5 Players who should have made the Ballon d’or shortlist

The shortlist for the Ballon d’or was revealed on Tuesday, and it contained all of the obvious names, such as four-time winner Lionel Messi, perennial runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo, and the World’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale. But here are 5 players that perhaps should have been among the 23 names that were nominated: Diego Costa The 25-year-old has had probably the best year of his career for Atletico Madrid. Instrumental to his side’s Copa Del Rey triumph in May, he has improved even further at the beginning of this season,…

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The Top 5 Scariest Footballers – Halloween Special

The Premier League can be a scary place at times, with the drama and tension occasionally boiling over. Over the years we’ve seen some passionate players grace the Premier League but none more so than these scary five. Betfair launched a poll to find out football’s scariest players of all time as part of a Halloween special feature. In memory of football’s scariest characters, Betfair asked expert Pumpkin carver Dave Finkle to carve the faces of those chosen as the fans’ fearsome favourites onto pumpkins, just in time for Halloween.…

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Azpilicueta has no complaints over Chelsea role

Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta insists he has no problem with manager Jose Mourinho’s rotation policy, Sky Sports has reported, even though the Spaniard has been largely deprived of first team football this season. The presence of Branislav Ivanovic has meant Azpilicueta has had to make to with only sporadic appearances, such as in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday against Arsenal when he capitalised on a Carl Jenkinson error to score the opening goal of the game, his first for the Blues. But it was only Azpilicueta’s seventh outing of…

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Vermaelen has faith in Arsenal defence against Liverpool strikers

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is confident the Gunners backline can keep Liverpool front two Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at bay when the sides meet in the Premier League on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported. The Sturridge-Suarez combination has fired Liverpool towards the top of the table – but Arsenal are the side that lead the way despite the goals of the England international and his Uruguay teammate. Between them Sturridge and Suarez have scored 16 times this season, more than fourth-place Tottenham have managed in the league as a…

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Man Utd are struggling under Moyes, says Man City’s Toure

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes Manchester United are struggling in the defence of their Premier League title under new manager David Moyes, Sky Sports has reported, with the problems at Old Trafford leaving Liverpool as a stronger contender for top spot. United are currently eighth, eight points behind league leaders Arsenal – although City are barely any better placed as Manuel Pellegrini’s side are seventh with only two points more than United. City did however win the first Manchester derby of the season, running out 4-1 winners at the…

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Tottenham and Arsenal to fight it out for Pato

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are both keen to sign Brazil international striker Alexandre Pato, the Daily Mail has reported, with Tottenham having also attempted to recruit the former Milan forward in the summer. Pato revealed the interest from Spurs in an interview with Sportv. “Tottenham had called Corinthians to ask for my transfer,” Pato claimed. “I sat at the table with the club and my agent and I decided I wanted to stay.” Corinthians signed Pato from Milan earlier in 2013, paying nearly £13m to return the 24-year-old to his…

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Beckham backs Moyes to succeed at Man Utd

David Beckham believes David Moyes will prove to be a worthy successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, ESPN has reported, as the ex-England captain backs his former Preston North End teammate to succeed following his move from Everton. Beckham was sent to play for Preston by Ferguson when coming through the ranks at United – Moyes was not yet the North End manager and the two were part of the same team at Deepdale. “I played with [Moyes] during my loan spell at Preston and I’ve seen him…

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Former Arsenal midfielder Arshavin criticises Emirates Stadium support

Andrei Arshavin has criticised the home support of former club Arsenal, ESPN has reported, comparing the noise generated at the Emirates Stadium to the more genteel atmosphere of the theatre. Arshavin moved to north London from Zenit St. Petersburg in January 2009 and made an immediate impact on the Gunners with six goals in 15 games – although four of them came in one fixture, the 4-4 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. His Arsenal form petered out to the point he was allowed to re-join Zenit on loan in 2012…

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Newcastle boss Pardew a surprise contender for Crystal Palace vacancy

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has is a surprise name in the hat to take over at Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace, Club Call has reported. Palace are seeking a replacement for Ian Holloway, who left the club after a 4-1 home defeat to Fulham in early October. Pardew’s position at Newcastle, meanwhile, came into question with the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football before the start of the season. Combined with Pardew’s status as a favourite son of Selhurst Park from his playing days, and there have been…

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Pellegrini impressed with Pantilimon in Man City Capital One Cup triumph

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was impressed with the performance of Costel Pantilimon during the Capital One Cup win over Newcastle, Sky Sports has reported, after the goalkeeper replaced Joe Hart, who was criticised for an error against Chelsea consigned City to defeat in their last Premier League fixture. Pantilimon made a series of saves that ensured the game stayed goalless after 90 minutes and gave City a platform to go on and win the tie in extra time, goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko setting up a quarter-final…

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Villas-Boas praise for Tottenham supporters after Capital One Cup shootout win

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has praised the reaction of the White Hart Lane crowd during the Capital One Cup victory over Hull City, Sky Sports has reported, after it took penalties to put the home side into the next round. Villas-Boas had criticised Tottenham’s home support after the weekend’s Premier League win over Hull, claiming they were too quick to turn negative and it was affecting the players. But the reverse was the case on Wednesday, Villas-Boas said, as the Portuguese credited the crowd with a role in…

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Alitdore demands consistent effort from Sunderland

Sunderland forward Jozy Alitodore has demanded more of the same at Hull City on Saturday as they gave against Newcastle, writes Sky Sports. The United States international has appealed to his teammates to put in the same effort from now on in the Premier League as they did in the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light on Sunday. Looking ahead of the clash with Hull, Altidore believes the tie is huge for Sunderland. “It is a winnable game and we have to make sure we go there and show…

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Lallana praises Southampton strike partnership Rodriguez and Lambert

Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana believes Saints have plenty of goals in them this season with forwards Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert both in fine form, Sky Sports has reported. Rodriguez, signed from Burnley in 2012 for a fee in the region of £7m, assisted a Lambert goal before scoring himself in the 2-0 home win over Fulham at the weekend. Lambert, who has two goals in three appearances for England this season, also got on the scoresheet in the victory over the Cottagers. Lallana said on the pair: “It’s a…

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Tottenham lack creativity says former boss Hoddle

Former Tottenham boss Glenn Hoddle has said that Spurs need more creativity if they are to finish in the top four this season, talkSPORT has reported. Spurs have failed to qualify for the Champions League since the 2010-11 season, where they reached the quarter-finals before coming unstuck against Real Madrid. The north London side are desperate to return to Europe’s top competition sooner rather than later. Current boss Andre Villas-Boas had a busy summer, signing £108m’s worth on talent to add to his squad, but he also suffered the loss…

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Courtois unsure on Chelsea future

Thibaut Courtois has enjoyed three consecutive loan spells at Atletico Madrid, but is still unsure whether he will return to Chelsea the end of the season, writes Sky Sports. The 21-year-old has admitted his future at Chelsea is out of his hands, with the decision coming down to Jose Mourinho’s judgment of the young goalkeeper. Depite Chelsea’s involvement in the Champions League, Courtois was keen to stay at Atletico with first-team football guaranteed ahead of the World Cup in 2014, but does not know if he made the right decision…

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McLeish declares interest in Crystal Palace job

Alex McLeish has declared his interest in the current vacant managerial role at Crystal Palace, writes Sky Sports. Ian Holloway agreed to leave the struggling Premier League side having picked up just three points from their opening nine matches, and the former Birmingham, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Scotland manager has shown his interest in filling the vacancy at Selhurst Park. “There hasn’t been any contact yet but I am available as a free agent,” he said. “Crystal Palace are in a position that’s precarious for them but there’s still…

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Man City midfielder Rodwell wants League Cup to be a platform for success

Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell has highlighted the importance of the League Cup to the team’s success in other competitions, the Independent has reported. The England international said that the team are eager to win in all competitions, as they prepare to take on Newcastle on Wednesday evening in the Capital One Cup. City travel to St. James’ Park looking to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition following an inconsistent start to their league campaign. New boss Manuel Pellegrini is likely to make wholesale changes to his side for…

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Moyes wants Roma’s Pjanic at Man Utd

Manchester United boss David Moyes is set to swoop for Roma and Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic for £25m, reports the Daily Telegraph. Pjanic is expected to cost the Red Devils around £25m, with the move to be pushed through in January. Pjanic has been an influential part of the Roma side, who currently sit top of Serie A with nine straight wins. Roma are highly unlikely to want to sell the 23-year-old, but a generous offer from the Manchester club may be too good to refuse. It has been the…

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Swansea chairman Jenkins surprised at Dean appointment for Cardiff fixture

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins revealed his surprise that Mike Dean will referee the Welsh derby at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, Sky Sports has reported. The 45-year-old official took charge of the South Wales derby at Ninian Park in 2009 and gave Cardiff a controversial penalty in added time with the Swans leading 2-1. Current Swansea captain Ashley Williams was adjudged to have brought down Bluebirds striker Ross McCormack, now with Leeds, and Dean awarded a spot kick that was duly converted to grab a point for the…

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Henderson wants Liverpool to send a message to Arsenal

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has vowed to show the club mean business as the Reds prepare for the trip to play Arsenal on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported. Brendan Rodgers’ side saw off West Brom with a convincing 4-1 victory at Anfield last weekend, and Henderson is ready to show the rest of the Premier League teams that Liverpool are the real deal this season. “Confidence is very high at the minute,” Henderson said. “We’ve started the season very well, but there’s still room for improvement and we’re still going to…

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Norwich midfielder Snodgrass released from hospital

Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass has been released from hospital, having been knocked unconscious during his side’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, BBC Sport has reported. The Scotland international was involved in a collision with Red Devils defender Rafael, and suffered a blow to his eye socket, which he was treated for on the pitch for eight minutes. However, the 26-year-old was given the all clear on Tuesday evening to leave the Manchester hospital and return to Norfolk. The medical team at…

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Galatasaray plot January move for Southampton’s Ramirez

Turkish giants Galatasaray are planning a January bid for Southampton midfielder Gaston Ramirez, the Daily Mail has reported. The Uruguayan international signed for the Saints last summer for what was then a record transfer for the club at cost of £12m. However, the former Bologna player has failed to make the impact expected, and is not a regular starter in Mauricio Pochettino’s team. The 22-year-old’s agent, Pablo Betancourt, revealed that his client does not get on well with the Argentine manager and is considering his options as the window draws…

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Man City captain Kompany could miss next three games

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is set to miss his side’s next three games following a set back in his recovery from a groin injury, ESPN has reported. The Belgium international has not featured for City since he went off in their 3-1 home win over Everton at the start of October. Reports have circulated that the 27-year-old will miss another week following an aggravation during his personal training session with the medical staff at the club. The centre-back will certainly miss his side’s Capital One Cup fourth round tie…

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Cole eyes up longer Chelsea stay

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has admitted he would love to continue his stay at the West London club for another year, Sky Sports has reported. The England international signed for the Stamford Bridge outfit back in 2006 following a controversial move from London rivals Arsenal. Having signed a one-year extension to his contract in January, Cole’s deal expires at the end of the current season and the 32-year-old has his sights set on ending his career with the Blues. Cole said: “I signed an extension at the start of the…

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Cardiff vs Swansea – South Wales derby statistics special

Cardiff and Swansea meet this Sunday at the Cardiff City Stadium as they play out the 105th South Wales derby and the first welsh derby in the Premier League. The two sides have not met since the 2010-11 season when both sides were in the Championship. Cardiff have had an encouraging start to their first season in the Premier League, recording a 3-2 win over Manchester City in their first home game. Whilst their home form has dipped recently with defeats to Spurs and Newcastle, they have started to pick…

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