Sunday, April 8th, 2012
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “The linesman had a disgusting performance in my eyes. They aren’t even difficult decisions. Both goals are clearly offside. There is a feeling of real injustice in that dressing room. The first one, you can’t miss that. Someone asked me: “Is it time for technology?” No. It is time to bring a referee or linesman who knows the rules. You don’t need technology for that. I felt sorry for the referee because he relies on his linesman and he can’t give that decision unless he gives it. I was really worried in the game where the linesman wasn’t getting (flagging) easy calls.” – Roberto Martinez.
Runner-up: “Rio is as good as any centre-half in England. Him and John Terry are the only experienced defenders England have got. All the rest are young. But he has not been in the squad and that is a decision for the next England manager. I would take him for his experience alone.” – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United’s title charge
Dissent is for losers and not allowed at Manchester United – Ferguson (Observer) Manchester United have won 10 of their past 11 league games and drawn the other, not only displaying the sort of precisely timed acceleration that defines champions but giving their rivals an object lesson in team unity and professional focus. While United have moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League, Manchester City have been one of the sides caught arguing among themselves, with disappointing results leading to signs of dissent on and off the pitch.
How ballet classes helped Ferdinand brothers stay tight (Observer) They meet as rivals when QPR face Manchester United at Old Trafford, but Rio and Anton could not be closer.
Manchester City’s failing title charge, Mancini to be axed
Roberto Mancini admits Manchester City’s title failings but not defeat (Observer) After spending big for a title tilt, City’s boss will have to explain to the owners why his squad’s not as strong as United’s.
Mancini: I want more dosh (Sunday Sun) The Manchester City boss plans a £37m double raid on Lille for striker Eden Hazard and left-back Lucas Digne.
Roy Keane: I’d get rid of Balo (Sunday Sun) If I was Manchester City manager, I’d ship out Mario Balotelli this summer — but Roberto Mancini might not be around long enough to do it.
New money but old order won’t be moved (Independent) Arab millions were supposed to deliver glory for City (and Paris St-Germain and Malaga) but traditional powerhouses are hard to shift
Roberto Mancini pays price for turning on his players (Telegraph, Gary Lineker)
Managers on the Move
Fit & Proper
Fit and proper test delays Reading’s £25m takeover (Sunday Mail) Reading may be all but assured of returning to the Premier League after Friday’s 2-0 victory over Leeds United, but the club’s £25.4million takeover by Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich has been delayed by Football League checks into whether he is a fit and proper person to buy the club.
The Sunday Op-eds
Said & Done (Observer) £8,500: Fines split between South Korean clubs Incheon United and Daejeon Citizen after two Citizen fans beat up United’s big bird mascoton the pitch. The attack led to “serious brawls”, with United denying the fans were provoked: “That is not the case. The bird followed his normal routine.”
Zero tolerance on diving won’t get off the ground (Sunday Mail, Gary Neville) The culture has changed for ever. I reckon 75 per cent of fouls now committed result in players going to ground. By which I mean they could have stayed on their feet but want to show the referee they have been fouled.
It doesn’t get much smuttier