Tag Archives: responsibility

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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal defend as a team

We defend as a team! Arteta says blame should be shared for Arsenal lapses at the back



19:25 GMT, 30 September 2012

Midfielder Mikel Arteta maintains Arsenal must take collective responsibility for their defensive failings against Chelsea.

The Gunners tasted defeat for the first time this season when they went down 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

Both goals were preventable, as Fernando Torres outmuscled Laurent Koscielny to hook in Juan Mata's free-kick before the the former Valencia midfielder's second-half delivery was allowed to creep inside the far post after Gervinho had pulled the hosts level just before the break.

Bullish: Mikel Arteta said Arsenal defend as a team

Bullish: Mikel Arteta said Arsenal defend as a team

Koscielny was kept in the side ahead of 6ft 6ins German Per Mertesacker as captain Thomas Vermaelen returned from illness.

While the France international did not cover himself in glory for either goal, his slight deflection helping Mata's free-kick past Vito Mannone's dive, Arteta insists every one of the Arsenal players must stand up and be counted.

'We have conceded three goals from three set-pieces in the last two games that cost us points and it is not got enough,' Arteta said.

'I don't think it is something to do with the defence, it is to do with an individual set-up in the game, which is a free-kick or a corner or whatever, and we haven't defended the ball well enough and we conceded three goals in those two games.'

Arteta added: 'You cannot blame one player, you have to clear the lines so quickly and you cannot allow runners like that in the box, and it was the same sort of ball for both goals.

'It hurts when you lose points at home against teams like that and you feel you haven't deserved to lose.

'It is frustrating, but I think it was our own fault because we didn't defend those set-pieces.'

Battle: Laurent Koscielny (right) struggled to cope with Fernando Torres (left)

Battle: Laurent Koscielny (right) struggled to cope with Fernando Torres (left)

Battle: Laurent Koscielny (right) struggled to cope with Fernando Torres (left)

Arteta, though, insists Arsenal can take confidence from their start to the campaign.

'We have played some of the best teams in the league and we haven't been battered at all. In fact it has been the opposite, we have been better than them through the 90 minutes. I think that is a very positive thing,' he said.

'We will bounce back on Wednesday [in the Champions League against Olympiakos].'

Wenger accepts consistency will be the key to Arsenal's chances of mounting a sustained title tilt.

'It is part of human cycle – we are not every day at the same level, and at set-pieces we were poor,' he said.

'There was much more in this game for us if we had been more patient and clever.

'When we went in 1-1 at half-time I was convinced we would win the game.'

Wenger added: 'We will recover from it. It can happen in the season, but they are disappointed because they lost a game they should not have lost.'

Not good enough: Arteta is unimpressed with Arsenal's inability to deal with set-plays

Not good enough: Arteta is unimpressed with Arsenal's inability to deal with set-plays

Luka Modric transfer: Daniel Levy under pressure to replace Real Madrid man

Modric is off to Real Madrid – now pressure is on transfer boss Levy



21:30 GMT, 27 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Appearing relaxed and informed last week, Andre Villas-Boas discussed Tottenham's pursuit of Willian and Leandro Damiao before his side's Barclays Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion.

That was until the subject of Tim Sherwood's trip to Malaga to watch their Champions League qualifier the previous evening against Panathinaikos was raised.

Bedding in at the Bernabeu: Modric in his Real medical after Spurs finally agreed a fee with the Spanish giants

Bedding in at the Bernabeu: Modric in his Real medical after Spurs finally agreed a fee with the Spanish giants

Sherwood, in his new executive role working closely with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, had flown to the Estadio La Rosaleda to watch Malaga's 20-year-old attacking midfielder Isco. Villas-Boas, back in charge of a top Premier League team, was oblivious to it.

Tottenham want the young Spanish star, who began his career at Valencia, because he can leave this week for a cut-price fee as part of Malaga's huge restructuring programme.

Some people are on the pitch: It's Modric with his wife Vanja, his father and his son

Some people are on the pitch: It's Modric with his wife Vanja, his father and his son

Levy lives for the final week of the transfer window, in his element as he deals directly with chief executives, chairmen, agents and other assorted middle-men involved with multi-million pound deals.

After 11 years as chairman at White Hart Lane, Levy has finally taken full control of transfer policy. He is taking responsibility for improving on last season's fourth-place League finish, in charge of taking Tottenham to the next level.

After finalising the terms of Luka Modric's 27million move to Real Madrid yesterday, he has four days to deliver top-class replacements. The delay in that deal was to finalise a strategic alliance with Real.

In training: New boy Modric is put through his paces by Jose Mourinho

In training: New boy Modric is put through his paces by Jose Mourinho

Spurs' announcement of this partnership, which will involve the clubs 'working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships', attracted the attention – and mirth – of Gary Neville.

He tweeted: 'RM – I want Modric. Spurs – yes ok. Spurs – I want Ozil. RM – No. Spurs – Ok then.'

There is a serious nature to the former England star's observation, particularly after Tottenham missed the chance to sign 23-year-old Nuri Sahin on loan from Jose Mourinho's side only last week.

Welcome to Anfield: Sahin was encouraged to join Liverpool over Tottenham

Welcome to Anfield: Sahin was encouraged to join Liverpool over Tottenham

Real did not want Sahin, whose career at the Bernabeu has stalled through injury, to sign for another Champions League team. He could have joined Spurs. Instead, Jose Mourinho encouraged the Modric-like midfielder to go and play for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.

Levy's strategy is based on recruiting young players and selling them at the top of the market. Getting 27m for Modric is an exceptional piece of business, but the chairman is under pressure from fans to invest it in quality this week.

Family matters: Modric's sale represents good business for Levy

Family matters: Modric's sale represents good business for Levy

It is a remarkable return for a player who was signed from Dinamo Zagreb for 16.5m in July 2008 and has scored just 17 goals in 160 appearances for Spurs. But the cost of Modric's move is being felt on the ground, as he was left out of the Tottenham team beaten by Newcastle on the opening day of the season and Saturday's 1-1 draw with West Brom.

There are echoes of last season's false start under Harry Redknapp, when Modric was left out of the team to face Manchester United and City because he was agitating for a move to Chelsea. Arguably, their failure to pick up a point in either of those games during that turbulent start cost them third place and guaranteed Champions League football this season.

When Levy failed to reach an agreement with Chelsea on August 31 last year, Modric returned to the Spurs team for the 2-0 win at Wolves a few days after the transfer window closed.

Levy has always waited until perilously close to the deadline before prising a player from a rival club or holding out for a big price before agreeing to sell a star name. This is life at White Hart Lane in the days before the deadline, a whirlwind of activity and anxiety in the corridors of power.

Despite the sale of Modric, other players are vulnerable as Levy considers his options before Saturday's home game against Norwich. Rafael van der Vaart, a substitute for the defeat at Newcastle and replaced by Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday, can leave for the right price.

Michael Dawson, Tottenham's player of the year in 2010 and called up as a replacement for Rio Ferdinand at the World Cup that summer, can also go. The central defender, who spent a large part of last season out with an ankle injury, has been offered 60,000 a week by Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes, but is aware that the salary for top players at Loftus Road is nearer 75,000. Dawson is determined to hold out, or wait for Stoke and Sunderland to firm up their interest before making a decision.

Uncertain future: Defoe could yet be sold before the transfer window closes

Uncertain future: Defoe could yet be sold before the transfer window closes

Villas-Boas began the season with Jermain Defoe as his only recognised striker, but the England man is still not certain he will still be at Tottenham on Friday night. Since the season began they have added Adebayor after finally agreeing a deal with Manchester City, but Spurs are still short. Manchester United began the season with five strikers and champions City have four; Arsenal, arguably, have six.

Villas-Boas has promoted young Harry Kane, 19, to the first-team squad, but he is inexperienced at this level and has spent the past two seasons out on loan. Levy's squad is unbalanced, and the chairman's business acumen and his ability to target talented players are about to be tested again. As ever, it will all be left until the last minute.

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Bradford Bulls offered ticket money by Leeds Rhinos

Rhinos offer beleaguered Bulls ticket money from Headingley clash



15:02 GMT, 15 July 2012

Leeds are to put their bitter rivalry with Bradford to one side by donating money generated from away ticket sales from next Friday's Super League derby at Headingley to their ailing neighbours.

The beleaguered Bulls are in administration and have until Friday, July 27 to find a buyer or face liquidation.

Bradford would normally be entitled to a small percentage from the sale of tickets sold by them for away games but the Rhinos are to donate all the proceeds in the hope of raising at least 50,000 for their rivals.

Running out of time: Bradford have just 12 days to find a buyer

Running out of time: Bradford have just 12 days to find a buyer

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: 'The game has a collective responsibility towards those who have been hit by the Bulls' current financial difficulties and we at Leeds Rhinos are keen to assist at this difficult time.

'We also want to attract a 20,000 crowd, create a good news story for rugby league and make this Friday a memorable occasion. Together we can achieve all that.'

Widnes made a similar gesture earlier this year during Bradford's attempts to raise 500,000 in a bid to avoid going into administration.

Leeds, who on Saturday beat Wigan to reach the Challenge Cup final, are aiming to sell out the Western Terrace which houses away fans.

Bradford interim chief executive Gary Tasker, who says the offer applies only to tickets sold by his club beforehand, said: 'This is a fantastic gesture from our neighbours and we appreciate it at this difficult time.

'In adversity you learn a lot about people and since my return I have been surprised by some of the calls I have received.

Running out of time: Bradford have just 12 days to find a buyer

'However, I am not surprised that Leeds Rhinos have made this offer. The Rhinos have always seen the bigger picture for the game of rugby league and now we can look forward to a bumper crowd for the derby clash.

'Hopefully, we will have a Western Terrace full of Bulls fans on Friday night and tickets will be available all week from the Odsal ticket office.'

Bradford's joint administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle, recently made 16 full-time staff redundant in an effort to slash the club's wage bill and reduce running costs.

Head coach Mick Potter and his assistants Francis Cummins and Lee St Hilaire have all returned in a voluntary capacity while the players only received their July wages on Friday after the Rugby Football League advanced the club their share of television income.

That was a condition of Guilfoyle's willingness to extend his deadline to conclude a deal with a group of local Asian businessmen known as the ABC consortium, who have emerged as the only potential saviours.

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Euro 2012: Poland is haunted by its ugly past

Poland 2012: A land haunted by its ugly past



21:32 GMT, 13 June 2012

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. So said author LP Hartley. He cannot have been to Poland.

The unavoidable evidence of the first six days of this entertaining, high-energy European Championship is that the past, particularly the ugly parts we thought were left behind, is not foreign or so different. It is here and it is now.

Six days in and we have had racism, homophobia and shocking hooliganism in Warsaw. Rubber bullets have been fired. That’s a term to take you back. Football is in the dock again: Euro 2012 is accused of feeling like Euro 1980.

Throwback: The violence we have seen is reminiscent of bad times gone by

Throwback: The violence we have seen is reminiscent of bad times gone by

And, in some ways it is. The tournament, while an absorbing spectacle on the pitches of Ukraine and Poland, is being confronted with attitudes on race and nationalism that rise like a tsunami above football. Cultural tensions, historic hatreds, old scores, they also have found a venue at Euro 2012.

The frightening and depressing scenes involving Poles and Russians in Warsaw on Tuesday, when there were more than 180 arrests and 24 people were ‘wounded’, threaten to drag football into an area beyond its core responsibility, which is to the game, of course.

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Thankfully, on Wednesday, Uefa fought back, standing up for themselves and the power of football.

In threatening to deduct six points from Russia in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, Uefa sent out a strong and welcome message that Russian fans and would-be hooligans need to step back from their aggressive tone. Uefa have fought menace with menace. It is a loud warning and all countries, including England, should hear it.

The test will be if, when the time comes, Uefa carry through with their threat. But having previously been chivvied along by fans and reporters about racist incidents in Wroclaw and Gdansk and having isolated a player such as Mario Balotelli, Uefa have upped the stakes. Whether this restores calm and alters supporter behaviour remains to be seen.

All out attack: Fans scrap in Warsaw

All out attack: Fans scrap in Warsaw

Italy play Croatia in Poznan this evening. There has already been trouble involving Croatia and Irish fans in the city.

On Thursday, Balotelli, described by Slaven Bilic as someone who treads ‘a line between genius and weirdness’, will again be in focus. Balotelli felt exposed by Michel Platini’s statement that players who left the pitch due to racial abuse would be booked.

It is three months since Uefa chose to fine Manchester City more for turning out a minute late for the second half in Porto in a Europa League game than Porto for their fans’ racial abuse of Balotelli.

But Italy-Croatia may remind other countries that Uefa have precedence in points deductions. Croatia’s Balkan neighbours Serbia met Italy in qualification. The game in Genoa in October 2010 was abandoned after six minutes due to violence by Serbian fans.

Street fighting: Fans clash on Russia Day

Street fighting: Fans clash on Russia Day

Italy were awarded a 3-0 victory and three points. Serbia felt the punishment strongly because they missed out on second place by one point. The sanction made a difference. Estonia went into the play-offs instead and lost to the Republic of Ireland.

Serbia will feel they could have been here instead of Giovanni Trapattoni’s team. They could have been playing Croatia — which is all Uefa would have needed! The cocktail of nationalities is already potent. As we have seen, the past is not a foreign country in Poland. It is everywhere. Poland have played Russia. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said yesterday that Tuesday’s hooliganism was not an extension of historic grievances, but it seemed like it.

Now there is a chance Germany could play Russia or Poland next Friday in Gdansk. That’s Germany v Russia in the Polish city where the first shots of World War II were fired. In a corner of Gdansk, ground has been cleared for the construction of a World War II museum. There is a desire in some quarters to overlook such history but can football come to such places and walk on by

In full force: Russian fans are escorted by Polish riot police

In full force: Russian fans are escorted by Polish riot police

Like it or not, football is too important for that. It may not be football’s job to educate and police but the reality is that it has become part of its role. Even taking this tournament to Ukraine and Poland – for which Uefa deserve praise – was an act of inclusion and the joy on the face of Andriy Shevchenko on Monday made it worth it. His pride was his national pride and how good it was to witness Ukrainian happiness.

The jubilant atmosphere across Poland has also made it worth it. Towns have been painted red; there has been an outpouring of non-aggressive pride.

The tournament is too good to be overshadowed by hooligans, chants or careless remarks.

Six days in and, for drama, Euro 2012 could go down in history.

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Euro 2012: Mario Balotelli backed by Italy"s Cesare Prandelli

Italy boss Prandelli puts faith in Balotelli after striker's pledge not to get sent off at Euros



10:53 GMT, 25 May 2012

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has expressed his faith in controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

The veteran tactician has dropped the 21-year-old on several occasions because of the player's indiscipline in the Barclays Premier League.

However, Prandelli now sees the City striker focused and deterrmined to help the Azzurri at the European Championship.

Won't be reckless: Mario Balotelli says he will not get Italy reduced to ten men

Won't be reckless: Mario Balotelli says he will not get Italy reduced to ten men

'When I heard Balotelli say that he will not leave Italy down to 10 men, I believed him 100%,' Prandelli said to Gazzetta dello Sport.

'There is a great atmosphere in the team and there is a big awareness that something significant can be achieved.

'The players know this is an exceptional opportunity for them, they are taking responsibility and they will not fail.'

Balotelli is among six strikers included by Prandelli in his preliminary squad.

Faith: Prandelli believes in Balotelli

Faith: Prandelli believes in Balotelli

Joining Balotelli in the party are Milan's Antonio Cassano, Roma's Fabio Borini, Mattia Destro of Siena, Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale and Parma's Sebastian Giovinco.

Prandelli revealed he may consider taking all of his selected forwards to the European Championship.

'All of the six strikers have truly touched me,' he said. 'They have quality and are modern strikers.

'They all deserve to be here. If we keep all six, then we will sacrifice a defender.'

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Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo: I don"t have any friends

Di Matteo: I don't have any friends… but all the Chelsea players are behind me



22:50 GMT, 9 March 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has admitted he has no friends in the Chelsea dressing room – because he doesn't have any mates at all.

But the Chelsea boss did insist he has the support of senior players.

Stand by me: Di Matteo in the thick of it during training

Stand by me: Di Matteo in the thick of it during training

'People come up to me and say, “I met a friend of yours”. They're liars. I don't have any friends,' he said.

'It's not been football, but life experiences that have made me like that.'

He added: 'I feel I have everyone on-side. I have spoken individually to all of them now over the five days. It's a team effort and we needed to get everybody pulling in the right direction.

Up for the battle: The Italian boss is confident he's the man for the job

Up for the battle: The Italian boss is confident he's the man for the job

'We've spoken now and everyone is
together. They all know what the task is for the last two months of the
season. They're all on board. You saw that in the reaction on Tuesday.
We have to just carry this on until the end of the season.

'It's a collective responsibility
when things are not going well. It touches everybody: management,
players, everyone who works at the club.'

Chelsea face Stoke City on Saturday and have captain John Terry available for the first time in the league since January 21.

To be Frank: Di Matteo casts a watching eye over Lampard

To be Frank: Di Matteo casts a watching eye over Lampard

Di Matteo also said he would stick with under performing striker Fernando Torres for 'as long as it takes'.

'He's a tremendous player, a
fantastic guy too,' Di Matteo said. 'A team player who we value very
much. He plays hard and tries hard; he had a great game on Tuesday and
the only thing missing was a goal, but I don't really care about that.
As long as the team win.

'It will come (for him). I'm sure
you've had some bad moments in your life when things didn't go the way
you wanted. It's part of life. He's fine.'

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Didier Drogba denies undermining Andre Villas-Boas

It's no big deal! Drogba denies undermining AVB with tunnel teamtalk

Didier Drogba has rubbished suggestions he had sought to undermine Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas by giving a half-time team talk during the club's FA Cup clash with Birmingham.

The aftermath of Saturday's 1-1 fifth-round draw saw Blues boss Villas-Boas react furiously to the insinuation star striker Drogba had circumvented his authority before coming off the bench at Stamford Bridge.

Denial: Drogba has rubbished reports he tried to undermine manager Villas-Boas

Denial: Drogba has rubbished reports he tried to undermine manager Villas-Boas

Drogba sought to clarify the matter ahead of night's Champions League game at Napoli, explaining he was merely delivering a pep talk in the tunnel on top of Villas-Boas' usual half-time duties.

The 33-year-old, who is set for a recall, said: 'I want to make things clear – the manager made a speech at half-time, and after that, I think he's got some leaders in the team, in the squad. We're here to help him.

Big thing out of nothing: Drogba hit back at Monday's press conference

Big thing out of nothing: Drogba hit back at Monday's press conference

'We were just trying to bring the team up. We did what the manager wanted us to do and tried to apply what he was saying. Nothing more.

'People are making a big thing out of nothing.'

Villas-Boas' post-match eruption was not surprising considering he had admitted two days earlier that some of his players no longer backed his project.

Previous Chelsea managers have cited player power as being partly behind their sackings but Drogba insisted the squad took collective responsibility for results.

He said: 'Chelsea Football Club is responsible for the results, and I think we all have to play our game. The players have to play their game.'

Drogba admitted he and his team-mates could feel nobody else believed in them amid what is their worst campaign since the Ivorian joined the club.

But he was adamant Chelsea could turn things around in a difficult Champions League game, just as they did three months ago.

Tuesday's last 16 first leg may be their first official knockout European tie of the season but Chelsea have already faced one do-or-die clash, December's final Group E game against Valencia.

Drogba inspired them to victory that day in what was his and the club's best performance under Villas-Boas.

He said: 'We've been in a difficult situation the last few weeks, few months, but in the past we always found the strength to play these games and to win them.

'Like when we were in trouble against Valencia but won the game and qualified.

'Tomorrow we have to do a good game, a big game, and make a good result because there's a second leg at Stamford Bridge.'

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London 2012 Olympics: Stadium is not fit for football, says Barry Hearn

Legacy is vital… Olympic Stadium is not fit for football (says bidding Orient chief)

The Olympic Stadium's suitability for football after the Games has been questioned by the chairman of one of the clubs bidding to become tenants at the 468million venue.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has waged a long campaign for his club to play matches at the stadium after the Olympics – and launched a legal challenge when West Ham were initially chosen ahead of Tottenham.

Now Hearn says he is becoming increasingly convinced that the stadium, with the running track in place, will not be suitable for football.

Doubts: Leyton Orient chief Barry Hearn has voiced concerns over the the Olympic Stadium legacy

Doubts: Leyton Orient chief Barry Hearn has voiced concerns over the the Olympic Stadium legacy

The original decision in favour of West Ham was scrapped last year and now the Olympic Park Legacy Company have re-opened bidding, and Orient are expected to throw their hat in the ring again.

But Hearn told Sky Sports News: 'We're looking at it but, I have to say, after my tour of the stadium, I become more and more convinced that this stadium is not fit for football purposes.

'Obviously we are keeping our options open because we want to see how the land is going to lie and if there's any alternative.'

Hearn said the uncertainty over the future of the stadium was a result of a lack of foresight when it was designed.

Speaking out: Hearn does not believe the Olympic Stadium is fit for football

Speaking out: Hearn does not believe the Olympic Stadium is fit for football

He added: 'No one is actually taking responsibility for admitting they've built a wrong stadium. They didn't listen to advice five years ago when everyone was saying what type of stadium can work.

laura Williamson 2012 blog

'Legacy is absolutely vital. This is tax-payers' money we're talking about – 600million of tax-payers' money. We can't just sweep this under the counter.

'We have to face these problems and be honest. Let's use some common sense but most of all let's be honest with where we're going to go.

'There are some serious problems on this stadium. Otherwise it's going to be an horrendous white elephant. We've seen it around the world. Let's not let it happen to London.

'Four years ago the OPLC announced they were going to have their tenants lined up in a matter of months – that was four years ago and we're no closer.'

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Roberto Martinez hails Wigan"s Victor Moses

Moses provides added impetus to Wigan's survival bid after Bolton victory

Flying winger: Victor Moses

Flying winger: Victor Moses

Roberto Martinez revealed Wigan’s extra incentive for staying up after admitting relegation could cost them the matchwinning services of Victor Moses.

Snapped up from Crystal Palace for 2.5million two years ago, Moses has revelled in the extra responsibility of filling the void left by Charles N’Zogbia’s move to Aston Villa at the end of last season.

Talks over a new improved contract are ongoing, and Martinez was optimistic they can be concluded. After seeing the 21-year old winger run Bolton ragged, though, and even mentioning him in the same breath as Lionel Messi, he conceded Wigan will first have to safeguard their Barclays Premier League status.

‘When we brought him here, we always had it in mind that Victor could fill the same role Charles had,’ said the Wigan manager. ‘He is that same rare breed as Charles, a player who can run at defenders and take the ball past them.

‘His actions in one-on-ones are sensational, and when you see him in possession, you think he could easily have been born in Holland or Spain. You don’t see many players like that in the modern game. Charles is one, Lionel Messi another, albeit on a different scale.

‘Victor is growing all the time. He is taking responsibility and learning to look up and deliver the final pass, and this is turning into the biggest season of his career.

‘He plays a massive role for us and is an important asset. There have been developments in the talks over a new agreement, and I am sure we are going to be able to extend his contract. He has said he wants to stay, but the situation of the club has to be resolved first. We have to secure our top-flight status, then we can do it.’

Game over: James McArthur (right) scores Wigan's winner against Bolton

Game over: James McArthur (right) scores Wigan's winner against Bolton

Moses’ agent hinted he may reconsider his international future, after playing for England up to under-21 level then being registered to represent the country of his birth, Nigeria.

With a Nigeria cap yet to materialise, Martinez believes Fabio Capello’s successor should give serious consideration to an early call-up for the Wigan flyer.

‘I know Victor can go on to the next level,’ he said. ‘He needs more Premier League games under his belt, but he has already shown he has a strong mentality. Time will tell, on the England front, but he is a player I love watching, one who is happy to rely on his talent to be effective. He is capable of playing for any team.’

After seeing Mark Davies’ spectacular equaliser go to waste, as James McArthur swept home a 77th-minute winner for Wigan, Bolton defender Zat Knight pulled no punches over his side’s shortcomings.

Vital: Wigan celebrate scoring the winner against Bolton

Vital: Wigan celebrate scoring the winner against Bolton

‘I am very disappointed and frustrated,’ he said. ‘Everybody is a bit hacked off, and we need to pull our socks up and do something about it.

‘I am unhappy myself. I think one or two individuals weren’t up to scratch, and as a team we did not gel. The other week, we had a fantastic performance against Arsenal, then went away to Norwich and were lacklustre. Today, again, we performed for maybe 20 minutes out of the 90, and that is not good enough.

'I am fed up with the performance. I am not going to pick people out, but everybody knows who they are, and we are going to have to look at ourselves and pick it up again.

‘The frustrating thing is, we know we can do it. We know we can rub shoulders with the best teams, but we let ourselves down when we come up against teams who are around us.

‘I believe one or two have switched off in those games. People say we are looking a bit tired, but it is a big carrot we are playing for. Chelsea and Manchester City are massive games now. If we lose those two, we could be at the bottom with 11 games to go, and other teams might pick up a bit of confidence.’

Bolton v Wigan

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Nigel Doughty: Death casts doubt over Nottignham Forest future

Doughty's death casts doubt over Forest future: Club loaned 75m by deceased owner

Nottingham Forest's future has been thrown into doubt by the death of owner Nigel Doughty, 54.

The struggling Championship club will want to know the details of the multi-millionaire's estate after he was found dead at his home on Saturday.

The venture capitalist invested 75million in the club in loans and had given a written guarantee to pay Forest's contracts until May 2014.

Uncertain future: Forest are waiting to discover details of Doughty's estate

Uncertain future: Forest are waiting to discover details of Doughty's estate

Doughty was found dead in his gym, but Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

He was a lifelong Forest fan and stepped down as chairman in October after taking responsibility for the failure of former England manager Steve McClaren. He had not attended a game since.

Doughty saved Forest from administration when he bought the club for 11m in 1999 and became chairman two years later, investing almost 75m of his fortune in the club.

They won promotion back to the Championship in 2008 but have been unable to fulfil Doughty's ambition of returning them to the top flight. Instead, they are second from bottom.

'It is with enormous sadness that Nottingham Forest announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty,' the club said in a statement.

Stunned: The club are still in mourning for their former owner

Stunned: The club are still in mourning for their former owner

Labour leader Ed Miliband led the
tributes to a man who was one of the party's biggest individual donors
and led a Small Business Taskforce making recommendations to Labour late
last year.

Miliband said on Twitter: 'I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nigel Doughty's death.

'I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigour.

'He was a kind, generous man with a deep desire to make the world a better place. My heart goes out to his wife Lucy and his children. We will sorely miss him.'

Matt Derbyshire was one of a number of Forest players to express shock on Twitter, saying: 'Oh my God. Can't believe the sad, sad news about Nigel Doughty. My thoughts go to his family.'

Doughty leaves four children, including Michael, a midfielder with QPR on loan at Crawley.

Tributes: Fans have left shirts and wreaths at the City Ground

Tributes: Fans have left shirts and wreaths at the City Ground