged abuse was directed at him

Despite reassurance from his
team-mates, Dirk Kuyt and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, the
right-back was visibly upset and seemed close to tears.

There then appeared to be discussion
between the fourth official and a police officer down by the tunnel
while the match was continuing.

Liverpool confirmed an incident took place and said investigations were continuing.

'An incident occurred in the second
half of the match which is now being investigated by both the club and
the police,' said a statement.

'We will continue to work with the
police to establish the details of what actually happened and will make a
further statement in due course.'

That's him: Adeyaemi points out the culprit while Latics manager Paul Dickov looks on (below)

That's him: Adeyaemi points out the culprit while Latics manager Paul Dickov looks on (below)

That's him: Adeyaemi points out the culprit while Latics manager Paul Dickov looks on (below)

Oldham manager Paul Dickov said he had not spoken to the player about the incident, but accepted something had upset him.

'From my point of view I have not spoken to Tom about it but I know the kid and something has been said,' he said.

The Scot continued: 'He is a placid boy, a kid who has been well-educated with a fantastic temperament and has been with us since the end of August and I've never seen him raise his voice.

'For him to react like that it is obvious something has been said but what has been said I don't know because I've not had a chance [to ask] – I was too busy praising my players.

'He is fine now. He has calmed down. He is a laid-back kid who just gets on with business.

'Our players went and calmed him down and the Liverpool players did as well, which was fantastic and is why they are top professionals.

'I have been told the police are investigating it but that is all I know.'

Calm down: Gerrard intervenes while a sign at Anfield clearly states the rules

Calm down: Gerrard intervenes while a sign at Anfield clearly states the rules

Calm down: Gerrard intervenes while a sign at Anfield clearly states the rules

Calm down: Gerrard intervenes while a sign at Anfield clearly states the rules