Liverpool news – Reds chase Auxerre playmaker, No Gerrard but no injury, Hodgson learns lessons

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Liverpool. Today: Hodgson learns lessons. Roy Hodgson admitted that the Carling Cup defeat to Northampton had some influence on his decision to pick Fernando Torres in tonight’s squad for the Europa League fixture in Utrecht. Declaring that his star striker is free of injury in The Guardian, he said that picking Torres was an insurance policy. “One of the benefits of having him here is that when you are drawing or losing to…

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Man Utd news – Utd chase De Gea, Chicharito stars, Rio back – solutions and problems

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Man Utd. Today: Chicharito stars. After snatching a late winner against Valencia, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez has been lavished with praise from all quarters. ‘Chicharito’ had failed to find the net since bundling home against Chelsea in the Community Shield, but his late, clinical finish at the Mestalla grabbed the Reds only their second win on Spanish soil in 19 attempts. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Hernandez’s introduction gave United, “More energy, penetration…

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Chelsea news – Blues in for Spanish winger and Russian wonderkid, Drogba praises Arsenal

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Chelsea. Today: Drogba praises Arsenal. ESPN reports that Didier Drogba is relishing Sunday’s clash against Arsenal because the Gunners are one of his favourite teams. The Chelsea striker has scored an impressive 12 goals in 12 games against Arsene Wenger’s men and he spoke of his admiration for his London rivals: “I love playing big games and I love playing against Arsenal. I always say that Arsenal is one of my favourite teams.…

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Manchester United Analysis – Valencia win showcases United’s attacking talent

VALENCIA 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1 Hernandez 85 In gaining their first win in Spain since 2002, Manchester United showed the strength-in-depth of their attacking talent. With Wayne Rooney missing through an ankle injury the burden of leading the line was left to Dimitar Berbatov – a task which the Bulgarian performed adeptly. Berbatov was the brightest player in the opening stages of the match as he was a constant option for any United player in possession of the ball. Performing as a lone striker the former Tottenham Hotspur man was…

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Arsenal news – Gunners favourites for Pienaar, Eboue in winning mindset, Gibbs joins in the praise

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Arsenal. Today: Gibbs joins in the praise. Kieran Gibbs has joined manager Arsene Wenger in praising goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who turned hero when saving a Partizan penalty in the Champions League on Tuesday night. According to Mirror Football, Gibbs said: “He is a great keeper or else he wouldn’t be here at Arsenal. I owe him a lot after giving away the penalty he saved against Partizan, although I can’t really remember too…

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ADL Daily – Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham confront their Premier League failings

This week’s Champions League group stage saw Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea put aside their failings at the weekend in the Premier League to come away with valuable victories. While Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday ended Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s flawless start to the season, the Blues showed no lack of creativity in front of goal on Tuesday. Without Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, Chelsea are a slightly weaker force, however, their absences allowed Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and youngster Ga

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Blackburn give trial to French midfielder Goulon

Blackburn Rovers have taken 22-year-old French midfielder Herold Goulon on trial, according to Sky Sports. The former France youth international left Le Mans in the summer and has yet to find a new club, despite reported interest from Bordeaux, Paris Saint Germain, Marseille and Milan. Before playing for Le Mans, Goulon also had a spell at Middlesbrough from 2006-08, where despite not breaking into the first-team, the defensive-midfielder was likened to a young Patrick Vieira.

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Liverpool news – Lucas Leiva set for Malaga, Europa team news, Reina: Hodgson needs time

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Liverpool. Today: Lucas Leiva set for Spain. Malaga are ready to offer Lucas Leiva an escape route from Liverpool, according to Talksport. The 23-year-old midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place during his time on Merseyside, finding his path blocked by the likes of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Raul Mereiles. Roy Hodgson is looking to regenerate his squad in the January transfer window and sees selling Lucas…

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Tottenham face Twente test in latest Champions League fixture

Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League campaign continues tonight as they welcome Eredivisie side and champions of the Netherlands FC Twente to White Hart Lane. A Different League asked Dan Richardson of European football blog Britski Belasi for more information on the side formerly led by ex-England Head Coach Steve McClaren. According to Richardson, there have been many changes at Twente since McClaren left for Wolfsburg in the summer, but the majority of them were not down to the Englishman’s exit: “A lot of Dutch squads had to reduce numbers last summer…

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Chelsea news – Ancelotti pleased, Terry happy with performance, Malouda looks to Arsenal game

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Chelsea. Today: Blues Champs progress. After last night’s 2-0 win against Marseille, Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea are closing in on the second round of the Champions League. John Terry opened the scoring and a 28th minute Nicolas Anelka penalty sealed the game. The Blues now sit top of Group F, joint on 6 points with Spartak Moscow who they face next and the Chelsea boss declared: “I think we’re in control of our…

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Club Focus – Liverpool – Expect the unexpected at Anfield, and then expect the expected

Poor old – or should that be young – Stuart Attwell. Two years after he gave Reading a goal at Watford for what could only generously be described as an effort that went marginally wide, controversy appears to have followed him around ever since. There is of course a reason for that – he is a referee who is far too inexperienced to officiate in the Premier League – but it is hard not to feel sorry for him after his latest headline-grabbing decision. As the Professional Game Match Officials…

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ADL Daily – Gazza the man for Garforth as Wilkinson insists Wednesday investment is close

The man often dubbed as the most naturally-gifted England player there has ever been, but also as the most troubled English footballing icon, Paul Gascoigne, has been appointed first team manager of non-league side Garforth Town. In a remarkable move, the West Yorkshire outfit’s owner, Simon Clifford, has taken a sizeable gamble in persuading the paradoxically much-maligned and much-loved Gazza to take on the post and give him the chance to once more work within the game he seemingly cannot live without. Gascoigne’s last job in football, as manager of…

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Arsenal Analysis – Champions League away win does little to mask Gunners’ defensive shortcomings

PARTIZAN BELGRADE 1 Cleo 33 ARSENAL 3Arshavin 15, Chamakh 71, Squillaci 82 Arsenal’s second successive win in the group stages of the Champions League sees them positioned favourably in Group H along with Shakhtar Donetsk, who they face in upcoming back-to-back ties. Success in Belgrade whilst deprived of key performers such as captain Cesc Fabregas and Thomas Vermaelen shows that Arsene Wenger’s men are capable of negotiating their way across London to Wembley in May. The Gunners’ approach to the game was widely recognised amongst media outlets as a 4-4-1-1…

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Chelsea Analysis – Deschamps return spoiled as Blues stutter to Champions League top spot

CHELSEA 2Terry 7, Anelka 28 (pen) OLYMPIC MARSEILLE 0 Didier Deschamps made an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge as his persistent yet underwhelming Marseille side slumped to a French inspired Chelsea. The hosts rang the changes following consecutive defeats to Newcastle and Manchester City with Gael Kakuta replacing the suspended Didier Drogba and Yuri Zhirkov somewhat unusually filling in for Frank Lampard ahead of Ramires. Carlo Ancelotti had described the Brazilian as one of Chelsea’s best players after the abysmal showing at Eastlands, so his exclusion was clearly a tactical…

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Arsenal news – Gunners in for Xulu, Fab Fabianski, Points from Partizan

Every morning A Different League searches the nations press to bring you the latest goings on at Arsenal. Today: Gunners in for Xulu. Arsenal are to bring 6ft 3in Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back Siyanda Xulu in for a trial, with a view to making a permanent move. The 18-year-old will train with the Gunners during the first two weeks in October, and his current club are keen to do business. Sundowns Communications Manager Alex Shakoane is quoted on Imscouting.com as saying: “It is satisfying for us that the young man is…

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Club Focus – Fulham – Attack out of focus, could David Elm be the answer?

With just one recognised striker from 22 players on the field in Saturday’s fixture at Craven Cottage, there was little surprise the match ended goalless. Mark Hughes’ more direct, attacking style of play was once again evident, but without Bobby Zamora’s ability to pull balls out of the air or Moussa Dembele’s talent at taking balls into his feet towards the opposition goal, the Whites were, as was feared after Dembele’s injury, sorely lacking up front. Zoltan Gera, for all his industry and enthusiasm, needs a target man to play…

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Club Focus – Everton – Blues sink to the bottom but still take a point in the right direction

An improved performance from the nadir reached against Newcastle United, a first clean sheet and away point of the season and a more logical, natural team selection from manager David Moyes – all of these things arrived for Everton against Fulham on Saturday, and yet the Toffees still sank to the bottom of the Premier League. Examining the positives of a result that saw Everton reach the lowest league position available to them feels more than a little bizarre, but after the club was on the receiving end of heavy…

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Premier League Analysis – A bad weekend for the top teams

This weekend saw the discovery of a new problem for the Premier League’s top clubs. For the first time all four of England’s Champions League clubs failed to win a game before a round of European games. The problems of travelling to a wet Blackburn on a Sunday lunchtime after a glamorous midweek fixture are well known, but all the teams struggled to pick up a win this weekend. Chelsea travelled to Eastlands to play Manchester City. For City, this was a chance to kickstart their season, after a loss…

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Aston Villa Analysis – Heskey’s late header snatches all three points for Houllier

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1Jarvis 61 ASTON VILLA 2Downing 6, Heskey 88 Gerard Houllier marked his return to the Premier League with hard-fought 2-1 victory over Wolves in a lively Midlands derby. Houllier’s faith in Emile Heskey – a player he signed for Liverpool in 2000 – was repaid when the striker rose majestically to head home a Stephen Warnock cross in the 88th minute. Aston Villa, under new boss Houllier, played in a similar fashion to the system employed by former caretaker manger Kevin MacDonald. Villa lined up in a 4-4-1-1,…

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Club Focus – Chelsea – Blues remain on top despite defeat at Eastlands

Chelsea remained clear at the top of the Premier League despite falling to their first League defeat of the season, 1-0 at Manchester City courtesy of Carlos Tevez’s well-taken goal. Having being beaten in Saturday’s early kickoff, the Blues watched their rivals fail to take advantage of their slip up, as first Arsenal were shocked 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium by West Brom and then Manchester United failed to secure three points away to a gritty Bolton Wanderers, drawing 2-2. Chelsea went into their clash with rivals City on the…

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Club Focus – Stoke – Fine Tyneside win papers over the cracks

Sunday’s bizarre game at St. James’ Park saw Stoke City emerge with their first away win of the season, somehow running out 2-1 victors despite only mustering two shots on target throughout the entire match. While it would be unfair to suggest that this was a “smash and grab” display, given that the hosts themselves created relatively little, there was scant indication at half time that the Potters would be leaving the North East with the spoils. In spite of this excellent result, an element of disquiet lingers over the…

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Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – Last gasp winner at Blackpool vindicates Sam Allardyce

A deserved last gasp goal against newly promoted, Lancashire rivals Blackpool finally gave Sam Allardyce something to cheer about. The Englishman had been widely criticised by national media over the past week or so, however Blackburn’s encouraging performance against the spirited Tangerines does indicate how skilled the former Blackpool, Bolton and Newcastle boss really is. Big Sam has recently made a number of controversial comments about his capacity as a manager. Although many sniggered at his peculiar suggestion that he was skilful enough to manage the likes of Real Madrid…

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Club Focus – Arsenal – Almunia’s howler the latest goalkeeping error to plague the Gunners

Arsenal couldn’t complete their fightback against West Bromwich Albion as they were humbled at the Emirates. Samir Nasri’s fourth goal in a week represents an impressive haul, but his feats will largely be overlooked due to the ongoing problems at the other end of the field. Arsene Wenger uncharacteristically splashed the cash to secure the signatures of experienced Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci and emerging talent Laurent Koscielny in the wake of the summer’s defensive departures. Even at this early stage, their captures appear to represent good business, with Squillaci adding much…

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Club Focus – Newcastle United – Magpies suffer another home defeat

Newcastle United were swiftly brought down to earth from the high of beating top of the table Chelsea in midweek with a 2-1 home loss to Stoke City. Going into the game on the back of two very impressive performances against Chelsea and Everton most Newcastle fans will expected to take all three points from Sunday’s game, but a second half collapse against the rejuvenated Potters saw them suffer another home defeat. With home defeats against Blackpool and Stoke already this season Chris Hughton must feel that his side have…

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Club Focus – Bolton Wanderers – Petrov uplifted by team spirit

Not all players that come into the Premier League from playing abroad find themselves playing as a team in their head – it is more about individual merits. But it seems after a rocky start at Manchester City Martin Petrov has found himself the right club – Bolton Wanderers – within the top tier. The Bulgarian left Spanish club Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2007 for the Blues of Manchester, and although a big name overseas, he remained fairly unknown in England. He soon stamped his mark on the…

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