Tag Archives: torrid

Chelsea on alert as Hulk casts doubt over Zenit future with strop at late substitution

Don't make him angry! One-time Chelsea target Hulk casts doubt over Zenit future with strop at late substitution

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 5 December 2012

They say you shouldn't make Hulk mad for fear he might turn green and rip his clothes off.

But that was the risk Zenit St Petersburg manager Luciano Spalletti took during his side's Champions League win over AC Milan. And it could spell the end of a desperately disappointing stint in Russia for the Brazilian.

The powerful striker was substituted with 10 minutes left at the San Siro but greeted his boss' decision with a monstrous strop which left Spalletti fuming.

Scroll down for video of the exchange between Hulk and Spalletti

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

After first ignoring his manager's offer a handshake, Hulk then made a crossing action with his arm repeatedly, suggesting that he would not tolerate any more at the club.

Spalletti responded with a cutting stare, shake of the head and finger waving while the player continued his protests.

And afterwards, the player said: 'If situation with Spalletti is not solved, in January I will leave .'

Hulk has endured a torrid time at Zenit since his 39.5million switch from Porto in September.

His arrival sparked an angry reaction from the first team squad, angry at the wages being lavished upon the 26-year-old. So unpopular was the move that captain Igor Denisov went public and earned a demotion to the youth team.

The episode in Italy could reignite Chelsea's interest the player, who was tracked closely by the Premier League giants before he opted for Russia.

Hulk, who also interested Tottenham during the summer, moved to Porto from Japanese side Tokyo Verdy in 2008, grabbing 54 goals in 103 league matches. He has 13 Brazil caps.

Tough times: Hulk is having a torrid spell in Russia since his 39m switch

Tough times: Hulk is having a torrid spell in Russia since his 39m switch

Zenit's 1-0 win secured a place in the Europa League.

Manager Spalletti said: 'The lads played well and deserved to win even though it was a bit of a nervous game. I'm happy to have qualified and happy with tonight's game as in the past two years we haven't won away from home, even when we've played well.

'I'd like to say a huge thank you to our fans tonight, as even I was stunned at the number who were here. Their number and enthusiasm tonight gives us extra responsibility.

'We have to work hard for them as they deserve it. Maybe a draw would have been a fairer result as we had to defend a lot, but we have to be happy, we're through. We'll try to do better.'

Arsenal set to make 10m swoop for Liverpool flop Stewart Downing

Arsenal set to make 10m swoop for Liverpool flop Downing in January

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 24 November 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready
to make a shock 10million move for Liverpool's out-of-favour winger
Stewart Downing in the January transfer window.

Wenger was outbid by Liverpool when
he wanted to sign Downing in 2011 as a replacement for Samir Nasri and
now believes he can rescue his career after the England international's
torrid time at Anfield.

On the radar: Liverpool's Stewart Downing (right)

On the radar: Liverpool's Stewart Downing (right)

Current Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers does not want Downing, who has lost form and confidence since his 20m switch to Merseyside.

But Wenger is convinced he has the technical ability to fit in at Arsenal and would provide balance to his team on the left flank.

Downing can also play left-back, which has been Arsenal's problem position this season.

Capped 34 times, Downing was hailed as a new Kop hero when signed by Kenny Dalglish following an electric spell with Aston Villa.

But he failed to contribute a Premier League goal or assist in his first season and has been publicly criticised by Rodgers for a lack of work-rate in the current campaign.

Liverpool may try to use Arsenal's interest as currency to land Theo Walcott, who only has six months left on his contract at the Emirates.

Ashley Cole out injured for Liverpool game as Chelsea suffer fresh injury blow

BREAKING NEWS: Ashley Cole ruled out of Liverpool clash as Chelsea suffer fresh injury blow

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 9 November 2012

Ashley Cole is out of Sunday's match of the weekend against Liverpool – giving Brendan Rodgers some good news at last.

Cole's hamstring has not recovered and he will miss the game, despite Chelsea's hopes he could be fit.

Ryan Bertrand, who had replaced Cole in the England squad for the game against Sweden next week, is expected to deputise.

Cole, wearing heavy strapping on his right hamstring, goes down injured against Swansea

Cole, wearing heavy strapping on his right hamstring, goes down injured against Swansea

But Bertrand had a torrid time against Shakhtar Donetsk in the week when they exposed his defensive failings and Liverpool will look to do the same, as Luis Suarez looks to continue his explosive form.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is looking for the win that will spark Liverpool's season and will consider the news of Cole's absence a positive one.

Cole stretches for the ball as he is challenged by Swansea's Ashley Williams

Cole stretches for the ball as he is challenged by Swansea's Ashley Williams

Chelsea, however, can point to the fact they won the European Cup with Bertrand in the team.

Cole played at Swansea last week, before missing the Champions League win against the Ukranian league leaders. His absence from the England squad means he is likely to win his 100th cap against Brazil next February.

Cole trained with his Chelsea team mates including Daniel Sturridge earlier this week

Cole trained with his Chelsea team mates including Daniel Sturridge earlier this week

Arsene Wenger unhappy with Andre Santos

Wenger slams Santos for swapping shirts with Van Persie midway through United defeat

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 5 November 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has let Andre Santos know that swapping shirts with Robin van Persie midway through Saturday's defeat to Manchester United was unacceptable.

The Brazilian left-back was team-mates with Van Persie until the striker's acrimonious departure to Old Trafford during the summer.

Santos endured a torrid time against United and also came under scrutiny for exchanging shirts with the Holland international at half-time of a game in which Arsenal slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

Slammed: Andre Santos (left) was criticised by fans and now his manager after trying to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United

Slammed: Andre Santos (left) was criticised by fans and now his manager after trying to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United

Centre of attention: Santos was in training on Monday ahead of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Schalke

Centre of attention: Santos was in training on Monday ahead of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Schalke

Reports suggested Santos could be dropped from Tuesday's Champions League tie at Schalke as a result but, while angry with the left-back, Wenger was keen to downplay the incident.

'I spoke about that but I don't want to make too much of a big story of that,' the Arsenal boss said.

'I believe that was not the right thing to do at all, but that is not an explanation for our bad performance on Saturday.'

Wenger was not the only one to hit out at Santos after the ill-advised shirt-swapping.

Arsenal fans were furious with the Brazilian's decision to pursue Van Persie, particularly after the defender had delivered a poor performance in the first 45 minutes in Manchester.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour blasted Santos for the incident, and for his defensive abilities.

Ill advised: Santos accosted Robin van Persie at half-time

Ill advised: Santos accosted Robin van Persie at half-time

Controversial: Van Persie left Arsenal for 24million to Manchester United in summer

Controversial: Van Persie left Arsenal for 24million to Manchester United in summer

'That's a joke. I wouldn't have that,' Parlour said in The Sun. 'At half-time he should be concentrating on his game and he was having a nightmare.

'He can't play in a back four as he gets caught out of position all the time.'

Incensed fans also took to Twitter to vent their fury with the left-back.

On Twitter, @LBFutbol wrote: 'Santos shouldn't be allowed to come back on the pitch after that,' while another added, 'Incredible demonstration after that shambles of a 45 minutes from the “defender”.'

Others, including @GoonerTalk, said, 'Unbelievable', @wilforiley added, 'Andre Santos… The single biggest joke to ever wear the Arsenal shirt', and ‏@EddieBaby66 wrote, 'I present to you…. Andre Santos. Truly shocking'.

Unhappy: Arsene Wenger let Santos know that it was inappropriate to swap shirts with Van Persie before the game was up

Unhappy: Arsene Wenger let Santos know that it was inappropriate to swap shirts with Van Persie before the game was up

Van Persie travelled north in the summer for 24million after refusing Arsenal's offers of a new contract.

The Dutchman took only three minutes to score in his first game against his former club, but refused to celebrate his goal out of respect.

Van Persie said: 'I played at Arsenal for eight years and had a fantastic time. It was out of respect for the fans, players, manager and the whole club.'

And the gesture seemingly resonated with the men in purple and black, with Wenger first shaking hands with the Dutchman at the break, before Santos bounded the length of the pitch to ask for his shirt.

Patrice Evra doubled United's lead after Wayne Rooney had missed a penalty and Santi Cazorla hit a consolation with the last kick of the ball.

Tough task: Arsenal now turn their attentions to Schalke in their bid to progress in the Champions League

Tough task: Arsenal now turn their attentions to Schalke in their bid to progress in the Champions League

Star man: Santi Cazorla scored Arsenal's consolation goal at Old Trafford on Saturday

Star man: Santi Cazorla scored Arsenal's consolation goal at Old Trafford on Saturday

John Terry offered Valencia transfer

Troubled Terry targeted by Valencia in shock January move for Chelsea captain

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UPDATED:

07:53 GMT, 25 October 2012

John Terry has been offered the chance to escape Chelsea and join Valencia in January.

The Blues skipper has endured a torrid time in recent months, having been stripped of the England armband and handed fines from Chelsea and the FA, who also banned him for four matches, for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, 31, is still revered among the Stamford Bridge faithful and has kept the Chelsea captaincy despite the scandal, but has the chance to leave England behind and start again in Spain.

Time to walk away John Terry (right) could be heading for the Chelsea exit

Time to walk away John Terry (right) could be heading for the Chelsea exit

FIFA agent Francois Gallardo claims that Terry has already been offered an 18-month contract at the Mestalla, with the option for another year.

And Gallardo also insists that Terry, whose Chelsea deal expires in 2014, is ready to take up Valencia's offer.

Gallardo told Radio Intereconomia: 'Valencia are negotiating, and I am involved in person, with the signing in the winter transfer market.

'The offer is on his table. The player is out of contract in June and will not renew there for several reasons at Chelsea and he wants to come to Spain.

Leader: Terry remains Chelsea captain despite racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Leader: Terry remains Chelsea captain despite racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Gallardo added: 'Terry has problems. They are insulting him and he is not taking it anymore. He asked to leave, not us.

'It’s real. This has been going on for 15 days and two meetings have already took place. The deal is already on his table – a year and a half plus one.

'I think he will accept.'

Abou Diaby injury: Arsene Wenger blasts France

You should have listened to me! Wenger blasts France over injured Diaby

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UPDATED:

06:29 GMT, 3 October 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is frustrated with Abou Diaby's latest injury and accused the French federation of failing to heed his warning over the player.

The 26-year-old has endured a torrid time with injuries ever since breaking his ankle at Sunderland six years ago and made just five appearances last season.

Diaby had looked back to his best at the start of this campaign and was in splendid form until he was forced off 17 minutes into Saturday's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to Chelsea.

Missing man: Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby is out nursing an injury

Missing man: Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby is out nursing an injury

Listen up: Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is annoyed French football officials did not heed his warnings over Diaby

Listen up: Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is annoyed French football officials did not heed his warnings over Diaby

Wenger has revealed the France international now faces three weeks on the sidelines with a thigh strain, which has frustrated the Arsenal boss.

Wenger apportioned some of that blame to his handling by the French national team, claiming he was called up too soon when he played against Finland last month.

'I said many times that if France wanted Diaby in Spain (for the World Cup qualifier on October 16) they should not take him for (the qualifiers against) Finland and Belarus,' he said.

'They could have taken him but not played him because the guy has been out for a year, played four or five games.

'You have a breather, give him two weeks to recover completely. I think it was a mistake to play him with the French national team.'

Wenger added: 'It is as well an opportunity for somebody else to stand up and play but it is a blow, yes,' he said.

'Not only because we lost a good player but because he has qualities that the other players haven't got.

'For example, on Saturday when he moved out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in, takes his position straight away and loses the ball on set-pieces. This is a ball Diaby would have won easily because he has the size.

'We have better balance size-wise and strength as well because he has the power.

Forward planning: Wenger's Arsenal take on Greek outfit Olympiakos at the Emirates on Wednesday evening

Forward planning: Wenger's Arsenal take on Greek outfit Olympiakos at the Emirates on Wednesday evening

'It is really frustrating because once you think you get there it (an injury) happens again.'

Diaby could be joined on the sidelines for Wednesday night's Champions League Group B clash with Olympiakos by Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard suffered an ankle knock against Chelsea.

The former Everton player did not train at London Colney on Tuesday, where four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson watched the session.

Ryder Cup 2012: Player ratings

How the players from both teams rated at the 39th Ryder Cup

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UPDATED:

01:06 GMT, 1 October 2012

After a rollercoaster weekend which saw Europe come from behind to dramatically snatch victory from the United States to retain the Ryder Cup, Sportsmail looks at the individual performances of all 24 players.

Debut: Bradley impressed for the US

Debut: Bradley impressed for the US

USA

K BRADLEY (p4, w3, L1) 8/10
Almost out-Poultered Poulter at times with his electrifying intensity. Great debut.

J DUFNER (p 3, w2, l1) 7/10
Really solid, unflashy debut from really solid, unflashy player.

J FURYK (p3, w1, l2) 4/10
Terrible choke in the nerve-tingling singles that will haunt him for ever.

D JOHNSON (p3, w3) 8/10
The fourballs specialist did everything asked of him by his captain.

Z JOHNSON (p4, w3, l1) 8/10
Not for the first time, the American bulldog punched well above his weight.

M KUCHAR (p3, w2, L1) 7/10
Puzzling why he did not play in foursomes but certainly delivered in fourballs.

P MICKELSON (p4, w3, L1) 8/10
Finally, the real Phil turned up at a Ryder Cup. Take a bow, Keegan.

W SIMPSON (p 4, w2, l2) 8/10
This year’s US Open winner played like a major champion. Putted like a Ryder Cup natural.

B SNEDEKER (p3, w1, l2) 6/10
The FedEx Cup winner showed that he can play for pride as well as for $11.44million.

S STRICKER (p4, l4) 3/10
Torrid time all the way and his late defeat by Kaymer sealed America’s fate.

B WATSON (p4, w2, L2) 8/10
Created an unforgettable memory at this Ryder Cup with his first-tee theatrics.

T WOODS (p4, H1, l3) 3/10
Oh dear. Is the real Tiger somewhere in Florida, having a laugh

Shocker: Woods (left) was not at the races

Shocker: Woods (left) was not at the races

Masterclass: Donald (right) breezed to victory in his singles match

Masterclass: Donald (right) breezed to victory in his singles match

EUROPE

N COLSAERTS (p4, w1, l3) 6/10
Left an indelible mark with his sensational Friday fourballs performance.

L DONALD (p4, w2, l2) 7/10
Must have felt a lot better about his hometown Ryder Cup after his singles win.

S GARCIA (p4, w2, l2) 7/10
Looked the effervescent performer of old with a vital singles win.

P HANSON (p2, L2) 3/10
Sadly, the Swede was one of the few players who struggled throughout the weekend.

M KAYMER (p2, W1, L1) 6/10
Singles performance should give him encouragement going forward.

P LAWRIE (p3, W1, l2) 6/10
Brilliant singles performance. Played better all week than scores suggested.

G McDOWELL (p4, w1, l3) 5/10
A pale shadow of the vibrant, match-clinching figure at Celtic Manor two years ago.

R McILROY (p5, w3, l2) 8/10
Came through at the end like a true world No 1.

F MOLINARI (p3, H1, l2) 5/10 Gutsy display in the final singles match when the pressure was on against Tiger Woods.

I POULTER (p4, w4) 10/10
There can now be no question he is a Ryder Cup legend.

Top notch: Poulter (right) was outstanding

Top notch: Poulter (right) was outstanding

J ROSE (p5, w3, l2) 8/10
Fabulous singles display put the gloss on an excellent week’s work.

L WESTWOOD (p4, w2, l2) 6/10
A gutsy performance in the singles after being relatively anonymous for two days.

Liverpool"s Raheem Sterling barracked by Brendan Rodgers

Is this training ground barracking from Rodgers behind Sterling's stunning start to season at Liverpool

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UPDATED:

10:21 GMT, 28 August 2012

He first caught the eye with a man-of-the-match
performance in Liverpool’s Europa League tie with Hearts last week and then
took it a level further by terrorising the Manchester City defence on Sunday.

But could a pre-season dressing down from boss Brendan
Rodgers be behind Raheem Sterling’s outstanding start to the season

A sneak preview of a behind-the-scenes documentary about
Liverpool filmed by American broadcaster Fox shows the 17-year-old on the
receiving end of a barracking from the new Liverpool manager on the club’s
pre-season tour to America.

Scroll down to watch the video

Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City's Kolo Toure a torrid time at Anfield on Sunday

Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City's Kolo Toure a torrid time at Anfield on Sunday

Rodgers singles Sterling out during a training debrief
after the winger interrupts his team talk and tells him he’ll be on the ‘next
plane home’ if he doesn’t listen.

The manager says: 'Your attitude you need to improve and your work. You need to improve your attitude.'

Sterling clearly disagrees and says 'steady' to which Rodgers replies: 'You say 'steady' to me again when I say something to you and you'll be on the first plane back.'

Sterling's protestations of innocence aren't picked up by the microphone, but Rodgers continues: 'You know what you said, I know what you said. You'll be on the first plane back.'

Pointing to some of the senior first teamers, he says: 'You should be like sponges here, learning off these guys here. You're very very fortunate to be here.'

Rodgers then singles out the Academy striker Adam Morgan for praise, adding: 'Make sure when you're here you show the attitude of this kid here who works his socks off, who listens, who learns, and will get his rewards.'

And as the players walk back to the changing rooms
following the session in Boston a month ago, Rodgers makes a bee-line to Sterling
to get an apology.

The fly-on-the-wall footage offers an insight into the
strict Rodgers regime as he tries to bring a new brand of attractive, attacking
football to Anfield.

And the manager was quick to recognise how far Sterling
has progressed after the 2-2 draw with City on Sunday, in which the youngster gave
Kolo Toure a nightmare afternoon.

The documentary is an insight into the authoritarian regime of Brendan Rodgers at Anfield

The documentary is an insight into the authoritarian regime of Brendan Rodgers at Anfield

In an indication of how things have turned full circle,
Rodgers said: ‘I have seen a lot of development in him in a short time. He takes
on a lot of the concepts and he is very good with instructions.

‘Normally wingers want to do their own thing but he is
tactically improving every day. I said when I first came in, I wouldn’t judge
people on their status, on what they are or what they have done, but on what I
see in front of me.

‘He is a young player who has just improved every single
day since I came in here. For a 17-year-old playing against the champions, I
thought his performance was fantastic.’

Liverpool are still searching for their first win of the
Premier League season after losing 3-0 at West Bromwich on the opening day, but
the breakthrough performances of Sterling present Rodgers with a very pleasant selection
dilemma.

The Fox documentary, called ‘Being Liverpool’, will air in
six parts this autumn and promises viewers unique and ‘unprecedented access to
the club, the players and the management team.’ It will be shown by Channel
Five in the UK.

Now watch the video of Sterling's training ground barracking

Wayne Bridge joins Brighton on loan

Brighton snap up former England full back Bridge on loan from champions City

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UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 6 July 2012

Manchester City's Wayne Bridge has dropped down to the npower Championship and joined Brighton on a season-long loan deal.

The 31-year-old former England left-back moved to the Etihad Stadium from Chelsea in 2009 but has endured a torrid time in recent years, having been frozen out by manager Roberto Mancini.

Bridge was farmed out to West Ham and Sunderland over the past two seasons and has now agreed another loan that will see him spend next campaign at Brighton.

New challenge: Wayne Bridge poses with his Brighton shirt after joining from Manchester City on loan

New challenge: Wayne Bridge poses with his Brighton shirt after joining from Manchester City on loan

One of Bridge's first games could be against former club Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on August 4 which raises the possibility of him facing ex-team-mate John Terry.

Bridge refused to shake Chelsea captain Terry's hand back in 2010 after alleged affair with a former girlfriend.

Seagulls manager Gus Poyet revealed Bridge has been one of his main summer targets and is delighted to be able to bring in the former Southampton defender.

'It's difficult to say how I happy I am because it's not easy to get top-class players,' Poyet said.

'I'm absolutely delighted to have Wayne with us. He's been one of the top three left-backs in this country for many years.

'There were a lot of things that had to come together to make it happen.

'Firstly, David Platt has been great at Manchester City and then Wayne and his agent have helped a lot too.

'It was not an easy one to secure, but this is what we want at this club. He's a quality player with lots of international experience.

Outcast: Bridge found chances at Manchester City hard to come by

Outcast: Bridge found chances at Manchester City hard to come by

'Wayne has played at the top of English football for a long time.

'We have all got to learn from him and I'm sure that he will have a very good season with us.

'It's going to be very nice to sit back and watch him on the pitch.'

Bridge begun his career at local club Southampton, where he graduated from the club's fabled academy and became a first-team regular.

The left-back was an integral player for Saints and helped them reach the 2003 FA Cup final, before joining Chelsea for 7million that summer.

Set to meet: Bridge could come up against former friend and team-mate when Brighton host Chelsea in a friendly in August

Set to meet: Bridge could come up against former friend and team-mate when Brighton host Chelsea in a friendly in August

Bridge spent six years with the west Londoners, winning the 2004/05 Premier League and then the FA Cup and League Cup double in 2007.

The Winchester-born player was considered one of the best English left-backs at that time, but found playing time at Stamford Bridge limited by Ashley Cole.

Having spent an spell loaned to Fulham in 2006, he moved to Manchester City for 12m in January 2009.

Bridge made 58 appearances during his time at the Etihad Stadium and spent time on loan at West Ham and Sunderland, before joining Brighton.

Giovani Dos Santos to discuss Spurs future with Levy next month

Unsettled Dos Santos to discuss Spurs future with Levy next month

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UPDATED:

10:00 GMT, 28 May 2012

Giovanni Dos Santos will demand a resolution to his future at Tottenham when he returns from international duty.

The 23-year-old is with the Mexico squad before they face El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier on June 12.

Since arriving from Barcelona in 2008 he has endured a torrid time, making just 17 appearances and starting just two league games for Spurs.

Future: Dos Santos (right)

Talks: Dos Santos (right)

'I don’t know about my future,' he told the Daily Mirror.

'I want to concentrate on the national team, but after that I will speak to the chairman to see what is going to happen to me.

'You never know in football. You have to try to do your best to get chances. Maybe I will go, maybe I will stay.

'It’s great to come to the national team and play games. I’m grateful for the coach to give me the chance. It’s a pleasure.

'I don’t have any other offers at the moment. I will speak to my manager and we will see in a few weeks what will happen with my future.'

He has spent time on loan at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander, but is yet to receive any offers.