Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “As a subject it is not worth going down because we have known for quite a few years there are plenty of players diving and, you have to say, particularly foreign players.” – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Runner-up: “People are getting fixated with this – it happened when David Beckham was coming to the end of his international career. Roy Hodgson has never said that Rio will no longer play for England. Rio Ferdinand has never said he won’t play for England again. But how many games has Rio Ferdinand played for Fabio Capello in the last 18 months? Three. He has not been playing regularly for England for the past two years. Roy Hodgson is looking to 2014 [the World Cup in Brazil] and I don’t see a big issue with this. He [Rio Ferdinand] is a class defender [but] Roy Hodgson has said many times that he won’t pick 34 or 35 year olds with 70 or 80 caps just so they can sit in the stands.” – Gary Neville.
Nordsjaelland v Chelsea
They’re not ‘Barcelona in blue shirts’ yet.. but Di Matteo’s Chelsea side showed the shape of things to come against Arsenal (Martin Lipton, Mirror) While Lampard will probably play in Copenhagen on Tuesday, he is no longer an automatic starter, no longer guaranteed even to play IN every game. At The Emirates, behind that impressively-interchanging line of three, which saw Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard – who has more of a touch of the young Joe Cole about him with every game I see – Di Matteo could have stuck with Lampard alongside John Obi Mikel.
RDM warns Blues: We can’t afford to lose to minnows (Sun) RDM admits that failure to win tonight could leave the holders struggling to make the knockout stage. He said: “This is now the most important game in this group stage. “Our record away from home in Europe has not been good in the last couple of years. It’s important we start winning again. I know we will start as favourites and we will certainly be fielding a strong team.”
Lampard in sub shock (Sun) Frank Lampard has been told to get used to life on the Chelsea bench.
Lampard has a future at Chelsea, insists Di Matteo despite growing absence from team (Mail) Roberto Di Matteo has insisted Frank Lampard’s Chelsea future is ‘very strong’, despite renewed concern over whether the midfielder’s glittering Stamford Bridge career might be drawing to a close.
Big test for the latest Laudrup as Michael’s son prepares to face Chelsea (Mail) Michael Laudrup’s father played for Denmark for 12 years, but that is nothing compared to the shadow that stalks his son Andreas. The latest in the Laudrup line plays for FC Nordsjaelland against Chelsea on Tuesday night as the only familiar name at the club.
Five things you didn’t know about Nordsjaelland (Guardian) The club was founded on 1 January 1991 under the name Farum Boldklub, a merger of Farum Idraetsklub and Stavnsholt FC, and began life in the seventh tier of Danish football. They became FC Nordsjaelland in 2003 after a local businessman, Allan Pedersen, took the club over from the former owner Peter Brixtofte.
CFR Cluj v Manchester United
Fergie kicks off at dozy Utd (Sun) Alex Ferguson has ordered his players to wake up and stop giving teams the lead. Manchester United have trailed in every Premier League game this season, except in beating Wigan 4-0.
Sir Alex Ferguson blows top at Ryder Cup question and issues rare rebuke of his Manchester United players (Telegraph) United, who travelled without the virus-affected Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, have won on their two previous visits to Romania – against Otelul Galati and Dinamo Bucharest – but Cluj coach Ioan Andone insisted that the three-time European champions no longer strike fear in opponents.
Spurs: Thoughts Of Success
AVB thinks Spurs can win a trophy this term – and I agree (Ian Wright, Sun) I think AVB will do well at Spurs. They have got Panathinaikos in the Europa League and it’s a competition they could do well in, not forgetting their boss won the competition with Porto. AVB feels that Spurs could win the trophy and I do not disagree.
Sparky In the Sh*tter: QPR 1 – West Ham 2
QPR 1 West Ham 2 (Sun) Mark Hughes is sure he will be given time to put things right at QPR. Rock-bottom Rangers are still looking for their first top-flight win of the season after crashing to the Hammers. The odds on Harry Redknapp taking over at the Hoops were last night slashed to 15-8.
Hughes vows to turn it around at QPR with Redknapp in the frame to take over (Mail) The Welshman is now the bookmakers’ favourite to become the first top-flight manager to leave his post this season, with former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp a short-odds potential replacement.
Hughes under pressure as Rangers’ rearguard cracks (Independent) Queens Park Rangers gave away a pair of 3-D glasses with their matchday programme last night. Unfortunately for their supporters, they have no transformative effect when viewing the Premier League table. QPR are bottom of the division after six games with just two points and Mark Hughes finds himself under pressure this morning. He signed 11 players at some cost during the summer and his side gave away two soft goals in the first 35 minutes last night to a newly-promoted team, finishing the game with ten men following the dismissal of substitute Samba Diakite.
Aston Villa: Problems Rise
Bent incensed (Sun) Darren Bent is heading for showdown talks with Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert after his controversial axing against West Brom. Villa’s record £24million signing wants a man-to-man after getting a SECOND slap in the face from the Scot, who stripped him of his captain’s armband a fortnight ago.
Everton: Everything’s Going Great
Dare to dream! Why David Moyes should be applauded for his ambition of cracking the Top Four this season (David Anderson, Mirror) So can they finish in the top four? I’ve been saying for weeks that they are the best equipped side out of the likes of Tottenham, Newcastle and Liverpool to break up the big four of United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea. And while the two Manchester clubs have not made the greatest of starts, it is still going to be a huge ask. I was cheered to hear Moyes’ response to this question after Saturday and rather deflate the fans by giving the old ‘we’re just taking it one game at a time’ line, he dared them to dream.
Blackburn’s Manager Search
Celtic legend Larsson in frame to take reins at Rovers after impressing in Sweden (Mail) Henrik Larsson is the shock new name being considered by Blackburn Rovers to replace Steve Kean… The former Sweden international, who won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2006, wants a job in England after telling Landskrona he will not be renewing his contract when their domestic season ends next month. Blackburn owners Venky’s have British-born Indian coach Judan Ali on their short-list but would prefer a high-profile name to get fans back onside after Kean resigned last week.
Steve Kean leaves Blackburn Rovers but the circus remains in town (Henry Winter, Telegraph) Unfortunately for Blackburn Rovers fans, this sorry, shabby episode in their club’s long and noble history is not over. Not until Venky’s have sold to owners who understand and care about football, or at the very least appoint the right people in the dugout and the boardroom, will the circus leave Ewood Park.
Man United and Chelsea keeping tabs on exciting young Lille defender Digne (Mail) Manchester United and Chelsea scouts watched Lille left back Lucas Digne, 19, against Rennes last Friday. Digne, who has represented France at youth levels from Under-16 up to Under-19, broke into the Lille first-team last season and has continued his good form going into this campaign.
Liverpool plan new contracts for kids Sterling, Suso and Wisdom (Mirror) Reds boss Rodgers has already revealed that talks are underway to improve 17-year-old sensation Raheem Sterling’s deal, and will also open negotiations with two more teenagers, Suso and Andre Wisdom.
Sahin the dark: Liverpool boss unsure if he can make loan star’s deal permanent (Mirror) Rodgers praises Real Madrid ace Nuri but adds, “We’d all love Lionel Messi, but whether you can afford him or he’s available is another thing”
Sunderland ready to snap up free agent McFadden (Mirror) McFadden, 29, was released by Everton in the summer, and will add experience to the Black Cats.