Tag Archives: watford

West Brom target NextGen creator – Charles Sale

NextGen creator linked with Albion as West Brom seek to replace Ashworth



23:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Premier League high-flyers West Bromwich Albion are looking at League One club Brentford for their next technical director to replace the FA-bound Dan Ashworth.

Albion want to give the post to highly rated Mark Warburton, who become sporting director at Brentford in 2011. He is understood to be making his mind up about the offer this week.

Warburton, a former City trader and academy manager at Watford, is best known for being the co-founder of the NextGen series, a burgeoning European tournament for Under 19s heralded as the Champions League for youngsters.

Target: Brentford's Mark Warburton is wanted by West Brom

Target: Brentford's Mark Warburton is wanted by West Brom

More from Charles Sale …

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I won't wear it: Lescott snubs the Kick It Out T-shirt… and Rio may follow


And it will be Warburton’s vision for young players that will have attracted Albion, who have lost Roy Hodgson and Ashworth to the FA in the last year.

Albion chiefs have indicated that they would want their appointment to spend some time working alongside Ashworth before he is released from a contract that runs until next July.

Girl power

Gabby Logan will give girl power within BBC Sport another boost when she replaces John Inverdale as presenter of the BBC’s athletics coverage next year. Logan hosted a couple of Diamond League meetings for the BBC last summer and she impressed enough to be given the position full-time. Ambitious Logan’s bargaining position within the Corporation was helped by her having turned down an approach by BT Sport to anchor their Premiership rugby programmes.

In the running: Jason Leonard

In the running: Jason Leonard

RFU battle

It wouldn’t be Twickenham without an internal battle looming even in the euphoric aftermath of England’s trouncing of New Zealand.

The RFU’s nominations panel have recommended old-school board member John Spencer to be the next vice-president. He would then progress to take over the presidency for the flagship 2015-16 season that includes the next World Cup in England.

However, there is plenty of RFU council support for Jason Leonard, England’s most-capped international, to be appointed for such a showcase year. Leonard has indicated he will stand for election.

Boris on his own

London’s grandstanding mayor, Boris Johnson, was the only dignitary involved in the Rugby World Cup draw yesterday not to take advantage of the huge autocue screen at the Tate Modern venue. Johnson would not have taken much notice of any official International Rugby Board text in any case as he kept referring to the 2015 RWC being in London, rather than England.

New Stratford fears

The bungling over the Olympic Stadium legacy looks likely to cost the troubled venue the chance to be named as one of the 12 stadiums for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

England and Wales were drawn in the same group and Stratford would be an ideal neutral venue for the group game between them. Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and Wembley would also all be keen to host the match.

The London Legacy Development Corporation are expected to announce West Ham as their preferred bidders on Wednesday. But England Rugby 2015 and the International Rugby Board have serious reservations about the stadium being included in the final World Cup list in March because of myriad issues surrounding the development of the 500million track-and-field arena as a venue for other sports.

No go: The Olympic Stadium is unlikely to be used for the World Cup

No go: The Olympic Stadium is unlikely to be used for the World Cup

The IRB delayed the long-list announcement by a few months in the hope that the Olympic Stadium would be ready in time for the rugby showcase. Wembley has already hosted an England rugby international against Wales, albeit at the old stadium in 1999.

Football in the shade

England’s rugby union and rugby league sides have so far made more use of the FA’s 100m National Football Centre at St George’s Park than the team for which it was intended. Stuart Lancaster’s union squad, who spent a week in Burton before the autumn internationals, are back for another stay during the Six Nations. Roy Hodgson’s footballers have had just two days there since the centre opened and will have a similarly brief visit before February’s friendly international against Brazil.

Sean Dyche offered Burnley job

Dyche offered Burnley job after watching Clarets crash to Cardiff defeat



22:30 GMT, 28 October 2012

Sean Dyche has been offered the manager’s job at Burnley.

Dyche, 41, the former Watford boss, was in the crowd as Burnley lost 4-0 to Cardiff on Saturday.

New job: Sean Dyche looks set to take over at Burnley

New job: Sean Dyche looks set to take over at Burnley

Micky Mellon on Burnley shortlist

EXCLUSIVE: Mellon joins Pressley and Dyche on shortlist for Burnley job



08:51 GMT, 26 October 2012

Micky Mellon is the third name on Burnley’s shortlist of candidates to succeed Eddie Howe at Turf Moor, Sportsmail understands.

Burnley are in no hurry to make an appointment and are happy for Terry Pashley to continue in caretaker charge, as he seeks a third consecutive win at Cardiff this weekend.

But they are closing in on a new manager and whittling down the list of names under closest review to replace Howe, who returned to his former club Bournemouth a few days ago.

In the frame: Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon

In the frame: Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon

Gone: Eddie Howe has taken over at Bournemouth

Gone: Eddie Howe has taken over at Bournemouth

Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that ex-Watford boss Sean Dyche and current Falkirk manager Steven Pressley are the top two under consideration. Dyche was a popular figure at Vicarage Road, and led Watford to their highest Championship finish in four years before being sacked to make way for Gianfranco Zola, while Pressley is seen as an up-and-coming young Scottish manager in the same mould as former Turf Moor boss Owen Coyle.

Mellon is next in line, after becoming Fleetwood Town’s first-ever full-time manager, in the Conference North, four years ago, and not only leading them into the Football League but quickly establishing them as one of the frontrunners for promotion from League Two.

As a further point in his favour, he is a former Burnley player and had a brief spell as youth team coach at Turf Moor before leaving to take over at Fleetwood.

St Johnstone’s former Northern Ireland midfielder Steve Lomas is another candidate, though Burnley have had to forget any approach for Wigan coach Graeme Jones after being told it would be rebuffed.

‘Graeme is vitally important to what we are doing here, and this is the wrong time to be speaking to individuals about changing roles,’ said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.

‘The summer is the time when that should be done. It is a compliment when there is interest in one of your players or members of staff, but I want to make sure nothing distracts from the job in hand. We are in the middle of an important season, and I would never allow my staff to be divided until we have finished what we set out to achieve.’

Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand ruled out of Poland v England

Lampard and Bertrand hand Hodgson fitness blows ahead of Poland clash



13:33 GMT, 14 October 2012

Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand have both been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier with Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The pair missed Friday's win over San Marino but boss Roy Hodgson was hoping they would be available for the crucial second game of the current double-header.

Calf problem: Frank Lampard (left) has not recovered in time to face Poland

Calf problem: Frank Lampard (left) has not recovered in time to face Poland

Under the weather: Ryan Bertrand

Under the weather: Ryan Bertrand

However, after reporting to England's Watford training base on Sunday afternoon, it has been decided neither player could feature.

'Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand have been ruled out of England's FIFA World Cup qualifier with Poland,' read an England statement. 'Lampard (calf) and Bertrand (illness) did not take part in England's 5-0 win over San Marino, and will not be ready for Tuesday's game.

'Roy Hodgson and his squad of 23 players travel to Warsaw on Monday morning.'

The news comes less than 24 hours after it was confirmed Theo Walcott was returning to Arsenal after sustaining a chest injury in a heavy challenge early in the San Marino game.

Lampard's absence is a blow as it robs England of a huge amount of experience for such an important game.

However, Hodgson was impressed by the performance of Michael Carrick on Friday and the Manchester United man would appear to be an automatic replacement.

Manchester City have it all to prove against Dortmund, says Graham Taylor

City have it all to prove as they prepare to host German giants Dortmund, says former England boss Taylor


18:35 GMT, 29 September 2012



18:35 GMT, 29 September 2012

The champions of England will host the champions of Germany on Wednesday as Manchester City attempt to secure a result that will put them on the road to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Roberto Mancini's City are unbeaten in 15 matches in European competition at Eastlands and host Group D rivals Borussia Dortmund knowing now is not the time to see that record ended.

The thrilling, if ultimately heartbreaking, result against Real Madrid means that City need to win against the Germans – a draw is probably not good enough as it would hand Dortmund a significant advantage in the group after their win over Ajax.

A lot to learn: Graham Taylor believes the likes of Mario Balotelli need to prove their worth

A lot to learn: Graham Taylor believes the likes of Mario Balotelli need to prove their worth

City should be buoyed by the knowledge that Dortmund have struggled away from home this season while the Etihad Stadium continues to be the bedrock of their campaigns.

For some, such as former England, Aston Villa and Watford manager Graham Taylor, this season is also an important one for City to demonstrate that they can turn their riches into season-on-season success – and he argues that they have not done so yet.

Taylor, speaking at the launch of a new partnership between the Irish FA and Precision Training in Belfast, said: 'My feeling about City is yes they won the Premier League but I don't see them yet as a real settled unit.

'They have good, capable players but I don't see them as a Manchester United-type of team capable of winning a trophy every season.

'They have some way to go before they can say they are the number one club in Manchester, never mind the country.'

The clubs have never met before, but Dortmund have played in Manchester – including their first European away match at City's old Maine Road stadium against Manchester United in the 1956/57 season.

Hosts: Manchester City will welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad

Hosts: Manchester City will welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad

Limited success: Roberto Mancini has had little to celebrate in previous Champions League campaigns

Limited success: Roberto Mancini has had little to celebrate in previous Champions League campaigns

Dortmund have not enjoyed good fortune in England recently however – they were defeated 2-1 at Arsenal last season, when they lost all three away fixtures in the group stage, and have also lost their last three games in England.

City will certainly need to improve defensively – the best defence for the last two seasons has yet to keep a clean sheet in this campaign and Mancini has expressed concern at their vulnerability from set-pieces.

City keeper Joe Hart accepts that needs to change, saying: 'We keep getting into positions where we can win and we need to win to do what we want to do, so we have to keep clean sheets – that includes me and the whole team.'

The opposition: Neven Subotic (centre) and his Dortmund side will face manchester City on Wednesday

The opposition: Neven Subotic (centre) and his Dortmund side will face manchester City on Wednesday

David James signs deal with Bournemouth

Veteran ex-England No 1 James signs deal with Bournemouth to end of season



15:52 GMT, 28 September 2012

Veteran: James last played for Bristol City

Veteran: James last played for Bristol City

Bournemouth have signed former England international goalkeeper David James until the end of the season.

The 42-year-old signed before the 12pm deadline which means he would be available to make his debut against Walsall.

The former Portsmouth keeper joined Paul Groves' squad for training on Thursday and will compete with Shwan Jalal and Daryl Flahavan for a place in the starting line-up.

He had been without a club after being released by Bristol City in the summer.

In a 20-year career, James has also played for Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham and Man City and earned 53 England caps.

James revealed Groves and former team-mate Richard Hughes helped persuade him to join the npower League One club.

'The experience I had with Grovesy at Portsmouth was invaluable as coming in to a manager who I had no idea about would be scary,' he told the club's official website, www.afcb.co.uk.

'I understand the guy, I like his methodology and I like the way he thinks.'

Former team-mate Hughes joined the Cherries last month and his feedback was also a major factor in James' signing.

He added: 'Hughes joined and was speaking very positively about the club which is always a good indicator when joining a team.'

Watford 2 Bristol City 2 match report

Watford 2 Bristol City 2: Davies makes his point for Robins with late equaliser



16:39 GMT, 22 September 2012

Watford ended a four-match losing streak in all competitions – but they had to settle for a point after Steven Davies snatched an equaliser for Bristol City.

A 59th-minute own goal from City defender James Wilson had put the Hornets ahead in this npower Championship contest, and although Marvin Elliott headed the visitors level four minutes later, Matej Vydra looked to have netted a Watford winner in the 72nd minute.

However, Davies found space inside the Watford box to score left-footed from six yards seven minutes from time and earn City a share of the spoils.

On target: Davies scores a late equaliser for the away side

On target: Davies scores a late equaliser for the away side

Match facts

Watford: Almunia, Cassetti (Doyley 76), Neuton (Hall 69), Nosworthy, Pudil, Yeates, Murray, Abdi, Chalobah, Vydra, Forestieri (Deeney 55).

Subs Not Used: Bond, Iwelumo, Beleck, Smith.

Booked: Hall.

Goals: James Wilson 59 og,Vydra 72.

Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Fontaine, James Wilson, Bryan,Woolford (Kilkenny 61), Pearson, Elliott (Davies 76), Adomah, Baldock (Morris 85),Taylor.

Subs Not Used: Gerken, Mark Wilson, Louis Carey, Stead.

Booked: James Wilson, Elliott.

Goals: Elliott 63,Davies 83.

Att: 11,886

Ref: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

The home side made the most of the running in the first half, but found City goalkeeper Tom Heaton in fine form.

The former Manchester United stopper actually signed for Watford in July but the contract was scrapped just days later after a takeover at Vicarage Road by the Pozzo family, who own Serie A outfit Udinese.

As a result Heaton, who was a free agent after leaving Cardiff, was approached by City and moved to Ashton Gate instead.

He impressed in the opening 45 minutes, saving early on from Nathaniel Chalobah and Mark Yeates. Sean Murray, who was kept out of Watford's 1-0 defeat to Brighton in midweek after suffering a dead leg, was the next to be denied.

Watford's former Arsenal stopper Manuel Almunia was called into action after 34 minutes, producing an excellent parry to keep out a Martyn Woolford 20-yard effort.

City came close to taking the lead just three minutes after the interval, Woolford's left-foot shot from 12 yards beating Almunia but coming back off a post.

Substitute Troy Deeney was back in the Watford fold after serving a prison term, and Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola sent him on in the 55th minute for the ineffective Fernando Forestieri.

Deeney was immediately involved, forcing Heaton into a notable parry before lashing a a 20-yard right-foot shot just wide.

Watford had been the better side for most of the contest but had found Heaton unbeatable – until Wilson succeeded where the home side had failed as he turned the ball into his own net from six yards.

The lead had lasted just four minutes when City midfielder Elliott met Joe Bryan's cross to head in from six yards. It was the visitors' 1,000th goal in the second tier of English football.

Watford kept probing and Czech striker Vydra – on loan from Udinese – got on the end of Daniel Pudil's cross to drill a 12-yard shot beyond Heaton and restore the home side's lead.

However, their hopes of a second home win this season were dashed by Davies' late intervention.

Paul Gascoigne: a player Lazio and Tottenham have in common

It was ice cream for breakfast and beer for lunch… but as a player Gazza was beautiful!



06:48 GMT, 20 September 2012

Tottenham and Lazio will be forever entwined by one man and the clubs had barely been drawn to meet for the first time when thoughts turned to Paul Gascoigne.

Lazio's general manager Maurizio Manzini quickly proposed that Gazza should be guest of honour at both Europa League ties, unaware that this is perhaps easier said than done.

The 45-year-old is tackling health problems and addictions and has declined an invitation to attend Thursday's game at White Hart Lane for 'personal reasons'.

Comic: Paul Gascoigne wore these funny glasses at a press conference

Comic: Paul Gascoigne wore these funny glasses at a press conference

Cult figure: Paul Gascoigne spent time at both Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur

Cult figure: Paul Gascoigne spent time at both Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur

It is a bitter-sweet tale of brilliance and self-destruction, sprinkled with what-ifs.

Next week marks 20 years since Gascoigne's Lazio debut. What if, indeed.

'Italy in the Nineties was the No 1 league to test your ability and Paul had everything to be a success out there,' recalled his friend Glenn Roeder.

'He had the close control and vision. He made goals and he scored goals.

'In a way, he was made for Italian football. The big problem was the injuries.'

Gascoigne's 6.7million transfer was wrecked by a knee injury in the 1991 FA Cup final, only to be hastily revived because Spurs needed the money.

Complex negotiations ensued and a new fee of 5.5m was agreed, complete with expensive insurance to cover the worst case scenario, which Gazza flirted with when he cracked the knee-cap on his injured knee in a Newcastle nightclub.

The original transfer had included Roeder, once Gascoigne's team-mate at Newcastle, who had remained close and had agreed to move his family to Rome to provide a steadying influence.

Roeder's playing career was coming to an end at Watford and he planned a sabbatical to study coaching in Italy while allowing Gazza to lodge at the family home.

Folklore: Gascoigne only managed to score six goals during his time in Rome

Folklore: Gascoigne only managed to score six goals during his time in Rome

Folklore: Gascoigne only managed to score six goals during his time in Rome

Folklore: Gascoigne only managed to score six goals during his time in Rome

This idea was short-lived. It collapsed after the injury but the pair did spend a fortnight in Rome in August 1991 as Gascoigne got to know Lazio.

They saw a friendly against Real Madrid and travelled with the squad to a cup tie against Andria, a lower league club from a town on the Adriatic coast.

'Two things leapt out,' said Roeder. 'At the end of lunch, the captain waited for everyone to finish eating before asking the manager, Dino Zoff, if the players could retire to their rooms for an afternoon nap.

'Gazza also found it strange that players were offered a glass of wine with the meal. Whether this was culture or to help them relax and sleep, I don't know. Gazza declined the wine and ordered a coffee.

'After the game, when they'd won, the players were back at the hotel drinking coffee and Gazza couldn't get his head around this. He's thinking: “Now the lads should be drinking wine, celebrating”.'

Italian football had a reputation for supreme professionalism. The players arrived on time for training twice daily and listened respectfully to any instructions.

'All of this was good for Paul,' said Roeder. 'He was a wonderful example to young players at the training ground because he loved his football.

'At Rangers, he'd drive to Ibrox the day before a game and demand to play head-tennis against Walter Smith and Archie Knox in the home dressing room.

Today: Presently Gascoigne is struggling with health problems

Today: Presently Gascoigne is struggling with health problems

'They'd pull a net across the middle of the dressing room, it is so big, and the trick was to land the ball in the corners and make it ricochet under the benches.

'The problems Gazza had in his life came when football wasn't there for him. When training wasn't long enough or he was injured and when he finished.'

As the Premier League launched in 1992, Channel 4 bought the rights to Serie A and more than three million tuned in for Lazio's first game against Sampdoria. Gascoigne was injured (somewhat inevitably) but made his debut a fortnight later against Genoa.

He secured his place in Lazio folklore in November 1992, heading a late equaliser in a derby against Roma.

More classic Gazza moments followed: gliding runs, precision passes, broken bones, indiscipline and practical jokes.

Fans from all teams embraced his boozy image. They threw Mars Bars, he ate them.

He took a shine to pranks involving a tunnel which plunged the team bus into complete darkness as it exited the Olympic Stadium.

Once he mocked up a road crash and sprawled next to his scooter to shock Zoff, who always occupied the front seat of the bus. Other times he would appear alongside his manager totally naked with daylight flooding back into the bus as it emerged from the tunnel.

'I loved that boy,' said Zoff once. 'He was a genius, an artist but he made me tear my hair out.

'The pity was we saw the beauty he was capable of only so rarely. He destroyed that beauty with his drinking and his eating.

'He ate ice cream for breakfast, he drank beer for lunch, when he was injured he blew up like a whale. But a player Oh, beautiful, beautiful.'

Beautiful: Dino Zoff (left) remembers Gascoigne with some fondess

Beautiful: Dino Zoff (left) remembers Gascoigne with some fondess

In four years at Lazio, Gascoigne scored only six goals, playing fewer than 50 times.

But he is cherished, as Manzini's reaction proves. 'Sometimes I wonder how it would have worked out if I'd gone out there,' said Roeder.

'But I don't know. Gazza seemed to have his best periods in Italy when he was left alone to concentrate on his football, without family and friends going over for a holiday and behaving like they were on a holiday.

'He had games for Lazio where he was top class. It's just a shame we talk about pockets of great play rather than season after season as it should have been.

'He was without doubt the most gifted and by far the most naturally talented footballer this country produced in his generation.'

England"s six young guns who MUST take the world by storm, including Tom Cleverley, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

England's six young guns who MUST take the world by storm to reach Brazil 2014



21:30 GMT, 12 September 2012

If England are to navigate their way through a tricky qualifying group and make the World Cup in Brazil, the young talent at Roy Hodgson's disposal must step up.

From captain Steven Gerrard to Frank Lampard, the old guard is getting even older, and now is the time for the junior members of the squad to stake their claim.

Here Sportsmail takes a look at six young players who should be ready to take the stage.

Bright young thing: Tom Cleverley has looked promising for Manchester United and England

Bright young thing: Tom Cleverley has looked promising for Manchester United and England

Tom Cleverley

Age 23 Caps 3 Goals 0. Will be 24 in Brazil 2014

His key asset is that he offers Hodgson something a little different to the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Parker, Barry or Carrick.

He is mobile and technically sound, operates with intelligence and appears to understand what is asked of him.

England lack a top-class player of this ilk, although when they had one – Paul Scholes – they failed to make the most of him.

Cleverley is not in the class of Scholes but made a solid start to his international career, even if the chances missed against Ukraine demonstrated where he can add to his game.

He scored goals in the Championship, on loan at Watford, and hopefully will work hard to add a clinical edge to his game as Lampard did when he moved to Chelsea at the age of 23.

Jack Wilshere

Age 20 Caps 5 Goals 0. Will be 22 in Brazil 2014

Everything hinges upon his return to fitness.

For a short spell in early 2011, Wilshere was arguably the best player in the country, combining wonderful balance, vision, technique and aggression.

But he has not been seen for club or country for 15 months and it may be March before he can contribute to this campaign.

With Wilshere and Cleverley in a three-man midfield, England could expect more possession but would the team have enough creativity elsewhere to convert it into goals

And would Hodgson take such a leap when one injury would leave him exposed

Class act: Jack Wilshere is widely tipped for greatness by England and Arsenal fans

Class act: Jack Wilshere is widely tipped for greatness by England and Arsenal fans

Daniel Sturridge

Age 23 Caps 3 Goals 0. Will be 24 in Brazil 2014

Made a good impression on competitive debut against Ukraine and his former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti would marvel at his ability to find a yard inside the goalmouth and reel off a shot.

His left foot is lethal but there remain questions about his attitude.

He has only started eight league games in six months under Roberto Di Matteo and seems in a constant tussle with coaches who are reluctant to trust him in his preferred centre forward position but unhappy with his work-rate when he plays wide.

Can he convince this season Or will he spend it agonising over his next move If he fulfils his potential, England may have a source of goals.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Age 19 Caps 7 Goals 0. Will be 20 in Brazil 2014

Unpredic table, spontaneous and versatile but the element of surprise which helps young attackers when they burst on to the scene will begin to fade this season.

Opponents will scrutinise him in an attempt to resist his strengths and exploit his weaknesses.

He must adapt and learn how to maintain an influence against better defenders.

In Moldova, Ox destroyed poor Simeon Bulgaru and was instrumental in England seizing control early.

At Wembley, 77-cap Oleg Gusev was a different proposition. England could not get Ox on the ball and failed to jolt him back into the game.

Much will depend on how he attacks this challenge, but he seems ready to do it with relish.

The future's bright: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's willingness to take on his opponents makes him a dangerous proposition

The future's bright: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's willingness to take on his opponents makes him a dangerous proposition

Theo Walcott

Age 23 Caps 29 Goals 4. Will be 25 in Brazil 2014

Knows all about the shine and shade of international football after an explosive beginning to his England career.

Hodgson has yet to start him but never failed to use him from the bench when fit.

It suggests a future as an impact sub, used against tired defenders – as he did to turn the game against Sweden in Euro 2012.

Walcott's pace remains a vital weapon and, while his game may lack sophistication, he has a better strike rate than England's other wingers.

He scored 11 for Arsenal last season, when his interplay with others also improved.

Hopefully the contractual issues at Arsenal, which appear to be limiting his time on the pitch, can be overcome.

Danny Welbeck

Age 21 Caps 11 Goals 2. Will be 23 in Brazil 2014

Stepped smoothly into international football last year and it was a surprise when Hodgson picked Jermain Defoe in Moldova after preferring Welbeck in Euro 2012.

A lack of action will probably be an issue for a striker who competes with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for a game at Manchester United.

Still, he is a big threat. He hit the post against Ukraine, and won the penalty, and has the assets to be a top striker: quick feet, a quick mind and an exquisite touch.

He is strong in the air and scores different types of goals.

He could be the closest thing England have to Van Persie at present and will hopefully learn from the Holland star at Old Trafford this season.

Smooth operator: Danny Welbeck (right) has taken his club form up to international level

Smooth operator: Danny Welbeck (right) has taken his club form up to international level

Owen Coyle battling to save Bolton job

Coyle fighting to save Bolton job after Gartside warning over poor start to season



21:36 GMT, 3 September 2012

Owen Coyle is fighting to save his job at Bolton after chairman Phil Gartside warned that results must improve.

Bolton are banking on an immediate return to the Premier League but Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Hull left them with four points from their first four games, just days after Coyle's side crashed out of the Capital One Cup to Crawley Town.

Fans called for Coyle to go and he now faces a run of three games in seven days after the international break – against Watford, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday – to convince Gartside that he should be given more time.

Under pressure: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (left) must improve results

Under pressure: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (left) must improve results

‘I can understand the reaction from the fans, and I was as disappointed and frustrated,’ said Gartside. ‘It wasn’t good enough.

‘There is absolutely no doubt we have to improve, and I will be looking for a reaction.

‘Ahead of the break, we wanted to maintain an average of two points a game, and it’s important that we achieve that. Clearly we haven’t hit that target and it’ s a given that we must get back on track.’