Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money. I think for Manchester City it will be the same. We need to improve. We need to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League. For this we need to have a good team, a strong team with a good mentality, but I’m sure we will do it. We have started a new cycle, but in order to win the Champions League you need more. The Champions League is the next step. The first year was the FA Cup, the second the Premier League and I hope the third will be the Champions League. But we have to improve a lot.” – Roberto Mancini.
Runner-up: ”I will decide about my future after the Euros. I will make the decision where to continue my career. I’m ready for the big tests.” – Luka Modric.
The England Axe: Rio, Richards, Crouch All Out
Rio Ferdinand out of England Euro 2012 squad (Sun) Rio Ferdinand is out of Euro 2012 — but John Terry has a good chance of surviving. New boss Roy Hodgson will stamp his authority on England’s 23-man squad with some high-profile casualties. Peter Crouch, Micah Richards, Phil Jagielka and Kyle Walker will also miss out when the list is revealed today.
End of an era – and Rio will have a few regrets (Sam Wallace) A top player for England but he missed too many matches, tournaments and that drugs test.
Roy Hodgson facing test of his resolve over possible selection of John Terry for England at Euro 2012 (Henry Winter, Telegraph) The ebullient, popular Ferdinand will be missed. John Terry’s presence is hugely controversial. Storm-clouds gather over Wembley at 1pm on Wednesday.
Roy shows who’s boss (Steven Howard, Sun) In one of the biggest decisions ever taken by an England manager, Hodgson has effectively ended the 15-year international career of former skipper Rio Ferdinand… It is believed Hodgson has also showed his bullish nature by including Liverpool striker Andy Carroll at the expense of Peter Crouch.
Ferdinand misses out on Euro 2012 over fitness doubts… but Terry set for call (Mail) The omission of Ferdinand and Phil Jagielka (understood to have been put on standby) as well as injury to Chris Smalling would suggest Terry has made the cut. But Hodgson could still take only seven defenders, with Phil Jones covering as one of four centre halves and as a second right back alongside Glen Johnson.
Ruthless Roy makes his mark! England look thin at the back after Rio axe (Mail) Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill have had fine seasons for their clubs but this will be some test for them this summer. For Phil Jagielka, too, if he earns selection. On Tuesday night it was thought he might only be named among the five or six players on standby. Defensively, England look rather fragile as a result.
Roy Hodgson must be bold and pick Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Brian Woolnough, Star) Be bold, Roy. For the sake of English football, please be bold.
Gary Neville: England Coach
Roy Hodgson’s calls give form to his and Gary Neville’s England (Daniel Taylor, Guardian) New manager’s assistant had urged a clean-out so a young generation could offer the nation a fresh approach at Euro 2012.
With Neville in the camp, England’s players should not fall prey to indifference (James Lawton, Independent) It will be some time before we know the value of Neville’s appointment and any serious clue about where it might lead, but the instinct is strong that it should be welcomed.
Gary should be focusing on England (Martin Samuel, Mail) For his media employers, however, his appointment is a disaster. Neville may think he can continue writing and talking without pulling his punches, but he can’t. He will soon find there are too many fragile egos around the England squad to have a senior coach out there, telling the truth.
Van Persie: Can Arsenal Keep Him
Robin wrangle (Sun) Robin van Persie could be forced to see out his contract at Arsenal. The Premier League’s top scorer will meet with boss Arsene Wenger and club chief executive Ivan Gazidis for crunch contract talks today.
You are going nowhere, Arsenal to tell Van Persie as crunch talks loom over Dutchman’s future (Mail) Arsenal are ready to offer a three-year deal worth £130,000 a week, plus a £5million signing-on fee.
Kenny In The Crapper
They grilled Kenny (Sun) Kenny Dalglish flew back to England yesterday still sweating over his future at Liverpool. The ominous silence from the Reds’ American owners — and a refusal to issue a public backing — has left the Kop boss fearing the worst.
Outcome unclear as Dalglish returns from America following meeting with Liverpool owners (Mail) There has been no indication of how the meeting went and the fact there has been a deafening silence from FSG in the last 24 hours has increased speculation that Dalglish’s role is in jeopardy.
Dalglish latest: Decision on manager’s future expected within 48 hours (Mirror) Liverpool owners’ end-of-season review continues as Martinez and Villas-Boas are linked with the job on day of claim and counter-claim.
No way to treat a King: Liverpool owners face fan fury over treatment of Dalglish (Mirror) The blaze of rumour over Kenny Dalglish’s future has already been replaced by a furious inferno from his fans.
Tevez Versus Fergie
Tevez begged me to pass him RIP Fergie sign (Sun) A teacher told last night how Carlos Tevez BEGGED her to hand him the “RIP Fergie” sign he waved during Man City’s victory parade. Sue Bradsell, 52, passed the cardboard tombstone to the Argentinian striker as he toured streets by bus to mark City’s Premier League title win.
Tevez Flees Threats (Star) Carlos Tevez was under 24-hour armed guard last night after getting death threats from hardcore Manchester United fans over his “RIP Fergie” prank.
Barca line up Drogba (Sun) The Spanish giants want to offer Drogba, 34, a two-year deal worth up to £5million a season to quit Chelsea and snub a move to China, Milan or the USA.
Yaya heading for City exit (Sun) Yaya Toure is ready to leave Manchester City. His agent Dimitri Seluk confirmed he is now inviting bids for the midfielder from his former club Barcelona and Real Madrid.
O’Neill begins Sunderland shake-up with moves for Fletcher and Bertrand (Mail) Martin O’Neill is ready to test Wolves with a bid for record-signing Steven Fletcher, who is valued at £10m. The Sunderland boss wants to sign three forwards, with Bolton captain Kevin Davies also on his list. O’Neill also likes Chelsea full back Ryan Bertrand, but he reject a move.