Tag Archives: standard

Injury-hit Arsenal may have to turn to Squillaci or Miquel for Sunderland clash

Injury-hit Arsenal may be forced to turn to Squillaci or Miquel for Sunderland clash

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:17 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:19 GMT, 7 February 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could
face a defensive headache when Barclays Premier League action resumes at
Sunderland on Saturday.

The Gunners were already sweating on
the fitness of captain Thomas Vermaelen's ankle injury before the
players left for international duty, where fellow centre-half Laurent
Koscielny limped off during France's defeat to Germany in Paris with a
reported calf problem.

Rare appearance: Arsenal may recall Sebastien Squillaci

Rare appearance: Arsenal may recall Sebastien Squillaci

Should both men fail to recover in time for the trip to the Stadium of Light, then out-of-favour Sebastien Squillaci or Spanish 20-year-old Ignasi Miquel could have to step in to the heart of the defence alongside Per Mertesacker.

Francis Coquelin is another option, but the defensive-midfielder has missed a couple of matches with a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, midfielders Tomas Rosicky (virus) and Aaron Ramsey, who returned from Wales camp with a calf injury, are also doubtful for the trip to the north-east.

Forward Gervinho is set to rejoin the squad following Ivory Coast's elimination from the African Nations Cup, but is expected to be given some recovery time before being thrown straight back into action as Arsenal look to maintain momentum from their four-match unbeaten run.

Nacho Monreal impressed on his debut after a deadline day move from Malaga. The Spain international looks set for a run in the side with England left-back Kieran Gibbs still sidelined by a thigh problem.

It is another setback for the 23-year-old, who has suffered a string of fitness issues in recent seasons, including breaking his metatarsal in a Champions League game against Standard Liege in November 2009.

Gibbs, however, will not let that hold him back.

Injury concern: Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen

Injury concern: Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen

Speaking to the official Arsenal magazine in an interview conducted before his latest injury in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool, Gibbs revealed his positive attitude to spells on the sidelines.

He said: 'Before that I had never really had injuries, but in the next couple of years I had quite a few and it was really frustrating.

'I did my knee and rolled my ankle, and later on I had a hernia.

'However, I just got on with it and never really listened to any comments.

'I just knew the most important thing was that I got back and let people judge me on my football.'

Vermaelen, meanwhile, revealed he has taken inspiration from David Beckham's recent visit to Arsenal, where the former England captain trained ahead of his deadline day move to Paris St Germain.

'I didn't meet him for long, but I could tell straightaway that he's a very nice guy and a fantastic professional,' Vermaelen wrote in the Arsenal matchday programme.

'That was obvious in a single day – he was working after the session, doing drills and keeping himself fit, and you have to give him a lot of credit for being in such good shape at the age of 37.

'It is not easy to get to the top and stay there as he has done – you have to work really hard every single day, and if young players can see that then it is an inspiration for them.

'Training with him was a special moment for me, too. Like Beckham, I certainly want to play football for as long as I can – it's partly about how your body feels, and about luck too, but in my opinion football is the best career there is so you want to enjoy it to the maximum.'

Zeki Fryers to sign for Tottenham

Tottenham seal signing of former Man United prodigy Fryers

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:32 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:48 GMT, 3 January 2013

Tottenham have completed the signing of former Manchester United starlet Zeki Fryers.

The 20-year-old left-back trained with Spurs in the summer after leaving Old Trafford.

A Spurs statement read: 'We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Standard Liege for the signing of Zeki Fryers.

On his way back: Zeki Fryers (left) returns to England from Belgium

On his way back: Zeki Fryers (left) returns to England from Belgium

'The young defender, capped by England
at Under-16, 17 and 19 level, began his career at Manchester United
before joining Standard Liege last summer. Zeki will link up with the
Club's Development Squad.

He was expected to join the White Hart Lane club but United could have commanded up to 6m compensation as he was under 23.

Belgian side Standard Liege signed him instead on a two year contract and he has gone on to make seven first team appearances.

However, Tottenham are expecting to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer and want cover for Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Liege would sell now and a deal could be done for around 3million.

Fryers was close to joining Tottenham last year but the move collapsed

Fryers was close to joining Tottenham last year but the move collapsed

Tottenham are also the latest club to show interest in Barcelona striker David Villa. The 31-year-old has been the subject of enquiries from Arsenal also but Barca will not loan him out and will only sell for around 16m.

Meanwhile, Fenerbahce have made a move for Tottenham midfield target Younes Belhanda at Montpellier.

Martin Jol is moving for Standard Liege goalkeeper Sinan Bolat

EXCLUSIVE: Jol targets record-breaking keeper Bolat for 800k

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Martin Jol has moved to reinforce Fulham’s defence by agreeing a cut-price 800,000 deal for Standard Liege’s Turkey keeper Sinan Bolat.

The 24-year old, Belgian-born of Turkish parents, has been recovering from a long-term knee injury at Craven Cottage and has finally put the finishing touches to a transfer that has been under consideration for several months.

Bullet: Fulham target Sinan Bolat is the only goalkeeper to score a goal from open play in Champions League history

Bullet header: Fulham target Sinan Bolat (yellow) is the only goalkeeper to score a goal from open play in Champions League history

An integral part of the Turkey squad, Bolat is highly rated by Liege bosses and was only allowed to leave after he made it clear he had no intention of renewing a contract that runs out at the end of the season.

The Belgian club reluctantly accepted Fulham’s bid, rather than lose him for nothing in the summer, and Jol firmly believes he has recruited a keeper who is fully capable of challenging Mark Schwarzer for the number one jersey.

The Turkey international scored a late equaliiser for Standard Liege against AZ Alkmaar in 2009

The Turkey international scored a late equaliiser for Standard Liege against AZ Alkmaar in 2009

Bolat has another string to his bow after going upfield for a set-piece, in the fifth minute of injury time against AZ Alkmaar three years ago, and heading a spectacular equaliser that forced a 1-1 draw.

He is the only keeper to score a goal from open play in the history of the Champions’ League.

Talks are currently taking place over personal terms but seem sure to be a formality after Bolat made it clear he wanted to join Fulham.

England could be set to host Under 21 European Championships in 2013

England could be set to host Under 21 Euros in 2013 if crisis worsens in Israel

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UPDATED:

23:44 GMT, 20 November 2012

UEFA would consider asking England to be on stand-by to host next summer’s Under 21 European Championships if the Israel crisis escalates.

The draw for Euro 2013 will be held in Tel Aviv next week and will be attended by a delegation from the FA which includes Under-21 head coach Stuart Pearce.

If the worst case scenario develops, England could end up staging the eight-nation competition in June as they lost out to Israel in the initial bidding process.

Possibility: England lost out to Israel in their bid to host Euro 2013

Possibility: England lost out to Israel in their bid to host Euro 2013

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told England they need to start praying if they are ever to host the World Cup again.

The FA lost out to Russia in the battle to host the 2018 tournament and cannot bid to host the finals until after the 2026 event, Blatter has suggested to the London Evening Standard that only the Lord can save their dream, saying: ‘One of the gods up there, the god of football perhaps, knows. I will ask Joseph Ratzinger [the Pope].

'I will ask him. Every morning he is speaking with the Lord, so he will tell me.'

Lord knows when England will host World Cup, jokes Sepp Blatter

Only the Lord can bring the World Cup back to England now, jokes Blatter

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UPDATED:

12:56 GMT, 20 November 2012

Sepp Blatter has told England they need to start praying if they are ever to host the World Cup again.

The FA bitterly lost out in the race to host the 2018 tournament, with the game’s elite voting for it to go to Russia instead.

England cannot bid to host the finals until after the 2026 edition – and FIFA president Blatter has suggested only the Lord can save their dream.

Lord knows: Sepp Blatter has joked about England's hopes of hosting the World Cup finals

Lord knows: Sepp Blatter has joked about England's hopes of hosting the World Cup finals

He told the London Evening Standard: ‘One of the gods up there, the god of football perhaps, knows. I will ask Joseph Ratzinger [the Pope]. You know who Joseph Ratzinger is

‘I will ask him. Every morning he is speaking with the Lord, so he will tell me.’

In a more serious moment, Blatter has told England to get over their defeat and accept that others have the right to host the World Cup.

He added: ‘In our game, you have also to accept defeat. England has given us, not only this beautiful game of football, but also the term fair play. And fair play means accepting defeat.

Defeat: England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup spectacularly failed

Defeat: England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup spectacularly failed

‘England should accept they got only two votes [one of them from the Englishman on the executive, Geoff Thompson]. If they had 11 [out of the 24] votes, they could be disappointed.

‘They could say who did it It was not one person, it was the general movement that did not want England. So who is responsible for the defeat’

Rolling back the years: England last hosted a major tournament in 1996 for the European Championship

Rolling back the years: England last hosted a major tournament in 1996 for the European Championship

Carl Froch Kos Yusuf Mack in third round in Nottingham to retain IBF super-middleweight title

Froch destroys Mack with third round KO to retain IBF super-middleweight title

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UPDATED:

01:28 GMT, 18 November 2012

Carl Froch, British boxing’s standard bearer, furthered his quest to be rated in the top five pound-for-pound boxers in the world by defending his IBF super-middleweight title in devastating style.

Froch knocked out the American Yusaf Mack after two minutes and 30 seconds of the third round at the Capital FM Arena in his home city of Nottingham before 10,000 raucous, adoring supporters. It was a vicious brace of left-handed punches to body and head that had Mack gasping for breath and beaten.

Froch was clearly raring to go — riled by Mack’s pre-fight description of him as a ‘fake Joe Calzaghe’ — and had the Pennsylvanian on the canvas in the first round with a flurry of punishing punches. Home hopes of a finish there and then were dashed, if not for long.

Milking the crowd: Carl Froch was in top form against Yusaf Mack

Milking the crowd: Carl Froch was in top form against Yusaf Mack

Sealed with a kiss: Froch and girlfriend Rachael Cordingley celebrate victory

Sealed with a kiss: Froch and girlfriend Rachael Cordingley celebrate victory

Having grown up on the mean streets
of Philadelphia Mack — who has nine children at the age of 32 —has
survived plenty of violence, including the death of a brother and a
group of friends in a gangland killing.

This was more about technique,
however. Mack was stepping down a weight from his favoured light-heavy
but stepping up in class and it showed as he was painfully outboxed.

He survived round two through sheer
cussedness but in the third was hit by a vicious shot to the ribs from
Froch, who followed it up with a left to the head that produced a
delayed reaction in Mack. He fell in installments, never to beat the
count of 10.

Froch said: ‘As soon as the doors
opened to the arena and the crowd erupted, I was ready to go.’ He had
barely broken sweat. ‘The crowd in Nottingham is unbelievable. I was a
bit cautious at first but I soon found my range. There’s always a chance
in a two-horse race but Mack never had much chance. I am a level up.’

Brutal: A Froch attack leaves Mack on the ropes

Brutal: A Froch attack leaves Mack on the ropes

Calling it a day: The referee ends proceedings in Nottingham with Mack prostrate

Calling it a day: Referee Phil Edwards ends proceedings in Nottingham with Mack on the canvas

It was the 35-year-old Froch’s 30th
win of his 32-fight career and he will now honour an obligation for a
rematch with Canada-based Romanian Lucian Bute in Montreal. Froch
regained his title by beating Bute here in May and defending it away
from home before 20,000 Canadians will be tough.
Froch, though, is in the form and shape of his life and is on a mission.

After Bute, he wants to fight the only two men to have beaten him — Dane Mikkel Kessler and American Andre Ward.

Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn will
seek to lure Kessler to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground with the offer
of a pay-per-view night, before promising Ward another big pay day.

So fearless a warrior is Froch,
indeed, that he would even be willing to go to America to fight Ward,
who is rated one of the world’s top-five fighters.

On top: Froch put Mack on the deck several times

On top: Froch put Mack on the deck several times

Smelling blood: Froch was relentless

Smelling blood: Froch was relentless

Earlier, classy Liverpool
light-heavyweight Tony Bellew overcame a wicked cut above his right eye
to outpoint Argentinian Roberto Bolonti, whom he twice dropped to the
canvas.

Bellew, who lost to new WBO champion Nathan Cleverly last year, will now have strong claims to a lucrative rematch.

Another Liverpudlian, Callum Smith,
recorded a win on his professional debut. Smith looked convincing enough
in brushing aside Dan Blackwell of Trowbridge at super-middleweight.
Maybe there is a successor to Froch at the weight some way down the
line.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook will fight
American Devon Alexander for the IBF Welterweight title in Las Vegas or
New York on January 19.

Show of power: Froch attacks once more

Show of power: Froch attacks once more

Home support: Froch was cheered on by a partisan crowd

Home support: Froch was cheered on by a partisan crowd

David Moyes says Everton aren"t over-reliant on Marouane Fellaini

We've got more than Marouane! Moyes claims Everton aren't reliant on Fellaini brilliance

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UPDATED:

11:48 GMT, 17 November 2012

David Moyes has warned teams trying to hatch a plan to stop Marouane Fellaini they are wasting their time as Everton are not a one-man team.

The Everton manager believes Fellaini’s form has been so impressive that he deserves to be bracketed alongside the biggest names in the Barclays Premier League, such as Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and Juan Mata of Chelsea.

Fellaini has been instrumental in Everton’s outstanding start to the season – he was the key figure in last week’s 2-1 win over Sunderland – but Moyes, whose side travel to Reading today, is content they have not become over-reliant on the Belgian because they have threats all over the pitch.

Crucial: Marouane Fellaini has been pivotal in Everton's success this season

Crucial: Marouane Fellaini has been pivotal in Everton's success this season

'In the past Leighton Baines has done an awful lot for Everton and been so creative,’ said Moyes.

‘Then Steven Pienaar has come back and people see it as combinations. I’ve seen signs of Seamus Coleman developing and Kevin Mirallas has come into the team.

‘Nikica Jelavic has looked like he’ll get you the goals if you give him chances. In between that you have internationals like (Phil) Jagielka, (John) Heitinga and now (Leon) Osman.

'So we have three or four more players who can open games up than in the past.’

Moyes shattered Everton’s transfer record in August 2008 to sign Fellaini for 15million from Standard Liege but his performances have attracted interest in recent months from clubs such as Chelsea and Paris St Germain.

More than Marouane: Leon Osman (right) made his international debut for England on Wednesday

More than Marouane: Leon Osman (right) made his international debut for England on Wednesday

Excelled: Leighton Baines (left) has impressed at left-back this season

Excelled: Leighton Baines (left) has impressed at left-back this season

‘Felli is a difficult player to stop,’ said Moyes. ‘We have to make sure that teams can’t think of how to stop him. We need to make sure we are utilising him well, but also that we don’t fatigue him. He had an international game this week and it’s a lot on him.’

As Fellaini’ future has been the cause for debate, so, too, has Moyes’ long-term prospects. He is in the final seven months of his contract but insists there is no rush for negotiations with Bill Kenwright to start, as his main focus is the performance of the team.

'As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a great relationship with the Chairman, we speak every day, and when the time’s right we’ll sit down and look at what we’re going to do,' said Moyes.

'I can understand why at this time people would say it is quite close.

'But all I can ask and say is, I’ve been here over 10 years now, we’ve worked really hard together and will continue to do so, and we’ll wait.

'And it might be that we wait until later in the year before we sort things out.

'I’m not overly concerned at the minute, but I can understand maybe that people in the media will keep asking the question. I’m in no great hurry.'

No rush: David Moyes is likely to extend his deal at Everton over the coming months

No rush: David Moyes is likely to extend his deal at Everton over the coming months

Liverpool expect to improve shirt sponsorship deal

Liverpool can't buy a win at home or abroad but expect to IMPROVE 20m shirt deal

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 14 November 2012

Liverpool are confident they can improve their current 20million-a-year shirt deal with Standard Chartered, despite a lack of Champions League football.

The club negotiated their current contract, which has two years to run, in 2009 while second in the Premier League and in Europe's elite competition.

But Liverpool expect to conclude negotiations quickly and extend the deal.

Talks: Liverpool hope to extend their deal with Standard Chartered

Talks: Liverpool hope to extend their deal with Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered have a period of exclusivity but last season they expressed 'disappointment' at the way the Luis Suarez racism controversy was handed.

The 80m, four-year deal was a club record when it was agreed but commercial revenues at Anfield have increased since John W Henry took control of the club, despite disappointing performances on the pitch.

Big money: Manchester United also rake in 20m each season

Big money: Manchester United also rake in 20m each season

Premier League sponsors

Arsenal – Fly Emirates (airline company) ends 2014, 5.5m a year
Aston Villa – Genting Casinos (gambling company) 2013, 8m a year
Chelsea – Samsung (electronics ) 2015, 13.8m a year
Everton – Chang (brewery) 2013, 4m a year
Fulham – FxPro (foreign exchange) 2013, 4.2m a year
Liverpool – Standard Chartered (bank) 2014, 20m a year
Man City – Etihad (airline) 1922, 20m a year
Man Utd – AON (insurance) 2014, 20m a year
Newcastle – Virgin Money (finance) 2013, 10m a year
Norwich – Aviva (insurance) 2016, 1m a year
QPR – Air Asia (airline) 2013, 2.5m a year
Reading – Waitrose (supermarket) 2013, 500,000 a year
Southampton – Aap3 (IT services) 2014, 1m a year
Stoke – bet365 (gambling) 2015, 1.3m a year
Sunderland – Invest in Africa (non-profit organisation funded by oil company Tullow) 2014, 20m a year
Swansea – 32red (gambling) 2014, 1.1m a year
Tottenham – Investec/Auresma (financial services/augmented reality multimedia) 10m a year
West Brom – Zoopla (property) 2015, 1.5m a year
West Ham – SBObet (gambling) 2013, 1.7m a year
Wigan – 12bet.com (gambling) 2014, 1m a year

FA unveil new England badge for 150th year

Gold standard! FA unveil striking new England crest to celebrate 150 years

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UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 23 October 2012

England shirts will be adorned with a special crest throughout next year as the Football Association celebrate 150 years in 2013.

The traditional elements of the world famous Three Lions badge remains, but for the first time it comes in gold with a date mark underneath.

Scribbled behind the crest on the shirt will be handwritten laws of the game from the FA's inaugarul year, as they were at The Freemasons’ Tavern, near Holborn in central London back on October 26, 1863.

Gold standard: England shirts will be emblazoned with a special crest next year

Gold standard: England shirts will be emblazoned with a special crest next year

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FA Chairman David Bernstein said: 'It is a great honour to be Chairman of The Football Association as we head into our 150th year. It is incredible to think how the game has developed from that very first meeting at the Freemasons’ Tavern in October 1863.

'Those founding fathers had real foresight to bring order and organisation to the game. Still, despite their sporting values and vision, no-one could have foreseen what football would come to mean for the nation.

'It truly is the national game and one in which we should all take tremendous pride.

Special occasion: England and the FA are celebrating 150 years since formation

Special occasion: England and the FA are celebrating 150 years since formation

'There can scarcely be a family in England that is not touched by football in some way and we at The FA take our responsibility to support the game very seriously.'

In a statement on the FA website, they added: 'The tagline “Supporting football since 1863” also affirms The FA’s commitment to growing the game from grassroots and to providing the framework for everyone to enjoy it.

Stop selling! Former Arsenal captain questions Wenger"s transfer policy

Stop selling! Arsenal legend Adams slams Wenger's transfer policy

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 18 September 2012

Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams admits it is 'hard to take' seeing his old club continue to sell their best players – and questioned if that policy can see them compete again for trophies.

The 45-year-old spent almost 20 seasons at Highbury, winning the Double twice under Arsene Wenger.

Adams believes allowing the likes of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song and captain Robin van Persie to move to rival teams goes against everything they were trying to build for the future, claiming it made them nothing more than a 'feeder club'.

Glory days: Wenger (left) and Adams (right) celebrate winning the Double back in 2002

Glory days: Wenger (left) and Adams (right) celebrate winning the Double in 2002

Speaking in the London Evening Standard, Adams said: 'It sends out all the wrong messages for me, being a selling club.

'Piece by piece for seven years, it chips away at your credibility. Selling your best players is part of that.

'I very much see Arsenal as the biggest club in the world, so I can't understand why anybody would want to play anywhere else – but I can understand it was very different for me.

'I had people in the boardroom who were very ambitious and wanted to win like me – that's easy then, your contract goes in front of you and you sign it because you are all pulling in the same direction.

'Robin wants to win and he thinks that he can win things with Manchester United and he can't with Arsenal. That is hard to take.

'I am looking at it not as an ex-player or pundit, but as a fan and giving what the fans are thinking and feeling.'

Jumping ship: Van Persie left the club for Man United in the summer

Jumping ship: Van Persie left the club for Man United in the summer

Adams former defensive partner Steve Bould has moved into the Arsenal dugout as assistant manager this season following the retirement of Pat Rice.

The Gunners have since conceded only once in their four unbeaten Barclays Premier League games.

Adams, though, feels Arsenal's impetus will always be on the attack.

'The problem for me in the last seven years is the defensive vulnerabilities as a team – the goalkeeper, the back four, even the central midfield players, the mentality of the team,' he said.

'I don't think they are a team that are set up to do what Chelsea did last year in the Champions League and I don't think Arsene wants to.

'I don't want to put these current players down because they are fantastic, but we used to train constantly with [manager] George [Graham].

Case for the defence: Adams feels Wenger and Bould (left) must improve Arsenal's defending

Case for the defence: Adams feels Wenger and Bould (left) must improve Arsenal's defending

'We worked at it. We went out there and did it every minute, morning and afternoon. It used to drive us insane but on a Saturday you would know it inside out.

'Year in, year out the team with the best defence win the league and we saw the team with the best defence win the Champions League, so it makes you wonder why a lot of teams aren't focusing more on defending.

'It's a European thing. I have said it to Arsene – 'your full-backs are playing like wingers'. Teams were exploiting it at the Emirates and it was a massive flaw.

'Arsene would say, “I know”. I think he recognises that's a problem. Whether he does anything about it…'

Former Portsmouth boss Adams is working in Azerbaijan as an advisor to Gabala FC, whom he also briefly managed last season, and will start a stint as a TV pundit for Tuesday night's Champions League Group B opener in Montpellier.

French assignment: Arsenal face Montpellier on Tuesday night

French assignment: Arsenal face Montpellier on Tuesday night

While Adams expects the French champions to offer little trouble for the Gunners, he feels the European Cup remains out of their reach.

'I expect them to score goals, but they cannot win the Champions League with their current mentality,' he said.

'I hope they prove me wrong, but against the better teams I think they will fall short again.

'I am not alone here – I think most of the Arsenal fans would agree with me.

'Strange things happen, like Chelsea winning with not the greatest team in the world, but they did have the whole team fighting to keep clean sheets.

'To actually think you are going to play Barcelona or Real Madrid off the pitch… I don't think this team are good enough to do that.'