Tag Archives: wilfried

Wilfried Zaha and Ian Holloway charged by FA following Leeds clash

Zaha charged for flashing middle finger at Leeds fans… as Holloway joins him in dock

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

16:14 GMT, 12 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 12 March 2013

Wilfried Zaha has been charged by the FA following his gesture towards at Leeds fans last weekend.

The Crystal Palace star was being
berated by fans in Palace's 2-2 Championship draw with Leeds on March 9, and
responded by grinning and sticking up his middle finger.

Palace have been hit with a double
charge in relation to the same game after manager Ian Holloway was also
hit by the FA following his alleged misconduct towards match officials.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United

Zaha has already
apologised for swearing at Leeds supporters after they gave him abuse
for his impending transfer to Manchester United.

Both Zaha and Holloway have until 4pm on Friday March 15 to respond to the charge.

Zaha posted on his Twitter profile: 'On
that note I also wanted to apologise for the gesture I did towards the
Leeds fans in yesterday's game. Very unprofessional from me.'

United fans took to Twitter to praise their new signing, saying he was 'getting into practice'.

Whether Sir Alex Ferguson would approve of this gesture is another matter entirely.

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds defender Lee Peltier

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds defender Lee Peltier

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Wilfried Zaha transfer news: Tottenham make 10m move for Crystal Palace starlet

Spurs spark January transfer battle for Zaha with 10m move for Palace starlet

By
Bob Cass

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

Tottenham will open negotiations this week for the 10million signing of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

In spite of intense competition for
the 20-yearold Ivory Coast-born England international, Spurs have leapt
ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea because they are ready to do the
deal in the January transfer window and will comply with Palace's
condition that the player is loaned back to them until the end of the
season.

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

But neither United nor Chelsea are ready to concede defeat.

'Spurs may think they've jumped the gun, but the deal is a long way from being completed,' said a source close to the situation.

'This could turn out to be the hottest transfer battle of the season and it could boil down to a question of which club does Zaha want to join.'

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Wilfried Zaha says playing in the park made him the player he is today

So why has Palace star Zaha attracted the likes of United, Arsenal and Spurs It all comes from kick-abouts at the park

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

15:55 GMT, 1 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:11 GMT, 2 January 2013

Wilfried Zaha has put his silky skills down to playing in the park with his mates.

The tricky winger has beaten Championship players for fun with the ball at his feet this season and has attracted interest from the best clubs in the country.

Zaha joined Crystal Palace's academy as an 11-year-old and played more than 100 matches for the youth teams before getting into the first team.

Scroll down for video

Zaha has quickly worked his way to being the Championship's most wanted

Skinned: Zaha has quickly become the Championship's most wanted player

But the 20-year-old puts his vast array of tricks and skills to playing football at any opportunity he could as a youngster.

He said: 'When it comes to playing, to dribbling, I don't know, it just happens. I can't really explain how I do things.

'As I play, I just do tricks and they just pay off, I don't really think too much about what I'm going to do.

'That comes from practising with my family and kick-abouts in the park and that's perfected my skills. Any chance I get to play football I will take.

'Before, when I was younger, any chance to play football I would be there doing it. If anyone talked about playing I'd always be down to have a kick-about. All I want to do is play.'

Zaha has started all but two league games for Palace this season

Zaha has started all but two league games for Palace this season

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been monitoring Zaha but the club are holding out for a bid in the region of 20million.

And they are helped by the fact he has a five-year contract and is keen to get promoted with the team he has been at all his life.

He added: 'It'd be a great feeling to get promoted with Palace because I have been with the club for a long time, I've been with them through the hard times when we've nearly been relegated so actually making it to the Premier League could be great.

'Going through all the struggles, to be able to achieve something with the side would be a great achievement for us and for me.'

Wilfried Zaha transfer: Manchester United bid to be rejected

Palace set to reject United's 8m bid for Zaha as race to sign winger hots up

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UPDATED:

09:36 GMT, 31 December 2012

Crystal Palace will reject Manchester United's opening offer of 8million for star winger Wilfried Zaha.

The 20-year-old is keen to move to the Premier League in January with United and Arsenal involved in a straight fight for his signature.

Palace chairman Steve Parish insists Zaha will not leave for less than 20m but it is believed a bid of half that will test the Championship club's stance.

In demand: Wilfried Zaha is wanted by Arsenal and Manchester United

In demand: Wilfried Zaha is wanted by Arsenal and Manchester United

Arsenal-supporting Zaha told Sportsmail that he is ready to make the step up to the top flight.

‘I’m not a teenager any more,’ he said. ‘I’ve played more than 100 first-team games and this year
is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in
the Premier League and in international football.

‘I’ve
played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the
Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great. To be
honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it’s something
I’d want to go for.’

Main man: Zaha's form for Crystal Palace earned him an England cap

Main man: Zaha's form for Crystal Palace earned him an England cap

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is desperate to add to his squad in the transfer window, particularly after United ruled out selling Nani to their rivals.

But Palace manager Ian Holloway insists Zaha should concentrate on improving his form for his current club, rather than setting his sights on a move.

'Playing for England. So
what It’s four minutes,' he said. 'I don’t want to sound funny but I’m more
concerned about us working with him and getting him playing how he was a
couple of weeks ago. That’s all I worry about.’

The Championship: Guide to promotion battle and relegation scrap

A league of their own: The Championship is as thrilling as the top flight… and here's why

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

The Barclays Premier League may be seen by many as the best in the world but as tens of thousands of people will testify on Boxing day, there is plenty of life outside the top flight. Stadiums will be packed throughout the country in the Football League, too, with all 72 teams still having plenty to fight for.

The Championship, in particular, is chaotic, with bottom-of-the-table Peterborough recently winning at leaders Cardiff. Here, Neil Moxley takes us through the scrap for promotion and the battle to survive ahead of Wednesday's bonanza.

Thriller: Wilfried Zaha is just one of many players who light up the Championship

Thriller: Wilfried Zaha is just one of many players who light up the Championship

THE BATTLE FOR THE TOP TWO

FIVE YOUNG STARS TO WATCH

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Widely tipped for a January transfer, the winger has pace, can play on either flank and is capable of turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Catch him while you can in the Championship, as the Palace flier is destined for greater glories.

Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
A product of Manchester United’s Academy. The midfielder struggled to settle last season but has established himself as the driving force in Leicester’s engine-room.

Will Hughes (Derby County)
It did not take long for the Premier League’s big guns to start sniffing around this 17 year-old once Nigel Clough promoted him to the first team. Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are keeping close tabs on the midfielder who has since been promoted to England’s Under 21 side.

James Chester (Hull City)
Another Manchester United old boy who is flourishing under Steve Bruce’s tutorship at the KC Stadium. The centre half is another who should step up into the big league next term, irrespective of whether Hull are promoted.

Charlie Austin (Burnley)
The 23-year-old forward broke a club record when he claimed his 20th goal of the season on his 17th appearance last month. His ratio is better than one in two. The Premier League is on red alert.

Last season, Southampton were promoted on the back of a tremendous home record.

And if one team are following that formula, it’s Cardiff City. The change of their traditional colour from blue to red heralded a phenomenal run of form, as Malky Mackay’s side clocked up 10 wins on the spin.

With Craig Bellamy to call upon, Peter Whittingham in midfield and Mark Hudson at the back, the spine of Cardiff’s side is solid.

But what has proved their undoing in seasons past is the strength of their squad. When injuries have bitten, they have bitten hard.

With 10 points separating the top seven sides, none those clubs can be considering automatic promotion with any great confidence.

Crystal Palace will suffer if Wilfried Zaha moves on, though Ian Holloway is already backing himself to plug that considerable gap. Kenny Jackett has performed wonders at the New Den but his Millwall squad too may be short on quality.

Of the rest, Middlesbrough need Jonathan Woodgate to declare his fitness more often than not. The Teessiders look a different proposition with him shoring up their backline.

The other dark horses are Steve Bruce’s Hull City. The Manchester United double-winner has twice tasted promotion at this level with Birmingham City and knows exactly what this race entails.

But what should tip the balance in the coming months is the ability to add numbers. And Leicester City, who already boast one of the biggest wage bills in the league, are well positioned to add further.

Prediction: Cardiff City and Leicester City to be promoted automatically.

Going up: Leicester City's Anthony Knockaert (right) and Cardiff City's Peter Whittingham

Going up: Leicester City's Anthony Knockaert (right) and Cardiff City's Peter Whittingham

BATTLE FOR THE PLAY-OFFS

It would take a brave — or foolish — man to predict this, but here goes.

Only nine points separate Leicester in fifth and Charlton in 18th. Over the course of half-a-season, that tally could be made up inside little more than a week.

Of the top seven, Millwall have enjoyed an incredible run and will need a dose of good fortune if they are to keep their squad intact and finish in the play-offs, particularly if someone takes a gamble on highly-rated midfielder Liam Trotter.

The romantics may like to see Gianfranco Zola’s return to the big time with Watford. The takeover by the Pozzo family raised a few eyebrows but the genial Italian has pushed the Hornets into contention.

Over at the City Ground, Sean O’Driscoll has a distinct footballing philosophy. Whether Nottingham Forest’s Kuwaiti owners allow him to put into practice that which served him so well at Doncaster is another matter. They are another club that could spend big come the turn of the year.

In Brighton, the myth that Gus Poyet plays devil-may-care football is betrayed by his team’s defensive record. Only Leicester have conceded fewer goals. They are likely to be in with a shout.

Of the rest, would it be wise to bet against Neil Warnock achieving his eighth promotion with Leeds United now their takeover has been confirmed

If any club can generate a head of steam, it is the Yorkshire side.

Prediction: Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough and Leeds.

Play-off potential: Can Lee Peltier of Leeds (right) skipper the side up to the Premier League

Play-off potential: Can Lee Peltier of Leeds (right) skipper the side up to the Premier League

THE BATTLE TO SURVIVE

Given Dave Jones’s excellent pedigree, it is surprising to see Sheffield Wednesday struggling. The Owls have conceded two goals per game at Hillsborough, and the man who ended Wolves’ 19-year wait for Premier League football will know that statistic has to change.

Likewise, Keith Hill at Barnsley has a problem on his own turf. His issue is finding the net, a paltry eight goals at Oakwell being a startling statistic.

Bristol City’s squad has some decent individuals at this level. But there are not enough of them.

And Peterborough, who put four players on the transfer-list last month following a late-night town centre fracas, will be lucky to survive if they replicate last season’s form, which saw them win only four matches from the turn of the year to the end of the campaign.

Prediction: Peterborough, Bristol City and Barnsley relegated.

Danger of the drop: Peterborough must do better than last season after the turn of the year

Danger of the drop: Peterborough must do better than last season after the turn of the year

League One

The top of the table is dominated by managers who were once strikers. Ronnie Moore, Uwe Rosler and Dean Saunders knew where the net was as players.

They are halfway to meeting their goal as bosses this season, too. Sheffield United’s Danny Wilson breaks up this glut of forward-looking managers in a division just as tight as the Championship.

The top 11 are separated by only nine points. In second place is that cagey old-timer Moore with Tranmere Rovers, the season’s surprise package, having set the pace for most of the season.

Rosler has reached the third round of the FA Cup with Brentford. Saunders has done well to lift Doncaster out of their post-relegation gloom and they are well placed for a tilt, as are MK Dons who must hope Karl Robinson can deliver what he has promised for so long after play-off semi-final defeat to Huddersfield.

The division’s top scorer, however, is David McGoldrick. Signing the forward permanently remains new Coventry boss Mark Robins’ priority. With Nottingham Forest poised to spend in the New Year, it would be a perfect present for the division’s in-form side.

While Coventry have improved, what of Portsmouth who suffered relegation alongside them last season

Manager Michael Appleton has left for Blackpool and the 2008 FA Cup winners are facing the prospect of ending a depressing 12 months in the relegation zone.

At least Pompey have a chance of surviving. It would take a miracle if Hartlepool, with just nine points, escape the bottom.

On the hop: Michael Appleton left strugglers Portsmouth for Blackpool

On the hop: Michael Appleton left strugglers Portsmouth for Blackpool

Going Dutch: Barnet have the undoubted star of League Two fighting their corner

Going Dutch: Barnet have the undoubted star of League Two fighting their corner

League Two

There was a time when Martin Allen revelled in the nickname ‘Mad Dog.’ Perhaps if he can extend Gillingham’s fine start over the second half, his managerial credentials will be taken far more seriously.

Gillingham lead the way from Port Vale, who have put their money worries behind them after a takeover last month. Nineteen goals from Tom Pope have helped, too.

Micky Adams has managed in all four divisions of English football, though he failed in the job he most coveted, in Sheffield with his beloved Blades, but home appears to be in the Potteries.

Another frontrunner, and another good guy, is Paul Sturrock, in charge at Southend. Phil Parkinson has got Bradford moving upwards, as Arsenal found out. Of the rest, it would be hard to claim Steve Evans would court as much goodwill.

But he can point to a sterling job with Crawley and promising start with Rotherham. The table always makes sorry reading for those clubs staring into the abyss of non-league football.

Edgar Davids’ playing pedigree is without question but the north Londoners have only just moved off the foot of the table despite his arrival two months ago in a blaze of publicity.

Mark McGhee has just lost his job at Bristol Rovers (why can’t either club in that city get it right) and Wimbledon completethe sorry trio hoping that 2013 brings better fortune.

Thierry Henry will not join Arsenal on loan, says Gerard Houllier

Henry unlikely to join Arsenal on loan in January, says New York Red Bulls adviser Houllier

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UPDATED:

12:23 GMT, 17 December 2012

In doubt: Henry may not join Arsenal in January

In doubt: Henry may not join Arsenal in January

New York Red Bulls global adviser Gerard Houllier has surprisingly cast doubt over Thierry Henry’s proposed move to Arsenal in January.

The French striker is expected to return on loan from the MLS club but former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager Houllier said he believes Henry will prefer to rest with his family over Christmas after his partner gave birth to a baby boy in August.

Speaking to French TV station Canal Plus, Houllier said: ‘I find it strange what we hear in the media. If Arsene needed him, he would have called me or sporting director Andy Roxburgh, but this is not the case.

‘I do not think both parties need to have this second comeback. Moreover, he became a dad. I think he will want to enjoy the holidays.’

Third time lucky: Henry has already had two separate spells at Arsenal

Third time lucky: Henry has already had two separate spells at Arsenal

Henry spent two months on loan with Arsenal last January, scoring two goals in seven appearances.

Arsenal intend to bring in another striker in January with Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Demba Ba among their targets while they also maintain strong interest in Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez and Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace.

Rodger Federer meets Pele in Brazil

Gifts for the great: Pele and Federer swap shirts as they meet in Brazil

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UPDATED:

00:22 GMT, 11 December 2012

One legend met another as tennis star Roger Federer and former Brazil great Pele rubbed shoulders over the weekend.

Federer went to Pele's residence in Brazil to exchange gifts with one of the finest players in football history.

Pele was given a signed tennis shirt with a personal message from Federer, while in return he offered a signed 1960s-era blue Brazil shirt.

Exchange: Pele and Roger Federer swap gifts and then engage in a warm embrace (below)

Exchange: Pele and Roger Federer swap gifts and then engage in a warm embrace (below)

Hugs: Pele and Federer

Federer in a Brazil shirt

Football or tennis Federer with an over-sized tennis ball

It's gone to his head! Federer kicks an over-size tennis ball (right) at the Gillette Federer tennis exhibition

'I love playing tennis and today one of the greats of the game dropped by to say hello,' Pele wrote on his Twitter page.

'Roger Federer, you are a champion on the court and in life.'

Federer said on Facebook: 'Today I had the great honour of meeting the legendary Pele.'

He is in South America to play in the Gillette Federer tennis exhibition tournament.

The Sao Paulo competition also
involves Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams and
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, among others.

Just for fun: Federer and Tommy Haas of Germany share smiles

Just for fun: Federer and Tommy Haas of Germany share smiles

On the ball

Balls in hand: Federer

Sir Alex Ferguson sets to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha

Fergie set to beat rivals with lease deal for Palace star Zaha

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UPDATED:

21:34 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manchester United boss Sir Alex
Ferguson could land 10million Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, 20,
in January by letting him spend the rest of the season on loan at
Selhurst Park.

Palace are willing to listen to
offers for Zaha right away if they do not disrupt the club's campaign
for promotion to the Premier League.

Target: Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace

Target: Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace

United agreed a similar deal in 2010 when they bought 8m defender Chris Smalling from Fulham and then let him see out the rest of the season at Craven Cottage before moving to Old Trafford.

United, Arsenal and Spurs are all closely monitoring the player who is a firm favourite of England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce.

Arsenal confident of signing Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal confident of luring Palace starlet Zaha ahead of 9m January bid

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UPDATED:

07:15 GMT, 7 December 2012

Arsenal are growing increasingly confident they have won the race to land Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfried Zaha.

The 20-year-old England international is a prime target for Arsene Wenger and the club will make a starting 9million offer next month.

Wanted: Wilfried Zaha (centre) has attracted the interest of several top clubs

Wanted: Wilfried Zaha (centre) has attracted the interest of several top clubs

And the Gunners believe they are in pole position to land the Ivory Coast-born forward.

Zaha – who is an Arsenal fan – is understood to have made the Emirates Stadium his first-choice.

In the market: Arsene Wenger is desperate to strengthen his ailing squad

In the market: Arsene Wenger is desperate to strengthen his ailing squad

Arsenal are still to conclude a deal with Palace, but the club will open formal discussions soon.

Zaha is also a target for Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle.

Nani left out of Manchester United team calendar

Nani out of the picture at Man United as out-of-favour winger is left off calendar for 2013

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UPDATED:

08:01 GMT, 4 December 2012

Manchester United winger Nani is the latest star name to be hit by the curse of the Christmas calendar.

For the 26-year-old winger, who's
future at Old Trafford has been cast in doubt by his reluctance to sign a
new contract, has been left out of the club's official 2013
calendar.

Out in the cold: Nani heading for the exit door

Out in the cold: Nani heading for the exit door

It follows Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna being
omitted from Arsenal's official 2013 calendar, fueling speculation they
will become the next big-name players to leave the club.

Nani has featured for the past three seasons but his absence this time around will fuel talk of him being sold in the New Year.

Nani reportedly had a bust-up with promising United midfielder Davide Petrucci earlier this season and has not played since he was hauled off during their Champions League match at Braga at the start of the month.

The 26-year-old has two years left on his existing deal and is reported to be holding out for around 130,000-a-week.

United seem reluctant to go that far and Zenit St. Petersburg and Paris St. Germain are ready to make a bid in the January transfer window.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could move for Porto star James Rodriguez or Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha to replace him.