Liverpool news – Benitez given £5m transfer budget, Wilson deal hits the rocks, Mascherano linked with Barcelona again

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Liverpool. Today: Benitez given £5m transfer budget. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been handed just £5m to spend on his sub-standard squad this summer, according to the Daily Mail. Although the Spaniard insisted he would need to sign five new players in order to get Liverpool back on track, however it would seem this target would be difficult with this transfer budget. It remains unclear whether Benitez would be able to reinvest the…

Read More

Arsenal news – Rodallega open to Arseanl move, £4.2m Koscielny bid rejected, Merida “eternally grateful” to Wenger

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Arsenal. Today: £4.2m Koscielny bid rejected. Lorient have turned down a reported £4.2m bid from Arsenal for French star Laurent Koscielny. The French club are looking to hold out for their £7m valuation, and Arsene Wenger knows they must act quickly to get his signature, with French giants Lyon, Lille and Zenit St Petersburg all monitoring the situation according to Lorient president Loic Fery. Rodallega open to Arseanl move. Wigan star Hugo Rodallega…

Read More

Uruguay Camp Focus – Abreu stakes his claim

La Celeste bade an impressive farewell to the homeland with a 4-1 demolition of Israel at the famous old Centenario in Montevideo on Wednesday night. Oscar Tabarez’s team once again rebuffed the stereotype of defensive, combative Uruguay teams by displaying just how much attacking talent is packed into their squad, even after omitting Cristian “Cebolla” Rodriguez. The man grabbing the headlines was not one of the rising starlets however, but well-travelled warhorse Sebastian “El Loco” Abreu. The well-travelled 33-year old, who has played for clubs in six different countries, replaced…

Read More

England Camp Focus – Capello to cement the midfield against Japan

The overall feeling following England’s win against Mexico was there for all to see in the many press reports immediately after the game and is one which is reportedly shared by the Head Coach, Fabio Capello. A 3-1 score line against a strong Aztecas team, on the face of it, appeared a good result especially in the context of the Netherlands 2-1 win against Javier Aguirre’s side on Wednesday. However, it was the manner of the display which has most struck a chord with Head Coach and fans alike. On…

Read More

Denmark Camp Focus – Olsen sweats over key injuries

Denmark may have secured a 2-0 victory over Senegal but there are injury concerns ahead of the World Cup. Mikkel Beckmann was substituted at half-time with an ankle injury and Simon Kjaer was stretchered off late on after sustaining a knee injury. The Palermo defender was making a last-ditch tackle denying Manchester United’s Mame Biram Diouf from scoring but it might come at a cost. Morten Olsen and his staff looked on with worried faces as their young player might face the prospect of missing out in June. The 21-year-old…

Read More

Portugal Camp Focus – Off to a bad start

Portugal commenced their World Cup warm-up matches in less than convincing style with a goalless draw against Cape Verde Islands. Whilst the draw represents a famous result for the former Portuguese colony, serious questions have been posed to Carlos Queiroz ahead of this summer’s tournament in South Africa. A goalless draw against a side ranked 114 places below them in the FIFA World Rankings is a less than ideal start to the campaign. As is to be expected when facing such lowly opposition, the Portuguese had the lion’s share of…

Read More

Brazil Camp Focus – Dunga leaves Ronaldinho on the standby list

The final FIFA World Rankings before the World Cup , again, has Brazil ranked top of the pack but as they touched down on South African soil on Thursday, coach Carlos Dunga knows that only a sixth title will satisfy the Selecao supporters. Of course whether one puts much store by this monthly run down is another matter given that they rarely seem to reflect the true standing of international football. For example, can anyone truly argue that Portugal are the third best team on the planet, given their shaky…

Read More

Newcastle news – Boyd battle continues, Magpies after Onouha reduction, Newcastle lead boycott following Triesman scandal

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Newcastle United. Today: Battle for Boyd goes on Newcastle United face a battle to sign Rangers striker Kris Boyd. The Daily Record claims United, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham are all after last season’s SPL top scorer. Turkish sides Kayserispor and Trabzonspor are also said to be interested in the Rangers hitman who is available on a free transfer. Magpies ask for Onouha reduction Manchester City have been told to lower their asking price…

Read More

Chelsea news – Cole to Real Madrid, Kaka too Stamford Bridge, Essien out of World Cup

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Chelsea. Today: Cole to follow Mourinho to Madrid Jose Mourinho has confirmed he wants to sign Ashley Cole from Chelsea, according to The Sun. The claim comes a day after the paper said Chelsea will struggle to hold on to the ‘tormented’ England star. As a move to the Bernabeu appears imminent for the Special One, he told The Sun: “I prefer to play with attacking full-backs in the style of Ashley Cole…

Read More

Tottenham news – Modric not for sale, Pienaar available at £15m, Dzeko battle intensifies

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Tottenham. Today: Redknapp adamant over Modric Luka Modric is staying at White Hart Lane according to Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, despite speculation he might be moving elsewhere. The Croatian international moved to the north London club two years ago for £16.5m, and has since become one of the most talked about players in the Premier League. The 24-year-old was a key component for Spurs this season and helped them qualify for the UEFA…

Read More

Arsenal news – Ramsey sepaks out, Wilshere heading for Bolton, Wenger promised Fabregas funds

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Arsenal. Today: Ramsey discusses return Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has spoke out about his rehabilitation from his double leg break. The Welshman has told the official Arsenal website he is on his way to recovery, taking each day at a time. He is confident of return to form, setting a target of next year when the bone has fully healed and the task of building muscle is complete, then back to starting running…

Read More

Ivory Coast Camp Focus – Eriksson back in the limelight

Sven-Goran Eriksson has enjoyed a wealth of success and experience after 33 years of various managing positions in world football. On his curriculum vitae appear a number of impressive feats. He won the UEFA Cup in 1982 with Swedish side IFK Goteborg as part of a treble-winning season. Following that, he lifted the Portuguese Championship three times with Benfica over two stints as boss as well as being beaten in the 1990 European Cup final by AC Milan. Most notably, his four years (1997-2001) in Italy with Lazio saw him…

Read More

World Cup 2010 Stadium Guide – Free State Stadium, Mangaung / Bloemfontein

The Free State Stadium is situated in Mangaung/Bloemfontein and is a 45 058 seater stadium. Originally built in 1952, the stadium has had substantial modifications including new floodlights, turnstiles an impressive sound system and new electronic score-boards. The stadium also had its capacity increased from 38 000 by adding a second tier to the main grandstand. The stadium has been the venue for many national as well as domestic rugby and football matches in its history, but most recently was one of the venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup…

Read More

World Cup 2010 Stadium Guide – Green Point Stadium, Cape Town

The Green Point Stadium is one of the most impressive venues in the tournament and also one of the most sought after venues at the World Cup. This £226.5m architectural triumph is based in Cape Town and is a 70 000 all-seater, multi-purpose, state of the art, environmentally sustainable master-piece of stadium design. The project, although at one point being behind schedule, was actually completed early and now boasts that it is one of the most sophisticated in the world. Situated between the mountains and the sea, the main feature…

Read More

Korea DPR Camp Focus – Preparations on course after promising midweek result

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea produced an excellent result as they continue to prepare for South Africa, drawing 2-2 with a Greece team sitting pretty at 12th in the current FIFA World Rankings. The hard-fought draw will instil further confidence in a team which, of all the lesser-ranked nations taking part in the World Cup, are showing the most self-belief that they can make history at this year’s tournament. The result against Greece was particularly notable for the double scored by Kawasaki Frontale striker Jong Tae Se. The goals…

Read More

South Africa Camp Focus – McCarthy sets record straight as Bafana Bafana stretch unbeaten run

As the hosts continue to go about their preparation for the World Cup quietly, many can be forgiven for not knowing what to expect come June 11. It is no secret there were many financial and economic factors behind South Africa staging this year’s tournament, and Bafana Bafana have not exactly been known as a big team on the international circuit. But there is a long history of hosting nations over-performing on home soil, and if the press conferences held over the past week are anything to go by, the…

Read More

Chile Camp Focus – La Roja make easy work of Zambia as World Cup draws closer

Chile cruised to a 3-0 victory over Zambia yesterday at the Estadio Nacional de Chile. The Chipolopolo, who made it to the quarter-finals in the African Cup of Nations back in January, were worthy opponents but failed to trouble captain Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal. After a slow first-half with very few chances at either end, Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to introduce four fresh legs at half-time proved crucial. Alexis Sanchez, who normally makes the starting XI for La Roja, opened the scoring on 52 minutes with an easy tap…

Read More

Chester FC – they call it momentum

A press conference on Tuesday officially confirmed the first manager of newly resurrected Chester FC. Former Colwyn Bay manager Neil Young and his assistant Gary Jones have skipped across the England-Wales border and taken two steps south in non-league pyramid terms (as it stands anyway) to take on what they clearly see as an exciting project. One, they believe, with the potential to lift the new club to the league status of the old one. Chester’s fans can only be hoping Young takes some inspiration from his more illustrious namesake…

Read More

Cameroon Camp Focus – Lions less indomitable without Eto’o

The upcoming selections for Cameroon Coach Paul Le Guen will no doubt be tricky as he chips away at his provisional 30, but a hamstring injury to FC Basel forward Jacques Zoua looks to have forced Le Guen’s hand. While it was arguable whether Zoua would have made the final cut for the World Cup, the 18-year-old forward was tipped to get his first cap for the senior side hopefully making a name for himself in South Africa. The Basel forward has enjoyed a decent season in Switzerland breaking through…

Read More

Greece Camp Focus – The Piratiko struggle as Rehhagal draws criticism

Greece began their countdown to the World Cup with a friendly match against North Korea in Switzerland which raised more questions than answers. The 2-2 draw did not do much to raise expectations during what has been a far from ideal preparation period so far. Coach, Otto Rehhagal drew much criticism by his apparent reluctance to include young players in his provisional and very defensive 30 man squad (almost half of the players are defenders). The decision to give a first international call-up to Thanassis Prittas – at the tender…

Read More

Potential stars of the World Cup 2010 – Germany’s Mesut Özil

Germany’s World Cup aspirations were dealt a significant blow last week when it was confirmed captain Michael Ballack would miss the finals in South Africa after suffering an ankle injury in the FA Cup final. While there’s no doubt German Coach Joachim Low has enough talent left in his squad for the country to still mount a serious challenge at the World Cup, he faces a tough task attempting to fill the massive gap left by the Chelsea midfielder. One player who could be given the responsibility of stepping into…

Read More

Newcastle Utd news – Magpies in for £3.5m Onouha, race on for Joe Ledley, Gutierez ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Newcastle Utd. Today: Gutierez ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’. Diego Maradona has Jonas Gutierez ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’ ahead of the World Cup over fears the midfielder will be injured according the Evening Chronicle. Newcastle’s only representative at this summers World Cup in South Africa has endured a mixed season with United as they returned to the Premier League, suffering from various thigh and hamstring injuries. And with just 16 days until…

Read More

Netherlands Camp Focus – Van Persie announces return as van Bronckhorst announces retirement

The Netherlands played their first World Cup warm-up game against Mexico on Wednesday night and Robin van Persie looked sharp scoring a brace in the 2-1 win, which is a very promising sign ahead of the competition proper. Both of the Arsenal forward’s goals came in the first half of the game as he converted both of his goals in a clinical fashion at the Badenova-Stadion in Freiburg, Germany. If van Persie can stay fit he could be the thorn in the side of many a defence during this summer’s…

Read More

United States Camp Focus – Bradley names final World Cup 23

United States Coach, Bob Bradley has today announced his final 23-man squad for the World Cup Finals this summer. The team includes a host of Premier League stars including Fulham midfielder and Europa League finalist, Clint Dempsey, Everton keeper, Tim Howard and West Ham centre-back, Jonathan Spector. Other big names to have made the cut hold Rangers’ pair DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, who, although having struggled all season with form and injuries, have made the final 23. AC Milan Defender, Oguchi Onyewu, has put speculation surrounding his fitness to…

Read More

France Camp Focus – Valbuena’s debut strike leaves Domenech with food for thought

France turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory with debutant Mathieu Valbuena marking his first international cap with the winning strike after some good work from Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby. Coach Raymond Domenech tested Steve Mandanda in goal but the Marseille goalkeeper did not show enough to merit a starting role at the World Cup despite making a couple of decent saves as the match progressed. Mandanda was at fault for Costa Rica’s opener, taken by surprise due to the tricky bounce of the ball but he still should…

Read More