Tag Archives: shape

Gerard Pique: I want Manchester United to beat Real Madrid in Champions League

United old boy Pique desperate to see former club KO Real Madrid in Champions League

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

11:35 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:38 GMT, 11 February 2013

Barcelona and Spain star Gerard Pique will be rooting for Manchester United when they take on Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Champions League this week.

Pique has more than one reason to support United. He played for the club between 2004 and 2008 and still has many friends from his time at Old Trafford, while Real, of course, are Barca's arch rivals.

The 26-year-old, who plays in the Champions League himself next week when Barca travel to AC Milan, also told Spanish newspaper Marca that he has spoken to former defensive partner and United stalwart Rio Ferdinand about Wednesday night's game.

Hope: Gerard Pique (right) wants Manchester United to beat Real Madrid

Hope: Gerard Pique (right) wants Manchester United to beat Real Madrid

'I'd like United to go through because of my history,' Pique told Marca. 'I spoke to Ferdinand and the team's in great shape.'

Former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored the winner when United won the European Cup in 1999, is also backing Sir Alex Ferguson's side, though he has wished former United team-mate and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo luck ahead of the clash.

'I want Manchester United to win but, for the first time, I really don't know what's going to happen,' said the Norwegian, who is currently managing Molde in his homeland.

Playing days: Pique enjoyed a stint at United before moving back to Barcelona

Playing days: Pique enjoyed a stint at United before moving back to Barcelona

'I'd like a 4-3, with Cristiano scoring three goals. He was 17 when he went to United, he's a great lad. I watched him become a man.

'If I could sign just one player, I'd sign Cristiano. Yes, Messi is fantastic, but I'd take CR7.'

Solskjaer added: 'Both managers know each other well and the teams are very evenly matched. I think it will be decided by a moment of genius from Van Persie or Cristiano.'

Stewart leaves British athletics under a cloud after coaching Mo Farah to gold

Stewart leaves British athletics under a cloud after coaching Farah to gold

Stewart was described by UKA as ‘a
vital cog in the machinery of British athletics for more than 20 years,
most notably as meeting director for the successful televised series
where Britain has built a reputation for hosting the best meetings in
the world, both indoors and outdoors’.

De Vos said last night: ‘Ian leaves us in great shape to take these events from strength to strength.

‘I’d like to thank him for his work and wish him well in his future career.’

Stewart was one of the world’s leading
distance runners during the late 1960s and mid-1970s. He won a 5,000m
bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, adding to the European gold
he had captured three years earlier in Athens.

Dean Saunders issues McDonald"s ban on Wolves players

Eat like Ennis! McDonald's is off limits to Wolves players as Saunders clamps down

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

08:36 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 11 January 2013


Big Macs banned: Dean Saunders wants his Wolves players to eat properly

Big Macs banned: Dean Saunders wants his Wolves players to eat properly

New Wolves manager Dean Saunders has ordered the club's players to stop eating at McDonald's.

The former Wales striker takes charge of his first game at Molineux tonight, against Blackburn, and wants to get his squad in shape.

He has issued a set of strict rules to keep his team in top condition as they prepare to recover from a disastrous spell under Stale Solbakken.

He said: 'Without discipline you have
nothing. Football is a watered-down version of the army and in the army
they make you do things you don’t want and you have to obey orders.

'The
overall thinking of it is that when we go into battle – when it really
matters – and you get instructions, you comply with the instructions you
are given.

'You are all
together as a group. And you get used to obeying instructions and
respecting authority. It keeps everybody together on the same sheet.

'If
you go into war and two soldiers do their own thing, they get the rest
killed. Obviously we are not in the army but there have to be rules in
place.

No entry: Wolves players must not visit McDonald's after training

No entry: Wolves players must not visit McDonald's after training

'They include not
being late for training, not leaving your training kit on the floor,
being in for treatment on time, living your life properly, not going
away from here into McDonald’s. Eating like an athlete.

'I
don’t think Jessica Ennis stops off at McDonald’s on the way home, I
don’t think so looking at her. That’s discipline – to be able to say
“No” to things that don’t make you play very well.

'You need to respect your team-mates and respect authority. If the manager tells you to do something, do it!

New rules: Saunders has told his troops that Olympian Jessica Ennis (below) wouldn't eat at McDonald's

New rules: Saunders has told his troops that Olympian Jessica Ennis (below) wouldn't eat at McDonald's

Olympic heroine Jessica Ennis

'I’m not an old school manager, really. Graeme Souness packed in because of it. It’s harder and harder to discipline players – they just look at you sometimes and go, “What are you on about”'

Saunders believes the Wolves players will soon appreciate his stern stance.

He explained: 'Most footballers like discipline. They like to know where the line is. And they don’t like to see other people not adhering to it.'

Manny Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez

Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Marquez ahead of fourth fight with rival

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manny Pacquiao weighed in four pounds heavier for the big fight in Las Vegas, even though Juan Manuel Marquez has grown into the bigger and heftier looking boxer during the past year.

Marquez, who refutes accusations that he has used steroids, has bulked up, at the age of 39, almost to the point of appearing muscle-bound.

Pacquiao hit the scales on the welterweight limit of 10st 7lb for the fourth fight between these two rivals.

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

The PacMan dedicated this final act in their saga to the victims of a hurricane in the Philippines, where he is a congressman, while Marquez talked about trying to find 'that grain extra' which might finally give him victory after two narrow losses and a draw.

Pacquiao looked concerned, and perhaps distracted by events at home.

He said: 'It is important for me to represent my country in the ring and to win this fight.

'But the reason I have gone into politics is to try to help my people.'

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 17 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins
heaped praise on his players after their win over fellow strugglers QPR
but admitted that he remains under pressure.

The visitors completely outplayed Mark Hughes' team to move four points clear of the west Londoners.

But with his side still facing an uphill battle to stay in the top flight, Adkins refused to get carried away.

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

'In the Premier League, you're always going to get the media attention and whether you're at the top or the bottom, it is only going to intensify,' he said.

'Every game brings its own pressures, its own demands.'

Asked if he thought the win helped to relieve the pressure on his own position, Adkins added: 'I am a manager in the Premier League.

'You guys (the media) are always going to keep the pressure on everybody.

'Today was a good performance again and it shows a good, growing maturity about the players.

'You could see again that we have players maturing all the time. There were some really good performances.

'We had a good defensive shape today. We know we can score goals and there is a confidence growing all the time among the players.'

Tyson Fury to fight Kevin Johnson

Unbeaten Fury to face heavyweight test against 'Kingpin' Johnson in Belfast

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UPDATED:

14:51 GMT, 12 November 2012

Tyson Fury will take another step towards challenging for a world title when he tackles American Kevin Johnson in Belfast on December 1.

Johnson went the distance with WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko three years ago with his only other defeat coming in the Prizefighter tournament earlier this year.

Unbeaten Fury had hoped to fight Denis Boytsov next month but the Russian withdrew, explaining he needed more time to prepare.

True test: Tyson Fury (left) will face Kevin Johnson in Belfast

True test: Tyson Fury (left) will face Kevin Johnson in Belfast

'Johnson is just the kind of opponent that I want at this stage of my career,' Fury said. 'We needed a world class fighter and we have got one and when I take him apart the world will sit up and take notice.

'I’m not going around getting opponents out of graveyards, fighting guys well past their best like some other heavyweights in Britain, I’m taking on Kevin Johnson who has fought for a major world title and been the distance with Vitali Klitschko.

'I am getting closer to a shot at Klitschko myself and I’m going to show Vitali why he has to fight me because when I do a number on Johnson and get him out of there I’ll have done a better job than Vitali did on him.

'I’m really looking forward to fighting again in Belfast, the support I get there is great and to bring such a big fight there is terrific for the fans. Johnson is going to be tough, he’s a hard man but I’ll be in the best shape of my life. The fans can expect fireworks, that’s for sure.'

Challenge: Johnson went the distance with Vitali Klitschko in 2009

Challenge: Johnson went the distance with Vitali Klitschko in 2009

Promoter Mick Hennessy says Johnson is going to be the perfect world class test for Fury at this stage of his career.

'Kevin Johnson has been there and done it and he wants another shot at the world title and he sees Tyson as the route to that, that’s why he has taken the fight,' commented Hennessy.

'He’s a very dangerous opponent, he’s a clever boxer, he’s never been stopped and he can punch so Tyson has his work cut out. But I believe that Tyson is the best heavyweight in the world and he’ll show that again with the way he takes care of Johnson.

'Johnson has been asking for this fight for a long time and we have granted his wish unlike a lot of other fighters who have avoided him as he is a very dangerous fighter over 12 rounds.'

On the up: Tyson Fury

On the up: Tyson Fury

Former world heavyweight title challenger Johnson is coming to Belfast full of confidence with his sights set on railroading Fury’s world title aspirations.

'I'm excited about the opportunity to step into the ring with Tyson Fury on December 1, in Belfast,' he said. 'It's a fight that I've been looking to make for a long time. It's going to be the best American fighter against the best fighter in the UK.

'I give Tyson all the credit in the world for stepping up to the plate and taking the fight. This is the biggest fight of my career since my world title fight against Vitali Klitschko in 2009 and I look forward to giving the fans what they deserve, an action packed, explosive and exciting fight.

'Tyson is a helluva fighter but he's never seen anything like the 'Kingpin' up close and personal. I'm on a mission to claim the heavyweight title and Tyson Fury is in my way.

'I'm not Derek Chisora or Neven Pajkic. I'm the real deal and Tyson will find that out on December 1. Don't blink, its going to be a short night.'

Didier Drogba move to Liverpool set to be thwarted

Liverpool set to be thwarted in attempt to bring Drogba back to England on loan

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 27 October 2012

Wanted man: Drogba

Wanted man: Drogba

Liverpool have explored the possibility of bringing Didier Drogba to Anfield on a two-month loan when the Chinese season ends next month in a bid to solve their striking crisis – but look like being defeated by red tape.

Drogba finishes his season with Shanghai Shenhua next month and will return to England for two months of training before heading off the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast in January.

Drogba will train with a Premier League club to keep in shape in November and December – but would need permission from his Chinese club to play and would need additional permission from the Premier League Board to join a club outside the transfer window.

Red tape: The striker is unlikely to join Liverpool

Red tape: The striker is unlikely to join Liverpool

Liverpool, who failed to sign Clint Dempsey on the August transfer deadline day after having loaned Andy Carroll to West Ham, would view the possibility of signing Drogba as a potential short term solution until they make a permanent move for a striker in January.

But the contractual issues of playing in England and the additional burden of receiving permission from the Premier League to recruit a player outside of the transfer window is likely to make it difficult to process the move in time.

Wayne Rooney will make Everton return – David Moyes

Rooney will come home to Everton, predicts Moyes

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 19 October 2012

David Moyes thanked Wayne Rooney for helping shape his managerial reputation and predicted an Everton comeback for the England striker.

The Everton manager launched Rooney to international fame a decade ago by sending him on as a late substitute five days before his 17th birthday and seeing him curl a last-minute winner against Arsenal.

Moyes said: 'I have always believed
Wayne helped me as a manager. I'll always be grateful he was here, ready
to break into the team, when I arrived.

Once a blue: Moyes predicts the United star could make a return to Everton

Once a blue: Moyes predicts the United star could make a return to Everton

'What the media and public saw was one of England's finest players, if not their finest, and it helped my profile that it was in an Everton shirt.

'There have been four or five occasions when I have been in the dressing room and been able to hear the supporters singing on their way home. That Arsenal game was one of them.

'They had just seen a boy who was probably one of the last street footballers, and he had gone on, at 16, and scored a spectacular winner against Arsenal. He was one of them.'

Rooney was sold to Manchester United for 25.6million eight years ago, but Moyes said: 'I would certainly welcome Wayne back. It's more likely to be later in his career but I think it is something even he would welcome.'

Opinion is divided over whether Rooney has fulfilled his potential, but Moyes said: 'I think he has gone on to be the player everyone expected him to be. He has won a European Cup and titles and has been exceptional.'

England win Carl Jenkinson battle as Arsenal ace pledges allegiance to Three Lions

England win Jenkinson battle as Arsenal ace pledges allegiance with snub to Finland

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UPDATED:

06:44 GMT, 16 October 2012

The Football Association will apply
to FIFA for clearance to pick Carl Jenkinson in the England squad for
next month's friendly with Sweden.

Jenkinson trained with the Three Lions on Sunday prior to their departure for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier with Poland.

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

And the Finnish Football Association want to hold discussions with the 20-year-old as they look to keep him from England's clutches.

Jenkinson has represented the Finns at Under-19 and U21 level, however, the former Charlton man has also represented England at U17 level.

However, having represented Finland at Under-21 level, there is some red tape that needs sorting before Jenkinson can commit his future to England.

That is what he wants to do though, and boss Roy Hodgson is keen to see the process completed quickly.

'He made it very clear he wanted to play for England,' said Hodgson.

'We are now making overtures to FIFA to try and make certain we can have him as an England player.'

The 20-year-old will still have the option of playing for either nation until he plays a competitive match.

But Hodgson insists he would not select anyone just to stop him from appearing for someone else.

'I don't want to trick him into playing for England for a few minutes just to 'block' him,' said Hodgson.

'But he had to make a decision because we're very interested in him even if the competition is tougher to get him into the England team rather than the Finland team.'

When he is eventually introduced, Jenkinson will be part of an England squad that is slowly changing shape under Hodgson's guidance.
Of their 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup, only nine are in the present group.

Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to name but three will be live candidates for future squads once they are clear from injury.

It is a far healthier situation than anyone could have imagined following that depressing last-16 hammering by Germany in Bloemfontein, when the future looked so bleak.

And one of the 'new boys' is Jenkinson's Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who after being a surprise choice for Euro 2012, is now in the England squad on merit.

'Alex is a player with enormous potential and ability,' said Hodgson.

'He came in as the joker in the pack and he's certainly cemented his position.

'Like a lot of our young players, he has to fight so hard to get into his club team but we're more than happy with him.

'He has to take every chance he gets with England because, internationally, there aren't that many games in a year.'

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa working hard to adjust to life in Premier League

Man United midfilelder Kagawa working hard to adjust to life in Premier League

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UPDATED:

11:03 GMT, 9 October 2012

Shinji Kagawa has been told he must toughen up and be more direct if he wants to be a success at Manchester United.

The Japanese midfielder has made a
positive impression at Old Trafford since his 17million summer swiitch
from Borussia Dortmund.

New boy: Shinji Kagawa has made a good impact

New boy: Shinji Kagawa has made a good impact

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'We’re very pleased with Shinji. Adapting to English football isn’t easy but bit by bit he’s getting down to that part.'

But Fergie has nevertheless made it clear that he is working hard to try and help Kagawa improve.

‘Don’t face the goal with your back, but move your body so you have a short way to the goal. Shape your body so you are facing the stands,' Kagawa said. 'I have to face the goal or I won’t be a threat.’

The 23-year-old also recognises that he has to do more to cope with the physical rigours of English football, saying in The Independent: “I’ve realised that I need to limber up and strengthen my body trunk.’

Kagawa has also learnt a lot from how Manchester United beat Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League despite an unconvincing performance.

He added: ‘Dortmund would have lost that match. I think that winning a game (that) way is characteristic of a big club.

‘The level of expectation is very high and that means that the team is not in a hurry to win. That’s the main difference with Dortmund.’