Rooney tipped to break Man Utd scoring record

The two highest goalscorers in Manchester United’s history, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton, both believe that Wayne Rooney, currently fourth in the all-time list, will break the record during his career at the club, reports ESPN. Saturday’s goal against West Bromwich Albion took Rooney’s tally to 202, nine behind Jack Rowley, who scored 211 either side of the Second World War, with Law on 237 and Charlton on 249 both in his sights. Rooney joined Manchester United from Everton in 2004, and after scoring a hat-trick on his debut…

Read More

Napoli boss Benitez praised by Arsenal counterpart Wenger

Arsene Wenger has told a press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League meeting with Napoli on Tuesday that the coach of the Italian side Rafael Benitez is a ‘top class manager’, reports the Daily Mirror. Benitez took the Napoli job in the summer and has made a good start to his reign, taking the team to second place in the early Serie A table, despite previously having an unhappy time in Italy with Inter. Despite his short-lived tenure at the San Siro, Benitez has enjoyed great success during his managerial…

Read More

Liverpool Focus – Rodgers’ case for the defence paying dividends

When Liverpool signed defenders Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho in the final days of the summer transfer window, it seemed as though manager Brendan Rodgers had perhaps bloated his squad with one too many centre-backs. The Reds already had Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and the injured Sebastian Coates on the books. Was it really necessary to have six senior centre-halves on the payroll? Indeed, eyebrows were raised when Rodgers selected Sakho, Agger, Skrtel and Toure to form a defensive back four against Southampton – a game in which…

Read More

Man City must improve in Champions League, says Richards

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has said that his side have to improve in the Champions League this season, after crashing out at the group stage in each of the past two years, Sky Sports has reported. City’s owners are expecting more success in Europe this time around after finishing bottom of their group under Roberto Mancini last season with just two points, and struggling the year before. New boss Manuel Pellegrini oversaw victory against Viktoria Plzen in their opening group match, but Man City expect a much tougher test…

Read More

Championship Analysis – Clough ‘wins’ sack race after Derby’s defeat to Nottingham Forest

Nigel Clough was the surprise victim of the Championship’s first sacking this season on Saturday evening after Derby had been narrowly beaten by East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in the lunchtime clash. Admittedly the 1-0 defeat at the City Ground was the Rams’ third consecutive loss, leaving the club in 14th place having been 7th following the majestic 5-1 win at Millwall just two weeks earlier, and Derby have so far only taken one point from a possible 12 at home, unsettling the Pride Park faithful, but one can’t help…

Read More

Everton Focus – Barry, Barkley and Lukaku starring for Martinez

Everton’s unbeaten Premier League start is again on the line when Newcastle visit Goodison Park on Monday as Roberto Martinez looks to build on the team’s last home outing, the memorable win over Chelsea. At least one change from the XI that beat Jose Mourinho’s Blues should be expected, with Romelu Lukaku available for a home debut after his brave contribution against West Ham. There was a great deal of excitement among Toffees fans about the signing of Lukaku even before his winning goal at Upton Park and levels reached…

Read More

Seven teams can win Premier League, believes Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that as many as seven clubs are in contention to win the Premier League this season, the Daily Mirror has reported. Wenger’s side currently lead the Premier League with 15 points from a possible 18, having chalked up five straight wins. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur sit second and third respectively, although defending champions Manchester United have struggled, picking up just seven points. This season was billed as potentially the most unpredictable of Premier League seasons, and Wenger thinks the race for the title is as…

Read More

Terry set to earn new Chelsea contract

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that captain John Terry is in line to receive a new deal, should he maintain his current form, ESPN is reporting. Terry scored the equaliser on Saturday as Chelsea gained a point from a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur, the 56th goal of his long Blues career, during which he has helped Chelsea to three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and more recently the Champions League and the Europa League. And Mourinho has confirmed that Terry should be awarded with a contract…

Read More

Newcastle must react to Baines threat, says Krul

Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul has said that his side must combat the set-piece threat of Everton’s Leighton Baines when the sides meet at Goodison Park on Monday evening, the Daily Express has reported. Baines is currently one of the more prolific set-pieces takers in the Premier League, with two goals direct from free-kicks helping Everton to victory away to West Ham United in their last league outing. Newcastle and Krul have also been on the receiving end of a Baines free-kick, when the left-back smashed in from over 30…

Read More

Tottenham Focus – Spurs tactics not getting the best from Soldado

Tottenham and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw in a hot tempered match in which Tottenham controlled the first-half, whilst Chelsea, with Juan Mata on, controlled the second. The draw kept Spurs in second place in the Premier League until Liverpool’s win over Sunderland and maintained their impressive the start of the season – arguably more impressive considering the number of new players brought in and the inherent problems that creates. Spurs’ defence, led by Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris, has been miserly, conceding only two goals in all competitions…

Read More

O’Shea confirms Sunderland players’ call to remove Di Canio

Sunderland captain John O’Shea has confirmed that he and his teammates called for the removal of manager Paolo Di Canio prior to the Italian’s sacking, Sky Sports has reported. Di Canio lost his job on September 22 after Sunderland took just one point from their opening five Premier League matches of this season, ending an eventful five-and-a-half month reign which often attracted negative press. During that time, Di Canio incensed several of the players by taking disciplinary action against them, and regularly criticising their performances in public. Reports quickly surfaced…

Read More

Aston Villa Focus – Heroic effort seals memorable Man City win

Prior to the visit of Manchester City on Saturday, it is likely that only those among the more optimistic sections of the Aston Villa support gave the home side a realistic chance of winning. Villa had won just five out of their last 27 Premier League games at Villa Park and were without key men Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke, while Manuel Pellegrini’s side had won their previous three games, scoring 12 goals in the process. It ended in a superb result, arguably more impressive than the opening day win…

Read More

Chelsea striker Torres facing four-game ban under new FA system

The new disciplinary system introduced this season by the Football Association could lead to Chelsea striker Fernando Torres receiving a four-game ban for his red card against Tottenham Hotspur, the Daily Telegraph has claimed. Torres will receive a minimum one-game ban for the red card itself and a further three for violent conduct is a possible outcome of the Spain international’s hearing. Torres was first booked for tripping Jan Vertonghen and later shown a second yellow card after his arm caught Vertonghen in an aerial challenge, but he also grabbed…

Read More

Moyes rejected advice from Ferguson over keeping Man Utd backroom staff

Former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has claimed David Moyes ignored the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson to keep in place the coaching staff at the Premier League champions, Sky Sports has reported. Instead, Moyes appointed a number of his Everton backroom team after replacing Ferguson. Steele was among those let go, with first team coach Rene Meulensteen and assistant manager Mike Phelan also moving on. In their place came assistant boss Steve Round, coach Jimmy Lumsden and former England custodian Chris Woods, Steele’s replacement. Former Everton and United…

Read More

Rodgers delighted with Liverpool pair Suarez and Sturridge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed his delight at the burgeoning partnership between Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, BBC Sport has reported, after both were on the score sheet in the Reds’ 3-1 win over Sunderland. Suarez scored twice on his return to Premier League action following his 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, and both goals were teed up by Sturridge, who also netted – although the former Chelsea forward’s goal appeared to come off his arm. But Rodgers preferred to focus on the link between the duo, as…

Read More

Mata defends Chelsea teammate Torres after Tottenham red card

Juan Mata has defended his Chelsea and Spain teammate Fernando Torres after the striker was sent off against Tottenham Hotspur, the Daily Mail has reported, with Mata insisting Torres is not a violent player. Torres was dismissed for receiving two yellow cards, the first of which came after a spat with Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen, appearing to grab the Belgium international by the face after complaining that Vertonghen had gone down too easily from a Torres challenge. The newspaper suggests Torres could have been shown a straight red in that…

Read More

Tottenham winger Townsend vows to cut out diving after Chelsea booking

Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend has admitted to diving against Chelsea in the Premier League meeting between the sides on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported, and has vowed to cut out simulation from his game. Townsend was booked for the non-incident with Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and held his hands up to referee Mike Dean immediately, apologising to the official for trying to con a free-kick from him. “It was definitely a yellow card. I deserved it,” Townsend said. “You make mistakes and that dive was a mistake,” the 22-year-old…

Read More

Pellegrini not afraid of Man City hangover in Champions League

Manuel Pellegrini is not concerned that his Manchester City side will suffer any lasting effects of their defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League when they play Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday, the Daily Mirror has reported. Pellegrini has a history of relative success in the Champions League, taking Villarreal to the semi-finals in 2006, where they were beaten by Arsenal, and Malaga to the quarter-finals last season. And while the Chilean insists City will not be damaged by losing to Villa when they meet holders…

Read More

Wilshere backs Arsenal teammate Ramsey to keep improving

Jack Wilshere believes his Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsey can keep getting better after the Wales midfielder again impressed during the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Swansea City on Saturday, the Daily Mirror has reported. Wilshere added that the reason Ramsey has shined so brightly of late is that he is finally fully recovered from the double leg break he suffered in 2010. Wilshere feels that it was more a mental problem for Ramsey than physical once the injury had healed, and that he is now able to play without fear of…

Read More

De Bruyne future in doubt at Chelsea

The future of Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea is in question after manager Jose Mourinho left the winger out of the Premier League squad to play Tottenham Hotspur and the Champions League squad to play Steaua Bucharest, the Daily Mail has reported. De Bruyne has also been told to train with the club’s Under-21 squad for the early part of the week after Mourinho felt the 22-year-old performed poorly during Chelsea’s win over Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup. De Bruyne started the season among Mourinho’s first…

Read More

Moyes admits concern after Man Utd defeat

David Moyes has admitted he is concerned about the form of Manchester United after the Premier League champions were beaten at home by West Bromwich Albion, the Daily Mirror has reported. Morgan Amalfitano gave the Baggies the lead before Wayne Rooney levelled the scores, but a Saido Berahino goal put Steve Clarke’s side in front again and United were unable to peg back the visitors a second time. The defeat leaves Moyes’ side in 12th place after six games, with only two wins in the league so far this season.…

Read More

Liverpool’s Suarez is a role model, says Bergkamp

Former Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp has said that controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is a role model to young players due to his ‘individuality’, the Daily Mail has reported. Bergkamp is currently assistant manager of Ajax, and coached Suarez during the Uruguayan’s prolific spell at the Dutch champions, where he scored 111 goals in 159 appearances before leaving for Anfield in January 2011. And in his autobiography, Stillness and Speed, Bergkamp praised Suarez’ attitude, saying: ‘Everything is done for the kids now. It is a problem. We’ve got players in…

Read More

Tottenham can win Europa League, believes Lamela

Tottenham Hotspur’s new record signing, Erik Lamela, says that his new club are among the favourites to win this season’s Europa League, the Daily Mirror The £30m fee paid by Tottenham to sign Lamela from Roma eclipsed the £26m that they forked out to Valencia for striker Roberto Soldado earlier in the summer, but the Argentine has been made to wait for a first league start, with his only appearances that were not from the bench coming in the Europa League and the Capital One Cup. And the 21-year-old believes…

Read More

Arsenal preparing January bid for midfielder Bender

Arsenal are lining up a £20m January bid for Bayer Leverkusen defensive midfielder Lars Bender, according to the Daily Star, with manager Arsene Wenger looking for a long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta, who will be 32 in March. Bender was among Arsenal’s list of transfer targets during the summer, and the Gunners saw an offer of £18.5m rejected by Leverkusen, who finished third in the Bundesliga last season. Record signing Mesut Ozil has recommended Bender, and Wenger is likely to return with an improved offer in the New Year. The…

Read More