Category Archives: Football News

Chelsea Confirmed Ex-Liverpool Boss Benitez as New interim Team Manager

Chelsea announced that Rafael Benitez had been appointed their interim first team-manager until the end of the season after the European champions sacked Roberto di Matteo.  The 52-year-old former Liverpool boss travelled back from Abu Dhabi to his Merseyside home on Wednesday. He is expected to arrive in London to meet his new players after training. The Spaniard has signed a deal until the end of the season, but it is understood the contract includes an option for a further year. A Chelsea statement said: “The owner and the board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.

The two-time Uefa Manager of the Year comes with outstanding pedigree.” Rafael Benitez began his managerial career in his homeland, most notably at Valencia where he built a reputation as one of Europe’s top coaches by winning the Spanish League twice and the UEFA Cup. He then spent six years at Liverpool and led them to their fifth European Cup and an FA Cup. Reports in Holland suggest that former Netherlands midfielder Boudewijn Zenden, 36, who spent three years at Chelsea until 2004, will be Benitez’s assistant manager. Zenden played under Benitez at Liverpool for two years from 2005.  Benitez is Chelsea’s ninth manager since Roman Abramovich became owner in 2003. His first match in charge will be Sunday’s game at home to Manchester City, with Chelsea four points behind the league leaders. Benitez left Liverpool by “mutual consent” in 2010 after the club finished Premier League season in seventh place, their worst since 1999. However, days later, he then took charge of Inter Milan only for his spell in charge of the Italian giants to last just a matter of months. Benitez quit Inter in December 2010 after calling on the club to back him or sack him in the upcoming January transfer market following the team’s FIFA Club World Cup final win over Congolese side Mazembe in Abu Dhabi.
In between all that, Di Matteo joined the ever-increasing list of men to be ruthlessly sacked by Abramovich, who is now on his ninth manager in a little over eight years. It would be no exaggeration to say Benitez would be the least popular of his appointments judging by the reaction of Chelsea supporters on social media. However, given the break clause in Benitez’s contract, whether he gets beyond the next seven months could be in doubt.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney to captain England in Friday’s World Cup Qualifier

Wayne Rooney will captain England in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino in front of a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley. The 26-year-old has inherited the armband due to regular captain Steven Gerrard’s suspension following his sending-off in the last qualifier against Ukraine and because of a knee injury suffered by official vice-captain Frank Lampard. Rooney, who has 76 caps for England and missed the opening two Group H matches after suffering a nasty cut playing for Manchester United, captained his country in a friendly against Brazil three years ago. “Frank had a scan earlier in the week,

He tried to train apart from the team on Wednesday morning and he still felt a problem with his calf. There has been a slight tear. It’s not a major problem but the best thing if for him to go back to his club and receive treatment on a daily basis. We will reassess the situation on Sunday.” manager Roy Hodgson confirmed. After that it was seen as a straight fight between Rooney and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart for the honour, and the Football Association has now confirmed Rooney is the man. He has captained England just once before, in a friendly against Brazil in Doha in 2009. “I enjoy working with Wayne, we had a good Euros, I was disappointed of course when he got that terrible gash and I was even worried it would keep him out not only of the September games but also of the October games.

Luckily he has made a quick recovery and will certainly captain the team in the first one.” manager Roy Hodgson told reporters on Thursday. Rooney is aware of the importance of putting on a good performance against a side ranked joint worst in the world, at 207, alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands. “This is something I’m really proud of. It’s a big challenge for myself, and I’m excited. Hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory.The fans since I’ve been involved with England have been fantastic, It’s a great honour, something I’m really proud of and a big challenge for myself and hopefully we’ll cap the day off with a good victory.” Rooney said. “I think it’s magnificent, it shows how fantastic the support is, we are very happy with it and concerned not to let them down,” manager Roy Hodgson added.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has lavished praise on Manchester City’s Joe Hart

Manchester United & Manchester City news:

Joe Hart is still eager to improve despite being hailed as the best goalkeeper in the world by England colleague Wayne Rooney and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. After the game, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney described Hart as the best goalkeeper in the world. Joe Hart believes Wayne Rooney is next in line to captain England. “It’s a special honour for some special people to say some nice things, but we move on. In goal, you can be the worst in the world two days later.” said Hart. Goalkeeper Hart has been mentioned as a possible stand-in but Rooney, who has captained the side once before, is keen to take on a more senior role in Roy Hodgson’s group.

But the 25-year-old, speaking ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley, admits he is determined to scale even greater heights. Hart said: “It’s nice people say nice things but things are easily said. You’ve got to remain level-headed. If you don’t, it’s a big slap when you do something wrong. Then people are going to say bad things about you but that’s football. You can’t go too far one way or the other or you leave yourself vulnerable.” Goalkeeper Hart has been mentioned as a possible stand-in but Rooney, who has captained the side once before, is keen to take on a more senior role in Roy Hodgson’s group. He added: “I’ve not thought about it at all. How the captain is chosen is the manager’s decision. I’ve got a big responsibility to keep my place in the team for club and country. If I do get the nod, I’ll try and give as much as I can in terms of helping the team. But I think it’s between Wayne Rooney and Wayne Rooney if we are going to go on experience and how captains have been chosen in the past.” And the City No 1 knows even a side as lowly-ranked as San Marino are capable of causing a keeper embarrassment. Hart admits concentration is paramount as the solidity of the City and England defences means he has long spells when not called into action. He said.”It’s just not often that I get much opportunity to make many saves because City are so solid at the back,Concentration is always key. International football is not often ‘you have a go and then we’ll have a go’. It’s a chess game. I imagine, like most teams when they come to Wembley, San Marino are going to try and get people behind the ball.”
Hart admitted: “I’m still trying to improve. I hate to say it but I am getting a bit older now so I have to get in a bit earlier and prepare my body a bit differently. I just know every day I want to be the guy you can rely on. I want to be the best. I want to work hard on saving every shot. Pretty simple really. I’ve got no silly targets like I need to win this and I need to do that. I need to keep working hard, keep my love and passion for the game and hopefully good things will come.”

Tony Pulis Called To punish Liverpool’s Luis Suarez for Dive

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has called on the Football Association to punish Liverpool’s Luis Suarez for simulation. Pulis believes Suarez was guilty of diving in the second half of his side’s goalless draw at Anfield on Sunday. Stoke boss Tony Pulis condemned a blatant dive by the Uruguayan striker towards the end of the 0-0 draw as ‘very, very disappointing’. Pulis said: ‘You have got Suarez falling over in the box second half which was really, really disappointing. ‘I think that should be highlighted, as I have said before.’ By contrast, Pulis had nothing but praise for Suarez’s team-mate Glen Johnson for his reaction to an earlier clash. He added: “There was a challenge in the first half in front of us, Jon Walters and Glen Johnson both went up for a header, it was a proper old-fashioned challenge.

The FA is unlikely to sanction the player as it only takes retrospective action against unseen red card offences and not offences which might have earned a booking. But the Uruguayan may claim Stoke centre-back Robert Huth was guilty of stamping on his chest early on in a game in which six Stoke players were yellow carded. Pulis added:’Glen Johnson did absolutely fantastic, just bounced back up on got with the game, it was a proper, proper challenge. I went over to him and said “well done, brilliant” – not only did he play exceptionally well but his behaviour was fabulous.’  “We are disappointed with the amount of bookings that we got and we are disappointed that maybe one or two of the Liverpool players weren’t booked,”Suarez is a fantastic player with great ability.

He is a handful and he is the one player we are frightened to death about.” said Pulis. “Glen Johnson did absolutely fantastic, just bounced back up on got with the game, it was a proper, proper challenge. I went over to him and said ‘well done, brilliant’ – not only did he play exceptionally well but his behaviour was fabulous.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has complained to referees’ chief Mike Riley about some of the decisions against his side this season, including a lack of penalties in Suarez’s favour. He said: ‘I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t really comment on it but whatever Luis does there will always be a problem, whether it’s media, referees or whatever. I thought he was terrific today, some of his movement and combinations.” Rodgers was frustrated by the draw but praised his side, in particular his younger players for the way they stood up to the physical challenge Stoke provided.

Barcelona vs Real Madrid, 2-2 Draw in The First La Liga El Clasico of This Season

El Clasico La Liga News : A brace each for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that the first league Clasico of the season ended in a 2-2 draw. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both in scintillating form as Barcelona and Real Madrid played out at Camp Nou in the first Liga Clasico of this season. There was nothing to separate the Ballon d’Or hopefuls as after giving the visitors the lead, the Portuguese earned his side a point following a brace from the Argentine superstar. FC Barcelona walked away from the first La Liga Clasico of the season with a point on Sunday night as Lionel Messi’s brace was cancelled out by two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. The first proper chance of the match fell to Karim Benzema in the 13th minute, but thankfully he totally miss hit a Cristiano Ronaldo cross. Real Madrid took the lead on 23 minutes, exploiting the Blaugrana’s makeshift backline to find Ronaldo open on the left-hand side of the penalty area, and the Portuguese forward did exceptionally well to score at Victor Valdés’ near post.

Yet the Blaugrana were unperturbed at the other end of the pitch and they secured an equaliser when Pedro’s cross looped into the air following a pair of deflections. In his eagerness to head the ball away, Pepe misjudged the flight of the ball and Messi, who was lurking in the box, beat Iker Casillas as it dropped behind the defender and fired into the back of the net. You won’t see a more precise freekick than the one Messi bent perfectly into the corner to make it 2-1 in the 62nd minute.  Leo was tackled hard from behind from Alonso, who must have been worried about a second yellow, but the Argentine made them pay the ultimate price with a stunning freekick, which is a skill he has really worked on the last year and it’s paying massive dividends. However, Barcelona only held the lead for five minutes as Ronaldo equalised on the 66th minute after beating the offside trap. Despite injuring his shoulder on a high bicycle kick attempt, Ronaldo made it 2-2 only 4 minutes after Barça took the lead. Barcelona did have chances to win the game, as Martin Montoya’s long-range effort rebounded off the cross-bar, but on reflection, a draw was probably the fairest result. Tito Vilanova’s 100% league record may have come to an end, but Barca remain unbeaten and eight points ahead of Los Blancos headed into the international break.
Mourinho said after the game that you can’t choose between them and that “I think it should be forbidden to say who the best player in the world because these two are from another planet.” The press would seem to agree. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi match each other in El Clásico with two goals each. Each team now has a draw, a win and a loss each from encounters this season.

Manchester United Manager Ferguson Wants Discipline in The Team

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players they must keep their cool at Anfield on Sunday when his side take on Liverpool. Clashes between the two sides are usually heated affairs with six red cards in the last 11 meetings.Liverpool and United clashes have been famed for their atmospheres, which can lead to players getting carried away on the pitch.Nemanja Vidic has been United’s biggest culprit with three red cards against Liverpool in the last four years – including two at Anfield. “We’ve had a lot of players sent off at Anfield.

But I don’t think the games have ever got out of hand,” Ferguson said.”It’s going to be meaty, competitive, and we expect that. But I just hope our disciplinary record is good.” “There’s a great atmosphere, fantastic, and the kind of atmosphere you want to be involved in. “It does get emotive, but you just have to handle that,” he said. There is also the added spice this time as Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra are likely to go up against each other again following last season’s fall-out between the pair.

Ferguson praised the atmosphere at Anfield but has warned his players they must be able to keep their focus on the pitch despite what may be happening in the stands. The United manager will want his side to keep eleven men on the pitch as they go in search for their first win at Anfield since 2007, when they beat Liverpool 1-0.

LIVERPOOL Told Andy Carroll To Leave Anfield

LIVERPOOL have told Andy Carroll to accept his Anfield career is over and leave before tomorrow’s transfer deadline as they look for ways of financing bids for Theo Walcott and Clint Dempsey. Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to persuade the striker to accept his time at the club is over as he attempts to raise funds for new signings. Though the England striker has consistently made it clear he does not want to leave Anfield, his omission from the squad for Thursday night’s Europa League qualifier against Hearts effectively means his Liverpool career is over.

But Carroll remains committed to Liverpool, having already turned down one proposed move to West Ham. Newcastle’s offer to take Carroll on a season-long loan remains on the table.Walcott and Arsene Wenger reached a fragile agreement yesterday after two hours of talks about a new contract which remains unsigned – and Liverpool are keen to give it an immediate test. But the stark financial reality at the club, caused by past transfer excesses, means manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to sell first and he wants to get rid of England striker Carroll. Asked if Carroll would still be a Liverpool player when the window closes tomorrow night,  Rodgers said: “It is too early to say. I can only be straight with a player on where he stands. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers would like to add Theo Walcott to his squad, even though it emerged the Arsenal forward will see out the final year of his contract at the Emirates after holding amicable talks with Arsene Wenger. “The reality is, financially, we need to repair, so the players being linked for the money mentioned, I don’t have the ability to sign in this window,” Rodgers said. “I respect players and I’m precise with my information so they know where they stand. We all come into the profession knowing what the job is. Ultimately, it comes down to what your objective is as a player”, he continued.
But should Liverpool offload Carroll, they would be in a position to test Arsenal’s resolve on Walcott, who earlier this summer turned down a new five-year deal worth £75,000 per week. When asked whether Liverpool could afford to buy without selling, Rodgers replied: ‘No. Not at this stage, obviously I have seen a lot of the links and it is great that those players would want to come here but the reality is that we are not in a position to do those sorts of deals.’

Theo Walcott rejected contract offer from Arsenal

Arsenal have failed to reach an agreement with England winger Theo Walcott over a contract extension, but talks are ongoing. The 23-year-old, whose contract expires in 2013, wants to stay and is willing to continue negotiations. Walcott, 23, and his representatives had been preparing to continue negotiations beyond Friday’s 11pm transfer deadline on a new deal for the player, having rejected the club’s first two offers. However, despite interest from Manchester City and Liverpool they feel under no pressure to agree to a move away from the club by Friday with so many factors in their favour.

It is understood Walcott has been offered an improved five-year deal worth £75,000-a-week. City have already made it clear they are chasing another winger, after selling Adam Johnson to Sunderland. He has scored 42 goals in 222 appearances and won 28 England caps during his time at the club. Walcott contributed 12 assists in the Premier League last season, many of which were for Robin van Persie. Van Persie moved to Manchester United for £24m on 17 August, three days before Alex Song joined Barcelona. The feeling from Arsenal’s side is that they cannot allow the player to leave for a relatively small compensation next July when his contract expires and he would be entitled to a lucrative Bosman free transfer. That has been the long-held fear at the club and yesterday’s threats to sell him for £11m appears to be a last-ditch move to apply pressure to the player to sign. Arsenal waited until after the campaign began to open dialogue with Walcott’s representatives. They feel they have enough cover in wide positions if he is sold, with Lukas Podolski, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrey Arshavin and 17-year-old Serge Gnabry all available to manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal would like to keep the player but at the moment the two sides are far apart in their valuation of Walcott’s worth to the club, with the player seeking a £100,000-a-week deal. Arsenal regard that level as too much relative to what he has achieved so far at the club.

Slumping Madrid signed Midfielder Luka Modric for Next Five Seasons

Real Madrid have signed on Tottenham Hotspur’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric for the next five seasons, the Spanish club announced on Monday. Luka Modric has been unveiled as a Real Madrid player after they hammered out a £33million move for the midfielder.

Spurs will receive £27m from Real, plus another £6m in various add-ons. The fee is a blow for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, who was holding out for a figure in the region of £35m-plus.  ‘Real Madrid C.F. and Tottenham Hotspur have reached an agreement for the transfer of player Luka Modric, who will be with the club for the next five seasons,’ the team said in a statement. The two clubs have also agreed a new ‘partnership’ that, according to Spurs, will see them ‘working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships.’ “I’m very happy, honoured and proud to be at the biggest and best club in the world. I’m very excited,” Modric said. “Luka has been a terrific player for us and, while we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez Rodriguez added: “We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years.” The Spanish club said it expected him to play a key role.”Real Madrid has signed a very talented and creative playmaker for the midfield,” they said.
Modric joined Tottenham in 2008 in a £16.5m deal from Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. He made over 150 appearances for the London club, scoring 17 goals. ‘An attacking player capable of assisting his teammates and delivering with great judgement, added to which he has a great capacity for work and sacrifice for the sake of the team,’ Real Madrid said.

Everton Agreed To sell Midfielder Jack Rodwell To Manchester City

Manchester City are poised to complete the signing of Jack Rodwell after Everton accepted an “undisclosed” bid for the midfielder. Rodwell will head to Manchester for a medical with the Premier League champions on Sunday, prior to completing the move. A statement on the Toffees’ official website said: “Everton have agreed an undisclosed fee with Manchester City for the transfer of Jack Rodwell. The midfielder is set to undergo a medical with the Premier League champions on Sunday.” The fee is thought to be in the region of £15 million for a player who will fight for a central midfield berth at the Etihad Stadium with the likes of Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong and Yaya Toure.  Rodwell won his first England cap last season and was widely tipped to feature at Euro 2012 and the Olympics before injury ruled him out of contention.

Image From news.com.au
Image From news.com.au

The 21-year-old is a full England international, making his debut at Wembley against Spain last November, although there has been speculation over the last 18 months that his club manager, David Moyes, has been disappointed with his rate of progress. The player is expected to be a regular international in the future and is a popular figure at Goodison Park after joining the club aged 7. Mancini was delighted to announce the signing, describing Rodwell as an “important player.” “We consider Jack Rodwell to be a good, young player,” he said. He continued,  “We need someone who wants to win, is good tactically and is a good player for the future. I am sure that in a couple of years he will be a top, strong midfielder because he has good quality. We are looking for other players, I don’t know which players. I don’t want to say, speak to [City’s chief football operations officer] Brian Marwood. I am waiting and tomorrow we will have time to talk about new players.” “Obviously I would have liked to have played but I feel like I’m in the right place now,” Rodwell said. “I’m feeling fit, I’m doing a good pre-season and hopefully I’m ready to go for the first game of the season. “I just want to stay injury-free and get a good run of games because everyone wants to stay injury-free.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be a long-time admirer of Rodwell but with the Red Devils and Chelsea both believed to have expressed an interest, City have moved swiftly to land the England international. The fee is thought to be in the region of £15 million for a player who will fight for a central midfield berth at the Etihad Stadium with the likes of Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong and Yaya Toure. Rodwell has been a long-term target of Manchester United – with Chelsea also credited with a persistent interest – but City have moved quickly to secure the versatile player and bolster their midfield ranks. Manager Roberto Mancini is also keen to adhere to Premier League squad rules, with Rodwell’s homegrown status almost as valuable as the qualities he will bring to the squad.