Tag Archives: zaha

Stuart Pearce U21 future in doubt as FA delay new deal talks

FA delay talks on new deal for U21 boss Pearce leaving his future in doubt

, winning every one of the six fixtures they played, and even being without Manchester United defender Phil Jones (shingles) and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling (dead leg), Pearce will be expecting another victory.

Starting roles: Wilfried Zaha and Jonjo Shelvey will feature from the get-go

Starting roles: Wilfried Zaha and Jonjo Shelvey will feature from the get-go

‘It’s a shame Jones is out,’ said Pearce, who will start Wilfried Zaha up front. ‘But he’s picked up shingles, there’s not a lot we can do.’

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will start for the first time since September and wants to make his mark after a disappointing period at Anfield. He has not started a game since a 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day.

‘I didn’t think I was the only one that had a bad game that day but I was the one who suffered,’ said Shelvey, who made his senior debut against San Marino in October. ‘I’m still learning. I’ve got to prove I can get back to the seniors.’

VIDEO: Watch Jonjo Shelvey's screamer in England U21 training

Pep Guardiola prepared for challenge at Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City – Neil Ashton

Guardiola will arrive in England ready for business, regardless of whether it is Chelsea, Man City or United who come knocking

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UPDATED:

00:29 GMT, 12 December 2012

The popular theory is that Pep Guardiola couldn't handle working for Roman Abramovich.

Too much interference. Too much pressure. Too many demands.

It's interesting, particularly in light of Guardiola's reaction on March 7 when he was asked about the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas from Chelsea a few days earlier: 'I think he is a fantastic coach but we all know in this business that everything depends on results and not on our own capacity as a coach.

No pressure! Guardiola undertands the demands made of modern managers

No pressure! Guardiola undertands the demands made of modern managers

More from Neil Ashton…

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Ash Wednesday: Faced with Ronaldo and co, now is the time for Hart to remind us why he's No 1
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Ash Wednesday: AVB's battle to emerge from Redknapp's shadow at Spurs
13/11/12

ASH WEDNESDAY: Cash a goner if you're a Gooner as Arsenal continue to short-change their fans
06/11/12

Ash Wednesday: Crystal clear why Arsenal have joined hunt for Palace superstar Zaha
30/10/12

Ash Wednesday: A warning to Blackburn's new boss… careful who you trust at the top
23/10/12

Ash Wednesday: Mourinho's pupil Rodgers needs to reel in the soundbites in bid to steady Liverpool
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

'Time is not something you get when you come into this job – you know that is not the case.'

It was an unexpected answer, the sort of response that raised eyebrows considering Chelsea's record of firing managers.

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Family man: Guardiola is on a sabbatical in New York with his wife and kids

Family man: Guardiola is on a sabbatical in New York with his wife and kids

He famously lost his first game in
charge, away to Numancia in 2008, and then drew with Racing Santander in
his opening game at the Nou Camp. The pressure was building.

When they finally got their season underway, with a 6-1 victory at Sporting Gijon, the team never looked back.

They won the Champions League in his
first season when they beat Manchester United in Rome and he is now the
most successful manager in Barcelona history.

It is too simplistic to say that he could not fail with a team that boasted Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi.

Guardiola still had to motivate them,
to keep them interested after the glory years under Rijkaard. The team
responded and that is good management.

When he left Barcelona at the end of
last season, he gave an interesting insight into the challenges he faced
at the Nou Camp towards the end.

There was huge internal conflict when
he spoke so warmly about his remarkable Barcelona team and, in the next
breath, admitted that changes would need to be made in the next few
years.

Carles Puyol (34) and Xavi Hernandez
(32) remain a class act at Barcelona, but the constant evolution of the
team will demand changes.

When he arrives in England next summer, he will be under enormous pressure to succeed.

It is conceivable that his first game in charge of his new club will be the Community Shield at Wembley in August next year.

Like all great managers he would
expect to get off to a good start and win his first trophy at the very
first attempt. Top four clubs, with the exception of Arsenal, demand
silverware every season.

Shake on it: Pep could renew hostilities with his old foe Mourinho

Shake on it: Pep could renew hostilities with his old foe Mourinho

Shake on it: Pep could renew hostilities with his old foe Mourinho

Chelsea won the FA Cup and European
Cup under Roberto Di Matteo and yet he was fired the night they were
beaten 3-0 in Turin by Juventus in this season's Champions League.

Sir Alex Ferguson is, quite rightly,
ring-fenced after 12 Premier League titles and two European Cups, but he
still places enormous pressure on himself to finish first.

Roberto Mancini, who won Manchester
City's first league title since 1968 last season, is under threat just
months after signing a fat new contract at the Etihad.

They are all emerging as options as the season progresses, but Guardiola is smart to know that the expectations will be huge.

There will be even greater emphasis with the probable return of Jose Mourinho at the end of the season.

As managers of the two biggest teams
in Spain, arguably the world, they frequently collided when Mourinho was
appointed by Real Madrid in 2010.

They clashed ahead of the Champions
League semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu in April 2011 after Mourinho
criticised Guardiola.

The Barca coach reacted by admitting the Special One was 'the f****** boss' in the press conference ahead of their 2-0 win.

They are sure to renew hostilities when the shakedown takes place at the Premier League's top teams in May.

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Leap of faith: Guardiola knows he would have to make winning start in England

Andre Villas-Boas battles to emerge from Harry Redknapp"s shadow at Spurs

AVB's battle to emerge from Redknapp's shadow at Spurs

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 14 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has a major problem as manager of Tottenham – his name isn’t Harry Redknapp.

Every decision, every tactical switch and every selection is gauged against Redknapp’s achievements.

Alternate goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel Oh, Harry would have handled it differently.

Lurking: Andre Villas-Boas is quietly attempting to make his mark

Lurking: Andre Villas-Boas is quietly attempting to make his mark

More from Neil Ashton…

ASH WEDNESDAY: Cash a goner if you're a Gooner as Arsenal continue to short-change their fans
06/11/12

Ash Wednesday: Crystal clear why Arsenal have joined hunt for Palace superstar Zaha
30/10/12

Ash Wednesday: A warning to Blackburn's new boss… careful who you trust at the top
23/10/12

Ash Wednesday: Mourinho's pupil Rodgers needs to reel in the soundbites in bid to steady Liverpool
16/10/12

Ash Wednesday: Amnesty on football's ills Now that would be a good idea… until the next whistle blows
09/10/12

Ash Wednesday: Allardyce's Hammers play just like Real Madrid and Barcelona… but not how you think
02/10/12

Ash Wednesday: If Ferdinand lines up next to Cole again in an England shirt, trust them to put history to one side
25/09/12

Ash Wednesday: Sign up, Walcott… and focus on fulfilling your potential at Arsenal before it's too late
18/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Put the players through detailed DVD presentations before matches Harry did it a different way.

Drop Jermain Defoe after a hat-trick against Maribor and replace him with Emmanuel Adebayor for the trip to champions Manchester City Harry would never have done that.

Everything Villas-Boas is doing at Spurs is being judged against the backdrop of Redknapp’s three-and-a-half year spell at White Hart Lane.

He stalks every corridor at Tottenham, with conversations still centred around his achievements at the club.

Redknapp restored order after Juande Ramos’ chaotic regime and turned Tottenham into a genuine force in English football again.

They returned to Wembley under Redknapp in 2009 for the Carling Cup final and were eventually beaten on penalties by Manchester United.

A year later, Redknapp was named manager of the year after guiding Tottenham to a fourth-placed finish and Champions League football.

They went on a spell-binding journey in Europe, thrilling crowds at Inter Milan and AC Milan with their exuberance before they fell away in the quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Redknapp spoke of his Spurs team being one of the most exciting sides since Bill Nicholson’s Double winners.

Gareth Bale, among others, flourished in a forward-thinking team that Redknapp was convinced could go on to challenge for the title.

Fans' favourite: Harry Redknapp's shadow hangs over Tottenham

Fans' favourite: Harry Redknapp's shadow hangs over Tottenham

Last season they finished fourth, but Tottenham wanted a change of direction under a young, ambitious new coach.

It was the choice of Daniel Levy, a decision that appeared to be based on personalities rather than league position.

It is time for Tottenham to move on.

Redknapp is part of Tottenham’s history, a successful manager who was moved on by the board at the end of the season

He is highly-regarded by Spurs supporters and staff, quite rightly after their three thrilling seasons under his leadership.

Nearly six months on and he is still being talked about in Spurs circles, a shadow over Villas-Boas as he makes his own changes.

It was always going to be difficult to replace a man of Redknapp’s standing within the game, particularly after the Portuguese coach’s chastening experience at Chelsea.

Tough task: Spurs are attempting to keep track of the big boys

Tough task: Spurs are attempting to keep track of the big boys

Villas-Boas is a complicated character, but he is the man entrusted to take the team into the top four. He has his own methods and no-one at Tottenham is able to fault his work ethic.

There have been changes to the training ground approach and the serious side to Villas-Boas has been transmitted to the players.

He is paid to make decisions and although there are major doubts about Villas-Boas’ managerial acumen, he is the man Tottenham backed in favour of Redknapp.

It is a big call by Levy, but it is his appointment.

There is no going back, too late to turn back the clock after the events that led to Redknapp departing in the summer.

Villas-Boas is a different beast, but Tottenham believe in his methods and he should have their unequivocal backing.

They are aware of his character traits and it is taking time for those ideas to be ingrained in the players’ psyche.

Focus: Villas-Boas is desperate for success at White Hart Lane

Focus: Villas-Boas is desperate for success at White Hart Lane

The target is the top four and beyond, but it has been a difficult start to his career at Spurs.

Naturally, as a former Chelsea coach, there is an element of doubt among Spurs supporters. He arrived as an outsider and it is taking their time to warm to him.

At Tottenham has the platform to succeed, a maturing squad with the ability to challenge for Champions League football.

Despite a disjointed start to the season they have had their moments, notably the 3-2 victory at Manchester United when Villas-Boas was coming under increasing scrutiny.

This weekend they are playing Arsenal at the Emirates, an opportunity for the Portuguese coach to carve his way into north London history.

Spurs are above Arsene Wenger’s team in the Premier League, a point ahead as they prepare for kick-off on Saturday lunchtime.

If they can get something from the game, it might just turn out to be an even bigger result for Villas-Boas.

Reading considering move for Chelsea"s Ryan Bertrand

Reading considering giving Royals treatment to Chelsea defender Bertrand

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 23 April 2012

Reading are considering a move for Chelsea full back Ryan Bertrand.

The 22-year-old flourished during a season-long loan at the club two years ago.

Reading are also keen on Crystal Palace pair Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne.

Blue is the colour: Bertrand is being targeted by Reading

Blue is the colour: Bertrand is being targeted by Reading