Tag Archives: stages

Micah Richards will be given special summer training programme to minimise injury risk

EXCLUSIVE: Man City star Richards will be forced to follow special summer training programme after injury-hit season

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And City's medical team are devising a specially-designed training plan, aimed primarily at strengthening his injured knee, for Richards to follow during the close season to ensure his body is ready for the rigours of pre-season given he'll have spent virtually an entire season on the sidelines.

Blow: Richards was stretchered off during the game against Swansea

Blow: Richards was stretchered off during the game against Swansea

Richards had hoped to be back playing at the beginning of this month, but his return was delayed after complaining of tightness in his injured knee during the latter stages of his rehabilitation process.

News of Richards' pending return will be a major boost to City manager Roberto Mancini ahead of his side's run-in.

New England Nike kit: "Leaked" image of rumoured away shirt

Is this the new England kit 'Leaked' image claims to be latest Three Lions' away strip…

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

13:59 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:17 GMT, 20 March 2013

The new England kit will be launched next month but have fans already been treated to a first look at the away strip

A leaked image was posted on various internet sites, claiming that this red jersey will be worn by Roy Hodgson's men.

Sports manufacturing giants Nike are now in control of the Football Association kit sponsorship – including branding of the National Football Centre at St George’s Park – after replacing long-standing partners Umbro.

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

It is understood that Nike will officially unveil the new Three Lions' shirts on St George's Day, April 23.

The likes of Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole can look forward to wearing the new white home kit on May 29 at Wembley against the Republic of Ireland, with the away number to be debuted in Rio this summer.

England play Brazil in June as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations, which plays a prominent part in the rumoured away design with a gold FA badge crest embroidered on the chest.

The minimalistic all-red jersey – pictured above – apparently has a polo collar with buttons to complete a smart look, that appears to be inspired by England's historic 1966 World Cup success.

All smiles: Wayne Roney

Training day: England's Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson

Kit special: Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson – all Nike athletes – can look forward to the new strip

Nike, however, refused to confirm whether the 'leaked' image is the genuine article but admitted all will be revealed soon.

'Nike creates different design options and samples at different stages in the kit design process,' a spokesperson told Sportsmail.

'We will unveil the actual designs later this year and until then we cannot comment on images of England kit designs that are circulating on the web.'

England will play in the white Umbro home kit for the last time in the forthcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro before switching to the Swoosh.

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Players need to “stand up” says Lampard ahead of San Marino

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Chelsea"s Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel will not play in the Europa League

Petr checks in for a Prague return as part of strong Chelsea squad for Europa League tie

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:21 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 13 February 2013

Petr Cech looks ready for a return to his native Czech Republic as Chelsea jetted off for their Europa League tie against Sparta Prague.

In an Instagram picture posted by Juan
Mata, the Chelsea goalkeeper seems relaxed and gives the thumbs
up as he is photographed next to Mata.

Forgotten man Yossi Benayoun was also part of the travelling party, posting a picture of himself sitting next to Ryan Bertrand.

Jet-set: Juan Mata and Petr Cech on the plane, the latter returning to his home country

Jet-set: Juan Mata and Petr Cech on the plane, the latter returning to his home country

RElaxed: Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Bertrand, enjoying the flight to the Czech capital

Relaxed: Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Bertrand, enjoying the flight to the Czech capital

But John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, who
both starred in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory over Burkino
Faso, have been left at home as Rafael Benitez tries to avoid making the
same mistake as Neil Lennon, who played Efe Ambrose against Juventus
two days after the final in South Africa.

Demba Ba is cup-tied after appearing for
Newcastle in the earlier stages and David Luiz is suspended. John
Terry travelled despite missing the win over Wigan on Saturday with a knee injury.

Chelsea have not played in Europe's second-tier competition since the 2002-03 season when they lost 5-4 to Norwegian side Viking FK in the first round.

Their bid to retain the Champions League failed at the group stages, but the Blues' season has become no less hectic with trips around the continent in the Europa League.

Defeated: Chelsea drew and lost against Juventus, results which contributed to their failure

Defeated: Chelsea drew and lost against Juventus, results which contributed to their failure

The absence of Ba will mean another probable start for Fernando Torres up front at the Generali Arena.

Three
yellow cards in the group stage of the Champions League mean Luiz will
not be featuring in Prague, with Gary Cahill likely to be partnered with
Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League losing their away matches to Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

Willian the conqueror: Shakhtar's Brazilian (right) was a thorn in Chelsea's side over their two matches

Willian the conqueror: Shakhtar's Brazilian (right) was a thorn in Chelsea's side over their two matches

Title: Victor Moses was instrumental in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory

Title: Victor Moses was instrumental in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory

Trophy: Neither Moses or John Mikel Obi are being risked in the Europa League

Trophy: Neither Moses or John Mikel Obi are being risked in the Europa League

They may have thrashed Nordsjlland 6-1 at home but because results did not go their way they were left floundering in third place.

Benitez will undoubtedly see this as a competition worth winning as his
tenure at Stamford Bridge looks likely to be very short.

With
the league now out of the question as Manchester United move further
and further clear, Chelsea will put out a strong side in the hope of
achieving silverware this season.

Sir Alex Ferguson watches Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama at Parkhead

Fergie runs the rule over Celtic midfielder Wanyama as United boss returns to Glasgow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

08:43 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 23 January 2013

As his Manchester United side prepare for this weekend's FA Cup clash against Fulham 4,500 miles away in Qatar, Sir Alex Ferguson returned to his Glasgow roots to watch Celtic's 4-0 victory over Dundee United.

The Old Trafford boss was spotted in the Parkhead crowd as Neil Lennon's SPL leaders romped to an emphatic SPL win with Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama putting in a stand-out performance.

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

United are believed to be among a host of potential suitors for the 21-year-old, who struck the hosts' second goal of the evening in the 33rd minute.

Lennon is keen to keep hold of Wanyama, who arrived at the Scottish club from Belgian outfit Beerschot in 2011 and has played an instrumental role in guiding Celtic into the knockout stages of this season's Champions League.

Ferguson, meanwhile, will today pay his respects to Sean Fallon as the United manager attends the funeral of the Celtic legend, who was the assistant to Jock Stein when they won the European Cup in 1967.

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

David Silva calls upon Manchester City players to close gap on Manchester United

Angry Silva calls upon Man City players to close gap on United by end of February

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Silva says his Manchester City team-mates were angry after their Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, and has called upon the champions to close the seven-point gap on rivals United by the end of February.

City found themselves seven points off the pace to defend their Premier League title after being beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men came from behind three times to beat Newcastle 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.

But Silva believes City, who were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages for the second year running, still have the quality to make up the ground over their bitter rivals, starting with a win today against Norwich at Carrow Road.

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

He told The Sun: ‘The defeat in Sunderland was a hard blow for us. But as we know that the Premier League is very open and if you give away chances you can be beaten.

‘Even so, there was a lot of anger in the dressing room — and not only from the coach. Those three points were so important because in our situation they could make the difference between us winning and losing the title.

‘And really, if we do not win at places like Sunderland, it is nearly impossible to fight for the success in this league.

‘Perhaps being knocked out of Europe had an influence but now we need to react and to demonstrate that City are the English champions.

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

‘There is a long way to go — but we cannot allow United any more advantage at the top of the table. The future is in our own hands but we have already shown how powerful we can be during our worst moments during the past year.

‘Our goal this season was the Champions League — but now that chance has gone we want to win the Premier League and dedicate the achievement to our fans.’

United ran out victors in the first Manchester derby of the season after a last-gasp Robin van Persie free-kick at the Etihad.

Silva and Co know that taking three points will be vital when they seek revenge at Old Trafford on April 6 for what promises to be a thrilling second instalment.

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar signs new Schalke 04 deal leaving Arsenal frustrated

Blow for Arsenal as prime target Huntelaar pens new Schalke deal

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UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 23 December 2012

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has disappointed Arsene Wenger by putting pen to paper on a new Schalke 04 contract.

The target-man was high on the Arsenal manager's Christmas wish-list but signed a two year extension which ties him to the club until June 2015.

The 29-year-old said: 'I have thought long and hard about this decision and I am very grateful to my managers at Schalke 04, who have have given me this time.

I'm here for this long: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will not be moving to Arsenal

I'm here for this long: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will not be moving to Arsenal

'But now I have made ​​the decision, in which I have the best feeling. I've always felt comfortable at Schalke, the club and its fans.

'I now want to put a positive sign, because I believe in our team and the fact that we are in the second round in the Bundesliga is a great prize. And we are in the knockout stages of the Champions League against Galatasaray.'

The striker moved to Germany from AC Milan in August 2010 and after scoring an average eight goals in the Bundesliga in his first year there, he hit 29 last season and was the top scorer.

This season he has 11 goals in 25 games for club and country and Arsenal were hoping he would continue in that fashion at the Emirates.

With just Olivier Giroud as an out-and-out striker – as well as Theo Walcott asking to play in the role – Arsenal could do with some back up.

Lukas Podolski seems more comfortable playing from a wider position while the misfiring Marouane Chamakh is not a serious option and is heading for the exit.

Not good enough: Marouane Chamakh is heading for the Emirates exit

Not good enough: Marouane Chamakh is heading for the Emirates exit

Cristiano Ronaldo vows not to celebrate if he scores against Manchester United in Champions League reunion

I won't celebrate if I score against United, vows Ronaldo ahead of Champions League reunion with former club

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UPDATED:

16:46 GMT, 21 December 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he will not celebrate if he scores against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side were drawn against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in the pick of the Last 16 ties in the knockout stages, but Ronaldo says he has too much respect for his former manager to gloat after scoring.

Ronaldo left Old Trafford for the Bernabu for 80million in the summer of 2009 after six glittering years at United, during which time he won three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

Friends re-United: Ronaldo, pictured here with strike partner Wayne Rooney, played for United between 2003 and 2009

Friends re-United: Ronaldo, pictured here with strike partner Wayne Rooney, played for United between 2003 and 2009

He will face them for the first time in February’s first leg in Madrid, before returning to Old Trafford for the first time since his move for the second leg in March.

He told Spanish newspaper AS: ‘I won’t celebrate if I score against United. I still speak with Ferguson. I miss him a lot, and I miss Manchester United. I felt very good there, it was like a family.

‘I had six great years there and am still friends with my team-mates. It is thanks to Manchester United that I am here playing for Real Madrid. Without them, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.’

The respect is clearly mutual after Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday that Ronaldo was a fine servant to United whose departure was not an act of disloyalty.

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training today

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training today

Manager and mentor: Ronaldo has admitted he misses the company of Sir Alex Ferguson, his boss at Man United

Manager and mentor: Ronaldo has admitted he misses the company of Sir Alex Ferguson, his boss at Man United

Ferguson said: ‘It wasn’t disloyalty because I got another year out of him when he wanted to go the previous year,’ said the United boss. ‘He honoured that and was fantastic for us. He went with our blessing.

‘He always had a hankering to go to Madrid in his career and we helped him on that way.

‘You’ve got to remember he came at 17 and really developed himself here as a great footballer. We’re proud of the part we played in his career. He’s improved as a footballer and his record at Real Madrid is incredible.

‘My way of looking at it is that we were lucky to have him for six years and the United fans would share that.’

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he was inspired by meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson

Tea and pancakes with Sir Alex inspired us! Celtic boss Lennon reveals reason behind Euro run

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UPDATED:

15:21 GMT, 21 December 2012

Neil Lennon has revealed that drinking tea and eating pancakes with Sir
Alex Ferguson was the secret to Celtic’s magical run to the knockout
stages of the Champions League.

The Scottish champions beat Barcelona on a famous night at Celtic Park – and reduced Rod Stewart to tears – and have drawn Juventus in the first knockout stage of the tournament.

But it was a visit from Manchester United and former Rangers manager Sir Alex Ferguson that inspired Celtic’s success in the group stages.

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Lennon told the Guardian: ‘He gave us two hours of his time, which he didn’t have to do, and I thought it was a brilliant gesture. It was in the privacy of a room at the training ground, just myself and my backroom staff, some tea and pancakes.

‘He was in great form. He has given us little tit bits along the way for the Champions League games. I’m not saying that has got us over the line, but every little bit helps.

‘He was one of the only managers to write me a letter when we won the championship in May and I’ll be eternally grateful to him for that, as well.'

The away win over Spartak Moscow in Group G, along with the narrow defeat by Barcelona in Catalonia, were seen as proof of Celtic’s ability to hurt teams on the break.

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

With Juve going to Glasgow on February 12 before the return leg in Turin on March 6, Lennon feels his team have a chance to cause another shock.

Lennon also revealed that winning the league with Celtic has finally made him feel settled at the club, after having to endure all the criticism that comes with the role.

‘Old managers make mistakes; Wenger makes mistakes, Ferguson makes mistakes, Mourinho makes mistakes. So what do people call them

‘Before winning the league, I felt like I was on probation. It has been a massive year for me, personally.’

Christian Benteke not for sale, says Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Don't call him the new Drogba: Lambert says it's unfair to compare Benteke to former Chelsea star

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UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 21 December 2012

Paul Lambert believes it is unfair to label Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke as the new Didier Drogba but insists the Belgium international can have an outstanding career.

Benteke has been drawing comparisons with former Chelsea star Drogba with his physique and power and the way he tormented the Liverpool defence during last weekend's 3-1 win at Anfield.

The 22-year-old is already looking a bargain buy at 8 million from Genk during the latter stages of the summer transfer window.

A star is born: Christian Benteke has made a big impact at Villa since signing in the summer

A star is born: Christian Benteke has made a big impact at Villa since signing in the summer

Lambert, whose side visit Chelsea on Sunday, said: 'I can understand why people are comparing with Drogba with the size of the two guys – but Christian is his own man.

'It's unfair for me to turn around and say he's going to be the next Didier Drogba with the career he's had.

'Christian has only just turned 22. But the potential there is incredible, what he can achieve.

'He's been absolutely brilliant for me, not just as a footballer but as a guy he is really humble, which is important. He's been brilliant.'

In the goals: Benteke has scored eight goals for Villa this season

Didier Drogba

Don't compare: Paul Lambert has asked for Benteke not to be compared with Didier Drogba

Lambert has a long-term vision for Villa and is adamant Benteke is part of that future admidst speculation he could become a target for the leading clubs during the January transfer window.

He said: 'There's no point in us even being here if it's a case of bringing people in and then letting them go.

'What's the point in that We're trying to build something here which can take a few years and you need good players with you to achieve that.

'There's no point in them coming for half a season or a year and then we let them go. That's not the right way.'

Not for sale: Paul Lambert says Benteke is not going anywhere in January

Not for sale: Paul Lambert says Benteke is not going anywhere in January

Benteke is developing a thriving partnership with Andreas Weimann who has started to realise his potential since being an extended run of games under Lambert.

The understanding was demonstrated via Weimann's sublime finish after Benteke's back heel for the second goal at Anfield.

Lambert said: 'Andi (Weimann) was here long before I came in. He's a natural finisher and has an incredible work-rate for the game of football.
'Provided he does not lose that, he can be a right good player.

'He's a totally different player to Christian, but he certainly knows where the goal is.

'We try to let them have the freedom to go and play and create.

'The second goal against Liverpool had great build-up and the finishing touch was the backheel from Benteke while the hardest part of the game is putting the ball in the net.'

In good form: Chelsea beat Leeds 5-1 in the Capital One Cup

In good form: Chelsea beat Leeds 5-1 in the Capital One Cup

Villa are unbeaten in their last five league games and also reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Lambert still expects Chelsea to pose a formidable threat despite their hectic schedule and travelling back from the World Club Championship in Japan.

He also has immense respect for the Blues interim manager Rafael Benitez.

Lambert said: 'I hope the travelling affects them – but I don't think it will. They had a good result the other night against Leeds.

'The tiredness only comes in if you are not getting results, if you're winning nobody bothers.

'In terms of Rafa, you look at his managerial career and it is phenomenal.

'He's gone in there at a difficult time and tried to stabilise it and get results at the same time.

'You look at Chelsea's squad, and the players they've got, and there are some world-class players in there.'

Ukraine to decide if Sven Goran Eriksson is new boss

Ukraine to decide if Eriksson is the man to resurrect World Cup push next week

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UPDATED:

20:27 GMT, 19 December 2012

Ukraine's football federation will decide next week whether to hire Sven Goran Eriksson to coach their national team.

Well: Sven Goran Eriksson could be the next coach of Ukraine

Well… Sven Goran Eriksson could be the next coach of Ukraine

After meeting the much-travelled former England coach and his agent in Kiev, officials laid out the terms of a potential contract.

'The Executive Committee meeting will take place next week,' said a federation spokesman, who added that they were also considering hiring local coach Mykhaylo Fomenko.

Both Harry Redknapp and Andriy Shevchenko have turned down the role in recent months.

Ukraine are currently fifth out of Group H's six teams, with two points from three games. After a 1-1 draw at Wembley, they are due to host England in September.

Former boss Oleg Blokhin resigned in late September after failing to lead the team out of the group stages in Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted, and accepted the job of head coach at Dynamo Kiev.

The 64-year-old Swede has served as technical director of Thai club BEC Tero Sasana since September.