Championship season review – Rotherham, Sheff Wed, Wigan, Wolves

Rotherham United: 24th (relegated) It is difficult to know where to start with Rotherham. This was simply a season to forget; one which saw the club relegated pretty much before it had even begun. Not for many a year has a side finished with so few points, as a squad packed full of journeymen and loan players found itself truly incapable of competing at Championship level. Having pulled off a magnificent escape from the drop in 2015-16, the following summer was actually sprinkled with hints of optimism, with Alan Stubbs having…

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Twitter couldn’t believe one player being on UEFA’s list of Europe’s best players

On Monday, the UEFA announced the 10-man shortlist for the Best Player in Europe Award. As expected, some of the biggest names in football made it, but further down the list fans found one big surprise. The award is voted for by journalists from across Europe, who list their five best players of the 2015-2016 season. Lionel Messi won the first UEFA award in 2011 and also collected the trophy last year. The other winners are Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2014). The ten nominees, in alphabetical order, are:…

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League One Season Review 2015-16

Many clubs in recent seasons have found the going tough upon being relegated from the Premier League, so much so that they slip almost inexorably into the third tier. Wigan Athletic were that team going into 2015-16, just two years after winning the FA Cup under Roberto Martinez and now with a new chairman in 23-year-old David Sharpe. The man tasked with reversing the downward spiral was one of the members of that side that upset the odds against Manchester City on that famous day at Wembley, Gary Caldwell. The…

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Former Man United legend Sir Alex Ferguson named as Premier League’s most influential figure

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been named as the most influential person in Premier League history. READ MORE: Manchester United Transfer News Ten unstoppable players Manchester United almost signed Man United would lucky to sign key target, says ex-Real Madrid chief In a list compiled by the Daily Mail, the veteran tactician saw off competition from the likes of Roman Abramovich, Rupert Murdoch and Richard Scudamore to exert his influence on the top flight. Current Premier League managers Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho also featured amongst the…

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Harry Kane beware: 15 Premier League strikers who flopped after great seasons

When Tottenham began their Premier League season with an 1-0 win over West Ham, few would have expected that the man that Mauricio Pochettino would only throw on in the 83rd minute would turn out to be one of the league’s top goalscorers. READ MORE: Premier League News and Goals Amazingly – given that he wouldn’t start a single game in the league until November – Harry Kane would go on to finish the season with more goals than anyone else, apart from Manchester City’s talisman Sergio Aguero. His 21…

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Championship season review: Sheff Wed, Watford, Wigan, Wolves

Sheffield Wednesday: 13th This was a season that saw Sheffield Wednesday make strong progress both on and off the pitch, as they performed solidly throughout to achieve a comfortable mid-table finish, while owner Milan Mandaric handed over the reins to ambitious Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri. Stuart Gray had earned the manager’s job on a permanent basis after guiding the Owls clear from a precarious position in 2013-14, and they looked a force to be reckoned with early on, winning at Brighton & Hove Albion, more than playing their part in…

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Championship season review: Sheffield Wednesday, Watford, Wigan, Yeovil

Sheff Wednesday:16th Sheffield Wednesday recovered from a torrid beginning to the campaign to nestle comfortably in the lower echelons of mid-table and ensure a third Championship season in a row. The season changed upon the appointment of Stuart Gray, under whom the Owls seemed to rediscover their scoring touch. Up until the end of November, the protection and safe haven of 16th place seemed light years away. Then-manager Dave Jones failed to guide Wednesday to a single victory in the first 12 league matches – a wretched run which eventually…

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Wigan vs Arsenal – Match preview and team news

It is make-or-break time for Arsenal on Saturday as they take on holders Wigan Athletic in the first of the weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals. With all of their rivals towards the top of the Premier League, Arsenal will have very few excuses if they fail to win the competition from here. All the pressure will be on the Gunners now after a horrendous run of form which has left their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League under some doubt. It is now back to basics for under-pressure manager…

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Rosler to follow Everton’s lead

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler is set to follow Everton’s lead and learn from their triumph over Arsenal, according to Sky Sports. The Championship side are set to face the Gunners this Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final and will be hoping to capitalise on Arsenal’s frail confidence after a 3-0 battering by Everton last weekend. Rosler lead the Latics to an excellent 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the last round and admitted that he had followed the lead of his predecessor and now current Everton boss Roberto Martinez. “I…

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Rosler: Pressure is on Arsenal

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler believes that the pressure is strongly on Arsenal, as favourites, to knock his side out of the FA Cup on Saturday, according to Sky Sports. The Championship club are the current holders of the trophy but Rosler believes the Gunners will be under pressure to end their nine year trophy drought with the competition. Wigan have so far exceeded all expectation in the competition, eliminating three Premier League clubs including Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Manchester City on their way to the semi-final. “We’re going to Wembley…

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Man City vs Wigan – Match preview and team news

The last FA Cup tie of quarter-final weekend is a repeat of last season’s final, as Wigan Athletic travel to Manchester City. The five-times winners come into this having redeemed themselves somewhat from their shock defeat to the Latics last May, coming from behind to defeat Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final. However, that they needed two wonder strikes to rescue them at Wembley may provide Wigan with some encouragement. Going forward, they look have looked far less potent in recent weeks than at any other time this season.…

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Cardiff vs Wigan – Match preview and team news

FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic will be hoping to continue their defence of the famous trophy by defeating Premier League strugglers Cardiff City. The hosts have only won three times since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge at the beginning of the year, but two of those have been in the FA Cup as the Bluebirds have accounted for Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers. They are faltering in the league and struggling to score goals, however, and their failure to win at home to Aston Villa on Tuesday has left them…

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Wigan vs Crystal Palace – Match preview and team news

FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic continue the defence of their trophy with a home tie against Crystal Palace in the fourth round. The Latics needed a replay and extra time to prevent a dogged and determined Milton Keynes Dons from ending their FA Cup campaign at the first hurdle, but victory continued what has been a very good start overall for new manager Uwe Rosler, who replaced the unfortunate Owen Coyle in December. They are still heavily fancied to make the play-offs, but those hopes received a setback last time…

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Lambert reveals Villa need for on-loan Wigan star Albrighton

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has revealed that the midland outfit were still in need of Marc Albrighton, which was why they recalled the player from his loan spell at Wigan after just a month, writes BBC Sport. With Villa set to face a run of eight games in just 33 days, Lambert felt the need to get the former England U-21 star back to Villa Park to add a bit of depth to help ease the burden on the current first teamers. Lambert was keen to praise Albrighton’s contribution…

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FA to change rules on retrospective action in wake of McManaman tackle on Haidara

The Football Association is to change the regulation that says retrospective disciplinary action cannot be taken against a player if one of the match officials sees the incident, the Daily Mirror has reported. The new stance comes after Wigan Athletic’s Callum McManaman escaped sanction for a knee-high challenge on Newcastle defender Massimo Haidara last season. Referee Mark Halsey admitted he did not see the tackle and would have sent off McManaman if he did – but one of the official’s did see the incident, albeit not to the full extent,…

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Martinez targeting Moses, Alcaraz and Robles for Everton

In addition to Arouna Kone, signed on Monday, new Everton manager Roberto Martinez has his sights set on a reunion with three more of his former players at Wigan, according to the Daily Mail: Victor Moses, who joined Chelsea last year, defender Antolin Alcaraz, and goalkeeper Joel Robles, who was on loan at the DW Stadium towards the end of last season. With money tight at Everton, the club would prefer a loan deal for Moses, who spent two and-a-half years under Martinez at Wigan before joining Chelsea last summer,…

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Coyle confirms Kone wants Martinez reunion at Everton

New Wigan boss Owen Coyle has confirmed that striker Arouna Kone is set to leave the DW Stadium, with a reunion with former boss Roberto Martinez at Everton on the cards according to Goal.com. Interest in Kone from the Premier League is thought to be high, with Swansea, Norwich, Everton and Liverpool all thought to be keen on the former Levante star, but Goodison Park appears to be the player’s preferred destination. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Coyle said: “I’m led to believe through his representative that Everton is…

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Kone triggers Liverpool and Everton transfer bells by announcing desire to move

Arouna Kone has sparked a potential transfer battle between Liverpool and Everton by announcing that he intends to quit relegated FA Cup winners Wigan this summer, reports The Sun. The Ivory Coast hitman impressed during his first season in England by helping the Latics win their first FA Cup, but was unable to prevent their relegation to the Championship despite hitting 13 goals along the way. Reports have said that Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton, who are now managed by Kone’s former Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, were both keen on…

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Whelan appoints Coyle as Wigan boss

Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan has appointed Owen Coyle as successor to the departed Roberto Martinez, reveals the Daily Mirror. The Scot has been out of work since being relieved of his duties by Bolton Wanderers last October. He has had success though at lower league level, achieving promotion with Burnley through the play-offs into the Premier League in 2009. Experience at in the Championship, plus enthusiasm for the position seems to have given the nod to Coyle, who won much praise and respect for the way he dealt with…

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Former England boss McClaren in line for Wigan post

Steve McClaren is one of two final contenders for the managerial vacancy at Wigan Athletic, the Daily Telegraph has reported, with Latics chairman Dave Whelan to choose between the former England manager and ex-Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle. Whelan is seeking a successor to Roberto Martinez, who left the DW Stadium to take over at Everton after David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. A board meeting has been called by Whelan to discuss the appointment, and whoever the chosen candidate proves to be, they will be tasked…

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Whelan wants Wigan boss in place this week

Dave Whelan has confirmed to the Guardian that Wigan Athletic will have a new manager in place by the end of the week. A shortlist of 50 names has been whittled down to 15 candidates. Whelan admits a delay in the compensation package with Everton for ex-manager Roberto Martinez is why the Latics haven’t been able to appoint a replacement yet. Whelan said: “I’ve been in Jersey for four days and I couldn’t do anything before that because we had to agree compensation with Everton. “I wouldn’t interview one soul…

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Whelan wants Bruce back at Wigan

With Roberto Martinez’s departure to Everton imminent, the Daily Telegraph has stated his successor could well be the man he replaced at Wigan, Steve Bruce. Bruce has managed the club twice before, most recently in the 2008-09 season before leaving for his ill-fated stint at Sunderland. The 52-year-old has just won promotion to the Premier League for the third time with Hull City after two previous successes with Birmingham City. He also achieved Wigan’s highest top flight finish of 11th, which came in his final season of his second spell.…

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Martinez wants Wigan defender Alcaraz at Everton

Roberto Martinez will turn to a player he knows well from Wigan Athletic as his first Everton signing, swooping for defender Antolin Alcaraz on a free transfer, while also lining up a move for former Toffees youth player Callum McManaman, the Daily Mirror has reported. Martinez would also like to sign James McCarthy, the newspaper claims, but expects the midfielder to join Tottenham Hotspur instead. Alcaraz, available for nothing after his Latics contract expired, would help the new manager implement his back-three formation, while McManaman would be able to move…

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Questions facing Martinez ahead of Everton move

Everton have moved closer to appointing a successor to David Moyes with the news that compensation has been agreed between the Toffees and Wigan Athletic for the services of Roberto Martinez. But, if the Spaniard is to take up the reigns at Goodison Park, the uncertainty will still be far from over. Questions linger not only about the playing squad Martinez will have to work with – specifically the futures of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines – but also the manager himself. He oversaw Wigan’s phenomenal FA Cup victory, but…

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Martinez deal not done yet, insist Everton

Everton have played down comments from Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan that suggested the Merseyside club was close to appointing Latics boss Roberto Martinez as successor to David Moyes, ESPN has reported. Whelan revealed on Monday evening that the two clubs had agreed a compensation figure for the Spaniard and that Martinez had told him his talks with the Toffees had gone well, with Martinez understood to be one of the final three names in the frame. Porto’s Vitor Pereira and ex-Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick are also thought to be…

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