Saturday, August 30, 2014

Real Madrid's midfield overhaul continues

Real Madrid’s revolving midfield door continued on Friday as Xabi Alonso completed his move to Bayern Munich

Angel Di Maria departed in a £59.7 million deal for Manchester United earlier this week as Madrid president Florentino Perez continues to tinker with the engine room which guided the club to the Champions League trophy in May.
Saturday, August 30, 2014 12:00

Chelsea can sleep easy after Champions League draw

The Champions League draw has created a tricky group for some teams but Chelsea will be confident of progressing as they share Group G with Schalke, Sporting and Maribor.

Liverpool, who are back after a five-year absence, will meet Real Madrid, along with Basel and Ludogorets.

Arsenal have been drawn with Borussia Dortmund for the third time in four seasons, while Arsene Wenger’s men will also face Galatasaray and Anderlecht.

Meanwhile, will once again face Manchester City and CSKA Moscow, while Manuel Pellegrini’s men will also play Roma.
Friday, August 29, 2014 12:00

Alexis steps in for injured Giroud

The pressure is on Arsene Wenger to bring in attacking reinforcements following Olivier Giroud's injury but Alexis Sanchez showed on Wednesday evening that he is capable of leading the line for Arsenal during the Frenchman's absence.

The Chile international’s goal sealed a 1-0 win over Besiktas to put Arsenal in the Champions League group stage for the 17th successive year but can the £31.8 million summer signing consistently deputise for Giroud until January?
Thursday, August 28, 2014 12:00

Manchester United hammered on night of Di Maria arrival

Tuesday evening started on a high note for Manchester United after they confirmed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.

But Louis van Gaal and his side were brought sharply down to earth as they were dumped out of the League Cup following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of MK Dons.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 12:00

Jovetic upstages Balotelli’s arrival

After his £16 million move to Liverpool was completed, Mario Balotelli returned to Manchester City as a spectator on Monday evening to witness his new team-mates slip to a 3-1 defeat.

Stevan Jovetic was the star of the show as his double, along with Sergio Aguero’s strike, sealed victory for the Premier League champions.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 12:00

Di Maria's Ice Bucket Challenge

Van Gaal leads frantic Man Utd recruitment drive

With just a week left until the transfer window closes, Manchester United face a race against time to bolster a squad that has picked up just a single point from their opening two Premier League matches - their worst start in 22 years.

The Red Devils are already closing in on a deal to sign Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria, who could cost as much as £70 million, while Dutch duo Nigel De Jong and Daley Blind, of AC Milan and Ajax respectively, could be reunited with their old Netherlands boss.

Van Gaal admitted his appreciation for the Argentine, as well as Juventus's midfield dynamo Arturo Vidal, and there looks set to be a lot of activity at Old Trafford in the coming seven days as United look to bolster a squad that has struggled in the early stages of the new campaign.
Monday, August 25, 2014 12:30

Van Gaal goes from king to devil

After enjoying a hugely successful pre-season which saw them conquer European giants to lift the International Champions Cup, Manchester United - and manager Louis van Gaal - came crashing back to earth last week.

The Red Devils were beaten 2-1 by Swansea City at Old Trafford in the first game of the new Premier League season, bursting the bubble of optimism built over the off-season and off the back off Van Gaal's excellent showing with the Netherlands at the World Cup.

"Two weeks ago I was the king of Manchester and now I am the devil of Manchester,” the Dutchman remarked on Friday.

Next up for United is a trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland and Van Gaal will be hoping for a better showing than against Swansea, though he still maintains that it will take at least three months for his philosophy and coaching to begin to show on the pitch.
Saturday, August 23, 2014 11:45

Friday, August 22, 2014

Super Mario on verge of Liverpool move

Liverpool are on the verge of completing a £16 million swoop for volatile AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, with the Italian having already said his goodbyes to his Rossoneri team-mates.

The dart-throwing, supercar-wrecking, pig-owning striker enjoyed a tumultuous stay in the Premier League with Manchester City, and more fireworks are expected should he finalise a move to Anfield.

Balotelli will be expected to fill the void left by Luis Suarez - one of the few players in the world who is even more controversial than the 24-year-old - and Brendan Rodgers faces a tough task in keeping football's ultimate bad boy under control.
Friday, August 22, 2014 11:50

Barca on the prowl for players ahead of transfer ban

Player valuations are set to rocket following Fifa’s confirmation that Barcelona will not be able to sign anyone until 2016.

The Spanish side, who are banned from signing anyone in the next two transfer windows, have only 11 days to cram in their business, while clubs across Europe will be looking to hide their prized assets.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:00

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wenger sees red after Ramsey dismissal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was furious after his side's 0-0 draw with Besiktas in the Champions League, decrying the decision to send midfielder Aaron Ramsey off.

The Frenchman unleashed his inner John McEnroe after the dismissal, claiming the Welshman's second yellow card was "just not serious".

Ramsey was adjudged to have pulled back Oguzhan Ozyakup in the 80th minute, and will now miss the second leg at Emirates Stadium next week, but Wenger is adamant it was a poor decision.

"Both yellow cards for Aaron Ramsey are unbelievable," fumed the Arsenal boss. "When you see the fouls they have made today it's not serious. Just not serious."
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:00

Maestro Fabregas orchestrates Chelsea win

Cesc Fabregas enjoyed a spectacular return to the Premier League on Monday night, setting up two goals as Chelsea brushed aside newly promoted Burnley to claim a convincing 3-1 win.

Despite going behind early on at Turf Moor, the Blues showed their class in an electrifying first-half display that was orchestrated by the club's summer signing from Barcelona.

Fabregas, sitting deep alongside Nemanja Matic, pulled the strings for the away side and showed his incredible class with a sublime first-time clipped pass to setup Andre Schurrle.

The Spain international helped to extend the west Londoners' lead even further, planting a pin-point corner on the boot of Branislav Ivanovic, with Chelsea romping to a routine win thanks to their new midfield dynamo.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:30

Suarez struggling to let go of Liverpool

Luis Suarez is having difficulty letting Liverpool go from his life.

The Uruguayan left Anfield this summer in a gigantic £75 million move to Barcelona but his former manager Brendan Rodgers revealed he received a text from Suarez before their 2-1 opening day win over Southampton.

Far removed from the pantomime villain we have become accustomed to seeing, Rodgers described the text as "lovely" and said he is a "friend of Liverpool now."

Suarez is set to take part in a friendly on Monday night against Leon, where he will feature alongside his new team-mates Leo Messi and Neymar, but seems like he has yet to fully focus on the Catalans.
Monday, 18 August 2014 13:01

Ghost of Moyes haunts Van Gaal at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United reign got off to the worst possible start as he watched his side lose to Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The defeat was the first time the Red Devils have lost on the opening day since 1972 with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s winner handing Garry Monk’s side a 2-1 victory.

The result is in sharp contrast to last season when United also faced Swansea on the opening day and won 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium under David Moyes.
Sunday, 17 August 2014 11:48

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The truth about Wenger's coat

Chaos of the Premier League is back for another season

It's finally here. After 97 days, a Premier League ball will be kicked in anger once again.

Saturday sees 14 of the top-flight's 20 sides in action with Louis van Gaal's Manchester United taking on Swansea. Later, Tottenham head to West Ham for Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge of Spurs and Arsenal host managerless Crystal Palace.

With the likes of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera brought to England over the summer, this Premier League season feels like no other.
Saturday, 16 August 2014 10:10

Suarez unleashed on Barca training

The Court of Arbitration for Sport may have upheld Luis Suarez's four-month football ban, but they have now allowed the Uruguayan to train with Barcelona ahead of his return.

The former Livepool striker, who nibbled on an opponent for a third time when he took a chunk out of Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder at the World Cup, had initially been banned from all football-related activity, preventing Barca from unveiling their big-money signing.

But CAS have now allowed Suarez to link up with his new team-mates on the training field, and he is expected to line up in a friendly against Leon FC on Monday, just hours after a planned official presentation at Camp Nou.

It will be a little while yet before Suarez can join his Barca team-mates in a competitive match, however, and he will instead have a watching brief until October 26 when he likely to make his full debut against Real Madrid.
Friday, 15 August 2014 14:00

Robin Williams tribute

Bellerin, Arsenal's new king of speed

Arsenal have a new speed king, with teenage full-back Hesctor Bellerin having broken Theo Walcott's long-standing 40m sprint record.

Walcott had been the club's fastest player, having shaved 0.4 seconds off the previous sprint record held by Thierry Henry when he arrived at the Emirates Stadium.

But Bellerin has now smashed Walcott's record, and showed that raw pace in several high velocity outings during the club's pre-season preparations.

The former Southampton attacker may not be Arsenal's undisputed speedster any more, but he still insists he could beat Henry in a straight sprint.
Thursday, 14 August 2014 13:05

Ronaldo the ultimate star of Madrid's Galacticos

Real Madrid have spent close to £100 million this summer on the signings of James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

But it was Cristiano Ronaldo who once again stole the show as Madrid left Cardiff as Uefa Super Cup winners on Tuesday night.

Ronaldo scored both goals in a 2-0 victory over Sevilla as Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side kicked off their season with a trophy win.

The new-look Galacticos boasts Bale, Benzema, James, Kroos, Modric and more, but Ronaldo remains the star attraction.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:30

Mourinho urges Khedira to snub Arsenal

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted Sami Khedira is not for sale this summer, despite interest from Arsenal.

The Gunners never made an official bid for the Germany international, but with his contract expiring in 2015, the midfielder could still be on the move.

However, reports suggest Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who coached Khedira at Madrid, has told the German to snub Arsenal in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge in future.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 16:52

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sour grapes for Nasri

Samir Nasri further endeared himself to Arsenal fans prior to Manchester City's Community Shield clash with the Gunners on Sunday.

"I just think the abuse I get is stupid," he said. "I'm not an Arsenal fan, I am not from London. To be honest we are players and we are just looking at what are the best interests for us and our careers.

"When Manchester City came for me it was the best choice to come here. Since coming to City I have won ­trophies and I have a better life so I am really happy about everything.

"If the fans can't move on it's too bad. I am not trying to have a problem with that. They do what they have to do and they love their club.

"They see that as a treason or that I betrayed them but it's not that."

Nasri was met with boos from the Arsenal faithful at Wembley and it was the Gunners who had the last laugh, coming out on top with a comfortable 3-0 win.
Monday, August 11, 2014 12:00

Casillas still the man at Madrid

Iker Casillas was provided with something of a vote of confidence following Real Madrid's decision to offload Diego Lopez to AC Milan.

The Spain No.1, who lost his place to Lopez for the majority of the 2013-14 campaign, is seemingly still in favour at the Bernabeu despite his struggles with his national team at the World Cup.

The signing of Keylor Navas has further pushed Lopez out the door, with the 32-year-old furious at the way he has been treated by the Champions League winners, while Casillas now looks certain to finish his career in Madrid.
Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:00

Neuer unleashed as Bayern sign Reina

Could Pep Guardiola be considering a dramatic change of tactics following the arrival of Pepe Reina?

Sweeper keeper Manuel Neuer, who has made dashing from his goal to meet opponents something of a trademark, may finally get his chance to feature further up the pitch with the signing of the Liverpool goalkeeper.

Bayern begin their Bundesliga campaign on August 22 against Wolfsburg - it remains to be seen if both goalkeepers are given a place in the starting XI...
Saturday, August 9, 2014 13:00

Desperate Suarez praying for ban reduction

Luis Suarez is in Lausanne for a personal hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as he desperately attempts to drive his four-month ban down.

At present, the Uruguayan is suspended from all football-related activity and also prohibited from national duty for nine months by Fifa after biting Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in the World Cup.

His adviser Alejandro Balbi described the ban that prevents him training with new club Barcelona as something that "violate[s] [Suarez's] fundamental rights".

Needless to say, the 27-year-old will be hoping CAS see it the same way.
Friday, August 8, 2014 12:50

Webb hangs up his whistle... and Man Utd kit

Howard Webb blew the whistle on his 25-year refereeing career to become technical director at PGMOL on Wednesday.

The former policeman has refereed in the Premier League for more than a decade and taken charge of Champions League and World Cup finals, but will never quite shake off the unfair suspicion among certain football fans that he always favoured Manchester United.

When the announcement was made, social media buzzed with jokes about the Red Devils losing yet another big name... poor Howard.
Thursday, August 7, 2014 13:00

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Xavi calls time on Spain career

Xavi has retired from international football after winning the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.

The 34-year-old was capped 133 times, more than any other Spanish outfield player, while Vicente del Bosque admits the national side will struggle to find a replacement for the Barcelona midfielder.

"We have lost a unique player in the national team and it will be difficult to find another one like him,” said the 63-year-old.

"Xavi has been key in Spain's style and in all the success achieved. We'll miss him so much on and off the pitch."
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12:00

Van Gaal sets sights on Premier League title

Louis van Gaal has secured his first trophy (of sorts) at Manchester United after he guided his side past Liverpool in the International Champions Cup final.

Waye Rooney found the net for the fifth time in pre-season as United ran out 3-1 winners at the Sun Life Stadium, with Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard also getting on the scoresheet.

Van Gaal will now be hoping United’s encouraging pre-season displays can transfer to their Premier League campaign as they look to beat the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to the title.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:00

Mourinho: Chelsea won't miss you David Luiz


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at David Luiz, who he sold to Paris Saint-Germain this summer for £40 million.

The Blues boss felt the need to remind the Brazilian that Gary Cahill and John Terry were his first-choice centre-backs and that the 27-year-old only played in midfield because Nemanja Matic was cup-tied for the Champions League.

So with Luiz cast off to France, here's Mourinho having a celebratory drink with his team.
Monday, August 4, 2014 10:31


Scolari makes swift return to management

Barely a month after Brazil's World Cup ended in humiliation, disappointment and a P45 for Luiz Felipe Scolari, the much-maligned coach has already returned to management.

Felipao was appointed the new head coach of Gremio - a club he left 18 years ago - on Tuesday, having only resigned from his post in charge of Brazil on July 14.

Scolari will be officially unveiled to the press on Wednesday evening - but will he receive a warm welcome after his struggles with the national team?
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 14:00

Ozil, Modric & the Goal 50 absentees


You can read about it via this link by Chris Myson
Ozil, Modric & the Goal 50 absentees