Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “My plan is first to keep all the players we have and then add two new players to the squad if possible. We had restricted funds because we had to pay the stadium. Now we are in a stronger position financially again and we can spend. It is important that the club goes in the right direction. We have a young team with fantastic qualities. I have to get the qualities transformed into positive results.” – Arsene Wenger.
Runner-up: “Yesterday I came back to London from seeing my family and a few Chelsea fans on the train told me they were pleased with how I was working. They see I’m a professional and appreciate what I want to do. I’ve contact with some fans but I don’t have the time to be talking with everyone because we’ve a game every three days and my job is to prepare the team. It’s my job to manage the side, analyse everything, talk with the players and staff and then make decisions. Even when I explain some of my reasons for selecting certain players, people still criticise me. So the way to go forward is to concentrate on the positives.” – Rafa Benitez.
Kompany’s Red Retracted
This is a licence to harm! Referees left seething after Kompany wins tackle appeal (Ian Ladyman, Mail) Referees have been left angry and bemused after the Football Association surprisingly overturned the red card shown to Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany on Sunday. Officials are banned from commenting on controversial decisions but Sportsmail understands that senior refereeing officials and matchday referees believe overruling Mike Dean’s decision sets a dangerous precedent and increases the chance of players being seriously injured.
The FA’s haphazard appeals process does nothing for morale of referees (Sam Wallace, Independent) Of course, referees get things wrong. They do not have the benefit of HD slo-mo and endless replays. But a case could be made for Kompany’s tackle demonstrating “excessive force” in his challenge with Jack Wilshere at the Emirates on Sunday. The rules make clear that excessive force includes challenges that are made with one foot, not just those made with two feet. More pertinently, was it an “obvious” error by Mike Dean? A personal view was that it was not “obvious” at all, and many pundits and experts have been split over the decision.
Is Milan Gonna Get Special?
Jose may boss AC Mour-lan (Sun) AC Milan are plotting to hijack Jose Mourinho’s summer return to the Premier League. The slumbering Italian giants are keen for the Special One to return to the San Siro and repeat his heroic spell with local rivals Inter.
The Premier League Gets Pep-ped Up
Pep Guardiola says he would like to manage a Premier League club (Daniel Taylor, Guardian) Roman Abramovich has made it a near-obsession to bring Guardiola to Chelsea, pointedly handing Rafael Benítez the title of “interim manager” after giving him a contract to the end of the season in place of Roberto Di Matteo. United, meanwhile, have Guardiola at the top of their wish-list to replace Sir Alex Ferguson when the long-serving manager retires, and there is also the possibility that the regime at City will try to bring him in at the end of the season, at the expense of Roberto Mancini… Bayern Munich and Milan have also been linked with Guardiola, as have Paris St-Germain to a lesser degree, but what is becoming increasingly clear is Guardiola’s admiration for English football.
Manchester City and Chelsea on alert as Guardiola reveals Premier League dream (Mail) Pep Guardiola has fuelled the intrigue surrounding his future by stressing his desire to work in England. Guardiola sent a message of congratulations to the Football Association as they prepared to launch their 150th anniversary celebrations in London on Wednesday. And just like Jose Mourinho, who sent a similar message 24 hours earlier, he outlined his ambitions to coach in England, comments sure to alert the biggest clubs in the country.
Premier Pep (Sun) SunSport revealed on Sunday that Guardiola, 41, wants to boss Manchester City this summer, which will disappoint Chelsea, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and AC Milan.
Pep: Why I must boss a club in England (Shaun Custis, Sun) Guardiola was also tipped for a return to Barcelona when his great friend Tito Vilanova, who succeeded him, went into hospital for a cancer operation. But Vilanova has made a speedy recovery and, as SunSport revealed, Pep has been eyeing Manchester City as a likely destination. His one-time bosses at Barca, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, are in prime positions at the Etihad to make a move to England happen. Soriano is the club’s new chief executive while Begiristain is the director of football. If Roberto Mancini is to be ousted at the end of the season, no two men have a more direct hotline to Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola ready to battle Jose Mourinho for top Premier League job (Mirror) United, City and Chelsea could have their contrasting choice of two of football’s most wanted managers.
Newcastle On The Rocks
What now for Newcastle and Alan Pardew after Rémy takes French leave? (Louise Taylor, Guardian) Newcastle clearly need at least one new striker and at least one new defender but Pardew, you suspect, is also crying out for an experienced old head who can provide on-field nous and off-field clout. Frank Lampard would clearly be too expensive but Newcastle really could do with making that sort of signing. Pardew has done a very good job but right now what he arguably most requires is a McAllister to help him raise the bar. Meanwhile, only time will tell whether Rémy is the answer to Redknapp’s prayers.
Sir Bobby Robson Day
FA to name National Football Day after Sir Bobby Robson (Daniel Taylor, Guardian) Sir Bobby Robson is to be commemorated with a National Football Day named in his honour. The event, to be announced on Wednesday as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations, will be held on 10 August to coincide with the start of the 2013-14 season, four days before England play Scotland at Wembley.
Ipswich: Bring Back Booze
Ipswich Town want to call time on booze ban (Paul Kelso, Telegraph) Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg is seeking Football Association and Football League support for a change in the law that would allow football fans to enjoy alcoholic drinks in the same way that followers of other sports such as rugby and cricket enjoy. Ipswich believe that football fans have been “unfairly targeted” in comparison to followers of other sports, and wants clubs to have the power to choose when and how they sell alcohol on a game-by-game basis.
Manchester United set to lose bid for Arsenal fan Wilfried Zaha (Express) Crystal Palace are expected to reject Manchester United’s £12million bid for Wilfried Zaha as they want more of the fee up front. United will offer £6m for the winger, with the rest to come in add-ons and performance related payments. United are willing to loan Zaha, 20, back to Palace for the rest of the season . Zaha is an Arsenal fan and the Gunners could follow up their interest in the player and pip United to his signature.
Remy deal is done, reveals Harry and Rennes bad boy M’Vila is on his way to QPR, too (Mail) QPR manager Harry Redknapp expects Marseille striker Loic Remy to complete his £8million move to Loftus Road on Wednesday after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms. Redknapp, who was speaking after his side’s 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay win at West Brom, is also confident of sealing a £7m deal for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila in the next couple of days.
Milan’s £10m Krul raid as Italian giants launch bid to sign Newcastle stopper (Mail) AC Milan have launched a £10million bid to sign Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul. The Dutchman, 24, is valued closer to £20m by his club, who will be reluctant to sell having let Demba Ba go to Chelsea and with talks planned today with wantaway captain Fabricio Coloccini.
You’re Gunner regret that! Arsenal target Shaw reveals his love for Chelsea (Mail) Arsenal fans hoping their club may one day sign Southampton’s young left back Luke Shaw will find his Twitter feed makes disappointing reading on Tuesday night. The Gunners target spent the evening hailing their London rivals Chelsea, ahead of Saints’ trip to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Shaw was answering questions from fans on the social networking site and asked if he was a Chelsea fan replied: ‘#championsofeurope yes I am’.
Coloccini set for crunch talks as Toon hope homesick skipper stays until end of season (Mail) Coloccini has not handed in a transfer request but is keen to return to his first club San Lorenzo where his father Osvaldo works.
Toffees to shell out £10m for on song Capoue (Sun) Everton are closing in on Toulouse’s £10million-rated Etienne Capoue.