QPR Focus – Dyer looks to get his career back on track at Loftus Road

Kieron Dyer is looking to resurrect his injury plagued career this season with QPR, looking to put behind him the horrific luck that saw him make only 35 appearances in four years for former club West Ham, as well as the 24 minutes of top flight football that his current club has seen him play in over a year. The 33-year-old was a surprise inclusion at right-back against Tottenham last weekend, coming up against one of the quickest wingers in the world, Gareth Bale. For a player who has been…

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McManaman: Man City need more variety to achieve success this season

Ex-Manchester City and Liverpool player Steve McManaman has praised Roberto Mancini for his attempts to introduce more variety into his Manchester City team in the early stages of this season. Having led City to the Premier League title last season, City have begun rather slowly and have looked defensively fragile in not keeping a clean sheet to date so far in this campaign. Mancini has been criticised for experimenting with what had been a successful team, switching personnel and at times even switching from the 4-2-3-1 formation that brought City…

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Fulham Focus – Baird could be unlikely midfield stop-gap at Craven Cottage

As Fulham welcome Manchester City to Craven Cottage this weekend, Martin Jol will know that despite the champions’ stuttering form defensively, it is their midfield which brings them their success. The likes of Chris Baird will have to stand up to the power and athleticism of Yaya Toure, as well as the vision and guile of David Silva and Samir Nasri ahead of him. On the face of it Fulham could struggle to compete in the middle of the park, particularly with the Cottagers not only shorn of the talents…

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Carragher challenges Liverpool youngsters to build on their promise

Long-serving Liverpool central defender Jamie Carragher has stressed that despite the pride everyone at Anfield is feeling over the performances of some of Liverpool’s youngsters this season, particularly in the League Cup victory over West Brom in midweek, the hard part is yet to come. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Oussam Assaidi and Samed Yesil as well as academy starlets Andre Wisdom, Jack Robinson, Dani Pacheco, Suso and officially Liverpool’s youngest every player, Jerome Sinclair, have all featured with distinction for the Liverpool first team this season. Speaking to the…

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Wenger happy with Arsenal squad

Arsene Wenger has dismissed suggestions that the deep squad he can call on at Arsenal presents him with a selection headache for the visit of Chelsea in the Premier League, the London Evening Standard has reported. Wenger added that he did not look upon the dilemma of who to select as a problem, insisting that as the season wears on he will have to call on more and more of his players, which is when the options at hand will be of most value. The strength of Arsenal’s squad is…

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Richards close to Man City return

Micah Richards is within sight of a return to action for Manchester City after suffering an ankle injury while playing for Team GB at the London Olympics, Sporting Life has reported. City have started the season with a defence shipping goals, conceding 14 in 16 outings and failing to register a clean sheet in any competition in the campaign thus far. The Premier League champions are currently seventh in the table, having conceded seven goals in five league games and let in more at home than on the road. Indeed,…

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Arsenal were priced out of Hazard transfer, admits Wenger

Arsene Wenger wanted to sign Eden Hazard from Lille before he moved to Chelsea, but the manager has admitted the Gunners could not afford the price tag on the Belgium international, according to the Daily Telegraph. The manager’s revelation comes as the club announces profits for the last financial year of more than £36m – Chelsea paid only slightly less than that amount, £32m, to sign Hazard this summer. Wenger added that Hazard’s price was determined by a clause in his contract and that while he is prepared to spend…

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Newcastle seeking stability with long-term Pardew deal

Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias hopes the eight year contract given to manager Alan Pardew once and for all ends the instability that has plagued the Magpies in recent years, according to the Daily Mirror. Since the late Sir Bobby Robson was sacked by the club’s previous owners in 2004, there have been eight managers in as many years passing through the Sports Direct Arena, ending with Pardew. Graeme Souness replaced Robson and lasted two years in the post, followed by Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear…

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Djourou praises Bould for Arsenal influence

Johan Djourou has joined the chorus hailing the work done by Steve Bould since becoming assistant manager to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, the Daily Mirror has reported. Bould replaced the long-serving Pat Rice over the summer and has been working extensively on improving Arsenal’s defensive record, with much of training now said to be centred around team shape and how the rest of the XI can help lift the burden on the back four. That is something Djourou particularly welcomed by Djourou, who noted the midfield is now offering move…

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Liverpool Focus – Rodgers’ youthful gambles bode well for the future

It takes a great deal of courage to place your faith in raw and inexperienced youngsters at a football club, but new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is already proving that he is not afraid to make such bold moves. The very fact that Reds’ supporters have been singing Rodgers’ name with gusto, even though Liverpool have yet to taste victory in the Premier League under the former Swansea boss, suggests that they find his approach refreshing and exciting. For years the Merseysiders have glanced at Manchester United’s skilful and speedy…

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Former Chelsea boss Mourinho defends banned Terry

Jose Mourinho has come to the defence of John Terry after the Chelsea captain was banned for four games and fined more than £200,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, the Daily Mail has reported. Speaking to CNN, Mourinho said Terry should not be called a racist and that the black players Terry played with at Chelsea under Mourinho would agree. However, Mourinho added that if Terry did make a racist comment towards Ferdinand then he should be suspended, but Mourinho stressed that…

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Everton Focus – Missed opportunity in the League Cup

In the catalogue of wasted opportunities, Everton’s defeat at Leeds United on Tuesday may not rank at the top but it surely takes a place close to the summit. For all the well-deserved plaudits directed at David Moyes and his players lately, at Elland Road they halved their chances of delivering something tangible later this season for a variety of reasons, many of which were entirely avoidable. The League Cup was a thoroughly winnable trophy, one of only two available to Everton, the other being the FA Cup. And in…

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Tottenham to go on the attack at Man Utd, promises Villas-Boas

Tottenham Hotspur will not sit back and defend when they play Manchester United, Andre Villas-Boas has promised. The Daily Mirror reports the Head Coach will encourage his players to play on the front foot despite Spurs not winning at Old Trafford since 1989. The newspaper adds that Old Trafford was the site of Villas-Boas’ first defeat as Chelsea manager, when first-half goals from Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and Luis Nani gave United an early advantage. Fernando Torres pulled a goal back after half-time but later missed a chance even more…

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Too soon for title talk, insists Arsenal’s Podolski

Lukas Podolski believes there are five or six teams capable of winning the Premier League, of which Arsenal are one, but wants to delay any talk of the Gunners winning the title until later in the season, according to Sky Sports. Arsenal are have not lost so far this season, taking nine points from a possible 15, including a battling draw against champions Manchester City in their last league fixture. Joleon Lescott put Roberto Mancini’s side in front with only the second goal conceded by Arsenal this season, but Laurent…

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Chelsea’s Terry considering appeal after four-game ban and fine

Chelsea captain John Terry will take legal advice before deciding whether or not to appeal the four match ban and £220,000 fine handed to him by the Football Association after being found guilty of misconduct in an incident with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Terry was acquitted of a racially aggravated public order offence in a London Magistrates court over the same event but the FA pursued a charge of using ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to ethnic origin…

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Ipswich boss Jewell reveals Redknapp call

Paul Jewell received a telephone call from Harry Redknapp to assure the Ipswich manager that he was not interested in his job, reveals BBC Sport. This news comes after speculation that Redknapp would be keen to take over the reins at the Suffolk club after a poor start to the season which has seen Ipswich slump to 23rd position in the Championship. Jewell explained to BBC Radio Suffolk: “Harry rang me last Sunday and said there was absolutely no truth in it.” He continued by joking that “the only worrying…

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Elokobi happy with Bristol City switch

George Elokobi has spoke of his relief after Bristol City agreed a three month loan deal with Wolves for the Cameroonian defender, Sky Sports has reported. After failing to make a first team league appearance this season and after holding showdown talks with manager Stale Solbakken, the 26 year old, who can play at left back or in the centre of defence, was allowed to leave the club in search of first team football. Bristol City manager Derek McInnes was clearly delighted with the capture of the experienced defender, adding…

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Trophy drought caused Song to leave Arsenal

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has declared that his move to Barcelona in the summer was precipitated by the Gunners’ failure to win a trophy since his arrival at the club in 2005. The Cameroonian central midfielder enjoyed an impressive 2011-12 season for the Gunners, catching the eye with 14 assists in all competitions, which resulted in his move £15m to the Camp Nou in the summer to join former teammate and Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas. According to the the London Evening Standard, Song puts the move down to his desire…

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Kolo Toure fears defensive problems could cost Man City the title

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure has stressed that his side must shore up their leaky defensive backline if they are to have any chance of defending their Premier League title as well as make progress in the Champions League. City have failed to keep a clean sheet so far this season and have conceded late goals to Southampton, Real Madrid, Arsenal and on Tuesday night in the League Cup, Aston Villa, who scored four at the Etihad Stadium to dump the home side out of the cup. Ivory Coast international…

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Arsenal vs. Chelsea the most expensive Premier League game ever

Saturday afternoon’s lunchtime kick off between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates stadium is according to the Daily Mirror set to be the most expensive Premier League match of all time. With the cheapest general admission ticket set to be priced at £62, Arsenal’s match-day income could top £6m. The rise in price is due to Arsenal’s new ticket grading system, which sees the lesser Premier League games against the likes of newly-promoted Southampton and Reading priced at £35, nearly £10 cheaper than last year. This loss if…

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Man Utd target Strootman set to leave PSV in January

Holland international midfielder Kevin Strootman will be allowed to leave his club side PSV Eindhoven in the January transfer window for a fee in the region of £20m. According to the Daily Mail Strootman, who has been watched by Manchester United scout Martin Ferguson on several occasions in recent years, is looking to test his credentials in a stronger European league after making his breakthrough in the Eredivise last season, with three goals in 33 appearances for his club – form which resulted in his inclusion in the Holland squad…

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Marin believes Chelsea can win the Premier League

Marko Marin believes he has joined a squad capable of winning the Premier League, Sporting Life has reported, as the Germany international waxes lyrical about the Blues having finally made his debut following his summer move from Werder Bremen. Marin’s first appearance in a Chelsea shirt in a competitive game was delayed by injury but the 23-year-old came off the bench during Chelsea’s Capital One Cup victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday. But now, having played 20 minutes for the club and seen the transfer window close to bring an…

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Man Utd needed the hairdryer treatment from Ferguson, admits Rooney

Wayne Rooney has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson used his infamous hairdryer to focus Manchester United minds at half-time of their Capital One Cup match against Newcastle United, the Daily Mirror has reported. Rooney added that Tom Cleverley was the main recipient of the blast – with the hairdryer the name given to a particularly ferocious Ferguson outburst. Cleverley was the target after a first-half miss that left the game in the balance at the break. The tongue-lashing seemed to do the trick as shortly after the re-start Cleverley netted…

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Arsenal set to miss out on Biglia

Arsene Wenger’s desire to replace Alex Song with Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia has been dealt a blow by the news the Argentina international is open to a move back to his homeland with Boca Juniors, the Daily Mirror has reported. The 26-year-old was said to be on Wenger’s shortlist to replace Song, who joined Barcelona this summer, but Biglia appears to have his heart set on the prospect of playing for Boca. He told the Argentinean media that he would welcome the interest from Boca, particularly as he already knows…

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Rodgers welcomes Liverpool cup draw with Swansea

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers holds no trepidation at the prospect of facing former club Swansea City in the next round of the Capital One Cup, the Daily Mirror has reported. The Reds made it through to the last 16 by beating West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, with two goals from on-loan midfielder Nuri Sahin cancelling out Gabriel Tamas’ opener for the home side. Tamas struck in the third minute when Brad Jones, replacing Pepe Reina in goal, failed to hold on to a free-kick and the defender capitalised. Sahin…

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