Tag Archives: warrington

Julio Cesar: I"m staying in London, even if QPR go down

Cesar: Even if QPR are relegated, I'll be staying in London

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 10 April 2013

Julio Cesar has revealed he is determined to remain in London, even if QPR are relegated from the Premier League.

The talented Brazil goalkeeper was a surprise summer signing at Loftus Road and has been one of their rare transfer successes and even rarer consistent performers over the course of a disastrous season.

Such is the likelihood that QPR are to be relegated back to the Championship, Cesar has been reported as being on the verge of a move to AC Milan, whose cross-city rivals Inter he left last summer.

Classy: Julio Cesar used to be considered one of the world's best goalkeepers

Classy: Julio Cesar used to be considered one of the world's best goalkeepers

Stopping short of committing himself to QPR, however, Cesar is adamant he regardless wishes to continue to play in the Premier League and insists he has no intention of undermining his time at Inter by moving to Milan.

'I'm still an Interista in my heart,' he told Corriere della Sport. 'I’m learning a new language in London, the city is beautiful and my family is happy.

'I was certainly not treated well by Inter. I love Italy, but I’ve been won over by the environment here.'

On his knees: But even he cannot save QPR's season from disaster

On his knees: But even he cannot save QPR's season from disaster

Cesar's apparent desire to remain in London significantly limits his options if he is to remain in the Premier League but it is not unthinkable that he will secure a suitable move.

Fulham were in January interested in recruiting a new goalkeeper although Mark Schwarzer's return to form means that stance may have changed, West Ham had attempted but failed to sign Paul Robinson and the Arsenal future of Wojciech Szczesny remains uncertain.

Should Watford gain promotion to the Premier League there is also a chance he could join their growing overseas contingent but the likelihood of each remains to be seen.

Romelu Lukaku fights to release father from prison

Lukaku fights for father's release after he's given 15 months in prison for assaulting lover and keeping her in his car boot

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

10:37 GMT, 5 April 2013

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UPDATED:

12:49 GMT, 5 April 2013

Romelu Lukaku is fighting to release his father Roger from a Belgian prison after he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for assaulting a female and keeping her in the boot of his car.

The father of the Chelsea striker, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion, was stunned by the verdict after failing to attend the trail and claimed that the woman, a former lover, had invented the story.

Lukaku Snr missed his trial after he moved to another part of Brussels and claimed that he missed his summons because he wasn’t registered at his new address.

Battler: Lukaku has made a big impact at West Brom this season

Battler: Lukaku has made a big impact at West Brom this season

‘My client was sentenced because he didn’t appear in court,' his lawyer said. ‘He doesn’t belong in jail. His wife is suffering, but his sons, Romelu and Jordan, are doing everything to get their dad free as soon as possible.

‘Mr Lukaku has lodged an objection to the judgement and the case will be tried again in the coming days. To this day, we still do not know the date of the trial.’

Promising: But the striker may not be able to help his father

Promising: But the striker may not be able to help his father

Sergio Aguero to miss Argentina"s World Cup qualifiers and return to Manchester City

Aguero to miss Argentina's World Cup qualifiers in bid to recover for City's title
run in

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

20:19 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 20 March 2013

Sergio Aguero has revealed he is to return to Manchester City as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury and will consequently miss Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Bolivia.

The international forward hasn't featured for the Premier League champions since their 2-0 victory over Chelsea on February 24 and in his absence City's form has suffered but he today insisted he is confident about being available for the season's run in.

'My knee is better but the squad's physicians would rather have me be safe and stick with the treatments until it's completely healed,' Aguero tweeted.

Saying his goodbyes: Sergio Aguero with Argentina team-mates Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi

Saying his goodbyes: Sergio Aguero with Argentina team-mates Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi

'It's a pity to miss out on the national squad matches but I'll be cheering for Argentina from Manchester, while I finish the recovery.'

The possible return of Aguero to City's first-team squad would represent a significant positive for under-pressure manager Roberto Mancini, whose side hope to take advantage of any potential points league leaders Manchester United may drop and at the very least finish second.

In the Argentinian's absence, Mancini has used both Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko who have both consistently been linked with summer exits from the club.

Returning: Aguero is unquestionably one of City's key players

Returning: Aguero is unquestionably one of City's key players

Juventus in talks with Luis Suarez"s agent over 26m summer transfer for Liverpool forward

Juventus reopen talks with Liverpool over 26m summer transfer for Suarez

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:59 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:09 GMT, 20 March 2013

Juventus have renewed their efforts to sign Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

The Italian giants, who were interested in recruiting Suarez and Robin van Persie last summer, are in discussions with the Uruguayan's agent about a possible €30m (25.6m) transfer after their previous efforts ended when he extended his Liverpool contract until 2018.

Juve manager Antonio Conte, according to Sportmediaset, is thought to see Suarez as the ideal strike partner for the incoming Fernando Llorente and given the Spaniard is arriving for free has money to spend.

International duty: Luis Suarez is presently with the Uruguay international squad

International duty: Luis Suarez is presently with the Uruguay international squad

Director general Beppe Marotta confirmed at the weekend that Juve had ended their interest in re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to concerns over both his age and wage demands and Suarez, 26, would represent a considerably more affordable option.

Any approach for the Uruguay forward has the potential to seriously undermine the plans of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who this season has made good progress with his team and has done so largely by focusing on Suarez's talents.

Crucial: Suarez has overtaken Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's most important player

Crucial: Suarez has overtaken Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's most important player

Sir Alex Ferguson too "distraught" to speak after Manchester United"s defeat to Real Madrid

'Distraught' Ferguson in 'no fit state' to speak as Nani is shown a red card, Ferdinand erupts in fury and Ronaldo sends his old team crashing out of Europe

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 5 March 2013

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was too 'distraught' to speak to the media in the aftermath of his side's 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid.

The United manager was incensed at the red card for Nani which ultimately proved crucial in their elimination from the Champions League and with his side perhaps the better team despite the result, was said not to be 'in any fit state' to discuss the outcome.

'I don't think the manager is in any fit state to talk to the referee about the decision,' said Phelan, who explained he had never felt a greater sense of injustice. 'It speaks volumes that he is not sat here speaking to you.

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'We're extremely disappointed. We have a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager.

'We are all witnesses to a decision that seemed very harsh, and incredible at that moment in the game.

'To say we are disappointed is an understatement. We felt as though we had got things right tactically and were reasonably comfortable.

'That amazing decision changed things totally.

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

'Referees are there to make decisions in big games.

'There is an element of doing the right thing at the right moment.

'All you guys and TV audience will have a decision. It is a disappointing one. It spoiled the game.'

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

If Ferguson and Phelan felt they
could justify their frustration – a sentiment largely encapsulated by
Rio Ferdinand sarcastically applauding referee Cuneyt Cakir after the
final whistle –
Jose Mourinho was uncharacteristically in agreement with them,
insisting United had deserved the victory given to Real by Cristiano
Ronaldo's winning goal and that he had expected his side to produce
more.

'Independent of the decision, the best team lost,' the Real manager told ITV. 'We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win, but football is like this.

'I am not sure about the decision, but independent of that, the best team lost.

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

'I am happy that we are through but I expected more from my team,' he added to Spanish television channel TVE.

'When your goalkeeper is the best player on the pitch and you are playing against 10 men then that shows you are not controlling the match as you should.

'But you have to know how to suffer and how to win under those circumstances.'

Danny Graham to join Sunderland for 5.5m despite Newcastle links

Sunderland's 5.5m deal for Graham almost done… but will he want to join them after last night's abuse from the fans

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:02 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 30 January 2013

Danny Graham will today complete his 5.5m transfer from Swansea to Sunderland after refusing to be deterred by the vicious abuse aimed at him from the Wearside club's fans during last night's 0-0 draw between the two sides.

Manager Martin O'Neill has targeted the Newcastle-supporting frontman to ease the goalscoring burden on Steven Fletcher after being replaced at Swansea by Michu.

But Sunderland's fans, still angry about his dismissal of the club during his time at Watford, booed him throughout, labelling him “scum” and “a w****r” and ensuring he can continue to expect such hostility even after his signing is confirmed.

Hostile: Graham was abused by Sunderland's fans last night, even though he will sign for them today

Hostile: Graham was abused by Sunderland's fans last night, even though he will sign for them today

'Put it this way. I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could', Graham once responded when asked who he would support if Newcastle no longer existed. 'It would probably have to be Gateshead.'

It is this for which the striker, who wasted an injury-time chance to win the game for Swansea, has not been forgiven. Though the rivalry that exists between Newcastle and Sunderland has always been fierce, for a new signing to be so unwelcome is regardless unusual.

Frustrated: Danny Graham

Unwelcome: Danny Graham

Write caption here

Newcastle fan Lee Clark enjoyed a successful period at Sunderland after signing from their rivals – albeit before an acrimonious exit – but Graham's reception in many ways mirrors that experienced by Rafa Benitez at Chelsea.

Unwanted: Chelsea fans still do not accept Benitez

Unwanted: Chelsea fans still do not accept Benitez

The Spaniard was intensely booed upon his unveiling as Chelsea manager and has still not been accepted by the club's fans who continue to show their support for his predecessor Roberto Di Matteo, effectively making his job consistently more difficult.

Neil Lennon answers journalist"s phone in Celtic press conference

Dial-a-manager! Celtic boss Lennon stops his press conference to answer reporter's phone… but the wife hangs up (TWICE!)

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

12:44 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 22 January 2013

For all of the pressure football managers are thought to be under, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has shown some of them are happy not to take themselves too seriously.

During his press conference following his side's 4-1 Scottish Premier League victory over Hearts, one of the reporters' phones being used as a recording device began to ring.

And how did the manager react By answering the call, from the reporter's wife it turned out, and attempting to engage the woman, whose initials are SW, in front of a packed room.

Scroll down to watch video of the hilarious exchange at Celtic

Focus: Neil Lennon was speaking at his Celtic press conference

Focus: Neil Lennon was speaking at his Celtic press conference

Who's this Lennon picks up the phone after being interrupted

Who's this Lennon picks up the phone after being interrupted

After first ignoring the ring and vibration on the desk, Lennon cut short his answer to a question and took the call. 'She's not happy,' he said, as the call was hung up.

Normal service was resumed but, undeterred, the women, now identified as Sharon, the wife of Michael Grant, the chief football correspondent for the Herald newspaper, called back.

Question and answer: Lennon tries to speak to the reporter's wife

Question and answer: Lennon tries to speak to the reporter's wife

Snub! Lennon chuckles after the woman hung up on him

Snub! Lennon chuckles after the woman hung up on him

'Are you going to stop interrupting my press conference please,' Lennon said as he answered. 'This is Neil Lennon.'

He then laughed as the call was cut again, before turning to the man whose phone it was, adding: 'You're not going out tonight, Michael.'

VIDEO Lennon picks up the phone in press conference

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Manchester United put through their paces at Qatar training camp… but what are Van Persie and co doing wearing a tea-towel kit?

Manchester United put through their paces at Qatar training camp… but what are Van Persie and co doing wearing a tea-towel kit

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

12:51 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:45 GMT, 22 January 2013

It's difficult to argue Manchester United have done badly by swapping Britain's freezing conditions for the warmth and sun of Doha, Qatar.

What's more questionable, however, is their choice of attire.

Robin van Persie and company have already been pictured wearing Bugs Bunny pyjamas, and today that controversial taste appears to have extended to their training kit.

Checkmate: United cannot be accused of not doing things as a team

Checkmate: United cannot be accused of not doing things as a team

Comfortable: Nor do they look unhappy with their choices - Danny Welbeck (centre) is particularly convincing

Comfortable: Nor do they look unhappy with their choices – Danny Welbeck (centre) is particularly convincing

Now it shouldn't be overlooked that in Sir Alex Ferguson's time there have been some bad clothing choices – one grey away kit was ditched after a 6-3 defeat at Southampton in 1996 – but there's a chance that these are the worst yet.

United's next fixture is in the fourth round of the FA Cup at home to Fulham on Saturday.

And staying in Doha's luxurious Aspire Academy – albeit without Ferguson who still has commitments in Britain – where Bundesliga sides Bayern Munich and Schalke have also trained is surely one of the finest ways to prepare.

Prolific: United's front two show different levels of happiness at the kits

Prolific: United's front two show different levels of happiness at the kits

Prolific: United's front two show different levels of happiness at the kits

One who might be particularly uncomfortable is goalkeeper David de Gea, however. Ferguson is thought to have run out of patience with the difficulties he has experienced in adjusting to English football, so any kit may well be the least of his concerns.

De Gea is understood to be homesick and keen to be re-united with pop star girlfriend Edurne in Madrid, where he played for Atletico before his transfer in the summer of 2011.

Despite clearly improving following a particularly uncertain start to his United career, errors remain within De Gea's game and most recently during Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Tottenham, where his unconvincing punch led to Clint Dempsey's stoppage time equaliser.

Contrast: Anderson's enthusiasm is different to Scholes', who's never been one with an interest in off-field matters

Contrast: Anderson's enthusiasm is different to Scholes', who's never been one with an interest in off-field matters

Contrast: Anderson's enthusiasm is different to Scholes', who's never been one with an interest in off-field matters

Regardless of any goalkeeping changes, United are thought to be on the verge of sealing the 12million arrival of forward Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger today insisted he had never had an interest in the 20-year-old, despite previously suggesting otherwise, leaving United as the firm favourites to secure his signing.

'We were never in for Zaha,' Wenger said. 'I don't know if he will go to Man United. If he goes to Man United, good luck to him.'

Classy: Even Carrington is unappealing compared to this during the winter months

Classy: Even Carrington is unappealing compared to this during the winter months

Relaxed: United's hotshots stretch in the sunshine

Relaxed: United's hotshots stretch in the sunshine

Bibs No need for those with tea-towels on hand

Bibs No need for those with tea-towels on hand

Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, was in far less salubrious parts of the world. The boss was pictured with Instagram user Oliver Regis at Peterborough train station, making his way back to Manchester after a function in London.

In the cold: Ferguson was unable to join his squad in Qatar

In the cold: Ferguson was unable to join his squad in Qatar

Paul Wood is to wear a box after rupturing his testicle and has moved in with Holly Henderson

Boxed in: Wood relieved to be back after ruptured testicle but not so happy about his extra protection

By
Ian Laybourn, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:07 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 8 January 2013

Warrington forward Paul Wood, who played on in the Grand Final with a ruptured testicle, has decided to take further precaution this season by wearing a box.

Wood was dubbed the toughest athlete in the world after the incident and was back in training within a week of surgery.

He cannot wait to play again and said: 'I had a box fitted but whether I play in it all year I don’t know.

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

'I’ve tried it out. I prefer not to
play in it but, once I get a bit of confidence, I’ll probably take it
off, especially when it gets warm.'

Warrington head to Tenerife next
week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of their opening Super League match
against Castleford on February 3.

'It will be good to get back on the
field and get some normality back,' he added. 'It’s good when you’ve got
something to focus on throughout the week. You’re a bit lost without
the games.

'Once the season is finished you’re
glad because you can get over your aches and pains but once you’ve had a
couple of weeks off you’re ready to get back into it.

'I can’t wait for the season to
start. I’m out of contract this year and I’d like to sign another
extension and finish my career at Warrington.

'It’s going to be a big year for me. I need to have the best year I’ve had.'

Wood has also had to endure shocking revelations about his personal life since getting injured.

He opened up about his obsessive compulsive disorder in the build-up to the Challenge Cup final last summer.

Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

Lovers: Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

And the 31-year-old prop hit the headlines last week when he was alleged to have left his wife Shelley and two young children to move in with local celebrity Holly Henderson, who used to date Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Wood might have been forgiven for keeping a low profile at Warrington's pre-season media day but he was happy to fulfil his duties at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

'I thought I’d face the music,' he said. 'I’ve nothing to hide.

'There’s been some truth in the papers and there’s been some lies as well but I’m not going to broadcast my personal life. I’ll leave it as it is.

'The people who are close to me know exactly what’s gone on and they’re the people that count.'

Wood was a little more forthcoming over the injury that brought him worldwide fame.

The tough-tackling forward played on for 20 minutes after accidentally being kneed in the groin by Leeds centre Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half of the Grand Final.

He made no mention of the injury in post-match interviews but was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery to have the testicle removed and later made light of his misfortune, tweeting: 'Just coming out of hospital to go home … Seriously feel like I’ve left something'.

Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

Strongman: Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

The tweet soon went viral and, for the first time in a 13-year career at the highest level of domestic rugby league, Wood was a man in demand.

'The reaction was absolutely unbelievable – everyone wanted to talk to me,' he said.

'The weirdest thing was seeing my story come up as a question on The Million Pound Drop with Davina McCall.

'It was good for rugby league. It’s probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years.

'Someone told me I was among the five best sporting moments of the year in a magazine so again it’s just good for rugby league, that people appreciate how hard the game is.'

Keith Ashcroft dies: Former Wigan and St Helens prop, passes away, aged 72

Rugby League mourns death of former Wigan and St Helens prop Ashcroft, aged 72

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UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 5 November 2012

Former Wigan, St Helens and Swinton prop Keith Ashcroft has died aged 72.

Ashcroft controversially had a try disallowed at Wembley in the 1970 Challenge Cup final when Wigan lost 7-2 to Castleford.

He played for Wigan between 1968 to 1970 making 59 appearances and scoring five tries.

More recently he was on the committe of the club’s Past Players’ Association.

Rugby League is mourning the death of former Wigan prob Keith Ashcroft

Rugby League is mourning the death of former Wigan prob Keith Ashcroft

Ashcroft joined Swinton from Oldham making his debut in August 1977 and was a player/assistant coach.

Ashcroft also played for Bradford Northern and Warrington in a career that spanned 20 years.

The funeral will take place at St Stephens in Whelley, at 10.45am on Thursday.