Sunday, 2 February 2014

Match Report:Stoke City 2-1 Manchester United

Stoke deservedly beat Manchester United on home soil with two more goals from in-form Charlie Adam doing the damage.United started slowly, Jonathan Walters almost getting on the end of a ball that cut through the middle of the United defence. Any attempt at momentum from the visitors was interrupted by an early injury to Jonny Evans, who limped off to be replaced by Rafael. There were glimpses of class from United, Wayne Rooney's half-volley fizzing past the post before an uncharacteristically weak free kick from Juan Mata, and it was slightly against the run of play when Stoke took the lead. Charlie Adam took a free kick for Stoke and, despite standing 40 yards from goal, opted to take on the shot. His effort took a wicked deflection and whizzed past the static David de Gea. Moments later, United's afternoon got even worse as Phil Jones had to be stretchered off with a head injury. Minutes after the second half started, it looked like the United comeback was on when Robin van Persie tapped the ball past Asmir Begovic after some clever build-up play from Mata, but only five minutes later Stoke were back in the lead. It was Adam again who gave Stoke the lead, fizzing the ball into the top corner from 25 yards after a cushioned header from Walters. With Stoke leading it was left to United to mount some sort of resurgence, but they left it until the final few minutes of injury time. First Ashley Young made a mess of a free header in the box after a pinpoint cross from the wing from Chris Smalling, before Rooney's free kick was tipped onto the bar by Begovic. Ultimately Stoke made the most of an off day from United, to haul themselves into mid-table mediocrity and leave the visitors today with yet another huge dent in their hopes of finishing in the top four.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

De Jong set for Newcastle Switch

Newcastle United are close to signing Dutch international Luuk De Jong. De Jong has been a long term transfer target for the club, but elected to sign for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach when he left FC Twente in 2012 as he did not feel he would be guaranteed first team football on Tyneside.
Newcastle were also reluctant to match Mönchengladbach’s offer of £12.6m for a player at such an early stage in his career, but are increasingly confident they will be able to offer less than that this month to finally land the 23-year-old.
The club were initially rebuffed when they asked if they could take De Jong on loan - their preferred option as it will enable manager Alan Pardew to see how suited De Jong is to English football before they hand over a significant transfer fee - but they have been locked in talks with the German club and a compromise has been reached.De Jong has talked publicly about his desire to move to Newcastle and Mönchengladbach are likely to have agreed to Newcastle’s loan, with a view to buy.

Newcastle and PSG agree Cabaye deal

Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain have reached an agreement in principle over the transfer of Yohan Cabaye, who will cost £25million.Toon boss Alan Pardew admitted on Monday afternoon he was not confident of retaining the services of the 28-year-old France international after PSG formalised their interest and those fears appear to have come true. Newcastle knocked back PSG's bid of £14million on Sunday but they have come back with an much improved offer, one that Newcastle are unable to turn down. PSG officials were in Newcastle on Monday to thrash out a deal and after agreeing a fee with the Magpies, now just need to agree terms with the player before he undergoes a medical.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Chelsea Land Kurt Zouma

Chelsea have agreed terms with St Etienne for defender Kurt Zouma.Speculation has been mounting this month over Chelsea’s interest in the youngster, with Zouma’s agent suggesting Inter Milan and Monaco were also chasing his client.The 19 year old centre-back has been in good form over the past two seasons and is considered one of the hottest prospects in European football and the Blues are ready to offer £15m for the French Under 21 international.Though Jose Mourinho can call upon the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic the Stamford Bridge boss clearly feels Zouma has a lot of potential and the starlet would be available for Champions League action.Despite only turning 19 a few weeks ago Zouma has already racked up 60 top tier appearances for Saint-Etienne and is already on the fringes of the senior French national team set-up.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Liverpool Land Saul Niguez

Liverpool have landed a major transfer coup by pulling off the capture of the hottest prospect in Spanish football – Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez.

Niguez, currently on loan at Rayo Vallecano, had been tipped to join David Moyes’ Manchester United revolution, but there was also known interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid. The news from Merseyside is that Brendan Rogers has beaten them all to the 19 year old’s signature.

The Spanish Under-21 international has been a revelation at Vallecano this season. With a maturity beyond his years, he has grabbed games by the scruff of the neck and has been the stand out player in his relegation threatened team.

Saul is a pacey attacking midfielder, with great technical ability and a love of taking players on. The one thing that he is lacking is a deadly finish, but his role will be to provide the through balls for Suarez and Sturridge to finish off.

Liverpool manager Rodgers has been holding talks with Niguez’s father on Merseyide, and personal terms have been agreed. The only stumbling block now is the price.

It is believed that Niguez has a €20M release clause, but Liverpool’s initial bid is thought to be juts over half of that. A payment of around €16M will see Saul make his move away from Atletico before the transfer window shuts.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Blackpool Sack Ince

Blackpool manager Paul Ince has been sacked.With just one point to their name in their last nine outings in the Championship, the Tangerines have fallen down the table at an alarming rate having sat in the playoff places in the early stages of the season. The pressure had been mounting on Ince and his backroom staff for some time and the former Blackburn Rovers boss has been relieved of his duties, along with assistants Alex Rae and Steve Thompson. Skipper Barry Ferguson is believed to have taken training today and could be given a player/manager role on a permanent basis, according to reports in the north west. Former Bolton and Burnley boss Owen Coyle has also been linked with the vacant position having enjoyed spells in the Championship with clubs from the area. For now midfielder Ferguson is set to take charge of the Seasiders while they prepare for their next Championship game against Doncaster Rovers on January 25, as they go in search of their first league win in 2014.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Match Report: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

Samuel Eto'o showed that he is still the man for the big occasion by scoring a hat-trick as Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1.The Cameroon international was a surprise inclusion in Jose Mourinho's starting line-up, while Fernando Torres dropped to the bench, but he kept Chelsea on the title trail with three well-taken goals. However, United's latest defeat leaves last season's champions struggling to secure a top-four finish this term. United started very brightly though and, in the third minute, Petr Cech was forced to make a good stop at his near post to deny Ashley Young who had played a neat one-two with Danny Welbeck to create the opening. When Chelsea finally launched their first attack in the 11th minute, Ramires' weak shot was safely gathered by David De Gea. Chelsea took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute when Eto'o's left-footed shot deflected off Michael Carrick and looped over De Gea before nestling in the back of the net. Just past the half-hour mark, the lively Adnan Januzaj tricked his way past David Luiz and got to the byline but, when he pulled the ball back, neither Welbeck nor Antonio Valencia could tuck it home. In the 39th minute Welbeck could only fire straight at Cech when under pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta, and United were made to pay for that miss. Just before the interval, Oscar's acrobatic bicycle kick from ten yards out flew over De Gea's goal before Ramires sent Gary Cahill free down the right and the defender's cross was turned home from six yards out by the predatory Eto'o. Four minutes after the interval it was game over as, after Cahill's header from Willian's corner had been kept out by De Gea, Eto'o hammered home the rebound from all of two yards out. Although United substitute Javier Hernandez scored a late consolation goal, David Moyes' side were a well-beaten outfit and, to cap a dreadful afternoon for the visitors, Nemanja Vidic was shown a straight red card in stoppage time after hacking Eden Hazard down.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Hull complete Shane Long signing

Hull have confirmed the signing of Shane Long from West Brom in a three-and-a-half year deal thought to be worth around £6million.West Brom agreed a fee for Long on Thursday, with the player having a medical with Hull on the same day. Personal terms were finalised on Friday morning and Long's paperwork was cleared in time for the 26-year-old to be available for the Barclays Premier League trip to Norwich on Saturday. Long was close to signing for the Tigers on deadline day in September and was at the club's training ground when West Brom pulled the plug as their own pursuit of Romelu Lukaku faltered. Manager Steve Bruce maintained an interest in the player and received the green light from new Baggies boss Pepe Mel when a new enquiry was made this month. Long, who joins fellow Republic of Ireland internationals David Meyler, Robbie Brady, Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn in East Yorkshire, said: "I finally got the deal signed. I've met all of the lads today, and everybody seems really friendly. "It's a club that's on the up, and I'm delighted to be a part of that. I'm lucky that I've had a few inside informers letting me know what it's like up here. They all love it up here, and they're excited by what is happening at the club. "After meeting the manager, and respecting what he's done as a player and a manager, I was happy to start a new part of my career here and hopefully I can score a few goals to take us further up the league." Long's arrival completes a swift overhaul of Hull's forward line, which has laboured for goals so far this term, following the earlier capture of Nikica Jelavic from Everton. Ivorian Yannick Sagbo has impressed with his hold-up play but found the net just twice, while on-loan Sunderland striker Danny Graham has struck a solitary goal in a disappointing spell. Graham may yet be sent back to the Black Cats, while Matty Fryatt and Nick Proschwitz are available for transfer and have already attracted interest from in the Championship. Long's scoring record is not spectacular but he has a track record in the division, with 19 goals in 60 Premier League starts for Albion. He has three to his name this season, a fine effort against Chelsea and two against Aston Villa. Graham is currently in possession of the number nine shirt worn by Long at The Hawthorns, with the new signing taking number 21.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rooney set to hand in Transfer Request

Wayne Rooney is on the verge of handing in a transfer request at Manchester United.Rooney is fuming at comments made by United manager David Moyes at the weekend which suggested he was now regarded as a second-choice striking option behind Robin van Persie. Rooney has taken that as a personal slight on a player who has given nine years' service to the Old Trafford cause and is "angry and confused" about his treatment. The offending words were delivered to Sunday newspaper journalists during a briefing with Moyes in Bangkok last week. Moyes said: "Overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him and I want as many options as possible." It has been widely interpreted as Moyes stating he regards Rooney as an understudy to the prolific Dutchman. And understandably, that has gone down very badly. A source close to the situation has highlighted Rooney's unhappiness, saying the England striker is 'confused and angry'. As far as the 27-year-old is concerned, he is at the peak of his career and has no intention of playing second fiddle to anyone, or being reduced to the ranks of becoming a squad player. With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winners' medal to his name, Rooney does not believe he has anything to prove at United.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Match Report:Tottenham 3-1 Manchester City

A second-half burst from Tottenham saw them claim a vital three points in the race for the top four as they beat Manchester City 3-1.
Spurs made the brighter start, but it was City who took the lead on five minutes following great work on the right by Carlos Tevez and James Milner, the latter finding Samir Nasri in the box and the Frenchman fired in from 10 yards. Nasri almost doubled the lead a few moments later, latching onto Pablo Zabaleta's ball but he couldn't direct his effort goalwards due to good pressure from Hugo Lloris. That was the first of a string of saves the French keeper was forced to make, as after 38 minutes he got down low to his right to block an Edin Dzeko shot, before shortly saving smartly from a close-range Tevez header. The visitors continued to control proceedings in the second half and, although Spurs did push for an equaliser, the hosts struggled to create any real chances. However, that all changed on 74 minutes as, after good work from Walker, Gareth Bale angled a wonderful ball across the box and Clint Dempsey tapped in at the back post. Jermain Defoe then fired them into the lead five minutes later, cutting in from the left and smashing home. Bale then made it 3-1 after 81 minutes, latching onto Tom Huddlestone's through ball before exquisitely chipping over Hart to wrap-up a vital three points in his side's bid for a top-four spot.