Tag Archives: vieira

Arsenal old boy and Lyon coach Remi Garde renews Tottenham in Europa league

Arsenal old boy Garde renews Spurs rivalry as coach of Lyon in Europa league tie

By
Paul Hirst, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:54 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 13 February 2013

Lyon boss Remi Garde admits he still harbours the same desire to beat Tottenham as he did during his playing days with rivals Arsenal.

The Ligue 1 side travel to White Hart Lane on Thursday in the first leg of their last 32 Europa League tie. It is their manager’s first competitive visit to the capital since he retired.

Garde joined Arsenal from Strasbourg on the same day as Patrick Vieira arrived from AC Milan in 1996, but both players’ careers then took very different paths.

Wenger boy: Current Lyon coach Remi Garde was part of Arsenal's double winning side of 1997-98

Wenger boy: Current Lyon coach Remi Garde was part of Arsenal's double winning side of 1997-98

Vieira went on to become a Gunners icon, winning three Barclays Premier League titles, but Garde left three years later having made just 27 starts.

Although he only had limited playing time at Arsenal, Garde remembers his years at Highbury fondly and he admits the fact that this game is against the Gunners’ biggest rivals adds an extra edge to the occasion.

'I can’t deny that when I wore the red shirt of Arsenal the matches against Spurs were important moments for me,' said Garde, whose team arrive in London on the back of two 3-1 defeats.

'It was important to beat Spurs and I suppose in truth those feelings are still there in my head now, even though that page in my career has turned now.'

Reflecting on the challenge at hand, Garde revealed he had been told about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Lyon youth director Georges Prost almost seven years ago, who held the same post at Southampton from 2002-2007 when the winger was at the south coast club.

Back then Bale was just a gangly left-back, but Prost was still convinced the wide man was set for stardom.

'Georges Prost worked with Gareth as a youngster at Southampton,' Garde said.

'He told me a few years ago about him, but he was about 16 at the time and he had already made his debut for Southampton. He was a young man but he was already expensive then, too expensive.

'Prost told me how quick he was then, how much skill he was blessed with even at that age, so it’s not a surprise to me to see the top form Gareth has been in. 'He is the sort of player that we do need to keep an eye on tomorrow.'

Warning: Garde has been warned about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Southampton coach Georges Prost

Warning: Garde has been warned about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Southampton coach Georges Prost

Homecoming: Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris moved from Lyon to Spurs in the summer but will be replaced by Brad Friedel

Homecoming: Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris moved from Lyon to Spurs in the summer but will be replaced by Brad Friedel

Bale has scored five goals in his last four matches to take his tally for the season to 19 – comfortably his best return since he made his bow in 2006.

Spurs and Lyon are also linked by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who joined Andre Villas-Boas in a 12million move last summer.

Lloris has been in superb form of late, but Villas-Boas revealed today that Brad Friedel will start in goal ahead of the France captain, much to Garde’s disappointment.

'I suppose it’s kind of a regret (that Lloris is not playing).It is for all of us,' Garde said.

'He was very much loved at Lyon. He made a big impression.

'He was a great guy so it would have been nice to have the experience of coming up against him, rather than just seeing him in the corridor.'

Top of his game: Bale has now matured into one of the Premier League's most devastating performers

Top of his game: Bale has now matured into one of the Premier League's most devastating performers

No need for pain in Newcaste"s French revolution – Martin Keown"s Premier League bootroom

Premier League bootroom: No need for pain in French revolution

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

23:41 GMT, 1 February 2013

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 1 February 2013

Seeing so many French players arrive at Newcastle reminds me of when Arsene Wenger turned up at Arsenal in 1996.

Newcastle have added Mathieu Debuchy,
Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara
to their squad and we did a similar thing during our most successful
period.

Wenger brought in Emmanuel Petit,
Gilles Grimandi, Remi Garde, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Nicolas
Anelka, Sylvain Wiltord and Thierry Henry (below).

thierry henry

You could see they were all coming in ready to win something. It was impressive and a challenge to the rest of us.

Some things changed straight away. I used to go to the gym after training but suddenly I couldn’t get a machine because the French were all in there tuning up different parts of their bodies. They were generally very quiet at first off the pitch — because of the language barriers they couldn’t join in the dressing-room banter straight away.

Wenger made a point of conducting everything in English, which helped them learn the language but he occasionally had a quiet word in French with some of the new boys. But they learned English fast — I’m sure Henry couldn’t speak English one week and the next he was better than me.

In Toon: Newcastle fans embrace the influx of French players while Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (below) celebrate Arsenal's triumph in 1998

In Toon: Newcastle fans embrace the influx of French players while Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (below) celebrate Arsenal's triumph in 1998

Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit

There was of course some resistance to the influx of players. Some of the Brits felt the French lads were more quickly praised and indulged in training on occasions. If we talked during the warm-up we’d get a ticking off, while if they did the same it wouldn’t be mentioned. But any wariness soon disappeared as we started winning things. It will be the same at Newcastle. If they win games, the fans and rest of the dressing room will love them.

Some of our values rubbed off on the French players too, particularly our will to win. We trained at 100 per cent in every session while the French peaked for matches.

Main man: Theo Walcott has become a central figure for Arsene Wenger's side this season

Main man: Theo Walcott has become a central figure for Arsene Wenger's side this season

It was important to retain that Britishness and Wenger is still doing that by having Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and others in the team.

We gave our French team-mates important information too, warning them that a trip to Ipswich or West Ham was going to be tougher than they thought. No doubt the new boys at Newcastle will be guided by their team-mates too.

Top Gaul Scorers

Play the game

Our top managers were wheeled out to
say nice things on the FA’s 150th anniversary. Now they have to follow
up and help Roy Hodgson. He has World Cup qualifiers coming up and needs
to see his squad together, against Brazil on Wednesday. We can’t have
tactical withdrawals just to give players a rest.

Whats The Score.jpg

Becks misses a trick

It’s a shame that David Beckham has
joined Paris Saint-Germain. I would have liked to have see n him in the
Premier League one last time to see what he had to offer. He’s from the
same stable as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who are doing meaningful
jobs at Manchester United. I think playing again in England would have helped cement his place as one of the greats.

Teams 2

109 Teams 1

West Ham face Mohamed Diame transfer fight over contract clause

EXCLUSIVE: West Ham face fight to keep star man Diame with transfer trigger clause in his contract

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UPDATED:

09:54 GMT, 3 December 2012

West Ham are fighting to keep explosive midfielder Mohamed Diame, who has an escape clause in his contract and could leave the club in January.

Talks are expected this week with the players’ agent but the free transfer signing from Wigan appears in no rush to sign a new deal.

In order to lure him to West Ham in the summer, the club were forced to agree a ‘trigger clause’ in his contract. The size of the clause is a closely-guarded secret at Upton Park, but rival clubs are circling and prepared to pay around 6million.

Trigger clause: West Ham could face a fight to keep hold of star man Mohamed Diame in January

Trigger clause: West Ham could face a fight to keep hold of star man Mohamed Diame in January

The player, who was compared by Jamie Redknapp as a cross between Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira, has been drawing attention from Liverpool and Everton.

After his powerhouse performance against Chelsea at the weekend, other clubs are expected to be interested and West Ham have a fight on their hands to keep him.

Diame arrived from the bench to turn the game in West Ham’s favour after they trailed 1-0. He scored in the second half and inspired a comeback that saw them win 3-1 and defeat Chelsea for the first time in ten years. He has also scored against Arsenal this season.

Man of the Mo-ment: Diame celebrates his goal during West Ham's 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday

Man of the Mo-ment: Diame celebrates his goal during West Ham's 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday

West Ham had a similar deal with Demba Ba, who exercised his escape clause when the club were relegated and joined Newcastle, where he has been a huge success.

Ba has scored eight times for the club in the Premier League this season.

Escape artist: Demba Ba left West Ham on a free transfer to Newcastle

Escape artist: Demba Ba left West Ham on a free transfer to Newcastle

Will Maroaune Fellaini stay at Everton?

Everton face fight to keep Fellaini from clutches of Chelsea and PSG

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UPDATED:

23:43 GMT, 11 November 2012

The momentum keeps building and a reputation keeps burgeoning. Everton’s Champions League pursuit continues apace but their talisman’s form could lead to another chase entirely.

Plaudits have been flowing for Maroaune Fellaini all season and they were many singing his praises again following his inspirational second half performance against Sunderland that helped turn a 1-0 deficit into a significant 2-1 win. Vanquished manager Martin O’Neill called him a 'proper player'.

Yet for all that David Moyes was thrilled Fellaini, whom he feels will mature into a marauding presence similar to Patrick Vieira, Everton's manager is aware the Belgian’s form will not have gone unnoticed to a wider audience.

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

England watch

PHIL JAGIELKA – Set the tone for Everton with a series of crucial interceptions and blocks; enters Sweden game in excellent form.

LEIGHTON BAINES – Some excellent passing and great energy but appeared to be carrying an injury in the second half.

LEON OSMAN – Involved in both Everton’s goals and his passing at times was outstanding. Deserves to play at some point in Sweden.

Fellaini has suitors around Europe – Chelsea and Paris St Germain showed an interest in the summer – and his talents would clearly fit neatly in many teams. Moyes, however, believes the prospect of leading Everton into the top four will render interest in him futile.

‘Everybody knows where he is and if they want to come and watch him that's up to them,’ said Moyes, whose side retained fourth place after goals from Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic cancelled out Adam Johnson’s strike.

‘It would be a big price on his head but we've got no problem in people coming and watching him. I'm not in the mood now to keep the fight going all the time because we've had to do it with a lot of players. We’ve sold some big ones but the club will always be bigger than any player, any manager.

‘But Felli knows what I think and I know what he thinks and I think more than anything he'd love to take Everton into the Champions League and that's what we'll try and achieve.’

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

So can they finish fourth come May They will certainly be thereabouts. Everton’s football is vibrant but the win over a Sunderland side that O’Neill felt were desperately unfortunate showed their appetite to scrap remains insatiable.

‘We are an expansive team and I suppose we have conceded more chances than we have done in previous years,’ said Leighton Baines. ‘But we kept going when it was difficult and we got what we deserved in the end with perseverance.

‘The style might be changing but one thing you are never going to lose from an Everton is that spirit. That was a massive win. We had four draws coming into this and following it with a defeat would have changed the whole complexion. It was pleasing to grind it out.’

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

That Everton were able to grind it out owed as much to Sunderland’s profligacy as it did their tenacity. Had Stephan Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher showed greater poise in the opening exchanges the deficit they faced after Johnson’s goal would have been insurmountable.

‘Those were clear cut chances and I don't think Everton could have complained if we had been 3-0 up at half-time,’ said O’Neill. ‘But we will turn it around and the players ironically will have taken a lot of confidence from that. Some players have come back to form and that is important.

‘We lost a game against what I consider a very, very strong outfit. But we will come back. We should have won this game and we didn't. I don't think it is to do with balance. I think rather than drawing a statistic from, my own view is that we were unlucky.’

Hulk"s sister reunited with family after being kidnapped at gunpoint

Hulk's sister reunited with family after being kidnapped at gunpoint and held for 24 hours

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UPDATED:

12:42 GMT, 8 November 2012

The sister of Brazil striker Hulk has been returned unharmed to her family after being kidnapped and held hostage for 24 hours.

Angelica Aparecida Vieira de Souza was taken at gunpoint on Monday while waiting outside a restaurant in the Brazilian city of Campina Grande.

The 22-year-old was finally recovered and questioned by police, and it has been reported that no ransom was paid for her safe release.

Safe and sound: Angelica Aparecida Vieira de Souza, the sister of Brazil striker, Hulk, was returned to her home after being kidnapped at gunpoint

Safe and sound: Angelica Aparecida Vieira de Souza, the sister of Brazil striker, Hulk, was returned to her home after being kidnapped at gunpoint

Souza is the youngest of Hulk’s six sisters, and was left outside her parents’ home by a silver Honda, according to local reports.

The former Porto striker is believed to be extremely close to his family, most of whom still reside in Campina Grande.

Liverpool midfielder and international team-mate of Hulk’s Lucas Leiva took to Twitter, hoping for the safe return of Souza.

He tweeted: ‘I want to offer my friend HULK support. Much strength friend, I am praying that this will be resolved as soon as possible. Hugs.'

Hulk signed for Zenit St Petersburg for 32million in September. His signing had been met with derision in some quarters, as the 26-year-old striker is reported to earn far more than his team-mates.

In particular Aleksandr Kerzhakov and Igor Denisov have publicly criticised the lavish signings of Hulk and former Benfica midfielder Axel Witsl for a combined 72million.

Worried: Hulk is reported to be very close to his family, especially his youngest sister

Worried: Hulk is reported to be very close to his family, especially his youngest sister

Worried: Hulk is reported to be very close to his family, especially his youngest sister

Former Manchester City star Robinho was put through a similar ordeal to his international team-mate.

His mother was kidnapped and held hostage for 40 days in Praia Grande, in Sao Paolo state, and was only released after a ransom was paid.

And in May 1994 the late father of Brazil legend Romario, then playing for Barcelona was kidnapped as he left a bar in Rio de Janeiro and held for a 4million ransom.

Police freed Edevair Faria seven days later after bursting in on the kidnappers' hideout.

Other areas of South and Central America have proven unsafe for the families of footballers, and have been targeted for their relative’s sky-high wages.

Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios was not so lucky. His younger brother, Edwin, was kidnapped by an armed gang when he was 14 in the Honduran city of La Ceiba.

His body was found in 2009 in the municipality of El Paraiso.

Crocked: Hulk picked up an injury during Zenit's match against FC Rostov

Crocked: Hulk picked up an injury during Zenit's match against FC Rostov

Arsenal fans not content with the last eight years – Matt Fortune

Matt Fortune: It's been the same old story at Arsenal for the last eight years

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UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 25 October 2012

The first eight games of this season have been a microcosm of the last eight years of Arsenal Football Club.

From the sublime (Santi Cazorla) to the ridiculous (Olivier Giroud) to the abject surrender at Norwich.

They currently sit eighth, but no one has pressed the panic button. History tells us they are England’s third most successful club, now housed in the country’s third largest football stadium.

Style: Santi Cazorla has been a superb acquisition

Style: Santi Cazorla has been a superb acquisition

Last season they finished behind the Manchester clubs in the Premier League after their worst start in half a century.

At a time when two of their nearest rivals are benefitting from billion pound investment, and another is led by the greatest manager in world football, third is no bad thing.

From a personal point of view I have been spoiled growing up lavished by success – five league titles, five FA Cups, two league cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup, plus a handful of finals, including the Champions League in 2006, all of which has been achieved with a style revered around the globe.

My poor old dad, on the other hand, in the first 26 years of his life, ‘endured’ one league title, two FA Cup triumphs and a European Fairs Cup win. And the 80s.

So why is the overriding feeling at Emirates one of frustration Why will Thursday’s AGM feel more like a public execution, with questions becoming progressively more contentious – if indeed they’ve not been vetted – and the roars of the masses ever more disapproving

Have Arsenal fans – perhaps the most patient in the Premier League – persevered with ‘the project’ to the point where entitlement has set in

Who would have thought that when Patrick Vieira slammed home the final penalty in a smash-and-grab FA Cup triumph over Manchester United in Cardiff, that Arsenal’s trophy cabinet would remain under lock and key for the next seven years

Just a memory: Patrick Vieira with Arsenal's last piece of silverware

Just a memory: Patrick Vieira with Arsenal's last piece of silverware

Driven by the admirable philosophy of a man more desperate for vindication than any of those who used to pack the state-of-the-art stadium in north London, Arsenal have been there in body at times but sadly lacking in spirit. Dwindling attendances show the fight is dying in the fans as well.

Of course, the goalposts were moved first by the arrival of Roman Abramovich and then Sheik Mansour in 2008.

Chelsea Russian gold rush seemingly sucked the life out of north London. Champions in 2002, careless in 2003 but still FA Cup winners, and in 2004 all the pieces came into place for an unbeaten season that must be ranked as the finest achievement of any English team in the modern era. Arsenal were Invincible. Now they’re inconsequential.

There have, though, been other excuses. The season before Manchester City were accelerated back into English footballs elite, Arsenal finished four points off the top having led the way until late February, when their season was derailed by the sickening injury suffered by Croatian striker Eduardo.

As the old phrase goes, it’s the hope that kills you.

Derailed: Eduardo suffered a shocking injury

Derailed: Eduardo suffered a shocking injury

Wenger has seemed like a man swimming against the tide from within yet somehow kept his side in the slip stream of the leaders. There is, though, no overtaking. For all he and his band of young and hungry stars have thrown at those around them, they are forever coming up short.

Yet what the Frenchman has achieved against the backdrop of key player departures and the financing of a 400million stadium is nothing short of remarkable.

Liverpool, Everton and rivals Tottenham have all taken temporary residence of the top four, yet all finished outside the top six as well. Arsenal, by hook or by crook (2006 Lasagne-gate), have never dipped below the elite.

From the outside, the shortcomings seem so simple to fix. Speculate to accumulate, throw a bit of caution to the wind. But when Wenger has, he’s been bitten. Andrey Arshavin and Jose Antonio Reyes, his most lavish expenses until recently, both let him down. His caution, therefore, seems understandable.

But at the same time there is a feeling that Wenger treats players and the club like a personal project; the fans come second.

Project: Arsene Wenger does not always operate in what would be the fans best interests

Project: Arsene Wenger does not always operate in what would be the fans best interests

Take the recent trend of playing Aaron Ramsey, a one-paced creative central midfielder, on the right of an attacking three. The manager will say it gives the Welshman a greater understanding of the game for later down his career. The same was done with powerful centre-forward Nicklas Bendtner, deployed wide. Whatever it was the Dane learned, he is now putting into practice elsewhere.

At the top, Alisher Usmanov makes all the right noises and comes stocked with a wallet to dwarf even that of Abramovich. Stan Kroenke makes no noises at all.

Having been labelled ‘that sort’ by current, ageing and forever putting his foot-in-it chairman Peter Hill Wood when the American first began buying his way into the club, Silent Stan is now the leading shareholder and none of the fans have any idea what ‘sort’ he actually is.

When someone from the club does speak out, the sound bites are the same: belief, progress, mental strength. The club even temporarily changed the motto to ‘Forward’. How ironic, then, that last season represented the biggest step backwards of this seven-year drought.

Sales: Robin van Persie is the latest big name to leave

Sales: Robin van Persie is the latest big name to leave

It’s getting tiresome, my red-tinted glasses are steaming up and my patience is at an end. Ivan Gazidis is the focus of much of the wrath, trotting out lines straight from the media training handbook.

Wenger once said he could write a book about the frustrations he experienced during the summer of 2011. So why doesn’t he No-one expects him to air his dirty laundry, just some crumbs of explanation as to why the tweaks so patently obvious to those on the outside have not been made. Only then might patience be restored.

Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than seeing Wenger on the steps of Islington town hall come late May, hands full with silverware, smile plastered across his face. My joy would be for him, not for me. It would be the perfect ‘two-fingers’ to those who doubted him. Including me.

Patrick Vieira told Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United

Vieira told me to leave Man United, reveals Juventus midfielder Pogba

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UPDATED:

10:31 GMT, 21 October 2012

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed that the club's old foe Patrick Vieira played a key role in him leaving for Juventus in the summer.

Pogba, 19, opted to leave Old Trafford because of a lack of first-team opportunities and he netted his first Juve goal against Napoli on Saturday.

Jumping ship: Pogba opted to leave Old Trafford in the summer

Jumping ship: Pogba opted to leave Old Trafford in the summer

Speaking after the game the Frenchman revealed that Vieira – Manchester City's football development executive – advised him to move to the Turin club that he represented in the 2005-06 season.

'There were other teams interested in me over the summer, but I wanted to sign for Juventus,' Pogba told Sky Sport Italia. 'Many French champions have played here. I spoke to Vieira and he advised me to come to Juventus.'

Pogba also spoke of his delight at scoring his first goal for Juve. 'I’m really happy and proud of my first goal in the black and white stripes. In those moments you don’t think about anything. You try to shoot and that’s all,' he added.

Steven Gerrard hits back at Patrick Vieira claims

Pride of Lions: Vieira is so wrong – our kids are all right, says Gerrard

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UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 15 October 2012

Steven Gerrard has hit back at Patrick Vieira, speaking with pride about his passion for leading his country as he and Ashley Cole close in on a century of England caps.

Gerrard and Cole will each play their 99th international in Tuesday night’s important World Cup qualifier in Warsaw. Their commitment has rarely been in doubt and the England captain claims the next generation of stars have exactly the same appetite, despite Vieira’s claims to the contrary last week.

Laughable: Hodgson and Gerrard speak to the media in Warsaw

Laughable: Hodgson and Gerrard speak to the media in Warsaw

Laughable: Hodgson and Gerrard speak to the media in Warsaw

Young Lions: Gerrard defended England's new generation

Young Lions: Gerrard defended England's new generation

‘It surprised me to read that,’ said Gerrard. ‘The impression I get from young players at Liverpool is that they’re desperate to get into this set-up.

‘You can see in their faces that when they’re left out, they’re really disappointed. It didn’t annoy me because I don’t really care what Patrick Vieira says. England’s young players are hungry.’

Cole returns for his first game since offending FA chairman David Bernstein with an abusive tweet, for which he has since apologised.

‘That’s been dealt with very clearly and quickly to the FA’s satisfaction,’ said Roy Hodgson, before warning the Chelsea left back that there is more pressure than ever on his place in the team.

‘Alongside Ashley Cole, who was regarded as the only left back in England for many years, we have Leighton Baines who will always push him and some interesting younger left backs like Kieran Gibbs and Ryan Bertrand,’ added the England manager.

‘I would think the competition is as great as it’s ever been. This has been a problem position in many of the countries I’ve worked, but we’re very well off and that’s encouraging.

Stirring it up: French World Cup winner Vieira (centre)

Stirring it up: French World Cup winner Vieira (centre)

‘Full backs have always played an important role but, if anything, the importance of their role has increased.’

Gerrard also paid tribute to Cole’s impact, saying: ‘He’s a top player. It’s important to speak about him as a player. Privately, he’s quite quiet and reserved but he comes alive on the pitch.

Raring to go: England train in Warsaw on Monday

Raring to go: England train in Warsaw on Monday

‘It’s been an absolute pleasure to play with him over the years. He’s been one of the best left backs this country has ever produced. Let’s enjoy the last few years of his time with us.’

Gerrard and Cole will be among up to six changes to the team which beat San Marino 5-0 at Wembley on Friday. Joleon Lescott, Glen Johnson and James Milner are also expected to return, as is Jermain Defoe, who partnered Wayne Rooney for a large part of Monday night’s training session here in Warsaw.

England captain Wayne Rooney says he"s a changed man

I won't let you down: New England captain Rooney insists he's a changed man

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 11 October 2012

Wayne Rooney has promised England manager Roy Hodgson he won’t let him or the country down after being named as captain.

At the end of a week when the standards of England footballers have been under scrutiny, Rooney was given the nod as skipper for the World Cup qualifier against San Marino after Frank Lampard pulled out injured.

It is 12 months since Rooney was sent off in Montenegro for kicking an opponent and banned from the first two games of Euro 2012. But he insisted he has changed.

Wayne's world: Rooney will captain England in their World Cup 2014 qualifier against San Marino

Wayne's world: Rooney will captain England in their World Cup 2014 qualifier against San Marino

On the ball: Rooney will lead England in place of usual skipper Steven Gerrard, who is suspended for Friday's game

On the ball: Rooney will lead England in place of usual skipper Steven Gerrard, who is suspended for Friday's game

‘That was a stupid thing to do,’ said
Rooney. ‘I regretted it as soon as I’d done it. I apologised and paid
the price. It won’t be happening again, I can promise.

‘After that, at club level, you saw a
different person. I cut out a lot of the silly tackles and mistakes I
made as a young lad. I’m a different person and a different player. I’ve
matured as a player and a person.’

Rooney, 26, captained England once
before, in a friendly against Brazil in Qatar three years ago, and has
skippered Manchester United.

With Steven Gerrard banned and
Lampard injured he will lead his country for the first time in a
competitive game. Wembley is sold out for the visit of San Marino, the
team ranked the worst in the world by FIFA.

Right-hand man: Rooney and England manager Roy Hodgson speak to the media at The Grove in London

Right-hand man: Rooney and England manager Roy Hodgson speak to the media at The Grove in London

Ready to go: The Manchester United striker is looking forward to wearing the Three Lions armband

Ready to go: The Manchester United striker is looking forward to wearing the Three Lions armband

‘It’s a massive honour,’ said Rooney,
hitting back at comments by Patrick Vieira that young English players
have no great desire to represent their country.

‘I’m proud to be from England and,
since I was a young lad, my ambition and dream has always been to play
for England. All the players in the dressing room are.’

Standards have been under scrutiny in
the wake of allegations John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand and
Ashley Cole’s offensive tweet, branding the FA a ‘bunch of t****’.

'Unreserved apology': Ashley Cole admitted an FA charge in response to his Twitter outburst

'Unreserved apology': Ashley Cole admitted an FA charge in response to his Twitter outburst

And there was more Twitter trouble
for the FA as another Chelsea left back, Ryan Bertrand, reacted
aggressively to reports he had pulled out of the squad with a sore
throat.

Bertrand tweeted: ‘Do you think a
“sore throat” could stop me being part of a match for club or country
#yourf******nuts this is what every boy dreams of.’

He quickly deleted it and added:
‘Just to clarify. It’s not a “sore throat”. I’m ill, swollen glands in
my neck and constant headaches for 3 days and freezing cold.’

Bertrand and Lampard will return to the England camp on Sunday in the hope of being fit to face Poland on Tuesday.

Not happy: Ryan Bertrand took to Twitter to vent his frustration

Not happy: Ryan Bertrand took to Twitter to vent his frustration

HOW THEY STAND.jpg

The FA confirmed this week their
intention to impose a formal code of conduct on all England players and
Bertrand was spoken to about his mistake.

Manager Hodgson said: ‘The sentiment was laudable but the choice of words was wrong.’

Bertrand will not face a misconduct
charge — unlike Cole, who accepted his. Cole’s case will go before a
hearing and he can expect a heavy fine.

‘We’re well aware of the social
network sites,’ said Rooney, whose wife Coleen revealed on Twitter this
week that the couple are expecting a second child.

‘You have to treat it as if you’re
doing an interview and say on the social network sites what you’d say on
TV. There are people out there who are trying to provoke us. We have to
be professional.’

Leader of the pack: Rooney heads the front of the queue of England players being put through their paces at London Colney

Leader of the pack: Rooney heads the front of the queue of England players being put through their paces at London Colney

Future leader Joe Hart, warming up with John Ruddy in training, was overlooked for the captaincy

Future leader Joe Hart, warming up with John Ruddy in training, was overlooked for the captaincy

Patrick Vieira: Young players don"t love England

Vieira: Young players don't love England… they are not proud and put their clubs first

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 10 October 2012

Patrick Vieira believes young English players no longer dream of representing their country and are ‘not as proud’ to play for England.

The World Cup-winning France and Arsenal midfielder said the FA do not have the power to force youngsters to stop putting their clubs first and suggested there is a ‘lack of love for the national team’.

Words of warning: Patrick Vieira (fourth left) says younger players prefer their clubs over the national side

Words of warning: Patrick Vieira (fourth left) says younger players prefer their clubs over the national side

Vieira, football development executive at Manchester City, said: ‘In England, I really don’t understand how so many young players from the age of 16 to 21 pull out of the national team through injury. It’s maybe the lack of FA power. Maybe this is a lack of love for the national team as well.

‘When I grew up, I wanted to play for the French national team. That was my target, my dream, and I don’t think this is the same for the Under 16s and Under 18s in England. I don’t think the young players are dreaming of playing for the national team any more. I believe they are not as proud as they used to be.

Passionate: Vieira (second left) celebrates Manu Petit's goal in the 1998 World Cup final

Passionate: Vieira (second left) celebrates Manu Petit's goal in the 1998 World Cup final

‘We are talking about the national team.
That is bigger than anything. That did not mean that I loved Arsenal
less, but you are looking at representing your country and that was
something I was very proud about.’

The Frenchman praised the newly opened St George’s Park, but warned that the FA’s new national football centre will only succeed if it has the full backing of Premier League clubs.

State-of-the-art: England players relax as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge official open St George's Park

State-of-the-art: England players relax as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge official open St George's Park

Vieira, 36, compared it to Clairefontaine, the French national academy which has produced players of the calibre of Thierry Henry, but stressed the FA must improve their relationship with England’s top sides.

Speaking in his role as an ambassador for Western Union’s new PASS initiative, Vieira said: ‘Finally they did something because, if you look at the big nations, they all have their own “house”.

Blueprint: France players train at Clairefontaine

Blueprint: France players train at Clairefontaine

‘It’s taken them a long time for them to realise they need a place. But it’s better late than never.

‘The FA have to build a relationship with the football clubs. At Clairefontaine the players were there all week and then went to play for their clubs at the weekend.

Bright future Vieira has doubted the commitment of England's younger players to the national side

Bright future Vieira has doubted the commitment of England's younger players to the national side

‘Are the Premier League clubs ready to do that I don’t think so. At City when you are building your own facilities like we have, it’s really difficult to let them go out somewhere else.

‘There is a balance (to be struck). But it’s never too late. The FA, the Premier League and the clubs can all work together to produce players for the national team.’