Steve Bruce sacked as manager of Sunderland

Sunderland have announced that they have parted-company with manager Steve Bruce, placing Assistant Manager Eric Black in charge of the first team on a caretaker basis. Club chairman Ellis Short told in a statement: “”It is my job as chairman to act in the best interests of our football club at all times and I can assure everyone that this is not a decision that I have taken lightly. Sadly results this season have simply not been good enough and I feel the time is right to make a change.…

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Eleven minutes for Gary Speed a resounding success in Leeds and Nottingham Forest clash

From the eleventh minute of the game, eleven minutes at the City Ground yesterday saw the the name of the late, great Gary Speed, chanted around the stadium, with both Nottingham Forest and Leeds United supporters all paying a massive tribute in an emotional night. The tribute was designed to acknowledge the number 11 shirt Speed donned for the Leeds 1991-92 season. During those eleven minutes, it was almost fitting that United scored their first of four goals when Robert Snodgrass, fired the visitors in front. Jonny Howson, Luciano Becchion…

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Barnsley star Craig Davies relieved to be amongst the goals again

Barnsley font man, Craig Davies, spoke out about his joy of finding his goalscoring touch again after his move from Chesterfield in the summer. Davies, 25, lit up League Two last season with 25 goals, and moved to Oakwell on a free transfer. However the striker failed to find the net in his first eight games for his new club, and questions were being asked, however he has silenced his critics with five in his last five. Speaking to the club’s website, Davies said: “To be honest it was nice…

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Portsmouth owners enter administration

Portsmouth announced late yesterday that Vladimir Antonov has left the club, after Convers Sports Initiatives, the club’s owners, were placed under administration. A statement release by Portsmouth yesterday afternoon quoted: “Portsmouth Football Club can today provide the following information regarding recent events as a result of issues relating to Vladimir Antonov and Snoras Bank: “The club’s parent company, Convers Sports Initiatives plc (CSI), has been placed into administration. “Vladimir Antonov has resigned as chairman and director of Portsmouth Football Club. “Portsmouth Football Club (2010) Limited – the company that operates…

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Carragher eyes Liverpool Wembley trip

Jamie Carragher has his sights set on making the trip to the new Wembley for the first time with Liverpool in the Carling Cup, liverpoolfc.tv reports. The veteran defender produced a fine performance on his return to the side against Chelsea in the quarter final and now awaits the semi-final draw. Carragher has never played at the new Wembley and believes that the current Liverpool squad have the talent to get to the final. The Reds defender said: ‘I’ve played at Wembley once or twice for England but I’ve never…

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Romanian goalkeeper emerges as Liverpool target

Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Romanian goalkeeper Valentin Cojocaru, according to talkSPORT. The 16 year old is currently with Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest, but has been watched by Reds scouts, and Liverpool have offered Cojocaru a trial and are looking to bring him to England, if he impresses on his week long trial. Cojocaru is widely tipped as potentially Romania’s new number one and Liverpool are keen to bring in another young player in line with director of football Damien Comolli’s vision. Comolli is also working hard on signing…

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Stevenage winger Lawrie Wilson attracts significant Championship interest

Stevenage winger Lawrie Wilson’s dazzling start to the season has earned him a number of potential Championship suitors, Sky Sports understands. The 24-year-old has played a pivotal role in Boro’s consecutive promotions and his performances are understood to have caught the eye of Leeds, Cardiff and Watford in recent weeks. Any interested party will have to wait until the transfer window reopens in January and the League One side may be keen to cash in on one of their star assets with just 18 months remaining on his contract. Wilson…

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Dalglish praises Bellamy for Chelsea performance

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised striker Craig Bellamy for his performance in the Reds 2-0 Carling Cup win over Chelsea, The Telegraph reports. Bellamy’s close friend Gary Speed died 48 hours ago after committing suicide at his home. The Welsh forward was removed from the Liverpool squad to face Manchester City on Sunday, but was back for last night’s tie. An outstanding performance from Bellamy saw him assist both goals for Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly. Dalglish was pleased with the character that Bellamy showed in the win and…

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Andy Bishop pens two-year contract extension at Bury

Bury striker Andy Bishop has committed his immediate future to the club by putting pen to paper on a new deal at Gigg Lane. The extension will keep Bishop at the club for a further two years in a season where he has returned to prominence following a wretched past two years with injury. However the 29-year-old has still managed to make 216 appearances for the Shakers since his arrival from York City in 2006, and told the club’s official website it certainly wasn’t a difficult decision to sign the…

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Man Utd target Van Wolfswinkel happy to stay at Sporting

Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has reiterated his stance to stay in Portugal amid reports of a move to Manchester United, The Manchester Evening News reports. The 22 year old joined Sporting on a five year deal from Dutch side FC Utrecht in the summer and has impressed during his short spell. United are facing competition from Chelsea for the Dutchman, but Van Wolfswinkel insists that he is happy to stay in Portugal for the moment. ‘It is good that my name was linked to big clubs such as…

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Freedman looking forward to Man Utd clash

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman is relishing the prospect of taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup, The Telegraph reports. The Premier League champions take on the Championship side with Freedman eager to pit his wits against fellow Glaswegian Sir Alex Ferguson. United are expected to field a weakened team, but nonetheless, they will be looking for victory and progression to the last four. Young players such as Paul Pogba, Federico Macheda and Ezekiel Fryers could all get their chance for United.…

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Man Utd line-up Alkmaar winger move

Manchester United are plotting a move for AZ Alkmaar winger Rasmus Elm in the January transfer window, according to The Daily Star. United scouts were impressed with Elm’s performance in Sweden’s loss to England in the recent international friendly at Wembley. They are now looking into the process of making an offer to the Dutch side for Elm and could be successful if they match AZ’s valuation. Sir Alex Ferguson is facing up to a midfield crisis with Anderson and Tom Cleverley both out injured until the New Year. Elm…

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Aidy Boothroyd confirmed as new Northampton Town boss

League Two strugglers Northampton Town have confirmed that Aidy Boothroyd has been appointed as the club’s new manager. The former Watford and Coventry boss takes charge of a Cobblers side that is without a win in nine in all competitions and just three points above the dreaded drop zone. Chairman David Cordoza was delighted with the appointment when he spoke to the club’s official website: “We are absolutely delighted to have Aidy on board, and that he has agreed to take up the challenge of moving this club forwards. “We…

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Lille forward issues come and get me plea to Arsenal

Lille striker Moussa Sow has revealed his ambitions of joining his former teammate Gervinho in the Premier League for a club like Arsenal, ESPN reports. The striker, who has scored five goals in Ligue 1 this season, has become frustrated with how long negotiations for a new contract are taking. Sow has admitted that he hopes a Premier League side will come to his rescue and table a bid for him next summer. He said: “I have a contract signed until June 2013 and Lille want me to sign another…

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Agent reveals Arsenal interest in Chilean striker

The agent of Chilean forward Eduardo Vargas has revealed that Arsenal have shown an interest in the 22-year-old but face competition from several top European sides in attracting the youngster’s signature. Vargas’s agent Diego Cativa revealed that Premier League rivals Liverpool have also been in contact regarding the Universidad de Chile player and both English sides will have to fight off AC Milan, who are said to be preparing an offer, and Inter, who have reportedly already made a bid. Cativa told Super Vasco: “We are talking to clubs like…

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Arsenal boss Wenger finds no faults after ‘unfair’ defeat to Man City

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was frustrated after his side lost 1-0 to Manchester City at the Emirates in the Carling Cup quarter-final, describing his young team as “naive”. The Gunners created several chances throughout the game but could not recover from Sergio Aguero’s 85 minute strike and were eliminated from the competition. The Frenchman has admitted that the lack of experience in the side contributed to the defeat but he insisted that there were positives to be taken from his team’s performance. “It was an unfair result but I felt…

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Chelsea continue interest in van Wolfswinkel

Chelsea are set to go head to head with Manchester United in a battle to sign Sporting Lisbon forward Ricky van Wolfswinkel reports the Daily Mirror. The Dutchman has been prolific for Sporting aswell as for his former club FC Utrecht and has been linked with a move to England before. Wolfswinkel’s agent however claims his client would like to stay in Portugal as he is currently enjoying his football, and Wolfswinkel himself talked about his happiness at Sporting on a Dutch Radio station: “It is good that my name…

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Chelsea on the trail of Barcelona youngster Roberto

Andre Villas-Boas is planning to swoop for another Barcelona youngster and capture the signing of Spaniard Sergio Roberto. Following the signing of Oriol Romeu in the summer, Villas-Boas wants another product of the notorious Barcelona youth academy but any deal will be likely to include a buy back fee. Roberto is a Spanish Under-21 international who is said to have a promising future according to the Daily Mail. Villas-Boas wants to incorporate more youth into the squad given Chelsea’s average age is higher than its rivals. He handed Romeu his…

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Villas-Boas unhappy with ‘unacceptable’ performance

Following Chelsea’s Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool last night, Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticised his side and admitted that Chelsea were inferior throughout the contest and it’s now three consecutive wins at Stamford Bridge for Liverpool. Villas-Boas told the Telegraph after the game: “They had a strong desire to kill the game and we couldn’t match it. We have to be critical of ourselves and shouldn’t accept this result. At the moment, at home, we’ve just not been good enough. We need to get our fans behind us at…

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Friedel delighted with Tottenham comeback at West Brom

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel was delighted with the manner of his side’s comeback against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, according to Sky Sports. Spurs fell a goal down when Youssouf Mulumbu gave West Brom the lead after ten minutes, but a brace from Emmanuel Adebayor and a Jermain Defoe strike gave Spurs their ninth win in their last ten league games. “Whenever you are down in the Premier League and you can come back and win it shows a great deal of character,” Friedel explained. “At no time did…

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Bale says Wales will fight on in honour of Speed

Wales midfielder Gareth Bale says the nation’s footballers will carry on the recent encouraging displays in honour of Gary Speed, according to The Daily Mirror. Speed was tragically found dead in his house on Sunday at the age of 42, with the entire footballing world shocked and saddened by his departure. Now Bale says that Wales must continue their recent progress and build on recent results in memory of their former manager. “It was a massive shock,” said the Tottenham player. “Everybody is devastated and it’s a massive loss to…

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Redknapp struggling to keep fringe Spurs stars happy

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that he is struggling to keep the fringe members of his squad happy, according to The Daily Mirror. Vedran Corluka declared his intent to exit White Hart Lane in January recently, following in the footsteps of Sebastien Bassong, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Heurelho Gomes. Redknapp has been reluctant to rotate his squad in the Premier League due to his side’s recent good form, but says he needs a big squad to compete for trophies on multiple fronts. “It’s difficult because the players want to…

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Man Utd Club Focus – Carling Cup offers squad players chance to impress with vital tests on the horizon

Going into Manchester United’s Carling Cup quarter-final with Crystal Palace on the back of a couple of disappointing draws in both the Champions League and the Premier League puts added importance on the fixture for Sir Alex Ferguson. A convincing win will help banish any doubts that have crept into the squad in recent weeks, but the game also provides the manager with an opportunity to run the rule over his fringe players, and those same players the opportunity to force themselves into the first team picture. Ferguson has already…

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Uniting nations on and off the pitch remains the greatest challenge for Team GB

It’s safe to say that when Team GB finally takes shape at the London Olympics that it will not be the football equivalent of rugby’s British Lions. Rather than the best of the best, Team GB is more likely to be a ragtag bunch, consisting of Fabio Capello’s cast off’s, veterans and a smattering of players from the ‘smaller’ nations. There has been so much political mudslinging thus far that very little time and thought has yet to be devoted to the players that are likely to be involved. Stuart…

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Is Jermain Defoe’s bit-part role enough for Fabio Capello?

With Tottenham attempting to shrug of their outsiders tag in what is fast becoming a intriguing Premier League race, fringe player Jermain Defoe will certainly be experiencing the full plethora of emotions at White Hart Lane. Defoe’s underwhelming last campaign propelled Harry Redknapp into loaning Man City’s Emmanuel Adebayor, who has so far impressed by contributing seven goals and six assists in nine games. The main obstacle then for Defoe is Redknapp’s rigid view to his favoured first team aesthetic. The ex-Arsenal man and Rafael van der Vaart generally lead…

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