Tag Archives: room

Manchester City"s Edin Dzeko plays around in the club"s boot room

What is Dzeko doing fooling around in the Manchester City boot room

Graeme Yorke


11:26 GMT, 15 March 2013



09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

On the face of it, Edin Dzeko seems to have taken his eye off the ball.

Following on from the club's attempt at a Harlem Shake, Dzeko has embarked on a solo career in the world of wacky internet posts and is taking time out from City's attempt to gurn, sorry turn, around their season.

The Bosnia striker, who has just racked up his 100th appearance for City, put up a photo of himself messing around with back-room staff in front of rows a of extravagantly coloured designer boots.

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

It is not known if Dzeko is claiming every pair in the room as he looks to find a way to kick-start City's title charge.

With Sergio Aguero still out injured, Dzeko is likely to feature against Everton at Goodison Park in the Saturday lunchtime game.

Here's hoping he picks the right pair of shoes for the occasion.

Swansea players celebrate Capital One Cup victory with party

Let's get the party started! Swansea players hit the town to celebrate cup final victory

Riath Al-samarrai


12:01 GMT, 25 February 2013



16:06 GMT, 25 February 2013

Swansea City's Capital One Cup stars descended on one of central London's most exclusive drinking spots last night after crushing Bradford at Wembley.

Michael Laudrup's side celebrated their 5-0 win into the early hours, with most of the squad heading to their Hilton hotel base at Wembley for a post-match meal with wives, girlfriends and family before a smaller group headed to West End club Whisky Mist at 11.30pm.

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

Out on the town: Swansea players party in London after their Capital One Cup victory over Bradford

Swansea players partying

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

The group, which included captain Ashley Williams, Garry Monk, Wayne Routledge, two-goal hero Jonathan De Guzman, Leon Britton, Ben Davies, Kemy Agustien, Roland Lamah and Kyle Bartley, stayed in the Mafair club's VIP room until after 3am.

A source close to the club said: 'It was all very good natured and low key. No trouble.

'The lads had a great time after a great day. Leon Britton kept his medal on the whole time he was out.'

Swansea celebrate


Backstage pass: Swansea stars pose with the Capita One Cup in the Wembley dressing room

Get the party started: Swansea celebrate in the dressing room at Wembley

Get the party started: Swansea celebrate in the dressing room at Wembley


Dean Saunders to speak to Wolves

Saunders set for quick Wolves appointment as Doncaster boss heads for talks

– Mick McCarthy

Feb 2012 – Jul 2012 – Terry Connor

Jul 2012 – Jan 2013 – Stale Solbakken

Their defeat by Luton Town was the final straw following a series of incidents which have suggested all is not well at Molineux.

Paint was tipped over Solbakken's car last month and he openly admitted having fierce discussions with Wolves' players in the dressing-room following a series of defeats both before and after Christmas.

A club statement read: 'Wolves have announced Stale Solbakken has left the club with immediate effect.

'The club has also terminated the contracts of Johan Lange, assistant manager and Patrick Weiser, first-team coach.'

Kevin Thelwell, head of football development and recruitment, will take charge of first-team training until Saunders is appointed.

Wolves were out-battled against Luton

Overwhelmed: Wolves were out-battled against Luton

Matt Prior phone call to Kevin Pietersen built bridges for reintegration

Prior: My phone call built the bridges for Pietersen's England reintegration



22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

At the height of last summer’s textgate affair, Kevin Pietersen’s phone had never rung colder.

Few in English cricket were prepared to call a man many believed had, by sending a string of derogatory messages to ‘close friends’ in the South Africa dressing room, betrayed captain Andrew Strauss and severely undermined the team’s carefully fostered morale.

While several England players were minded to wash their hands of the side’s most talented but highest maintenance player, wicketkeeper Matt Prior saw the bigger picture and called his troubled team-mate in an effort to thrash out the seismic differences few in the dressing room had seen coming.

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

It was a move that showed Pietersen he was still valued by his team-mates and cemented Prior’s position as the most inclusive – and, arguably, most important – member of the team.

‘If that situation arose another 100 times, I would phone Kev another 100 times,’ Prior said. ‘It wasn’t done for any other reason than that I saw a team-mate struggling and, as far as I’m concerned, that becomes the responsibility of the players.

‘If someone isn’t happy in the dressing room then you have to go out of your way to find out what the issue is and do as much as you can to make it right.

‘That might be a case of seeing a person’s point and saying: “You know what, mate You’re right”. Or it might be a case of being honest and saying: “You need to sort a few things out”.

‘Kevin and I are both pretty straightforward and honest guys who don’t mince our words. I think he was pleased to hear from me and, from what I’ve heard him say, I think he was pleased someone made the call.

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

‘It was a case of “what’s up buddy You
tell me and I’ll tell you”. It was a refreshing way to have a
conversation. Sometimes, you need to say tough things to your mates in
order for them to improve and, more importantly, for the team to move

‘We’d worked extremely hard under Strauss and Andy Flower to build the team culture and we got to a good place, No 1 in the world. But what last summer proved was how fragile that team spirit can be if you don’t look after it.’

Prior’s intervention saw England’s players begin a dialogue that eventually led to Pietersen being reintegrated after he was dropped for the final Test of the summer on disciplinary grounds.

The appointment of Alastair Cook as Strauss’s successor, after the decision of England’s most successful captain of all time to resign at the end of the South Africa series, also provided an opportunity to bring Pietersen back into the fold for the tour of India.

England were rewarded with a sublime innings of 186 in the series-altering second Test win in Mumbai and an overall contribution of 338 runs at 48.28 in the series.

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

But it was Pietersen’s off-field contribution which impressed Prior most.

‘Kevin was absolutely sensational,’ he said. ‘The public will see he hit 180 in Mumbai, which showed his class, but we all know how good he is and that he can play those match-winning innings.

‘He was fantastic talking to the young players and passing on his experience. Because he’d been to India more than anybody else, he also knew where to go and what restaurants to eat at. Little things like that are incredibly important on a tour to somewhere like India.

‘It wasn’t just Kev who had to make changes, everyone had to. We did that well and proved we’re again a tight unit and can move forward without having to talk about it any more.’

England’s one-day squad, minus the rested Pietersen and the out-of-favour Prior, leave for their five-match tour to India on January 2.

Prior, widely acknowledged as the world’s finest wicketkeeper batsman, remains desperate to reclaim both his one-day and Twenty20 shirt and is spending his time away from the Test team honing his skills in Australia’s Big Bash tournament.

Harry Redknapp plans QPR shake-up as Mike Rigg leaves

Redknapp hopes to add Ferdinand to backroom staff as Rigg leaves QPR



10:44 GMT, 21 December 2012

Harry Redknapp is stepping-up a shake-up of his backroom team after technical director Mike Rigg was on the brink of leaving the club yesterday.

Rigg arrived at Queens Park Rangers shortly after Mark Hughes' appointment as manager in January, but he is set to be the latest member of the sacked Welshman's staff to depart Loftus Road.

Shake up: QPR boss Harry Redknapp is planning to change his back-room staff

QPR boss Harry Redknapp is planning to change his back-room staff

And Redknapp, who replaced Hughes in November, will now look to install trusted aide Ian Broomfield as his new chief scout.

The 65-year-old is also closing in on former QPR striker Les Ferdinand, who he wants to join his coaching team.

Sportsmail exclusively revealed Redknapp's interest in both Ferdinand and Broomfield.

Redknapp (right) with trusted assisstant Kevin Bond, is looking to add les Ferdinand and Ian Broomfield to his staff

Redknapp (right) with trusted assisstant Kevin Bond, who has been with Redknapp at several clubs, is looking to add ex-QPR striker Les Ferdinand and Ian Broomfield to his staff

Andreas Weimann wants to compete with Darren Bent at Aston Villa

Weimann ready to compete with injured Bent to give Lambert a selection 'headache' at Villa


22:45 GMT, 12 December 2012



22:45 GMT, 12 December 2012

Andreas Weimann has vowed to keep giving manager Paul Lambert a selection ‘headache’ that will increase pressure on injured Darren Bent.

The 21-year-old replaced the England striker after just 35 minutes of Aston Villa’s Capital One Cup win over Norwich and scored twice to secure victory.

Bent was making his first start since October 20 and congratulated his teammate in the dressing room afterwards but was unable to stand after picking up a hamstring injury that could keep him out for four weeks.

Super sub: Andreas Weimann scored twice during Aston Villa's 4-1 win over Norwich

Super sub: Andreas Weimann scored twice during Aston Villa's 4-1 win over Norwich

It leaves open the possibility that Bent has played his last game for Villa, with clubs eager to sign the out-of-favour frontman when the January transfer window opens next month.

Lambert has declined to elaborate fully on why he is not picking the 24million signing and made it clear after the match that he was only starting because Weimann needed a rest.

The Austrian conceded Bent would be frustrated after coming off and said: ‘He started and wanted to show everyone that he can score goals for us and still wants to play for us.

‘But obviously it is disappointing that he has picked up an injury. Hopefully he can come back fit soon. It was unfortunate for Darren that he got injured, but for me it was good that I got on and was able to score two goals.

‘He congratulated me on the goals, although he couldn’t get up because his leg is injured.’

Crocked: Darren Bent (right) could be out of action for up to four weeks

Crocked: Darren Bent (right) could be out of action for up to four weeks

On target: Weimann helped his manager record a win over his former club

On target: Weimann helped his manager record a win over his former club

He added: ‘You want the manager to have a headache because that is when you do well as a team.

Everyone tries their best in training and whoever the gaffer picks we know will give their all. We are a tight group and nobody wants to let anyone else down.’

Lambert said: ‘One thing about Andy Weimann is that he’s a natural finisher and his work ethic to the game is absolutely brilliant.

'So whether he’s on X amount of money, whatever, you’ll get the same out of him every single game.

'I left him out just to give him a rest from the last couple of weeks.

The Villa boss added: '’I thought Darren was looking pretty sharp. It was just a blow for us. I don’t know how bad it is but he’s hurt it anyway. It’s just a thing we have to contend with next week.'

Premier League Boot Room: Teams, stats and Martin Keown opinion

The Boot Room: Space men fall for old one-two… why defenders MUST rethink how to stop crosses



22:44 GMT, 7 December 2012

For a few weeks now, every time I have watched the Premier League I have seen too many goals from crosses that could have been prevented.

Last weekend alone, the goals by Wayne Rooney for Manchester United v Reading, Jermain Defoe for Tottenham v Fulham, Daniel Agger for Liverpool v Southampton and Jamie Mackie for QPR v Aston Villa were among those caused by players being given too much space in the penalty area.

It is an increasing problem and one that comes from central defenders not knowing how to defend when they are up against one striker.

All too easy: Wayne Rooney's second at Reading was just one goal scored thanks to bad defending from a cross

All too easy: Wayne Rooney's second at Reading was just one goal scored thanks to bad defending from a cross

With most teams playing one man up front these days, central defenders are used to a system where one of them picks up the striker and the other waits for the runner from deep.

It works well but as soon as the ball is moved out wide, defenders seem to be obsessed with moving into space rather than marking players.

Imagine the ball is out on the left wing with one of the league’s best crossers — Gareth Bale or Leighton Baines, for example. What you now often see is the second centre half marking the lone striker and the first centre half dropping into space in line with the six-yard box but just in front of the near post. That defender isn’t marking anyone, he’s just marking air, hoping that the ball comes to him to clear.


You hear pundits all the time saying, ‘Oh, he’s taken up a great position there’, as the ball is cleared but there are plenty of other times when a second attacking player arrives late into space unmarked and is free to score.

Michu of Swansea is particularly good at it, intelligently finding space to knock the ball home unopposed. He uses the defenders like mannequins in a training session. The other possible outcome is that the second central defender finds himself trying to mark two men.

This concept of not marking a man goes against everything I was taught. My youth-team coach Terry Burton told us to get ‘touch tight’, or get within a yard of our opponent in case he gets the ball.

That way he has little time to do any damage and if the ball is put into the space instead, you can back yourself to get there first and clear the danger.

Standing where so many of these central defenders do now also goes against what my coach Steve Harrison taught me at Aston Villa. If the forward can see the number on your shirt — that is, he is behind you — then you can’t see him. That means you don’t know where he’s moving and you stand a poor chance of stopping him.

That’s what I am seeing now — too many defenders watching the ball and not their man when the ball comes into that corridor of uncertainty between the six-yard box and the penalty spot. A defender would be better off tucking in, in line with the frame of the goal so he is not so far away from the danger. Only if a winger beats the full back and goes towards him should he then move to close him down.

I shoot, they score

that Jonjo Shelvey will play up front for Liverpool reminds me of when I
was briefly a striker for Brighton in 1985. It was a home game against
Charlton in the old Division Two and I scored in a 5-3 defeat at home. I
should have had a second too, chipping the keeper when I ran on to a
through-ball. It hit the post and my head was still in my hands when
they scored seconds later at the other end!

What's the score

Boot room

Boot room



Michu. . . . . . Swansea 10
Suarez. . . . . Liverpool 10
Ba. . . . . . . . . Newcastle 10
Van Persie. . Man Utd 10
Defoe. . . . . . Spurs 9


Rooney. . . . . . Man Utd 7
Mata. . . . . . . . Chelsea 6
Hazard. . . . . . Chelsea 5
Ruiz. . . . . . . . . Fulham 5
McAnuff. . . . . . Reading; plus 6 on 4


Jaaskelainen. . West Ham 70
Al-Habsi. . . . . Wigan 55
Cech. . . . . . . . Chelsea 53
Mignolet. . . . Sunderl’d 50
Ruddy. . . . . . . Norwich 50


Arteta. . . . . . . . Arsenal 93.0
Mertesacker . . Arsenal 92.8
Ferdinand. . . . Man Utd 92.7
Ki. . . . . . . . . . . Swansea 92.3
Britton. . . . . . . .Swansea 92.2


Fellaini. . . . . . Everton 41
Holt. . . . . . . . . Norwich 40
Arteta. . . . . . Arsenal 35
Adam. . . . . . . Stoke 34
30: Johnson Norwich; Yacob West Brom.

India v England: Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann join the spin doctors

Top Spin at the Test: Dynamic duo of Panesar and Swann join the spin doctors

Lawrence Booth


21:24 GMT, 26 November 2012



21:24 GMT, 26 November 2012

Legend: England off-spinner Jim Laker

Legend: England off-spinner Jim Laker

English spinners took 19 wickets in a Test for the first time since 1958, when Jim Laker (11) and Tony Lock (eight) knocked over a poor New Zealand side for 67 and 109 at Headingley.

That pair were also responsible for the one game in which Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann’s Mumbai match haul of 19 for 323 has been bettered by English slow bowlers. At Old Trafford in 1956, Laker and Lock shared all 20 Australian wickets — or rather, Laker claimed 19 to Lock’s one.

Panesar’s the third man

Had umpire Aleem Dar not reprieved Pragyan Ojha when he edged Monty Panesar to leg slip on the final morning, Panesar would have returned the best match figures by an English spinner in a Test in Asia.

Instead, he had to settle for 11-210, which placed him third, behind fellow slow-left armers Nick Cook (11-83 v Pakistan at Karachi, 1983-84) and Hedley Verity (11-153 v India at Madras, 1933-34).

History boys

This was only the second time in 12 years that India have lost a Test at home after winning the toss and batting first — the grimace on Alastair Cook’s face when he called incorrectly on Friday morning was understandable.

In fact, they rarely lose at home at all: this was only their seventh defeat in 56 Tests in India since they went down to Steve Waugh’s Australians in Mumbai in March 2001.

Spin kings: Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar celebrate in the dressing room

Spin kings: Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar celebrate in the dressing room

Swann’s soaring to new heights

India’s captain MS Dhoni insisted that England’s spinners outbowled India’s principally because Monty Panesar was quicker through the air.
But where did that leave Graeme Swann

The off-spinner — who during the course of the match overtook John Snow to move into 13th on England’s all-time Test wicket-taking list — claimed eight for 113.

By contrast, India’s two offies, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, managed just four for 251 between them.

No 'I' in Team, Gautam

Gautam Gambhir raised a few eyebrows on the final morning when he appeared to place his desire to carry his bat — something only three Indians have ever managed — above the team needs.

Twice, Gambhir exposed his tail-end colleagues with a single off the first ball of an over, prompting Shane Warne, sitting in the commentary box, to tweet: ‘Surely Gambhir should not be taking singles I think as he has been in poor form he wants a not out !!!!! Team first please…..’

Picture Dispute

are unable to carry live pictures from the Second Test in Mumbai due to
a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and
international news organisations. The BCCI has refused access to Test
venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images
and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action
to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott
BCCI imagery.

Roberto Di Matteo promises changes after seeing West Brom extend Chelsea"s poor run

Di Matteo promises changes after seeing West Brom extend Chelsea's poor run



23:33 GMT, 17 November 2012

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is set to ring the changes and alter the formation of his side after their poor run of form continued with a 2-1 defeat at West Brom.

The Blues have taken only two points from their last four league games to leave Di Matteo rueing another bleak November for Chelsea.

Di Matteo was rational and calm when facing the media but it is understood he was furious with his players behind closed doors in the dressing room.

Peter Odemwingie scored the West Brom winner after Eden Hazard had cancelled out Shane Long's opening goal.

Breached: Shane Long (bottom left) scores past Petr Cech

Breached: Shane Long (bottom left) scores past Petr Cech

Chelsea dominated for long periods but Di Matteo was unhappy with the defending for both of the home side's goals and is set to shake his side up.

He said: 'It is a ground we find difficult, last season when we lost here, and now this season again. We know they are very good at home.

'But giving away goals like we did today makes if difficult to win the game.

'You have to score three goals to win then and our defending was very poor today.

'We didn't concede many chances but, the ones we did, we had to do better.

Chelsea have operated an attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation under Di Matteo but that looks set to be reassessed.

At a loss: Chelsea have taken two points from a possible 12

At a loss: Chelsea have taken two points from a possible 12

Di Matteo said: 'This season we are playing a little bit different but we might have to go back (to a previous formation) to be able to win games, and make sure first and foremost we don't concede.

'Maybe it is the time where we might have to change a little bit in terms of our selection and the way we play.

'For some reasons, November for our club is a bad month and it seems the same again this year.

'We are disappointed and maybe it is time to look at things, maybe change it a bit and get a win.

'We will look at the set-up of the team and maybe sacrifice a bit the attacking options to go a little bit more defensive.'

Di Matteo made five changes but insisted: 'It was based on the midweek (international) games. The players were all over Europe and the world, long flights, five or six hours' time difference. They were not in a condition to start or last the game.'

Desperate times: Cech attempts to beat West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill

Desperate times: Cech attempts to beat West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is not allowing himself to get too excited after his side climbed into fourth position.

He said: 'I'm delighted, a great three points, good attacking play, two fantastic goals, and dogged determined defensive play towards the end.

'Can we think of the Champions League I don't look that far ahead, I look from game to game.

'It is a great time to be at the club and if the supporters want to dream a bit, they can. But within the camp, we will keep our feet on the ground.'

Clarke paid tribute to Long after another fine performance following the death this week of his grandmother.

High praise: Long (centre) came in for praise from Steve Clarke

High praise: Long (centre) came in for praise from Steve Clarke

He displayed a T-shirt which said 'Rest In Peace Gran' after scoring his sixth goal of the campaign.

Clarke said: 'I've run out of words to describe his performances this season.

'Shane produced another fantastic performance in what has been a difficult week for him.

'He wanted to play. He is going back to Ireland tonight to be with his family for the next two or three days.'

Fernando Torres hated El Nino nickname

Torres: I hated being called 'El Nino'… people were just too lazy to learn my name



11:43 GMT, 14 November 2012

Fernando Torres has revealed he hated the nickname ‘El Nino’ and always found it insulting that team-mates and supporters could not be bothered to learn his name.

The Chelsea striker, who was prolific in the Barclays Premier League when he first arrived at Liverpool from Atletico Madrid, has revealed nobody wanted to talk to him because they felt threatened.

Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, Torres said: ‘It’s not easy to come somewhere new and have to find your place. You might feel someone doesn’t like you or you might need to find new friends, it’s not easy and I don’t like this kind of thing. It’s not easy, so you want to protect the players who are alone.

Lonely: Fernando Torres (left) struggled when he came to England

Lonely: Fernando Torres (left) struggled when he came to England

Messy Mata

Fernando Torres and Juan Mata may be
best of friends, but that doesn’t mean the former Liverpool striker
wants to share the changing room with him!

‘Yes. I just want to move my
locker,’ Torres said. ‘It’s not so bad because I want him next to me,
but I have to be on top of him all the time because it’s a mess. It’s a
mess. I don’t know if I can describe it.

'There are magazines, letters,
pictures, clothes, creams, everything, he cannot open the door. If he
did it would make a bigger mess.’

‘It’s what I learned when I was 16 and arrived in Atletico’s dressing room, nobody wanted to talk to me because they were threatened. They called me “El Nino” because nobody knew my name. I didn’t like it and it shouldn’t be like that, but dressing rooms are very complicated with players coming from different parts of the world and with different roles.

‘I was captain in Atletico at 19, playing in the same team as Demetrio Albertini who won three Champions Leagues and Sergi Barjuan from Barcelona, who had won everything, and they were 32, 33.

‘I was a kid as captain, so I wasn’t the real captain, just a kid learning from them. I wore the armband but they were the leaders and I learned a lot from them.

‘I remember when I first came to Liverpool, Pepe Reina helped with everything and he made it easy for me. When I was Atletico Madrid captain I tried to help everyone. These are the basics in football, you need to create an atmosphere and try to create a group of friends. It’s not easy and it doesn’t always happen but you have to try.’

Chelsea are building something of a Spanish mafia at Stamford Bridge, with Torres joined by Oriol Romeu, Juan Mata and most recently Cesar Azpilicueta.

Best of friends: Torres and Juan Mata (left) are now team-mates at Chelsea

Best of friends: Torres and Juan Mata (left) are now team-mates at Chelsea

But Torres insists he is not in charge!

‘No, I am not the father figure! You have all the things you learned in your head that you can use for the good of the team, and that’s what I do here, but I don’t like to be a leader, maybe an example as someone to follow if you like.

‘We are all young still, and friends. I have been playing with Juan in the national team since the Confederations Cup in 2009, and since then we have been friends. I was so happy when he came here, and we have helped Oriol and now Azpi to settle. There are also some staff, I think there are seven of us in total in the dressing room, so it makes it easier for the new guys to have people here helping them.

‘There is no leader who has to talk for the others. Helping each other is a job we should do, it’s not a job Juan has to thank me for.

Glory days: Torres has yet to recapture his Liverpool form

Glory days: Torres has yet to recapture his Liverpool form

‘(Mata and I) go out to dinner sometimes or meet up at each other’s homes to watch TV shows we all follow,’ Torres confirms. ‘When you’re in a new city you try to be next to people you know, and then after that you make your own friends but we can all join together too.

‘Football is a team sport and not an individual sport. We win as a team and every individual is better if we are part of the team,’ he stresses. ‘If we win trophies we have the chance to win individual awards because it comes with the team targets.

‘If we win the Champions League, everyone is a better, more recognised player, but if you win an individual award and nothing with your team, it means nothing. You have to win with the team, and for the team.

‘In your life you go through a difficult situation or a very good situation and you have different moods, but you learn things from your experiences.’