Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Andy Murray Confident Of Beating Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray remains upbeat at beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Murray beat Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday in straight sets to book his place in the last four.

The Scot has lost to the Spaniard in their last two grand slam semi-final meetings, but Murray remains confident of beating the Nadal who won the tournament last year.

Murray and Nadal have met six times before at grand slams, with the world number one having come out on top in four of those encounters.

"I believe I can win against him," the Scot said after his triumph over Lopez. "I had chances last year. I was up a break in the third set, had set point on my serve in the second set. I think there was only one break in the first set.

"We both played good tennis. But I just have to have a better game plan.

"Sometimes it comes down to strategy. Sometimes it comes down to having more experience. I just have to go out there and play well and serve well and believe, and I'll have a chance."

Guti Slams Cristiano Ronaldo

Former Real Madrid player Guti has labelled Cristiano Ronaldo a bottler, the midfielder insists that the Portuguese winger goes missing in big games and is unable to stamp his authority of major games like Lionel Messi does for Barcelona.

Guti played alongside Ronaldo during his first season when the winger signed from Manchester United; He said that while he admired Ronaldo as a player, his failure to produce on the biggest stage means he is not in the same class as Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

"Cristiano is a great player. He's decisive in many games, but in the big games he isn't up to the task, unlike Messi, who has shown he is," Guti told Spanish TV.

"The very best players are the ones who work in the highest-level matches."

Fabio Capello's Message To David Haye (VIDEO)

England football manager Fabio Capello has wished David Haye the best of luck ahead of his World Heavyweight Championship fight against Wladimir Klitschko in Germany at the Imtech Arena on Saturday, 2nd July 2011.

David is aiming to unify the Heavyweight division before he retires in October.

This will undoubtedly be Haye's biggest fight of his career so far and is hoping to add the WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in Hamburg to his current WBA title, England will be behind Haye as he attempts to take the Ukrainians titles away after Klitschko's domination of the Heavyweight division for years.

Check out Fabio’s good luck message below:

Niko Kranjcar Unsettled At Tottenham

Niko Kranjcar’s agent has suggested that Tottenham need to decide whether they want to keep the midfielder at the club, the Croatian endured a tough season at Spurs with limited first team opportunities last season for the player.

Kranjcar had been linked with a move to Serie A side Florentina after expressing his frustration at being a bit part player at White Hart Lane and the club are currently monitoring his situation.

Kranjcar's agent Adrian Aliaj told "At this moment I cannot comment on any market rumours, it is for Tottenham to decide whether the player leaves or not.

"I read a lot of news about him in newspapers, but his future is in the hands of the English club.

"Niko has a contract with Tottenham, and then I cannot say if he wants to stay or not. Certainly his priority is to play with more regularity."

Victor Ortiz Confident Of Beating Mayweather Jnr

Victor Ortiz claims he is destined to become of the Boxing greats, the Southpaw fighter faces Floyd Mayweather later this year and is confident of beating the undefeated Money Mayweather.

The Kansas born Ortiz plans to become the first man to beat Floyd, the showdown against Mayweather Jnr marks the long and tough journey back to the top for Ortiz.

Two years ago the Kansas born fighter had the world at his feet and, with his explosive fighting style, was being dubbed boxing's new Oscar De La Hoya.

But the 24-year-old's rise to in Boxing was stopped short when he lost to Argentine opponent Marcos Maidana in June 2009 after being stopped in sixth round.

After taking five months off from the sport, Ortiz began his comeback notching up four wins and a draw between December 2009 and December 2010.

On April 16 this year he beat WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto in an epic battle in Conneticut to earn a showdown with Mayweather Jnr.

While he knows that he have to be at his best against the best pound-for pound boxer in the world, Ortiz is determined to finally fulfil his potential he had shown earlier in his career.

"I'm a slumdog, right? I'm a stray," he said. "I'm not supposed to be anywhere near a stage like this,"
"But I refuse to believe that. I've made up my mind that I'm going to be one of the all-time greats and that's where it's at."

Roberto Di Matteo Joins Chelsea

Chelsea have today confirmed that former player Roberto Di Matteo will join the Blues as Assistant Manager, the former West Brom manager will join up with Andre Villas-Boas to work with Chelsea’s new chief as they embark on a new Premier League campaign.

The 41-year-old coach spent six years at Stamford Bridge, signing from Lazio in 1996 and staying until his forced retirement from injury as a player in 2002.

Following a run of poor results in February for West Brom, Di Matteo was sacked, the Italian has been out the game since and will now look forward to working with Villa-Boas.

Villas-Boas said: "If you see the technical staff in front of me, and my appointment of Roberto, these are people who like the quality of the game and have a philosophy.

"It's not just a case of winning it's a case of flair.

"Everyone likes attacking football and the Premier League has a certain amount of goals in every game and it should be an entertaining game for the fans and that is what we will look to do."

Manchester United Sign David De Gea

Manchester United have confirmed their third signing of the summer, David De Gea has completed his move to the Red Devils and has signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford.

The former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper is seen as a direct replacement for Edwin van der Sar who retired from football at the end of last season, United have yet to announce the fee to sign the Goalkeeper.

De Gea stared for the Spanish under 21’s who captured the European Championships last week conceding only two goals during the whole tournament,

The 20-year-old passed a medical earlier this week and has spoke of his delight at signing for the Premier League champions

"I feel very proud and I can't wait to start playing here," De Gea  told MUTV.

"When a club the size of Manchester United  comes in for you it obviously makes you very, very happy.

"I saw their interest as an extra motivation to work even harder to show off my ability.

"It's a great privilege to be part of a club like United and I'm keen to do my best and show what I can do."

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Liverpool Interested In Landing Charlie Adam

Liverpool are hoping to persuade Blackpool to let Charlie Adam join the Anfield outfit with Jonjo Shelvey going the other way. Liverpool have made it no secret that they are interested in landing the Scottish midfielder.

Blackpool are resigned to losing their prize asset following their relegation from the Premier League. However, they are holding out for the highest offer for Adam.

A host of clubs are thought to be monitoring Adam's situation with the Seasiders with Aston Villa and Tottenham thought to been preparing to join the chase.

Adam is believed to be keen to make the move to Liverpool having made Anfield his first-choice destination from his list of suitors. 

Zat Knight: Wright-Phillips Keen On Bolton Move

Shaun Wright-Phillips is keen on a move to Bolton Wanderers according to defender Zat Knight. The midfielder has struggled to hold down a first team place at Eastlands and is thought to be on the way out after only starting twice last season for City. The midfielder has already come close to leaving the club in January.

"I always talk to Shaun and he's a very good friend of mine. And speaking to him, he'd love to come to Bolton," Knight told the Bolton News.

"He's at that age now where he needs to be playing first-team football week in, week out.

"I think he hasn't played regularly for the last two seasons. It's about playing football and then the rest will come.

"If he had to take a pay cut then I think he would do, because he could progress at Wanderers and then something else could happen.

"But he's a fantastic player and if people like that want to play here, then it shows how far the club has come."

Hearts Suspend Craig Thomson With Immediate Effect

Hearts have suspended defender Craig Thomson with immediate effect after the player was convicted for indecent behaviour. On Friday the club said that they had carried out an investigation into the case and there was "no reason for Craig Thomson not to continue his career as a professional footballer".

However, the club has made a u-turn after sponsors began to drop their contracts with the Edinburgh side. The club announced the decision on Tuesday to suspend the player, only a day after saying they were backing the Scotland Under-21 defender.

Craig Thomson, 20, pleaded guilty to two charges of lewd and libidinous and indecent behaviour towards two schoolgirls aged 12 and 14 on June 16. He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register and fined £2,000 for each offence

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ashley Young Completes United Move

Manchester United have today completed the move for Ashley Young, the former Aston Villa player has signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford after signing for an undisclosed fee which is thought to be in the region of £16-£20m.

The deal was agreed in principal two weeks ago, but while Young was on holiday the clubs were unable to officially announce the deal.

But the forward was in Manchester yesterday and after passing a medical he agreed to personal terms today so United were able to unveil their new signing.

Young is now United's second signing this summer joining Phil Jones at Old Trafford who signed from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5million.

Porto Striker Falcao Could Joins Villas-Boas At Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas could go back to former club Porto to raid some of its star players, forward Radamel Falcao is heavily linked with a move to Chelsea and could well be the new Chelsea manager first signing.

The new Blues manager who penned a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge yesterday has insisted he will not be off-loading any of the current players at Chelsea, but he hasn’t ruled out making offers for new players.

The prolific hitman has admitted he is keen to test himself at the highest level and may be ready to follow his 33-year-old boss in departing the Europa League winners.

"I am leaving things up to my agent," Falcao said.

"I am very calm about the situation but I know there has been some movement.

"My ambition is to keep working hard and I am convinced I can play in a superior league like England.
"If Chelsea is interested in me then all that needs to happen is for negotiations to take place."

Falcao is understood to have a £26million release clause in his contract and Porto president has admitted that if the release clause is meet, Jorge Pinto da Costa will consider offers.

Chelsea are also being linked with Joao Moutinho now that Villas-Boas completed his switch to West London, the playmaker also have a release clause in his contract and the Porto president said if their valuation is meet both players could leave Porto.

He said: "If there are termination clauses we have to prepare for the possibility that a player will leave at the value set out.

"But I am not going to negotiate that price with anyone.

"As with Villas-Boas, there was no conversation with Chelsea, just the money paid into our account to release him."

Inter Play Down Carlos Tevez Link

Inter Milan have ruled out a move to sign Carlos Tevez, it was thought the striker is unsettled at Eastlands and a move to Italy would interest the Argentine but Italian giants insist Argentina international is too costly.

But director of football Marco Branca insists he is out of their range, despite their interest, although Italy is one of the few clubs who could afford Tevez.

"Tevez is a great player, a great character, but absolutely no. His salary means it is out of the question," Branca said.

"The market is crazy at the moment and it is hard to compete.

"We have to organise our finances for the financial fair play rules in the next two years.

"We don't have the same revenues from merchandise and match day as the English sides.

"We are looking for younger players now with great talent, who we can develop."

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Chelsea Confirm Villas-Boas Appointment

Chelsea have today confirmed that Andre Villas-Boas is their new manager, the former Porto boss has signed a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge and will start his new job straight away.

Chelsea yesterday paid Porto £13.3m to activate his release clause so Villas-Boas could join the Blues and having agreed personal terms today he has been unveiled as their new chief.

Villas-Boas was previously at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho he is already familiar with the club.
Chelsea released a statement on their website and it said; "Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce that Andre Villas-Boas will be the club's new manager.

"He has signed a three-year contract and will start work immediately.

"Andre was the outstanding candidate for the job. He is one of the most talented young managers in football today and has already achieved much in a relatively short space of time.

"His ambition, drive and determination matches that of Chelsea and we are confident Andre's leadership of the team will result in greater successes in major domestic and European competitions.

"Andre will bring his coaching experience back to a club he is already very familiar with, having previously worked here for three years.

"He has always been highly regarded at Chelsea and everyone here looks forward to welcoming him back and working with him."

Swann Questions Samit Patel Inclusion

Graeme Swann is hoping that Samit Patel has learned his lesson since he was last called up for the England team, Patel last featured for England three years ago and Patel has not been selected for a while due to his own fault.

Swann believes that Patel needs to show discipline and now that Samit has been thrown a lifeline to redeem himself after being selected for England’s limited over’s game against Sri Lanka, which is due to start on Saturday.

"I think he's going in the right direction, but I certainly don't think he's there yet," he said.

Swann has questioned whether he is ready to play for England and the spinner wasn’t particularly impressed after Patel failed to achieve minimum standards of general fitness and is hoping that he has learned his lesson.

Graeme Swann added; "It doesn't frustrate me but it should frustrate him. Actually, I suppose it does frustrate me - you just think, 'what an idiot'.

"But I suppose a lot of people thought the same about me for a long time.

"Samit has talent, but it's whether he has decided he has what it takes to have an international career. That's the whole point.

"It's not just being overweight; it's the reluctance to buy into the discipline. That was his downfall.

"If you can't even be bothered to do that, how will you buy into all the team principles and be trusted by the rest of the team?"

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Chelsea Close To Announcing Andre Villas-Boas As Chelsea Manager

Chelsea have tonight paid FC Porto £13.3m compensation to release Andre Villas-Boas from his contract with the Portuguese champions, Villas-Boas had earlier resigned from his post..

Andre previously had a spell with Chelsea working alongside Jose Mourinho and is often referred to as ‘Mini-Mourhino’, the 33-year-old helped guide Porto to Europa-League success while winning the cup and league title in Portugal this season and he is set to hold talks with Chelsea in London on Wednesday to discuss personal terms.

Should he agree personal terms, Villas-Boas will become the youngest Premier League manager.

Chelsea had been on the look out for a new manager after sacking Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season, it now seems certain that the Blues will get their man.

Chelsea said in a statement on their official website: "We note that the release clause of Andre Villas-Boas has been activated.

"We can at this time confirm our interest in him and hope to reach agreement with him on personal terms and make a further announcement in the near future."

Porto has also confirmed that Vitor Pereira will now takeover as their new coach on a two-year contract, after announcing earlier that they had received payment to release Villas-Boas.

A statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission read: "FC Porto, in accordance with Article 248 paragraph 1 of the Securities Code, hereby informs the market they have received from Mr Andre Villas-Boas the amount provided for in clause to terminate his employment contract."

Steven Gerrard: We Will Challenge For Trophies

Steven Gerrard hopes Liverpool will be able to close the gap on the top four this season and is looking forward to getting the new campaign underway, the Reds captain is also looking forward to resuming the rivalry with Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side recorded their 19th Premier League title last season, edging one ahead in the long-running battle between the old foes.

With Liverpool owners willing to spend big after the aqcustion  of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez last season and having recently signed England Under-21 midfielder Jordan Henderson in a £20million deal, Gerrard is confident the Anfield side can match United and suggested he wants to win more trophies before the end of his Anfield career.

"As a Liverpool fan and a player it's frustrating when you see your arch-rivals lifting trophies but you've got to give credit where it's due. They've won it, they've overtaken us," said the 31-year-old.

"Now the challenge for us is to equalise. We've got to make sure we've got a squad capable of going into the season and competing with Manchester United.

"It's a big statement by the club getting a big signing in early and now we're watching anxiously for a few more to follow. It's exciting times.

"It's important this team delivers very soon because we've been a number of seasons without putting a trophy in the cabinet and that's not what Liverpool is about.

"I want to play well, I want to score goals - but it's much more important that the team plays well and we all end the season happy."

Gerrard is currently undergoing a rehabilitation programme after missing the end of last season after undergoing groin surgery in March.

"I want to come back with a bang, I want to have a big season," Gerrard told Liverpool's official website.
"It's been non-stop football for me since I started when I was 17. I've never had a period of more than four or five weeks out of the game, so it's been nice to rest mentally.

"You don't want to miss games but when you're watching them it gives you that edge, that buzz to get back.

"I'll come back hungry and hopefully there's a very productive season ahead for me."

Barca: Arsenal Fabregas Demands To High

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has claimed the club will not pay over the odds for Cesc Fabregas; the Nou Camp giants had hoped to bring the Spaniard back to Barcelona but will not pay an extortionate fee for the midfielder.

Fabregas has again been linked with a return to his boyhood club this summer after Arsenal refused to sell the midfielder to Barca 12 months ago, Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood revealed over the weekend that the Catalan giants had been in contact regarding Cesc.

"He (Cesc) is doing everything he can to come (here)," Rosell told Catalan station TV3 on Monday night.
"Guardiola knows the values of players and Cesc's is less than €40million. Barcelona will offer less and if they (Arsenal) don't accept, then he won't come. Pep knows the club is not well-off in terms of money."

Elsewhere Barca were expected to be closing in of the signing of highly rated forward Alexis Sanchez, but Rosell said; "There is nothing closed with Alexis.”

It was also revealed that Eric Abidal has rejected a new deal at Barcelona and is expected to leave the Champions League winners, Rosell also claimed that his relationship with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez were "on standby" after their failure to act against doping allegations aimed at Barca last season by radio station Cadena COPE.

"I haven't spoken to Florentino Perez since the last game (against Madrid)," he said.

"My relationship with him is on standby because there are wounds that are still not closed and that need to scar."

Sean Dyche Installed As Watford Manager

Sean Dyche has today been confirmed as Watford’s new manager, as replacement for Malky Mackay who left his post for Cardiff City .

Dyche spent last season as assistant manager last season and owner Laurence Bassini has now promoted the former defender to the hot seat at Vicarage Road with the backing of Graham Taylor, Stuart Timperley and David Fransen, 

The former Watford captain took over as assistant manager in the summer of 2009 following the permanent appointment of Mackay and he has impressed the Watford board.

"I'm delighted that the Board - Graham Taylor, Stuart Timperley and David Fransen - have been able to add their experience and influence to the decision to appoint Sean as our new manager," Bassini told the club's official website.

"For me, this appointment is very much in keeping with 'The Watford Way' of doing things - and that's an ethos I'm growing more familiar with as time goes on.

"It's important we've appointed someone who has a real feeling for what this club is about. I'm very glad we've been able to reach this point now.

Former England manager Graham Taylor welcomed the decision to install Dyche as manager of Watford and the Hornets chairman believes Dyche is the right man to take the club forward.

"On behalf of the Board, I fully endorse Sean's appointment. It is very good news for Watford Football Club," said Taylor.

"Continuity is imperative. In Sean, we have a very decent man who understands what it means to work for Watford.

"He is a strong advocate of the importance of our home-grown talent flourishing, having been youth-team coach only a couple of years ago."

Wolves Chief Expects More Signings

Wolves chairman Steve Morgan has hinted that he has other targets after announcing that the club has signed Jamie O’Hara on a permanent deal, the former Spurs plays has signed a five-year contract at Molineux worth £5 million.

Having joined Wolves on-loan in January, O’Hara was instrumental in helping the club achieve Premier League survival last season.

Manager Mick McCarthy has signalled out Reading centre-back Matt Mills, Birmingham central defender Roger Johnson and Liverpool left-back Paul Konchesky as potential targets.

Morgan says Wolves are likely to dip into the transfer market again during this window.

He said: "Watch this space. I'm not giving anything away but there will probably be one or two more additions.
"I can't comment on specific players. We only ever do that when players arrive."

Speaking on Jamie O’Hara’s signing, he added; "I actually said to Jamie when he first arrived at the club on loan from Spurs that we wanted to make the deal permanent.

"I was a big fan of Jamie when he played for Portsmouth the year before. I thought he was their most outstanding player.

"He almost kept them up and he was just a player who had got 'Wolves' written all over him.

"He is our type of player. We've got one of the youngest squads in the Premier League and Jamie is in the same age group.

"He has got fire in his belly and he just totally fits in to what we are all about at Wolves and where we are taking the club."

Monday, 20 June 2011

Several Clubs Chasing Neymar

Brazilian club Santos have revealed that there are several club chasing Neymar, it was thought that Chelsea tabled an offer for Brazilian starlet. But it was thought that Real Madrid had edged in front for the striker’s services.

Santos club president Ribeiro also suggested that other clubs are interested in him and Neymar has been attracting interest for some time and it is expected to be only a matter of time before he secures a big-money move,

They are not the only Real Madrid and Chelsea in the picture as Ribeiro claims a number of teams have joined the race.

"It is not just Madrid, a lot of other clubs in Europe have been calling us," he said.

"It is no surprise; it would be strange if they didn't want him.

"If they pay the buy-put clause of €45million (£39.8m) and the player wants to go, there is nothing we could do."

Santos are bracing themselves for a sizeable amount for Neymar, but Ribeiro insists nothing will happen until after the club has played the second leg of the club's Copa Libertadores final clash with Penarol on Wednesday.

He added: "The clubs can talk to Neymar after the Libertadores, but I am sure that, if we win the title, the reasons for Neymar to stay will be even stronger.

"I know the dizzying offers will arrive, but the player will earn more if he keeps developing here."
Santos hope Neymar will form part of an ambitious future at Santos, with Ribeiro revealing that plans are in place to bring a number of former players back to the club.

He said: "Next year we celebrate our centenary, we are hopeful of bringing Robinho and Diego back to the club, and of keeping Elano and Ganso, and Neymar could be the biggest star of that movie."

Jack Warner Slams Fifa

Jack Warner has slammed Fifa after claiming he has been hung out dry, Warner had earlier resigned from his position as Fifa vice-president and president of Concacaf federation of countries from the Caribbean and north and central America.

Warner was the longest-serving member of Fifa's executive committee, had been suspended pending the outcome of a bribery inquiry.

He said: "It's not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of Fifa.
"What's happening now for me is hypocrisy."

Jack Warner is not a happy man at all, after being made a scapegoat for Fifa’s corruption allegations he went on to say: "I have lost my enthusiasm to continue. The general secretary that I had employed, who worked with me for 21 years, with the assistance of elements of Fifa has sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable.

"This is giving the impression that Fifa is sanitising itself. I've been hung out to dry continually and I'm not prepared to take that."

Warner also released a statement later on Monday evening and insisted he would have been exonerated by the ethics committee.

He said: "This decision is by my own volition and self-determination; albeit it comes during the sequel to the contentious Mohammed Bin Hammam meeting in Port of Spain in May with CFU Delegates.

"I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting that gave Mr Bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the Fifa presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter.

He also went on to add; "I have, nonetheless, arrived at the decision to withdraw from Fifa affairs in order to spare Fifa, Concacaf and, in particular, CFU and its membership, from further acrimony and divisiveness arising from this and related issues.

"I am gratified that Fifa has acknowledged my service to international and regional football over several decades.

"It is also a special source of satisfaction to me that during my tenure, capacities and facilities in the Caribbean were upgraded to levels that enabled the region to host several Fifa World Cup finals.

"I sincerely hope that the Caribbean Football Union will continue to fight above its weight in Fifa and Concacaf affairs.

"With my withdrawal from service in international football, I shall, henceforth, be concentrating exclusively on my lifelong commitment to the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, currently as chairman of the major party in our governing coalition and as a Cabinet Minister in the Government of our Republic.

"I shall continue to encourage the youth of the Caribbean and the world to deepen their involvement in football, which has lifted so many young people out of hopelessness and risk to personal achievement, while bringing glory to their respective countries."

England Take The Series 1-0 Against Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka stand-in skipper Sangakkara saved his country from losing the test series 2-0 today after putting up a great fight taking the tourists to 334-5, Sangakkara was standing in for the injured Tillarkaratne Dilshan and made his first Test hundred on English soil.

England won the series with a 1-0 after rain took out the afternoon session, Andrew Strauss England team had tried to get the Sri Lankan’s out before the rain was schedule to fall, but Sangakkara stood up tall and England found it hard to take out the Sri Lankan’s.

Thilan Samaraweera weighed in with unbeaten 87 as Sri Lanka reached tea with a substantial lead of 141, but once the rained started to fall down, both captains shook hands on a draw on the third and final test.

Any hopes of a thrilling final session were dashed by the heavy rain meaning no further play was possible after the interval.

The Great Football Experiment

Do you remember the old tune ‘Some guys have all the luck”? The players in Ivory FC would certainly fit that category as they have been voted the team that will take part in the ultimate football experience.  Thanks to NIVEA FOR MEN and a nationwide search, Ivory FC is going to be coached just like the England National Squad.

You might wonder why NIVEA FOR MEN have decided to take part in an exercise like this but it is to make a point.  The point is that if you take the time to prepare properly then it can make a huge difference to any outcome. You have to admit, they have a point.

So, Ivory FC are off to be coached by the likes of Terry Venables and Ray Wilkins, not to mention Ray Clemence.  They are going to benefit from their input in to their training sessions but it doesn’t end there.  The lucky team are going to be given advice on nutrion and a new Umbro kit.  

Best of all, they are going to be playing at some point in the near future against a team made up of England legends.

This all sounds like a great experiment and certainly one that we here at World in Sport will be following closely.  You can too at their website – so why not join Ivory FC for all the highs and lows they will experience on their journey!

Jack Warner Quits International Football Roles

Jack Warner the longest-serving member of Fifa's executive committee has resigned from position in international football as Fifa’s vice-president and president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Fifa have confirmed this was purely Warner’s own decision to step down.

The news that Warner has stepped down has come off the back of news that the Fifa Ethics Committee had cleared him of any wrong doing in the Corruption case, Warner had been accused of arranging backhanders to try to secure Mohamed Bin Hammam's election as FIFA president.

"Jack A. Warner has informed Fifa about his resignation from his posts in international football," read a Fifa statement.

"Fifa regrets the turn of events that have led to Mr Warner's decision.

Warner and Bin Hammam were suspended last month after they were accused of giving or offering bribes of £25,000 each to the 25 members of the Caribbean Football Union.

"His resignation has been accepted by world football's governing body, and his contribution to international football and to Caribbean football in particular and the Concacaf confederation are appreciated and acknowledged.

"Mr Warner is leaving Fifa by his own volition after nearly 30 years of service, having chosen to focus on his important work on behalf of the people and government of Trinidad & Tobago as a Cabinet Minister and as the chairman of the United National Congress, the major party in his country's coalition government.

"The Fifa executive committee, the Fifa president and the Fifa management thank Mr Warner for his services to Caribbean, Concacaf and international football over his many years devoted to football at both regional and international level, and wish him well for the future.

"As a consequence of Mr Warner's self-determined resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained."

Giuseppe Rossi To Remain At Villarreal

Giuseppe Rossi’s agent has claimed that he doesn’t expect his client to be a Barcelona player next season and claims he could spend another season at Villarreal, it was thought that the Italian could join the Catalan giants this summer after media speculation suggested the could move-on.

It appears that Barcelona have now turned their attention to Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez instead after transfer negotiations broke down.

"Barca have never offered €30million for Rossi," the player's agent, Federico Pastorello, told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They have offered less and Villarreal demanded more.

"In the end, they (Barca) have gone for Sanchez, who will join them for around €40million.
"For the time being there are no negotiations in place."

Pastorello added: "Rossi wanted to move to Barcelona but now I don't exclude that he will remain at Villarreal for another year."

The 24-year-old had also been linked with a move back to Italy with Serie A side Juventus, but the player’s agent has played down this move.

"It's a very remote prospect. At this time there has been no contact," he said.

"There are no ongoing negotiations but, with Sanchez going to Barcelona, I think other clubs will begin to move (for Rossi)."

Steve Morison Confident Of Premier League Success

Norwich City new striker Steve Morison has insisted he can score the goals to keep his new club in the Premier League, after scoring 17 goals last season for Millwall.

The Welsh forward is confident of making a successful start this season campaign, after helping Millwall secure promotion to the Championship two seasons ago, he has now vowed to help keep Norwich in the top-tier of English football.

The 27-year-old has moved up from non-league football two years ago playing for Stevenage Borough and suggests Norwich can emulate the success of Stoke City and Wigan Athletic by staying in the Premier League.

"Once you get into the top flight you want to stay in it because so much hard work is required to get to that stage," Morison said.

"The Premier League is where this club belongs and I'm sure that the manager and the team will do everything they can to make us stay there.

"The performances of previously promoted clubs have given everyone hope and belief of staying in the top flight and that is a big thing for sides that get to this level.

"You need belief and heart to have any chance of making that happen and the likes of West Brom and Wigan have shown that clubs that go up don't necessarily come back down."

Matt Stevens Called Up To England Training Squad

Matt Stevens has been called up to the England’s 45-man World Cup training squad, the Saracens prop has been in excellent form this season following his journey working his way back from a two-year ban from the sport for cocaine use.

He joins uncapped players Manu Tuilagi, Thomas Waldrom,  Mouritz Botha,  Joe Simpson  and Charlie Sharples who has also been called up to the training squad.

England manager Martin Johnson said: "Every one of these players has the chance to be in that final 30 going to New Zealand.

"The camp is going to be intense and competitive, as you would expect leading up to a World Cup, but all the players are ready for it.

"We have guys such as Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Tindall who have been in this situation before but also a lot of players who won't have experienced a World Cup training camp.

"It's now up to all of them to set down their marker over the next 10 weeks before we head to New Zealand."

England's 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad:

Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Hendre Fourie (Sale Sharks), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Unattached), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Matt Stevens  (Saracens), Steve Thompson (London Wasps), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).

Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shontayne Hape (London Irish), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby), David Strettle (Saracens), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Rory McIlroy Wins US Open

Rory McIlroy has won this US Open, after dominating play since the first day's play claiming his maiden major title as the Northern Irish golfer won the tournament at Congressional Country Club.

McIlroy was engineering nothing short of a mass conversion, the galleries were watching a 22 year-old execute a strategy for dominating the US Open precisely how he wanted it.

Rory McIlroy wins the U.S. Open for first major, breaking tournament records.

McIlroy shot 2-under 69 Sunday to close the four days at Congressional at 16-under 268, shattering a U.S. Open scoring record held by four players, including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

He became only the third player in US Open history to fire all four rounds in the 60s and he was the youngest winner of the tournament since Bobby Jones in 1923.

Luke Donald hailed the play of Rory McIlroy after ending his own disappointing US Open with a two-under 69.

Phil Jones: We Were Not Good Enough

Phil Jones has today said that England deserved to go out of the Under 21 European Championships. The English team failed to beat the Czechs in tonight's game in which England needed a win to proceed into the next phase, the semi finals, of the tournament.

Jones, 19, was captain for the night but England suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic. "I'm gutted, we're so disappointed in there," he said.

"That's probably the best we've played all tournament but we can't really come out and say we were unlucky because we weren't good enough to stick the ball in the net on occasions when we should have.

"The lads are absolutely gutted in there but we've got to carry on from this and it will only make us strong and we can improve from it."

Danny Welbeck put England in front with 14 minutes remaining with a headed goal from a Daniel Sturridge cross, but a spectacular late collapse saw the Czechs get back into the game on the 89th minute, before producing a winner with the final kick of the game.

"It was just a matter of seeing it out and we couldn't do that," said Jones. "I'm speechless, I don't know what to say.

"Maybe we'll look back at it tomorrow when emotions have died down a bit but we're just so disappointed."
The Manchester United new signing added: "We were training well, we were well prepared for this tournament. I wouldn't say we didn't play well, but we didn't play as well as we could have done."

He also said: "It's a massive honour to captain your country at any level and tonight was brilliant for me, but it's been tarnished a bit by the result in the end."

England Fail Once Again

England have once again failed at an international tournament. The under 21s failed to beat the Czechs in a game which England desperately needed to win. The Czech’s will now go into the next phase after beating England 2-1.

The Three Lions will never succeed when they don’t even seem to know how to keep the ball. The kick and rush game gets the team nowhere and is quite probably an antiquated form of play when up against a sophisticated side like the Czech Republic. The Under 21s and their senior international counterparts will never progess while they do not even know how to keep possession.

All credit to the Czech's for shutting out England.  They have a population five times as small as that of England but still managed to score twice as many goals.

As it has been said time and time again, they need to learn how to keep the ball, rather than running about like headless chickens: headless chickens with two left feet.

England's under 21s and the seniors need to look at the example a team like Spain sets with fluidity and style not the proverbial bull in a china shop.

Same old story, same old England!!!

The Under 21s and the senior side need a long hard look at themselves. Otherwise today's debacle will just repeat itself again and again. And again.

Barcelona Enquire About Fabregas

Barcelona have made contract with Arsenal regarding Cesc Fabregas, the Catalans have always expressed their desire to bring the Spaniard back home But no bid made yet from Spanish giants for Arsenal midfielder.

Fabregas has been linked with a move back to the Nou Camp for the last two seasons and after the Gunners failure to win any silverware, could the midfielder be tempted to go back to the club he joined as a youngster.

The Spanish giants remain keen to sign Fabregas and are ready to make a new move this summer, although Hill-Wood insists they have yet to make a bid for the 24-year-old.

"Yes, they have spoken to us about Cesc," said Peter Hill-Wood.

Arsenal’s chairman also added; "They have been in touch. But so far they have not made a bid and we do not want to let him go.

"But he comes from Barcelona so it is understandable if he wanted to go back. However, they have not made an offer so far."

Arsenal are expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer and Hill-Wood insists Arsene Wenger will have funds to spend.

"There is money for the manager," added Hill-Wood.

Will the Gunners ace head back home?

Carlos Tevez Wants To Remain At City

Carlos Tevez' agent has suggested that he expects his client to be a Manchester City player next season. There has been a lot of speculation regarding the player’s future after Tevez revealed that he is eager to leave England and be closer to his family in his native Argentina.

His representative, Kia Joorabchian, has claimed the forward is now prepared to stay as he is ready to bring his family over to Manchester from South America.

"I don't think speculation about Carlos leaving is fair at the moment," Joorabchian said. "I don't think money is a consideration.

"Maybe it's a case of his family coming over to him. That's something he's trying to sort out. I'm sure in the next week he will sort the family issue out.

"Once he does, he will announce it and everyone will be in a better place."

Joorabchian claims that Tevez has not asked to leave the Eastlands club and remains committed to Manchester City. The Argentine helped City win the FA Cup last season and now wants to help the club win more silverware.

"Carlos has always had a goal. The goal was that City needed to get into the Champions League and win a trophy," added Joorabchian.

"And they won a trophy and achieved that goal. Now that has given him a tremendous feeling. He held that trophy with a lot of pride.

"If you look at the team they are going to get stronger and stronger and, if Carlos stays, they would be my favourite to win the title.

"I'm sure that will be a factor in his mind and, the fact that City fans have embraced him, will count for a lot along with his great relationship with the supporters.

"I think all these factors will be positives for him to stay. Carlos has not made any decision to move.
"We have not asked to leave the club."

Harry Redknapp Wants Tottenham To Show Ambition

Harry Redknapp has called on Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy to show their aim of keeping hold of Luka Modric. Chelsea is the latest club to come knocking at the door for the Croatian midfielder.

The Blues have tabled a £22 million offer for the player. Although Spurs have rejected the bid, Daniel Levy has insisted he will not sell Modric for any price.

Redknapp now wants Tottenham to spend big and prove to Modric he does not need to join "a bigger club" to win silverware.
"I think we have to show him our ambition, which we will do," Redknapp said.

"If we can add one or two good players to our squad there's no reason we can't have another great season.
"So Tottenham could be a great club for him to stay with for the next few years. That's what we're hoping for."

Redknapp also revealed there are other clubs who have expressed an interest in signing Modric this summer.
"Chelsea are not the only club that have been in for him," added Redknapp. "There have been other clubs - top, top clubs.

"But if Tottenham are looking to go anywhere we can't be selling Luka. We have to do something to keep him at the club.

"We can't afford to sell Luka Modric if we want to be a successful club."

He added: "He's a fantastic lad. You'll never meet a better lad than Luka. I suppose he's seen a massive contract and the chance to win the Premier League and play in the Champions League and that's what he wanted.

"But we want that as well. We want to get back in the Champions League and we need him to help us do that.

"If Daniel's saying no he really can't be seen to be going back on that now. He's made a very strong statement. I wouldn't see Daniel backtracking on that at any price."

Will this be enough for Luka Modric to stay?

Friday, 17 June 2011

Birmingham Continue Legal Proceedings Against Alex McLeish

Birmingham City has today insisted that their legal dispute against Alex McLeish is not over, despite the Scot being unveiled as Aston Villa’s new manager today, the Blues has slammed McLeish for the way he has treated the club and the fans.

McLeish has taken the post less than a week after quitting Birmingham in controversial circumstances, the club will now try to force legal proceedings against their former manager and insist it is now in the hands of the clubs lawyers.

A statement released on the club's official website shortly after it was announced that McLeish is to become the new manager at Villa read: "The fact that Alex McLeish has been appointed as manager of Aston Villa does not, in any way, mean that the legal dispute is over and Birmingham City Football Club maintains its stance and shall vigorously pursue the matter.

"We are very disappointed with how the club and its fans have been treated by Mr McLeish given the way we have supported him over the years and we are still looking into whether Aston Villa's conduct has been in line with Premier League rules.

"As the club is currently enforcing its legal right with Mr McLeish the matter is in the hands of our lawyers and it is therefore not appropriate for the club to make any further comment at this stage.

"The club will continue its full efforts on recruiting a new manager and hope to make an appointment as soon as possible."

Kenny Dalglish Slams The Premier League

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has criticised the Premier League for announcing that the first round of the Carling Cup will be played three days after international fixtures, the Anfield outfit kick-off the campaign against Sunderland on 13th August which is just days after England face Holland in a friendly.

Speaking on Liverpool’s official website, the Scot said; "I would ask why the season is starting on a Saturday when there are international friendlies the midweek before.

"Clubs are doing their best to bring in good players and that usually means they are international players.
"There is a free week after the first weekend so I don't understand why we can't start the season on a Sunday to prevent players having to travel back on a Wednesday night in time for a Saturday start.

"If you are going to have international games then have them. But surely it makes sense to put the league games back a day if it's possible. To me it's common sense."

David Haye vs Wladimir Klitschko HBO Face-Off (VIDEO)

The compelling HBO Face-Off of Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye was shown today, you can sense the animosity both fighters feel against each other. Wladimir calls Haye a wannabe to his face, a chicken running around and that he better shut up.

While Haye was saying “He’s clearly a d*ckhead. He doesn’t have a f****ng clue what he’s talking about. Just jabbering on about absolutely nothing."

This bad blood is just magic between these two heavyweight champions. Wladimir looks rather intimidating in this face off and his English is now near perfect with almost no accent or stumbles at all.

This is indeed the most significant and meaningful heavyweight title unification bout we have had in such a long time and any true fight fan should be eagerly awaiting their July 2 super mega fight.

Moderated by Max Kellerman, "Face-Off" is a roundtable-style interview session. The fighters answer Kellerman's questions face-to-face and can deliver a message to each other as well as their fans.

Watch the HBO Face-Off video below:

Alex Ferguson Defends Alex McLeish Appointment

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has lept to defence of Alex McLeish after the Scot was announced manager of Aston Villa, McLeish only quit at St Andrew's on Sunday and the prospect of him moving across the city has enraged Villa supporters.

He said: "At the end of the day what will count is this - can he do the job for Villa?

"It doesn't matter whether there are 50 against him, 500 against him or five against him because the experience and the ability he has got, believe me, he will prove that he can do the job.

"I've known him for a long time and I know his abilities. I know how conscientious he is.

"I know the determination and work ethic he's always had to make sure he does the job right."

Ferguson added: "I have known Alex since he was 18 years of age when he went to Aberdeen.

"He was always intelligent, he was always inquisitive in his nature, he was always asking questions, and these to me are essential ingredients for being a successful manager."

Alex McLeish Confirmed As Villa Manager

Aston Villa have today confirmed that Alex McLeish has become their new manager, the Scot resigned as manager of Birmingham last week and following a verbal row between the two clubs it has now been agreed The 52-year-old will now take charge at Villa Park.

Aston Villa was forced to pay Birmingham City £2m compensation to get their man and although Villa fans had voiced their disappointment at approaching McLeish, Villa owner Randy Lerner was determined to get him.

"I am honoured to have this opportunity to manage a club with such a fantastic history as Aston Villa's," McLeish said.

"The heritage, the history of success and the tradition of Aston Villa are compelling and irresistible. The challenge for me is to try to add my own chapter.

"I know that some of our fans have voiced concerns and I can understand why. It will be up to me to convince you that I am the right man"

"Since first becoming a manager at Motherwell, my desire to succeed and my energy and drive have never waned. My objective is to impart that drive and will to win to the players and fans of Aston Villa.

"I know that some of our fans have voiced concerns and I can understand why. It will be up to me to convince you that I am the right man to drive the Club forward and I intend to give absolutely everything to prove that I can be a success at the Club."

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Roger Mayweather: Floyd Needs More Fights

Floyd Mayweather’s trainer and Uncle Roger Mayweather has insisted that his nephew will not fight Manny Pacquiao after facing Victor Ortiz, Roger has said Floyd will need more fights after Ortiz to regain his sharpness after being out of the ring for sixteen months.

The former two-weight champion suggests that Floyd will need to be more active in the ring before he faces the Filipino in order to be on Manny’s level,  Mayweather may suffer from ring rust having not fought for a while.

“It would be crazy for Floyd to go in the ring with Pacquiao after fighting Victor Ortiz. Floyd needs fights. He needs to be active,” Roger said.

“Floyd needs tune-ups like anybody else. It’s no different than any other fighter, if you are going to compete with a guy who has been active all the time.”

Mayweather, 34, is due to face Victor Ortiz in September and Pretty Boy Floyd will hope to take the Californian’s title and go on to dominate the welterweight division once again.

“Floyd is the greatest fighter out there, period.”

“He’s the most skilled fighter out there. All Floyd has got to do is prepare and do the work that he does,” added Roger.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Aston Villa Director Hits Out At Fans

Aston Villa director Charles Krulak has hit back at the Villa fans who were angered by the club approaching Alex McLeish to become their new manager, bitter rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham City are at loggerheads over the Scot.

McLeish resigned as manager of Birmingham City last week and the Blues have now lodged a formal complaint against Villa after accusing them of illegally tapping up their former manager, Villa have been on the hunt for a new boss since Gerard Houllier quit his post at the beginning of June due to health concerns.

Krulak said: "The uproar over McLeish is uncalled for.

"He has proved he can manage in the big leagues - just imagine what he could do if he was with an owner who supported him."

In a message to Villa fans, he said: "You cling to the fact he's seen his lads relegated twice. Well, the first time he was not with the club long enough to make a difference. Secondly, look at the owners he's worked for and support of him monetarily.

"Then look at our owner Randy Lerner and what he provides to his managers.

"Ask Alex Ferguson about the man. We need to do what is right for the club."

Talks Between Cardiff City and Alan Shearer Have Stalled

Talks between Cardiff City and Alan Shearer have broke down, the Bluebirds were hoping to temp the former Newcastle manager into the vacant hot seat at Cardiff, but it has been confimed that talks were "unsuccessful".

Shearer was seen as a replacement for Dave Jones who was sacked after Cardiff lost to Swansea in the Championship play-off final, Shearer was seen as the number one candidate.

The former England captain said in a statement: "I can confirm that I was one of the candidates that the club spoke to about the vacant manager's position at Cardiff City.

"During these talks I was most impressed with the vision, ambition and determination of the owner Dato Chan Tien Ghee and the board.

"Unfortunately those talks were unsuccessful on this occasion.

"Cardiff City is a great club and I wish them every success next season."

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Birmingham City Accuse Aston Villa Of Foul Play

Birmingham City has accused Aston Villa of tapping up former manager Alex McLeish, the bitter rivals are at war and Birmingham owners have insisted that will lodge a formal complaint.

The League Managers' Association has said that McLeish quit over a lack of consultation regarding transfers and the sacking of his former chief scout at St Andrews.

The Blues who was relegated from the Premier League last season have refused to accept McLeish’s resignation while the Scot feels he is not being treated fairly, Villa announced on Tuesday night that they were to interview the Scot 'imminently' because they considered him a free agent after he quit Birmingham at the weekend.

"The club feel this will taint football and give the game and the footballing authorities a bad name if this is allowed to materialise. The club will do what is within its powers to prevent this and will lodge a formal complaint to the authorities tomorrow as there is now not the slightest doubt remaining about this tap up attempt.

"Birmingham City FC stresses that this conduct, if condoned, will open up flood gates and set a very bad precedent. This is also an attack against the intelligence and integrity of not only the Villa fans, but most importantly our fans who are badly let down after having just been relegated.

"It is definitely a bitter pill to swallow for all fans concerned, both here and across the city. Never have the two clubs seen such a strong unity between their rival fans and this unity is based on humility and integrity and what is right and fair.

"The LMA's announcement today is refuted as the club has a very rigid approval system where only players formally identified, and with approval forms signed and sanctioned by the manager personally are brought in. The chief scout was sacked only after Mr. McLeish was informed who at that time had chosen not to comment.

"The allegations against the club, president Carson Yeung and the board are frivolous excuses and without foundation.

"The matter is now with Birmingham City FC's lawyers and no further comments will be made."  

The Dogs of Soccer

Gimme. Big. Shiny. Bouncy. Thing. NOW.
Image Credit Flickr User Intangible Arts
While we stand for good reportage here at World in Sport there are times when you need to call time out and just have a little fun. So, we thought we might concentrate today on a slightly different side of soccer. True, we humans may have the teams, the leagues, the trophies and, er, Fifa, but there is another species on the planet which might just well trump us when it comes to the sheer love of the sport. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the dogs of soccer together with a few quotes from the heroes (and some villains) of the beautiful game.

You’ve got to believe you’re going to win, and I believe we’ll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we’re knocked out” (Peter Shilton)

"Winning doesn’t really matter as long as you win" (Vinnie Jones)

"I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the league" (Mark Viduka)

"My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about 7" (David Beckham)

 "We didn't underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought." (Bobby Robson)

"Well, either side could win it, or it could be a draw." Ron Atkinson

"We lost because we didn't win." Ronaldo

"It's an incredible rise to stardom. At 17 you're more likely to get a call from Michael Jackson than Sven Goran Eriksson." Gordon Strachan referring to Wayne Rooney

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." George Best

"We must have had 99% of the game. It was the other 3% that cost us the match." Ruud Gullit

"He dribbles a lot and the opposition don't like it -you can see it all over their faces." Ron Atkinson

"We actually got the winner three minutes from the end but then they equalized.” Ian McNail

"Diego Maradona - a flawed genius who has now become a genius who is flawed" Bob Wilson

"Newcastle, of course, unbeaten in their last five wins." - Brian Moore

"If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing." Terry Venables

"If England are going to win this match, they're going to have to score a goal." Jimmy Hill 

"There will be a game where somebody scores more than Brazil and that might be the game they lose."  Bobby Robson.

"If you don't believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day".  Neville Southall 

"He'd no alternative but to make a needless tackle." - Paul Elliot

"If there wasn't such a thing as football we'd all be frustrated footballers." Mick Lyons
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