Judgement day for John Terry, Rooney returns, Walcott presses his claim for a striker role & Heskey shirts sell out

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “The manager wasn’t too pleased about Tom’s miss is in the first-half, but he went out and scored a nice goal after that. It’s just over four weeks since I last played. I was delighted to get a run out and hopefully there will be a lot more games to come. I feel good. It’s great to get minutes under my belt and hopefully that will benefit me. We’re in a good place hopefully kick on with the results we’ve had in recent weeks.” – Wayne Rooney.

Runner-up: “It is a wonderful, brilliant club. I was in no rush to leave there and would only go from there to go to another special club. In this competition you prefer home games than to travel so to play Swansea at Anfield with two wonderful sets of supporters, I am sure it will be a really good night.” – Brendan Rodgers on facing Swansea in next round of capital One Cup.

D-Day for John Terry

I’m the victim! FA treated me unfairly, claims defiant Terry as hearing draws to a close (Matt Lawton, Daily Mail) John Terry’s defence team have accused the Football Association of unfair treatment of their client during his time as England captain.  They claim he was treated more harshly than Steven Gerrard, Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney when they were embroiled in controversy. Terry, who quit international football on Sunday, is expected to learn on Thursday the outcome of his FA disciplinary hearing over his alleged use of racist language towards Anton Ferdinand last October.

JT’s back four more (Sun) John Terry will return for the fourth day of his FA disciplinary hearing into using alleged racist language against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The Chelsea skipper, cleared by magistrates of the same charge, spent eight hours at Wembley yesterday in front of an independent panel. Terry, 31, who denies the charge, was accompanied by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck.

John Terry faces judgment day over FA racism charge(Paul Kelso, Daily Telegraph) After three days spent hearing evidence from Terry, Ferdinand and other witnesses, the independent panel considering Terry’s use of the phrase “f—— black c—” has completed its deliberations, and is expected to hand down its verdict at the national stadium. After spending more than eight hours in the hearing yesterday, Terry left shortly before 4.30pm having been told to expect to learn his fate today. In the event of a guilty verdict any sanction will be at the discretion of the disciplinary panel, with a ban of four matches considered possible.

Manchester United beat Newcastle in the Capital One Cup

It’s good to be back! Rooney and Fletcher revel in United win on return to action (Daily Mail) Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher both spoke of their delight after making long-awaited returns to the Manchester United starting line-up in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup third round victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford. Rooney had been absent since suffering a nasty gash to his thigh against Fulham last month while Fletcher was making his first start for 10 months as he battles to overcome a chronic bowel complaint.
Both played important roles as United claimed a 2-1 victory, with goals from Anderson and Tom Cleverley putting the Red Devils two clear before Newcastle substitute Papiss Cisse pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Ryan Tunnicliffe’s Manchester United debut wins 100-1 bet for father (Jamie Jackson, Guardian) Ryan Tunnicliffe’s debut for Manchester United as a 77th-minute substitute in the 2-1 Capital One Cup win over Newcastle United won his father, Mick, a bet worth £10,000. When the fledgling midfielder, now 19, was nine his father had placed the wager that his son would one day play for United, taking the odds of 100-1 with a £100 bet.

Liverpool win at West Brom

Jerome Sinclair is Liverpool’s youngest ever player at 16 and six days (Guardian) Jerome Sinclair became Liverpool’s youngest ever player when he starred in their 2-1 Capital One Cup victory at West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night. Sinclair ended the evening happy after Liverpool had inadvertently called him Jordan on the team-sheet, on his return to The Hawthorns where he was part of Albion’s academy before he moved to Anfield a year ago.

Sahin shows Liverpool a way forward(Jon Culley, Independent) The finisher in both instances was the German-born Turkey international Nuri Sahin, signed on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, whose integration into the Liverpool side might have been further advanced by now had he not missed a chunk of pre-season while his future was in the balance. On only his third appearance, Sahin scored first after 17 minutes, beating Ben Foster from 25 yards at the near post. Always a key figure in linking Liverpool’s passing manoeuvres, he already had a claim to be man of the match before he popped up with the winner, steering the ball home from close range on the end of a low cross from Oussama Assaidi.

Arsenal 6 – Coventry 1

Wenger warns Theo to wait for striking chance (Sun) Boss Wenger said: “He is a great finisher in front of goal, absolutely amazing. “But at the moment there is big competition up front and the team is doing well. “His time will come. At the moment we have to be patient.”

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud helps silence the doubters as rampant Arsène Wenger side hit Coventry City for six (Jason Burt, Daily Telegraph) Against the Sky Blues, this was sacré bleu. Olivier Giroud, maligned by some after his £12 million move from Montpellier, scored his first Arsenal goal, set up another and missed a penalty as Coventry City were thrashed 6-1 at the Emirates. And then there was Theo Walcott. Contract rebel and would-be centre-forward who had not started a match for Arsenal since the opening day of the season. Walcott grabbed two goals to press his case – and, perversely, reinforce Arsène Wenger’s argument about where he should be played. He was on the wing again.

Arsenal v Chelsea

£62 a seat… MINIMUM! Arsenal v Chelsea to be Prem’s most expensive game ever (John Cross, Daily Mirror) Arsenal are set to reveal impressive profit figures which could hit the £50million mark – as they prepare to stage the Premier League’s priciest match ever. The profits – which do not include this summer’s transfer business, such as Robin van Persie’s £24m move to Manchester United – are expected to top £40m and will go higher once the proceeds from property sales are factored in.

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini unwise to target Old Trafford in new touchline bust-up (Jamie Jackson, Guardian) Mancini is in classic glass half-full, half-empty territory. Positively he can say that all elite teams have sticky patches and, since City’s comes at the start of their championship defence, fiercer scrutiny is applied. In addition, despite not rediscovering the panache that won a first title in 44 years, the Blues are unbeaten in the league. Further self-help comes when it is noted that the Villa defeat means City are already out of the fourth-ranked competition they were competing for, which means less of a drain on resources. There is further light for Mancini: his handling of Tevez. Final confirmation that the love affair is back on came when City’s congregation roared El Apache’s entrance as a 68th-minute substitute against Arsenal.

Mancini rows with rivals. Why? Because he doesn’t give a damn (Ian Herbert, Independent) Roberto Mancini has made no pretence of the fact that there’s a bit of the devil in him, where respect for managers is concerned. “Instead of reacting like a man and putting some effort into it all, instead of fighting, I used to go and train with a smug look on my face, like some kind of Mr-Know-it-All,” he admitted years ago when, as a Sampdoria player, he played the rebel with the new boss, Eugenio Bersellini, whom he didn’t like the look of. But as Aston Villa’s Paul Lambert joins Mark Hughes, Arsène Wenger, Fabio Capello, David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Sir Alex Ferguson among those to whom he has caused offence, the truth is Mancini really doesn’t much care.

Steve Kean nearly out at Blackburn

Rovers want Sherwood (Martin Blackburn, Sun) Blackburn want 1995 title-winning skipper Tim Sherwood to lead them out of crisis. Owners Venky’s are close to sacking Steve Kean, with the hold-up due to a wrangle over compensation. But the process of finding his managerial successor is well under way with Spurs coach Sherwood at the top of Rovers’ hit-list.

Emile Heskey a sell out

Australian club Newcastle Jets sell out of Emile Heskey shirts (Guardian) Newcastle Jets have placed an order for 5,000 more Emile Heskey shirts after their first batch sold out. The Australian club, who completed the signing of the former England striker in time for the new A-League season, have also been boosted by 1,000 new fans signing up as members since Heskey’s arrival.

Fabrice Muamba’s autobiography

I’m still standing: Heart attack victim Muamba to reveal all in new autobiography (Adam Shergold, Daily Mail) Fabrice Muamba has revealed his new autobiography will be called ‘I’m Still Standing.’  The now-retired midfielder was playing for Bolton Wanderers when he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur in March – his heart stopping for 78 minutes as paramedics battled to save his life. Miraculously, Muamba survived and spent a month recuperating in the London Chest Hospital before announcing his retirement from football in August.

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