Tag Archives: work

Michael Owen return delayed by Stoke boss Tony Pulis

Hold your horses, Michael! Pulis tells fit-again Owen he needs more time off before return

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UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 13 December 2012

Michael Owen's hopes of receiving a welcome birthday present from Stoke manager Tony Pulis have been put on hold.

Owen declared himself 'raring to go' after coming through 70 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday in a bid to step up his fitness after struggling with groin and hamstring niggles.

Practice makes perfect: Michael Owen needs more training before his returns, according to Pulis

Practice makes perfect: Michael Owen needs more training before his returns, according to Pulis

Ahead of Saturday’s visit of Everton to
the Britannia Stadium, there was the prospect of Owen making his first
appearance for Stoke since October 27, the last of his four substitute
outings since joining the club at the start of September.

But ahead of the former England striker’s 33rd birthday on Friday, Pulis says Owen still needs at least another week of fitness work and another reserve outing before he can be thrown into the first team.

Pulis said: 'Michael did smashing on Tuesday, came through 70 minutes, but he needs more work on the training ground, a bit more strength

'He needs another couple of weeks of full training, another game or two first before we chuck him back in.

'That’s because every time we’ve tried to get him in there he has broken

Raring to go: Owen is desperate to play again for Stoke

Raring to go: Owen is desperate to play again for Stoke

Jack Wilshere fears he won"t be as good as before

I'm worried I'll never be as good as before… Wilshere reveals fears injury has robbed him of his best form

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UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 7 November 2012

Jack Wilshere has revealed he fears he may not reach the level he did before having spent 17 months out through injury.

The Gunners midfielder was originally sidelined in July 2011 with an ankle problem, something Arsene Wenger initially hoped would rule him out for a couple of weeks.

However, the 20-year-old suffered a series of setbacks before then undergoing knee surgery towards the end of last season.

Centre of attention: Jack Wilshere is continuing his comeback, but admits he has fears long-term

Centre of attention: Jack Wilshere is continuing his comeback, but admits he has fears long-term

Centre of attention: Jack Wilshere is continuing his comeback, but admits he has fears long-term

Wilshere made his return to the side last month against QPR, lasting little over an hour before being substituted.

'It is difficult [to be out for so long] for any player and especially for me – I was 19 and just breaking into the footballing world and coming into the team. I'd had a good season and was looking to push on next season.

'To have a setback like that was heartbreaking but now I'm back. I am still doing my maintenance work in the gym and am keeping fit.

'It [the original ankle injury] was serious, of course. It kept me out for so long but it wasn't the result of a bad tackle or anything where it was career threatening. It was just something that happened over time.

'I knew it would take time to heal and then I suffered a few setbacks.

'Obviously you then question yourself and say, “Am I going to come back to the level that I was at before” Hopefully, now I can get back to training well.

'Every day I need to work hard and get back up to the level I was at.'

Wilshere missed Arsenal's Capital One Cup win over Reading three days after his return, but was back in the side to face Manchester United.

Once again, though, his afternoon lasted little more than a hour as he was sent off for two bookable offences.

Comeback kid: Wilshere is yet to complete 90 minutes in the Premier League since returning

Comeback kid: Wilshere is yet to complete 90 minutes in the Premier League since returning

Comeback kid: Wilshere is yet to complete 90 minutes in the Premier League since returning

And he admits, while frustrating to have to sit out the next Premier League game against Fulham, it may be no bad thing as he continues to get used to regular games again.

He added: 'I am gutted to miss Fulham after being out for so long. It's disappointing to miss any game but if I think about it another way, maybe it will be good for me to have a little break and come back for the Tottenham game [a week later].

Wilshere was, though, available for Tuesday's Champions League draw with Schalke, and came through 90 minutes.

Reflecting on his first full match, he said: 'I felt better than I did over the weekend and the weekend before that, so I am feeling better after each game.

'It's a long season, so I need to take it easy a bit but I am looking forward.'

Aston Villa want Abdoulaye Ba

Villa look to strengthen defence with Porto's Senegalese giant Ba

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UPDATED:

22:51 GMT, 30 October 2012

Aston Villa are weighing up a loan move for Porto centre back Abdoulaye Ba.

The 21-year-old has been a target for West Ham manager Sam Allardyce but ran into problems securing a work permit for the 6ft 6in Senegalese.

All smiles: Abdoulaye Ba (right) is a target for Paul Lambert's Aston Villa

All smiles: Abdoulaye Ba (right) is a target for Paul Lambert's Aston Villa

Spurs defender Kyle Walker: Tweets put me off my game

I had to quit Twitter, it put me off my game, admits Spurs defender Walker

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 26 October 2012

Kyle Walker has admitted that he
stopped using Twitter after criticism and abuse from fans began to
affect his performances for Tottenham.

The England right-back revealed he
was taking a temporary break from the social media site in the wake of
last week's defeat by Chelsea.

Walker, 22, finally decided enough was
enough when several followers questioned his work ethic.

Fall guy: Kyle Walker came under fire from some fans after Chelsea defeat

Fall guy: Kyle Walker came under fire from some fans after Chelsea defeat

'I told my missus that I was coming off it,' he said, 'I thought I needed to concentrate on my own performances for a few weeks.

'I'll keep working and doing the extra that I need to. Hopefully, my form will come back. I want to concentrate on my football again instead of tweeting.

'I have probably come off at the wrong time. People are saying it's a problem with Spurs' fans – it definitely isn't that.

'When 250,000 people follow you, not everyone is going to be happy. And it's hard to keep everyone happy, so you have to be thick-skinned.

Focused: Walker insists he works hard on his game

Focused: Walker insists he works hard on his game

'Genuine supporters have been fully behind me. I appreciate that and I'm thankful for it.

'But some people were just having a bit too much to say. They don't
know how much work I'm putting in, not just on match days but throughout
the week.

'I'm probably
the first one in and last one out every day. If that means doing gym or
extra swimming, then I'm going to do it to make me a better player.

'I don't know why this started. I don't know if they want to provoke a reaction and get a tweet back off me – it could be a million different things.'

Walker, who became a father for the first time last year, said he did not want to become caught up in a slanging match with his followers, as he realises that children can access what he says.

'I've seen what has happened with Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand and I don't want this to be put in that category,' he added.

Danger: Walker is wary of making the same mistakes at England team-mates Cole and Bertrand

Danger: Walker is wary of making the same mistakes at England team-mates Cole and Bertrand

'I mean it has turned into something massive. To start with, it was just banter with Kyle Naughton and it's gone from there.

'But it's turned into a difficult one. You don't know what you can and
cannot say. I don't think you can say much to people – you have to make
your own comments.

'There
could be kids following you, so I don't want to swear. I want to be a
role model. So it's difficult what you can tweet. Obviously, though, you
don't want to be abused, either.

'So, I'm cautious in what I say. I've chosen my words wisely. When I didn't have anything good to say, I've just come off it.

Walker's menace from right-back has led to several Premier League teams marking him down as a real attacking threat. His performance in Slovenia against Maribor was one of the better ones.

'I feel I'm getting there,' he said. 'Last year was a good one for me. I got off to a flyer and I think people want the same this time around.

'But when people know what you are about, it's difficult. They know your game. Last season I was a bit of a surprise to everyone.

'People have been doubling up on me. It is a compliment. I take everything as a compliment. I got the young player of the year award last year and you don't get that as a defender without doing something well.'

Apart from an unsightly ball of cotton wool that was stuffed up his nose post-match in Slovenia ('My nose just started bleeding in the shower,' he said) life is going pretty well for the Yorkshireman as he insisted he was happy and settled.

'If I've had a bad and one or two things have been said on twitter, it really doesn't matter,' he said.

'I go home to my son, Roman. I've just bought two French Bulldog puppies – Ike and Tiny – so it's like having three kids in the home. It's a bit manic.

'But it's better than going home to a boring house. It's perfect now. Life is pretty good.'

Goran Popov Stoke City transfer hits snag

Stoke fight to save deal for Dynamo Kiev full-back Popov after work permit is refused

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UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 16 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Stoke have not given up hope of bringing in Dynamo Kiev full-back Goran Popov on loan despite the Macedonian failing to receive international clearance.

A season-long deal had been agreed but the Potters are now fighting to salvage the situation and secure Popov a work permit.

High hopes: Popov impressed when Stoke met Dynamo Kiev in last season's Europa League (above)

High hopes: Popov impressed when Stoke met Dynamo Kiev in last season's Europa League (above)

The 27-year-old, who came to Stoke boss Tony Pulis' attention in the two Europa League matches between the clubs last season, has played 42 times for Macedonia but the country is ranked only 102nd in the world.

Popov told the Stoke Sentinel: 'I am disappointed because I came here and I saw that Stoke is so good for me. That is why I wanted to stay so much, but I cannot change anything.

'This was my dream from starting to play football, to play in England. I played against Stoke City for Dynamo Kiev and I saw it was a good club. I saw also the stadium is nice and every game it is full with 28,000 people.

'You play against big teams here. I would say football in England is the best in the world.

'Everything was ready for me to sign, but then they say there is a problem with the work permit. It is so difficult with the Macedonia national team because we are ranked 102. Before we were in 60th place and that was good, but now it is bad.

'The problem is not the clubs, the problem is the rules here in England. It is crazy. I cannot believe it.'

While Popov has seemingly resigned himself to returning to Kiev, a Stoke spokesman described the move as 'hitting difficulties' rather than having completely collapsed.

Versatile: Popov is equally comfortable at left or right-back

Versatile: Popov is equally comfortable at left or right-back

Geoff Cameron nears Stoke move

Stoke close in on 1.7m Cameron with USA international due for medical

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 25 July 2012

Stoke-bound: Cameron

Stoke-bound: Cameron

Stoke have applied for a work permit for Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron after agreeing a 1.7m fee with the MLS.

The Potters, who are currently in Orlando, confirmed the 27-year-old Houston Dynamos utility man is due to undergo a medical.

Chief executive Tony Scholes told the club's official website: 'Whilst we would not normally confirm a transfer until everything is complete, we have agreed a fee and personal terms in this instance and the player will now join up with the squad in Orlando to have his medical.

'Assuming that this goes according to plan, the completion of the transfer will then be subject to us obtaining a work permit, which will probably be done by way of an appeal by early August ahead of the new season.'

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest are in talks with Portsmouth defender Greg Halford and have finalised a 400,000 deal for Stoke’s Danny Collins.

QPR facing big Junior Hoillet fee from Blackburn tribunal

Hoilett will cost you! Kean warns QPR of 6m tribunal demand for contract rebel

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UPDATED:

06:55 GMT, 23 July 2012

QPR will have to spend big if they want to sign Junior Hoilett with Blackburn eyeing around 6million from a tribunal.

The Hoops are trying to secure a work permit for Rovers contract rebel Hoilett, before completing the Canadian's signing ahead of German side Borussia Monchengladbach.

The forward is keen to join Mark Hughes' side, who are on tour in Indonesia, and the clubs are discussing compensation – but Blackburn want to let a tribunal decide the fee as they reckon it will mean more money.

Rover and out: Junior Hoilett (centre) is set to leave Blackburn for QPR

Rover and out: Junior Hoilett (centre) is set to leave Blackburn for QPR

An agreement is likely to be reached soon, but QPR officials want confirmation of Hoilett's work permit before finalising the deal.

Kean said: 'QPR might make us an offer, if not it might go to a tribunal. We were always hopeful he would go to a club here because the compensation would be greater.

'Manchester City got a chunky figure when Daniel Sturridge went to Chelsea. We have had Junior for a long time and we developed him and put a lot of time and effort into him.

'I am sure that will be reflected when the time comes.'

Kean admitted that he wanted striker Jamie Mackie to be part of the Hoilett deal, but QPR were not ready to let him go.

He said: 'There are plenty of good players down there. But we are finding out that clubs like to keep their best players.'

No deal: Hoilett has refused to sign a new contract at Ewood Park

No deal: Hoilett has refused to sign a new contract at Ewood Park

Kean also revealed Blackburn were unhappy at not receiving notice from Hoilett about his impending move to QPR.

The Scot said: 'We feel we have been a big part of his development. It would have been nice to get a call.

'We had monthly meetings with his dad and he said he was keeping his options open. His dad is his agent and has been all around the world looking for offers.'

Garry O"Connor avoids prison for cocaine possession and police obstruction

Scotland star O'Connor escapes jail term despite possession of cocaine

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UPDATED:

15:39 GMT, 29 June 2012

Scotland international footballer Garry O’Connor has escaped a prison sentence for possession of cocaine and obstructing police.

O’Connor, 29, was instead ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work when he was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

He was found guilty on June 1 of obstructing and hindering two officers on May 14 last year in Hope Street Lane North, Edinburgh and running away from them as they tried to establish his details.

Unpaid work: Hibernian's Garry O'Connor (right) must do 200 hours

Unpaid work: Hibernian's Garry O'Connor (right) must do 200 hours

He was also found guilty of possessing class A drug cocaine on the same date.

Sentencing O’Connor, Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said the offences took place in the early hours and both could result in a custodial sentence of up to 12 months.

O’Connor, who played for Edinburgh club Hibernian last season, was caught with half an ounce of cocaine, worth about 460.

‘Charge two involves a significant amount of class A drugs and I would be fully justified in sending you to prison. I would have thought that someone in your position, as a footballer in the public eye, would set a better example to young people including your own son, which you now seem to acknowledge,’ Sheriff McIntyre told him.

Sheriff McIntyre acknowledged that O’Connor, of East Lothian, was not involved in the supply of drugs and imposed a community payback order of 200 hours’ unpaid work to be completed within six months.

Manchester United agree 3m deal for Angelo Henriquez

Man United agree 3m deal for 18-year-old Chilean forward Henriquez

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 7 June 2012

Manchester United have agreed a 3million fee for 18-year-old Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez.

Henriquez has been on United's radar for over a year, he has starred in his country's age-group sides and has also appeared for Universidad de Chile's first team – scoring eight times in 10 games.

United hope to gain a work permit for the Universidad forward.

Heads up: Henriquez looks to be heading to Old Trafford

Heads up: Henriquez looks to be heading to Old Trafford

Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday are in talks over a deal for West Brom defender Joe Mattock, 22.

Bellamy becomes Warrior"s first ambassador, signing deal to support charity work in Africa

Bellamy becomes Warrior's first football ambassador, signing deal to boost charity work in Africa

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UPDATED:

00:10 GMT, 1 June 2012

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has signed a deal with the club's kit manufacturer Warrior which will see his sponsorship fee used to support his charity work in Africa.

The club's first shirts manufactured by the America-based company, who are just starting a 25million-a-season six-year association with the Reds, go on sale on Friday and Bellamy has become the brand's first football ambassador.

Ambassador: Bellamy poses in Liverpool's new duds

Ambassador: Bellamy poses in Liverpool's new duds

His sponsorship fee will go directly to the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone with Warrior working closely with the Wales international to raise global awareness of his charity and help build on the work he has done to date.

In return Bellamy will also work alongside Warrior to develop its debut football boot collection, set to be released in December.

'While Warrior works to support me on the field, we'll work together to support the Craig Bellamy Foundation off it,' said the Welshman.

'For me, the most important part of this deal is that the money and extra resource provided by Warrior will go directly to the children and local communities involved with my charity in Sierra Leone.'

Charity work: Bellamy in Freetown in 2008

Charity work: Bellamy in Freetown in 2008

Bellamy founded the foundation himself four years ago to provide under-privileged children a chance to reach their full potential through a mix of sport and education, enabling them to create better lives for themselves and their communities.

The foundation is the driving force behind Sierra Leone's only professional football academy and a popular youth league and Warrior will also provide practical support by supplying footballs, boots and kit.

'At Warrior, we align ourselves with athletes who are highly driven, motivated and possess a winning mentality – Craig is one of these athletes,' said head of Warrior Football Richard Wright.

'His work in Sierra Leone is remarkable and we are delighted to help these young footballers of tomorrow.'