- Fergie on Jose Mourinho: ‘It’s not fair, he’s too good looking! Like George Clooney now!’ [Video]
- Shocking! Dad and kids kicked out of Villa Park for celebrating Falcao’s goal in Family Stand
- Cesc Fabregas: ‘This season Barça are Messi + 10 others; he’s saving them in many games’ [Radio Marca]
- Stoke v Chelsea [Team Sheets]
- No truth in Gareth Bale to Manchester United stories, has £1bn buyout clause [Guillem Balague]
Rooney the fall-guy & Carroll is praised after West Ham-Man United draw, Chelsea start Pellegrini talks & Arsenal on Kalou trail
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “[Liverpool owner John W Henry] and Tom [Werner, chairman] are both very open in [Manchester United's] approach. They’ll contact David [Gill] at United and Ivan [Gazidis] at Arsenal – ‘What do you think?’ That’s healthy. Let’s get a rounded view of the sport and how we should be doing things. It’s better to have an owner who is taking a genuine interest and is well-informed, rather than someone who says, ‘I was successful in baseball, so I can do that in soccer.’ They both put a lot of time into the team and into the game. That bodes well for Liverpool.” - Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre.
Runner-up: “Can I get my anger out of the way firs. We played Manchester United tonight and to have the assistant referee take a famous victory away from you is a bit difficult to take. Their job is to give the offside decisions when they appear in front of them. This was a blatant one and there is no excuse. The official is straight across the line on the last defender and can see that Van Persie is two yards offside. When the ball hits the post and comes to him, the flag should go up but doesn’t. To have drawn this game through a default goal for United is a bitter pill to swallow. The officials should not make those mistakes. If my players make those mistakes, they get dropped.” – Sam Allardyce.
West Ham 2 – Manchester United 2
Rooney future put in doubt (Andrew Dillon, Sun) Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United future is in doubt after he was subbed, while Robin van Persie nicked a point. Paris Saint-Germain target Roo looked grumpy as boss Alex Ferguson, who again played the England ace in a deeper role, hooked him with 19 minutes left. And former team-mate Michael Owen said: “He is probably not feeling his best. He played furthest up front. But he has not played the lone-man role for many years now.”
Wayne Rooney struggles but there’s no stopping Manchester United (Gary Chappell, Express) Wayne Rooney endured yet another miserable night for Manchester United after being hauled off. But Robin van Persie rescued a point against West Ham – meaning the title could be won on Monday night.
Fergie furious after De Gea and Evra feel the full force of Carroll in United draw at West Ham (and Vidic got a crack, too) (Adam Shergold, Mail) Sir Alex Ferguson blasted referee Lee Probert for not sending off Andy Carroll after the West Ham striker left David De Gea and Patrice Evra grounded with a bone-crunching challenge. The Manchester United manager was left fuming after Carroll clattered into the goalkeeper shortly before half-time during the pulsating 2-2 draw at Upton Park.
Rampaging Andy Carroll posts reminder of his talent (Martin Hardy, Independent) There is a player inside Carroll, still, it just needs to come out. Aside the obvious strength he has in the air, there is a good left foot, a bit of pace and a desire, according to those who worked with him at Newcastle, to learn his craft. There were definite signs of that player tonight, which will probably have offered more relief to Roy Hodgson than Sam Allardyce, who has to find a lot of money to make the loan move from Liverpool permanent. It was clear from the 36th second that Carroll was up for it, keeping a wayward right wing cross in, forcing it up the line to a West Ham team-mate; working hard and doing well.
Millwall Fans Do Cocaine
The drug Den (James Beal, Sun) Shamed Millwall fans are snorting cocaine in the toilets at their New Den ground — under the noses of police and stewards, a Sun probe reveals today. Traces of the drug — said to have fuelled fighting among the club’s supporters at Wembley last Saturday — were found in 12 of 25 cubicles we tested at a game three days later. The shock discovery prompted a vow by club officials to continue to crack down on lout Lions fans who sniff the powerful substance. Our undercover reporters wiped cocaine indicator swabs against toilet seats and loo roll holders on Tuesday. Twelve showed blue blotches, a sign of the Class A drug.
Who Is The Boss: Chelsea
Chelsea in Manuel talks (Rob Beasley, Sun) Chelsea have opened talks with Manuel Pellegrini as they draw up a shortlist to replace interim boss Rafa Benitez… Yesterday his agent Jesus Martinez revealed he has a £3.5million release clause in his contract…Dortmund’s coach Jurgen Klopp is another name being linked with the soon-to-be vacant hot seat at SW6. And current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has made it clear he would love to return.
Chelsea open talks with Pellegrini (Jason Burt, Telegraph) Adviser to Málaga coach understood to have met Chelsea’s representatives about becoming their next manager.
I’m off! Mourinho tells Madrid coaches he’s leaving as Abramovich ramps up bid to bring Special One back to Chelsea (Pete Jenson, Mail) Manuel Álvarez, who runs the Canillas team in the Spanish capital where Mourinho’s son plays, said: ‘Mourinho told us that next year he would not come and give a talk to our coaches because he would not be here.’
Affirmative Action In Football
Football League’s new rule to help create more ethnic-minority managers (David McDonnell, Mirror) A radical new scheme designed to increase the number of ethnic minority managers in English football is set to be pioneered by League Two clubs. The division’s 24 chairmen will be urged to approve Coaching Fair Play, a plan to ensure minority candidates are interviewed for vacant managerial posts. In a joint venture between the PFA and the Football League, the ground-breaking move will see a ‘Ready List’ of coaches drawn up, from which clubs must interview at least one when seeking a new manager.
Everyone’s a winner: Vote for ethnic-minority managers plan is a vote for progress AND self-interest (Ollie Holt, Mirror) A similar measure in the NFL, the Rooney Rule, was an outstanding success and the hiring of black coaches brought great success to a number of teams. When League Two clubs begin to realise there is a great untapped resource out there that can push them up their division, they will have common sense as well as right on their side.
Kalou’s London Return?
Kalou’s Gun ho (Sun) Salomon Kalou has opened the door on a possible summer move to Arsenal. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has set his sights on the Ivory Coast striker Kalou.
Gala fancy Jem (Sun) Jem Karacan is a target for Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Reading midfielder, 24, has made no secret of his desire to play in Turkey. And with the Royals sealing a deal to become affiliated with the Istanbul club earlier this year, the opportunity is now better than ever.
- Updated: April 18, 2013