Tag Archives: scorers

Darron Gibson: Everton striker Nikica Jelavic as good as Michael Owen and Ruud van Nistelrooy

Gibson: Jelavic is every bit as good as hot shots Owen and Van Nistelrooy

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UPDATED:

18:31 GMT, 19 December 2012

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson believes teammate Nikica Jelavic’s finishing instincts make him similar to the likes of Michael Owen and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The Croatia international may not have been able to replicate last season’s stunning impact of 11 goals in 16 matches having arrived in January, with six in 17 games this campaign.

But Gibson thinks the quality of the striker means he will get plenty more for the Toffees.

Nikica Jelavic

Finishing touch: Nikica Jelavic is proving to be one of Everton's shrewdest signings

'He’s a bit like Michael Owen or Van Nistelrooy in the box,' said the Republic of Ireland international, a former team-mate of both Owen and Van Nistelrooy at Manchester United.

'He’s first class and I don’t think there’s many better than him in the Premier League at the moment.

'The vein of form he had when he first came was special and from a football point of view I think we knew he couldn’t keep it up constantly.

Michael Owen

Ruud van Nistlerooy

Old school: Jelavic has been compared to Owen (left) and Van Nistelrooy

'Every striker goes through a lean spell but it hasn’t taken him too long to score again.

'He’s definitely up there with the best goal scorers I’ve played with to be honest. His finishing is unbelievable.'

Gibson said Jelavic makes life easier for him with the options he offers.

Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar

Best of the lot: Gibson says Jelavic makes his job far easier

'He makes some great runs and he makes the passes easier for me,' he told the Liverpool Echo.

'He makes my decision for me by his movement. He’s a great player and luckily he’s scoring again which is important for us.'

Michu given hope of Spain call-up by Vicente del Bosque

Uncapped Michu given hope of shock Spain call-up as Del Bosque heaps praise on 'superb' Swansea star

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UPDATED:

13:54 GMT, 19 December 2012

Vicente del Bosque has given Michu hope of earning his first international cap after the Spain manager lauded Swansea star.

Michu has set the Premier League alight since joining the
Welsh club from Rayo Vallecano for a paltry 2million this summer.

He currently sits joint first in the league top scorers’ list, alongside Manchester United's Robin van Persie, with 12 goals.

On fire: Vicente del Bosque has noticed Michu's rise to prominence with Swansea in the Premier League

On fire: Vicente del Bosque has noticed Michu's rise to prominence with Swansea in the Premier League

No Spanish player has scored more goals than the attacking
midfielder-cum-striker in any top-flight division in Europe, and Del Bosque,
who will be selecting his Spain squad to face Finland and France in March next year,
says the 26-year-old’s goalscoring prowess hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The former Real Madrid manager, who plans to make a trip to South Wales next month to watch Michu, told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘Michu
deserves to be credited for his superb season.

‘The way he has stood out in the league at a club like
Swansea, which is not one of the top clubs, is exceptional.

‘He’s not an out-and-out striker and has been scoring a lot
of goals like he did for Rayo Vallecano.’

Michu’s hopes of playing for his country have also been
boosted by the fact that fellow strikers David Villa and Fernando Llorente have
been forced to watch from the sidelines for much of this season.

City and Tottenham target Llorente is attempting to engineer a move away from Athletic Bilbao in January, but the club’s president Josu
Urrutia moved to quash reports the wantaway hitman will make the trip to
England in the New Year.

Del Bosque said of the two forwards: ‘Llorente said he wants
to leave and you can see why Athletic de Bilbao cannot understand. Villa's
situation is not so problematic.

‘Bara has a lot of great players. I'm sure David will play
sooner or later, because a manager always plays his best players.’

Rubbing shoulders with stars: Vicente Del Bosque was next to Cristiano Ronaldo as the pair attended the National Sports Awards ceremony at El Pardo Palace in Madrid

Rubbing shoulders with stars: Vicente Del Bosque was next to Cristiano Ronaldo as the pair attended the National Sports Awards ceremony at El Pardo Palace in Madrid

Prolific: Michu has notched up 12 Premier League goals this season, making him the joint top scorer with Robin van Persie

Prolific: Michu has notched up 12 Premier League goals this season, making him the joint top scorer with Robin van Persie

Despite the problems with Villa and Llorente, Michu could
still struggle to force his way into the team, even if he does keep scoring at
a remarkable rate.

On a number of occasions in Spain’s winning European
Championships 2012 campaign, Del Bosque opted to start without a striker.

Although Michu also plays in midfield, the Swansea man has the unenviable task of competing with Barcelona quartet Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio
Busquets and Real Madrid’s sitting midfielder Xabi Alonso for those positions.

The competition: Fernando Llorente is trying to force through a move from Athletic Bilbao in January

The competition: Fernando Llorente is trying to force through a move from Athletic Bilbao in January

Manchester United would be 13th without goals of Robin Van Persie, while Liverpool would be 19th without Luis Suarez

Robin Reliant United would be languishing in 13th without Van Persie… while Suarez is saving Liverpool from the drop

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UPDATED:

13:27 GMT, 29 November 2012

When Sir Alex Ferguson pencils in a striker at the top of
his transfer shortlist, he usually pulls out all the stops to get his man. In
the case of Robin Van Persie, this involved persuading the owners to hand over
24m and even sympathising with Arsene Wenger over stealing his star asset.

But what a signing he is proved to be so far – and here’s
the proof. Without Van Persie’s nine goals and four assists, United wouldn’t be
leading the Premier League – they’d be languishing in 13th.

Opta statistics show that without the Dutchman, United
would have just three wins instead of ten and seven draws instead of none.
Their goal difference would be just +2 instead of a healthy +14 and they’d have
half the points of bitter rivals Manchester City.

Worth every penny! Robin Van Persie celebrates his goal against West Ham last night. Without his goals and assists, United would be 13th rather than top

Worth every penny! Robin Van Persie celebrates his goal against West Ham last night. Without his goals and assists, United would be 13th rather than top

ROBIN VAN PERSIE

Manchester United's record with Van Persie's goals and assists:

Pld 14 W 11 D 0 L 3 F 33 A 18 (+15) Pts 33

Record without Van Persie:

Pld 14 W 3 D 7 L 4 F 20 A 18 (+2) Pts 16

The figures just go to prove how much of an impact Van
Persie has made at Old Trafford. Without him, United would have been beaten at
Southampton and only taken a point from home matches with Fulham, Arsenal and
West Ham, and the away games at Chelsea and Liverpool.

Opta also studied how other clubs would be struggling
without their top scorers. Without Luis Suarez, who currently tops the charts
with ten goals and also has two assists, Liverpool would be second bottom.

They would only have one win to their credit instead of
three and ten fewer points. More worryingly, they would have lost ten matches
and be in real trouble.

Suarez has earned Liverpool at least a point on six
occasions in the league this season. Without the Uruguayan,
Brendan Rodgers would be in serious peril.

Saving the day: Luis Suarez has ten goals and two assists, winning Liverpool ten points in all. Without him, the Reds would be second bottom

Saving the day: Luis Suarez has ten goals and two assists, winning Liverpool ten points in all. Without him, the Reds would be second bottom

THE OTHERS

Liverpool's record with Suarez's goals and assists:

Pld 14 W 3 D 7 A 4 F 18 A 18 (0) Pts 16

Record without Suarez:

Pld 14 W 1 D 3 L 10 F 6 A 18 (-12) Pts 6

Newcastle's record with Ba's goals and assists:

Pld 14 W 3 D 5 L 6 F 14 A 21 (-7) Pts 14

Record without Ba:

Pld 14 W 1 D 5 L 8 F 6 A 20 (-14) Pts 8

Swansea's record with Michu's goals and assists:

Pld 14 W 5 D 5 L 4 F 21 A 17 (+4) Pts 20

Record without Michu:

Pld 14 W 3 D 5 L 6 F 12 A 17 (-5) Pts 14

Source:Opta

Similarly Alan Pardew at Newcastle, despite his
eight-year contract extension, because they would also be in the drop zone without
the eight goals of Demba Ba, with just one win to their credit and a measly
eight points on the board.

The Senegalese front man has proved the match winner in
home games with Tottenham, Norwich and West Brom, and his doubles have earned a
point for the Toon at Everton and Reading.

Without the eight goals of Michu, Swansea’s revelation,
they would be down in 16th instead of 9th.

The young Spaniard’s goals have
earned six points for the Welsh side which could prove crucial as the table
becomes congested in the New Year.

Michu earned Swansea a point at home to Sunderland and also Reading, plus he scored the winner in a 2-1 win against Wigan.

And, Swansea fans will argue, at just 2m he's already proving much better value than Van Persie…

Hot shot: Demba Ba certainly knows where the net is for Newcastle this season

Hot shot: Demba Ba certainly knows where the net is for Newcastle this season

At your service! Michu celebrates his goal against Newcastle on November 17

At your service! Michu celebrates his goal against Newcastle on November 17

Ronaldo to star in reality TV show to lose weight

Ronaldo's watching his weight… now you can too! Legend to star in TV fitness show

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 21 September 2012

Brazil football legend Ronaldo will star in his own reality TV show in a bid to lose weight.

The portly 36-year-old striker wants to ditch the extra pounds gained since quitting the sport so he is fit for an annual charity match, hosted alongside his ex-Real Madrid team-mate Zinedine Zidane, later this year.

And for extra motivation, he will do so under the glare of millions as he appears in a regular segment on the popular Fantstico entertainment programme on the Globo channel.

Let it all hang out: Ronaldo (right) displays his fuller figure in retirement

Let it all hang out: Ronaldo displays his fuller figure in retirement

Let it all hang out: Ronaldo displays his fuller figure in retirement

Ronaldo Nazario da Lima, to give his full name, said: 'I have a game against Zidane's friends in Porto Alegre in December and I want to be ready for it. That's the big challenge.'

Viewers will see the party-loving Rio de Janeiro native following a strict exercise regime and a diet created by a nutritionist.

Ronaldo's exact weight is not known, but the former Inter Milan and Barcelona goal-scorers' ballooning stomach has been the subject of ridicule across the world for several years.

Looking trim: Ronaldo at his peak during Brazil's World Cup win in 2002

Looking trim: Ronaldo at his peak during Brazil's World Cup win in 2002

Looking trim: Ronaldo at his peak during Brazil's World Cup win in 2002

In the 90s and early 2000s he was the star of his national side, winning two World Cups. Domestically, he won every title in Spain, but failed to lift the Champions League title.

A series of knee injuries deprived him of an even more successful career, leaving him on the treatment table for lengthy periods at a time.

He then started suffering from thyroid problems, which led to him piling on the pounds. He retired from football last February.

The match will raise money and awareness about poverty that affects millions across the world, reports Brazilian media.

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney: The dream partnership?

The Rooney and Robin show: On paper it's a dream partnership… but will the strike duo live up to their Hollywood billing

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 16 August 2012

Between them last season, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney scored 57 league goals and created 13 more for their teammates. They were first and second respectively in the Barclays Premier League top scorers' chart, playing at the peak of their powers.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United fans everywhere will be forgiven a wry smile this morning at the prospect of the two most devastating strikers in English football lining up for their club.

They will believe that City's short dynasty of success is already drawing to a close, the title a foregone conclusion.

You've got to hand it to them: Van Persie and Rooney will lead United's attack this season

You've got to hand it to them: Van Persie and Rooney will lead United's attack this season

What if they are a perfect match What if they are the new Yorke and Cole of the Treble season, what if they work instinctively together like Rooney did with Ronaldo in winning the Champions League in 2008

Presumably United will sweep all in front of them with an avalanche of goals, galloping away with trophies at home and abroad. It's a scary thought for the rest if it does work.

Dutch of class: RVP will wear the red of United this term

Dutch of class: RVP will wear the red of United this term

Ferguson will have thought long and hard about how well the pair will dovetail. To pursue Van Persie with such vigour all summer, to personally intervene to try and smooth the ground with Arsene Wenger and to sanction a 24m transfer fee for a player approaching 30 suggests he believes they will work spectacularly well together.

What this says about his faith in Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to provide the goals to wrest the title back from City, having regularly and publicly expressed his pride in their development, is an interesting sub-plot. The new super subs, perhaps It will almost certainly mean the end for Dimitar Berbatov, now fifth choice striker.

A glance at the statistical comparison between Rooney and Van Persie shows eerie similarities. In 2011-2012, they had an identical shot accuracy percentage of 58 and there are only tiny fractions between their minutes per shot and chance conversion numbers.

This is not to say they are identical. Van Persie is ruthlessly clinical inside the penalty area (93 per cent of his league goals came from 18 yards or less last season), Rooney is renowned for spectaculars from outside. Van Persie is strong with both feet, Rooney is effective in the air. Van Persie offers a threat from set-pieces, Rooney is a recognised penalty taker. But this does not automatically mean they will complement each other – how will they be accommodated in Ferguson's system

Rooney's partnership with Ronaldo worked because he was made to curb his own attacking instincts to rampage around in a deeper position, allowing the Portuguese to provide the goals. But things have moved on – Rooney is now centre stage and he's unlikely to give this up lightly.

Rooney didn't gel with another Dutchman, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, during his early career at Old Trafford and his link-ups with Berbatov, Hernandez and Welbeck have come nowhere near the almost-telepathic understanding of other United strike partnerships from the past.

Moving on: The Holland international has ended his stay with Arsenal after agreeing a move to Manchester United

Moving on: The Holland international has ended his stay with Arsenal after agreeing a move to Manchester United

Given the nature of the two players' games and the positions they score from, surely Rooney will now have to cede his position at the focal point of the attack and play behind Van Persie

Though undoubtedly as brilliant as creating chances as converting them, Rooney may not take too kindly to being shifted around again.

Deprived of a full pre-season to gel together, it could be difficult for Van Persie and Rooney to find that magic instantly.

Robin van Persie

Wayne Rooney

Dream partnership Van Persie and Rooney are expected to form a deadly partnership for Man United

The season is upon us and such is the expected closeness of the title race that eyebrows will be raised if United don't win convincingly at Everton on Monday night.

But while United now possess a strike force to compete with City's, it doesn't disguise the weakness of the players behind them.

Van Persie and Rooney will inevitably create chances for one another but the majority of their openings will have to come from midfield. Plenty of chances will come from the flanks, via Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, but an aerial bombardment won't suit Van Persie. Expect more threaded passes in and around the box.

New signing: But Kagawa won't provide the steal at the heart of United's midfield

New signing: But Kagawa won't provide the steal at the heart of United's midfield

But it is in the centre of midfield where problems remain. In City's 1-0 win over United at Eastlands on the last day of April, Ferguson's five-man midfield was overwhelmed by Roberto Mancini's four. Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry looked embarrassingly superior to Park Ji-Sung and Paul Scholes.

The fact lingers that United have not signed the kind of commanding central midfielder capable of running the show – an enforcer like Toure.

The only summer acquisition in the central area is Shinji Kagawa and unfortunately his game is more about defence-splitting passes than breaking up attacks.

United enter another season reliant on Scholes, who remains stately in his poise and passing but can no longer dominate a midfield, Darren Fletcher, just returning from a lengthy lay-off, and Michael Carrick.

In the delight of signing Van Persie, there will still be many who believe the money would have been more wisely spent on a world class midfielder.

At least Nemanja Vidic is back from the injury that precluded him from the second half of last season.

But with this signing coming so close to the start of the new season, we won't have to wait long to find out whether the Van Persie-Rooney partnership – or as it is being dubbed in the Dutch press: The fat man and Robin – will be as lethal in reality as it is in theory.

Neymar and Sandro sing and dance after Brazil"s win over Team GB

Samba style! Team GB conquerors Sandro and Neymar lead Brazil song and dance

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UPDATED:

12:41 GMT, 23 July 2012

Is there anything the Brazil Olympic football team can't do

After playing Team GB off the park at the Riverside Stadium in a 2-0 friendly win, goal scorers Sandro and Neymar produced a song and dance to celebrate inside Stratford’s Olympic Village.

Armed with a guitar, some vocals and a few chords, the Tottenham midfielder soon had his team-mates clapping to the beat before Neymar led the way in throwing a few dance moves.

It is bad news for any of their rivals hoping to snatch the gold medal from under the noses of the pre-tournament favourites, who looked every inch a team in unison performing their catchy song.

Brazil boast a host of other big names including Manchester United full-back Rafael as well as Chelsea bound Oscar in a team made up of star players from South America as well as European giants Real Madrid and AC Milan.

The 2008 bronze medallists are aiming to secure their first gold medal in the competition and have been drawn in Group C along with Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand.

Steve Coppell appointed Crawley Town Director of Football

Coppell makes surprise return at Crawley a day after Town boss Evans jumps ship

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UPDATED:

07:38 GMT, 10 April 2012


Back in the game: Steve Coppell

Back in the game: Steve Coppell

Steve Coppell has been appointed director of football at League Two promotion-chasers Crawley Town.

Coppell's days in the game looked to be numbered when he quit after less then four months in charge of Bristol City in August 2010.

But the 56-year-old has been appointed at Crawley a day after Steve Evans left his role as Town manager to take over at promotion rivals Rotherham.

The Sussex club confirmed Evans, 49, had opted to join the Millers, who are currently six places and 14 points behind fourth-placed Town.

Craig Brewster will remain as caretaker manager. Former Inverness and Dundee United boss Brewster steered the team to a win at Barnet on Monday to keep them in contention for automatic promotion.

Falling down: Crawley have slipped out of the automatic promotion spots

Falling down: Crawley have slipped out of the automatic promotion spots

They topped League Two for much of
this term but slipped out of the automatic promotion places after
selling top scorers Matt Tubbs and Tyrone Barnett.

Coppell, who took Reading into the Premier League in 2006, also had successful spells managing Crystal Palace, Brentford and Brighton. But the former England international famously also left Manchester City after just 33 days at the helm.

Rotherham-bound: Steve Evans (left) quit as Crawley manager on Monday

Rotherham-bound: Steve Evans (left) quit as Crawley manager on Monday

Crawley's chief Executive Alan Williams said: 'Bringing someone with Steve's stature in football as well as his experience and detailed knowledge of the game to Crawley Town is another important milestone in the development of the club.

'Steve's background and pedigree will help us to achieve our aims of pushing into League 1 and beyond and I am sure his appointment will be welcomed by everyone with Crawley Town FC at heart.'

Carlos Tevez – the return: Good or bad for Manchester City?

Tevez returns to Manchester City but is striker's comeback good news or bad for business

Since signing for Manchester City in 2009, Carlos Tevez and controversy have never been far apart but few would have expected the latest twist in his career.

Having refused to warm-up in a game at Bayern Munich last September, the striker's time in Manchester looked over after he fled to Argentina and boss Roberto Mancini said he would never play for the club again.

It's been a while: Carlos Tevez is finally heading back to Manchester City after leaving Argentina

It's been a while: Carlos Tevez is finally heading back to Manchester City after leaving Argentina

But the 28-year-old appears to have opened the door for a highly unlikely reunion by reporting back for duty at the club's Carrington training ground on Tuesday.

Here Sportsmail looks at whether Tevez's return is a positive move or an avoidable distraction.

Welcome back…

He is still world class. Last year Manchester City won the FA Cup and reached the Champions League to cap a superb season – and Tevez played a huge part in it.

Highlight: Tevez climbed the Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup as Manchester City skipper in May last year

Highlight: Tevez climbed the Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup as Manchester City skipper in May last year

He had partners in crime of course, David Silva was feeding him chances like there was no tomorrow, but you don't finish as the Premier League's joint-top goal scorer without having something special.

At times he was a talisman and even if he is now only used as an impact sub he would be the last player a tired opposition defender would want to see.

Provides more attacking options….

Between Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, City have found goals easy to come by with the club top scorers in the Premier League this season.

Competition: Manchester City have (from left) Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero in attack

Competition: Manchester City have (from left) Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero in attack

Balotelli's suspensions aside, Mancini has had the rub of the green when it comes to absentees in his attacking line-up.

But tricky Europa League ties are on the horizon and a busy climax to the season approaching.

A fit Tevez would at least take some of the burden off the others and he has the bonus of knowing how to win the Premier League title.

City pay him – so play him

Having to pay someone 200,000 a week (he was fined two weeks' wages over the row) who isn't involved in the day-to-day activities is a large amount of money to waste even for mega-rich City.

Nice work if you can get it: Tevez played a lot of golf while he was away from the Etihad Stadium

Nice work if you can get it: Tevez played a lot of golf while he was away from the Etihad Stadium

At this stage they are unlikely to get the transfer fee they want for Tevez – who is contracted until 2014 – if they leave him to his own devices in Argentina.

/02/14/article-2100922-0E5BBDB200000578-190_634x313.jpg” width=”634″ height=”313″ alt=”Frozen out: Tevez was training on his own before he legged it back to Argentina” class=”blkBorder” />

Frozen out: Tevez was training on his own before he legged it back to Argentina

Tevez's return will ruffle a few feathers among team-mates. Then there are the fans. They are firmly behind Mancini and are hardly likely going to welcome Tevez back when he next makes an appearance at the Etihad Stadium.

His return could become a needless injection of bad blood.

Can he recapture his best form

City have admitted they have not even had the striker on a training regime to keep him fit over the last few months and could face a lengthy task to bring him back up to speed.

Where it all began: Carlos Tevez stayed on the bench against Bayern Munich in the Champions League

Where it all began: Carlos Tevez stayed on the bench against Bayern Munich in the Champions League

Then there is the issue of match-fitness and form – something that is very unlikely to be at its peak once he does play again.

He says he'll be ready in two weeks and with just three months of the season left, Tevez is not going to suffer burnout.

But can he hit top gear to make an impact on City's season

Daniel Sturridge wants to fire Chelsea to the title

Hot-shot Sturridge wants to fire Chelsea to the title

He can”t match Robin van Persie”s goal haul but Daniel Sturridge is another in-form striker who should take great satisfaction from his year”s work.

Only three players have scored more Barclays Premier League goals in 2011 – Van Persie (34), Wayne Rooney (23) and Demba Ba (20).

Hot streak: Sturridge is among the Premier League top scorers of 2011

Hot streak: Sturridge is among the Premier League top scorers of 2011

The Chelsea striker has 17 in 28 appearances and promises more will follow as he plots to fire a title challenge in the second half of the season.

“I know I can improve a lot more,” said Sturridge, after scoring his 10th in all competitions this season to earn the Blues a point at Tottenham on Thursday.

“I came away from the Spurs game disappointed I didn”t score more. I felt I could have taken the first chance. I”ll be working hard to improve because I know I can do a lot better.

“Hopefully I can play a big part in the team lifting the Premier League and I do believe we can do that.”

Chelsea, who have not won a London derby in 90 minutes this season, face neighbours Fulham on Boxing Day, with injuries and suspensions piling up.

John Mikel Obi and Branislav Ivanovic are unlikely to be fit after limping out of the game against Spurs with hamstring injuries. David Luiz is still struggling with a sore knee and Ramires is suspended after his fifth yellow card of the season.