Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Chris Eubank Jr stops Tony Jeter in round two in Sheffield

Chris Eubank Jr
Chris Eubank Jr returned to the ring with a swift victory over American Tony Jeter to retain his interim WBA middleweight title in Sheffield.
The Briton, 13 years younger at 26, had his man down with a minute remaining in the first round and finished off Jeter after 29 seconds of round two.
It was Eubank Jr's first contest since winning the temporary title against Dmitry Chudinov in February.
Eubank Jr is next set to face Ireland's Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan in December.
"This was the warm-up fight," Eubank Jr told Sky Sports.
"This is the fight that's getting me ready. This was getting rid of the ring rust and ready for December 12 against a man called Spike O'Sullivan.
"It's going to be one hell of a fight. He's been talking a lot of mess and it's time for some punishment. It's going to be all-out war; I'm going to be going in there an absolute animal, I hope he's ready for it."
Gavin McDonnell defended his European Super Bantamweight title with a unanimous decision against France's Jeremy Parodi, extending the 29-year-old Yorkshireman's unbeaten record to 16 fights.

Amir Khan: I am the frontrunner to face Manny Pacquiao

Amir Khan
Amir Khan says he is the favourite to face Manny Pacquiao in the Filipino boxing legend's final fight.
Khan had earlier suggested the match was unlikely but now believes there is a "big chance" of taking on the seven-weight world champion.
Alongside Khan, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has also named Terence Crawford and Tim Bradley as possible contenders for his star's last bout.
"I am the front-runner," Khan told BBC Sport.
"Manny Pacquiao makes a good story because we've been training partners and I've been with his coach Freddie Roach.
"There's a big chance of the fight happening, it's all about making sure my team is on point with the deal and they need to make sure they get the fight that I want."
Khan hoped to be Floyd Mayweather Jr's final opponent before the multiple world champion opted to fight Andre Berto instead but Khan believes Pacquiao, 36, is looking for a higher profile end to his career.
"It would be Manny Pacquiao's last fight and end his career in a big way, not like Floyd Mayweather where, no disrespect to Berto, but I think Floyd finished his career on a low note," he added.

Brook bout

As an alternative to Pacquiao, Khan is not ruling out an all-British clash with Kell Brook despite also identifying rematches with Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson and a bout with Shawn Porter.
Brook, 29, defeated Porter over 12 rounds last year but Khan insists his fellow Brit still needs to prove himself against the best.
"My body's taken all the wear and tear where I'm fighting the best fighters in the world and he's not even fighting half of them," said Khan.
"I want him to prove himself so it's a big fight, we go into the ring 50-50 and it's a massive fight not only for Great Britain but around the world."

Middle East match

Khan is currently training in Doha, the site of the 2015 World Amateur Boxing Championships, and says the Middle East could soon host a headline professional bout.
"The Middle East has never had a big, big fight," he said.
"They've had a few decent names but no one in their prime, putting on a world title fight, so I think it's going to happen soon."

Walcott is not a centre forward, says Waddle

Theo Walcott: Criticised by Chris Waddle
Chris Waddle believes Theo Walcott’s movement is not good enough to be a central striker and says he has not improved sufficiently at Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger has used Walcott as a centre-forward along with Olivier Giroud this season and he has scored four times for the Gunners, while he has netted three times for England, but former England star Waddle says he is “not a natural goalscorer”.
“I don’t know if Theo is a natural goalscorer,” Waddle told the Daily Express. “He has got pace and anybody with pace is always going to cause problems, but his movement could be better.
“You look at players like Theo who have been at the club for a long time and wonder whether they have got better. Yes, they have got older and stronger. But there is still that final ball missing and I don’t think he has improved as much as you would want.
“It is alright having pace – it is knowing how to use it that counts. He makes one run and then he is out of the game.
“Alexis Sanchez and Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp went once and if that did not work they went again and again. They would know how to time their runs.
“Some people have an understanding of the game and if the penny hasn’t dropped now for Theo, you wonder if it’s something that comes more naturally. It’s just something you are or are not born with.”

I should have named weaker side at Wednesday

Arsene Wenger: Wishes he'd rested more Arsenal stars for Sheffield Wednesday game 

Arsene Wenger wishes he had rested even more players for Arsenal’s Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott picked up injuries.
Both England internationals hobbled off in the opening 20 minutes at Hillsborough – Oxlade-Chamberlain with a hamstring problem and his replacement Walcott due to a calf problem – and the extent of the injuries will not be determined until they have a scan within the next 48 hours.
The Gunners’ night got worse after those withdrawals as a superb Wednesday side blew their below-par opponents away 3-0 thanks to goals from Ross Wallace, Lucas Joao and Sam Hutchinson.
Wenger made eight changes to his side but still named the likes of Petr Cech, Mathieu Debuchy, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud in his starting XI.
And the Frenchman is ruing playing so many big names, despite the poor performance in South Yorkshire.
“The injuries are two muscular injuries, how big the damage is I don’t know,” Wenger said.
“We have to make scans and we have to wait 48 hours for the scan. It’s was a bad night at the office for us. We lost the two players and after that we were not good enough.
“I have to manage the workload of the players and at the end of the day I still think I maybe brought too many experienced players here.
“We lost two players and after that I had Gabriel (Paulista) and (Nacho) Monreal on the bench but I couldn’t bring them on because I couldn’t afford to lose any more players.
“I am concerned, we have a big game on Saturday (against Swansea), we have Bayern in the Champions League coming up, already now we are short.
“To lose two players tonight is damaging for us, two offensive players. Ideally we would have loved to win, but with the squad we have got now, we cannot keep in all the competitions.”
Wednesday were well worth their victory at Hillsborough, as they gained revenge for the 1993 League Cup final defeat to the Gunners at Wembley.
The Gunners were not able to cope with the dynamic nature of the Owls’ display and boss Carlos Carvalhal, who has overseen a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, knew his side were too good on the night.
“I am very happy about the victory, I think we deserved it,” he said. “Everything belongs to the players, they were fantastic, we put a plan together and they did it 100 per cent.
“I am very happy about the players and for the club, it is an important victory for the club. It was a full stadium, with a new generation of fans. We deserved what we got.
“When you play against a club that beats Bayern Munich, they have a squad full of internationals, they are near the top of English football, there is a big gap.
“There is still a big gap. We know they are nine times better than us as a minimum, On the pitch we were better than Arsenal tonight, but we are not better than them.”

Mourinho: I don't need job assurances

Mourinho: I don't need job assurances
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he does not need any further assurances over his job after his side were knocked out of the fourth round of the League Cup by Stoke City on Tuesday.

The Blues looked to be heading out in normal time after Jon Walters' 52nd minute strike, but Loic Remy scored an injury-time equaliser to take the game into a 30-minute period of extra-time.

But, with neither side able to find a winner, the game went to penalties, with Eden Hazard missing the crucial spot-kick as Stoke prevailed 5-4 in the shoot-out.


The defeat is Chelsea's eighth in 16 games in all competitions this season, but with pressure mounting over his position, Mourinho is adamant his job is safe.

Asked if he'd been given any further assurances over his job, he said: "I don't need more. My general situation is fantastic.

"I have a day off tomorrow, a fantastic family. I can sleep well every night. I'm going to enjoy my day and Thursday.

"It will be one more day like I have had in the last 15 years of my life - honest and dedicated."

Ramires insists there is ‘no mutiny’ against Mourinho

Ramires: Midfielder insists Mourinho has support of players
Brazil midfielder Ramires insists there is “no mutiny” among the Chelsea squad against under pressure manager Jose Mourinho.
Reports have started to circulate suggesting Mourinho has last the confidence of the Chelsea players following the reigning champions poor start to the season, which has been dominated by the Portuguese various fall-outs and controversies.
However Ramires has refuted these claims, and is adamant the dressing room remains behind the manager.
“There is no mutiny against Mourinho,” he told ESPN Brazil. “If you take our last games you will see how everyone is running relentlessly, putting their lives on the line on the pitch, as we say.
“Whenever we’re under bad form, it’s only natural that negative speculations will arise, but the whole group isn’t paying attention to the outside and we’re focused on doing what Mourinho ask us to do and, consequently, help Chelsea to get back on the winning tracks.”
On Monday it was suggested in The Telegraph that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is to approach Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardolia to take over at Stamford Bridge, and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has said he believes it is only a matter of time before the Spaniard takes charge of a Premier League club.

Could a nightmare night for Arsenal turn into something FAR worse?

Could a nightmare night for Arsenal turn into something FAR worse?
 This month Arsenal have blown away Manchester United, they have humbled Bayern Munich... and now they have been embarrassed by Sheffield Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger's side suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Hillsborough on Tuesday night in the last 16 of the League Cup that could have ramifications far beyond their exit from the competition.

Glorious dream or dreadful nightmare, there is never an in-between with Arsenal.

The League Cup is the lowest priority for the Gunners, but there is no silver lining when a side competing for the Premier League title are beaten so convincingly by a Championship club.



GOAL
MATCH REPORT | Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Arsenal

Wenger has spoken constantly about the improved mentality around the club, but this was the kind of night that sums up why many people are convinced that Arsenal will not win the title this season.

The next crisis is only ever around the corner. It could be a run of horrible results or a stack of injuries, but even the most optimistic supporter knows that it is coming.

And it's the muscle injuries that forced off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then his replacement Theo Walcott that could come back to haunt Wenger.

Both players appeared to be underprepared with their warm-ups - and it was an attitude that was reflected in the whole team. They underestimated their opponents, they were complacent and they were punished.

Wenger will most certainly be praying that the injuries to two important first-team players are not too serious with his squad starting to look worryingly thin.

Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, David Ospina, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all already sidelined and two more added to the treatment table will only add to Wenger's headache.

The Frenchman wisely decided to completely rest many of his first-choice starters, but he suddenly looks short of options in a squad with which he should be spoilt for choice.

An injury to a key player like Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil could be fatal to their hopes of a first league triumph since 2004.







It is clear that those in back-up roles are not up to the task. If it wasn't obvious when Wenger made several changes in the 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, then the way they crumbled against Sheffield Wednesday hammered home the point.

Let's not pretend that this was some sort of youth team put out by Wenger. Youngsters Glen Kamara and Alex Iwobi were supported by nine full internationals in the starting line-up.

Petr Cech played in goal behind an experienced defence of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Calum Chambers and Kieran Gibbs - but Wenger might as well have picked the under-17s because they would not have done any worse.

They were all bullied and outclassed by lower quality opposition as Wednesday scored with ease against statuesque defending. It was unforgivable for any side, in any competition.

In attack, the Gunners did nothing despite having Joel Campbell and Olivier Giroud in the team and and it's safe to say that none of the regular starters will be concerned about their place in the side.

Before the November international break, Arsenal face vital Premier League matches against Swansea and Tottenham either side of a Champions League trip to Bayern Munich.

This emphatic defeat, exactly a week after the 2-0 win over Bayern, should serve as the sternest warning sign against any complacency from the north Londoners.

Wenger 'used too many senior players' in League Cup exit

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott
Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted using "too many experienced players" after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott were injured in Arsenal's 3-0 League Cup loss at Sheffield Wednesday.
Walcott replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain but left the field on 18 minutes and both will have scans on muscular injuries.
The Gunners boss said the injuries to both forwards were a "big blow".
"We are short now with the injuries," added the 66-year-old Frenchman, who has six other first-team players out.
"I have to manage the workload of the players and at the end of the day I still think I maybe brought too many experienced players here."
The FA Cup holders barely threatened as goals from Ross Wallace, Lucas Joao and Sam Hutchinson sent the Championship side into the quarter-finals.
Wenger said he would have "loved" to have won the tie but, referring to his growing injury list, he added: "With the squad we have got now, we cannot keep in all the competitions."

Arsenal's injury concerns

Aaron Ramsey (hamstring - end of November return)
Tomas Rosicky (knee - unknown return)
Jack Wilshere (leg - unknown return)
David Ospina (thigh - January return)
Danny Welbeck (knee - Christmas)
Theo Walcott
Mikel Arteta (ankle - unknown)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Wenger made nine changes for the 3-0 defeat but still included Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Flamini, Petr Cech, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Calum Chambers.
But Wenger said the level was "too high" for the younger players he selected.
Midfielder Glen Kamara and forward Alex Iwobi - both 19 - made full debuts in the last-16 tie, while 17-year-olds Ismael Bennacer and Kristian Bielik came off the bench.
"They are not ready to play at this level," said Wenger. "We lost two players and after that I had Gabriel and Nacho Monreal on the bench but I couldn't bring them on because I couldn't afford to lose any more players."
Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Theo Walcott after five minutes
Arsenal will wait 48 hours for the result of scans on England internationals Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Wenger also called the latest injuries "damaging" as his side - second in the Premier League - travel to Swansea City on Saturday before a key Champions League game at Bayern Munich four days later.
Defeat at Hillsborough ended a four-game winning run for the Gunners, who have not won the League Cup since 1993, when they beat Wednesday 2-1 in the final.
"They were faster, sharper and more decisive than us," added Wenger. "We could not create anything. We were very naive when defending."

Costa hospitalised with rib injury after Stoke loss

Diego Costa: Injured in Chelsea's loss at Stoke City
Chelsea striker Diego Costa went to hospital with the rib problem he sustained in the Capital One Cup loss at Stoke, Jose Mourinho has said.
Costa came off clutching his side in the 33rd minute of the fourth-round tie at the Britannia Stadium, which the Blues lost 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Asked in his post-match press conference what the situation was with Costa, Mourinho replied: “He is in the hospital – I don’t know.”
When then asked if the Spain international would be a doubt for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League home clash with Liverpool, Mourinho said again: “I don’t know.”
Costa was substituted shortly after being sandwiched between Ryan Shawcross and Charlie Adam in a tackle and then trying to muscle his way towards a Willian cross that Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland punched away.
And Mourinho added when asked how the injury had happened: “I think he punched himself.”

Chelsea players made critics look stupid says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea's players made their critics look "stupid" despite their League Cup exit at Stoke, says Jose Mourinho.
The Blues boss claimed their display in the penalty shootout defeat, after a 1-1 draw, was enough to undermine claims his players were not playing for him.
"What the players did tonight is face the people that write and say, 'you are stupid'," said the Portuguese, 52.
"You think the players did not give everything to win the game? That is really sad."
Holders Chelsea were beaten 5-4 on penalties in the fourth-round tie after forcing extra-time through Loic Remy's injury-time equaliser.
His Blues side had 59% possession and 24 attempts at goal - nine of those were on target, compared to Stoke's five. They also won 11 corners to Stoke's two.
Mourinho faced the media after the match for the first time since Friday, having refused to speak after Saturday's 2-1 defeat by West Ham and before Tuesday's cup tie.

'My players tried everything'

Mourinho is facing more disciplinary action by the Football Association after being sent to the stands at half-time of Saturday's loss at Upton Park.
The Blues went on to suffer their fifth Premier League defeat in 10 matches this season at the Boleyn Ground.
But Mourinho, who also received a suspended stadium ban earlier this season, says any claims that his players have been affected by his behaviour show a "lack of respect" to his team.
"For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me, I can say, you don't have results because the players are against me," he said.
"What some people write and say is really bad for the players. Most of the people that do that used to be players.
"I think they think my players are like them when they were players. Maybe they were able to do that. My players tried everything."

'I think Diego Costa punched himself'

Chelsea striker Diego Costa
Chelsea striker Diego Costa was replaced by Loic Remy, who went on to score Chelsea's late equaliser
Mourinho was forced to withdraw injured striker Diego Costa after 33 minutes at Stoke, later saying that the Spain international had gone to hospital with a rib injury.
"He is in hospital - but I don't know what the situation is," said Mourinho, whose side host Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.
"Is he a doubt to face Liverpool? I don't know.
"How did the injury happen? I think he punched himself."

'People are contradicting themselves'

Chelsea cruised to the Premier League title last season and were among the favourites to retain their crown.
But their torrid start to the season has left them in 15th position, already 11 points behind leaders Manchester City.
"A few months ago I won a few matches and I was champion. People were saying there are things more important than results," he said.
'Now, people say results are the most important thing. It's a contradiction."

Stoke show proves players are behind me. says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho: Pleased with Chelsea's efforts against Stoke City
Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea’s performance in their eventually Capital One Cup loss at Stoke City proved the players are behind him.
The Blues suffered yet another setback in their disastrous season as they were beaten 5-4 on penalties in the fourth-round tie at the Britannia Stadium following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
But Mourinho was keen to praise his players’ efforts and said in his post-match press conference: “Honestly, do you think they are not with me? That they didn’t give everything to win the game?
“That is really sad – not sad for me but sad for the players, and I think it is a lack of respect to the players, not to me.
“For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me – I could say we don’t have results because the players are against me.
“I think what some people write and say is really bad for the players. They tried everything.”
Talk had already been rife before this tie about the sack looming for Mourinho, whose Premier League champions were left 15th in the table by Saturday’s 2-1 loss at West Ham, in which he was sent to the stands.
But the Portuguese – who has subsequently been hit by another charge misconduct charge from the Football Association over events at Upton Park, and had not spoken publicly since that match – said following the Stoke contest: “My general situation is fantastic.
“I have a day off tomorrow, a fantastic family. I can sleep well every night. I’m going to enjoy my day and Thursday. It will be one more day like I have had in the last 15 years of my life – honest and dedicated.
Asked if he had had any more reassurances since the weekend about his job, Mourinho said: “I don’t need more.”
Chelsea’s exit was sealed when Eden Hazard’s penalty, the last of the shoot-out, was saved by Jack Butland.
Mourinho refused to blame Hazard and said there was plenty in Chelsea’s performance that meant their players would leave feeling positive.
He said: “He (Hazard) is our best penalty taker but the last thing I do is to blame. If I have to blame someone it is the ones who tell the manager I don’t want to take it and run away.
“It is more difficult when you play very bad and lose than when you play well and lose. I think they (Chelsea’s players) go with sadness but with a positive feeling.
“How can they go home with lack of confidence? Lack of confidence, why? They played well.”
The manager – who also revealed the rib injury that forced striker Diego Costa off in the first half had seen the striker go to hospital – added: “In my case, in your eyes, results are everything.
“But it is a bit strange because when a few months ago I won so many matches and was champion of England, people were saying there were some things more important than the result. Now results are more important than anything. It is a contradiction.”

Jose Mourinho's miserable season took another turn

Jack Butland
After Chelsea dominated a goalless first-half, Stoke led when Jon Walters was allowed to turn on the edge of the box before firing in off the crossbar.
Loic Remy drilled in an injury-time equaliser, seconds before Stoke's Phil Bardsley was sent off for two bookings.
Stoke scored all of their spot-kicks, Eden Hazard missing the final penalty.
Potters keeper Jack Butland was the hero for the home side, saving the Belgian's high effort to put Stoke into the quarter-finals.

'Sacked in the morning

Stoke fans took great pleasure in goading Mourinho in the wake of Walters' goal and again after Butland's penalty save, suggesting that the Chelsea manager might be looking for alternative employment on Wednesday morning.
Several national newspapers have suggested that the Portuguese boss could be sacked if the Blues lose to Liverpool at the weekend, while the Daily Mirror claimed senior players are expecting his departure in the near future. 
And as the clock ticked past the 90-minute mark, the pressure on Mourinho looked set to increase.
Chelsea's Diego Costa
Chelsea striker Diego Costa was taken to hospital with a rib injury, Jose Mourinho said afterwards
Chelsea were heading towards their eighth defeat in 16 matches this season when substitute Remy came to the rescue.
The France forward, who replaced the injured Diego Costa in the first-half, fired into the roof of the net after Willian's corner was flicked on by Kurt Zouma.
The Blues looked the likelier to win the game in extra-time, Willian shooting wide and Butland denying young Brazilian defender Kenedy.
But, after nine faultless penalties, they were knocked out of the competition by Butland's brilliant save.

Chelsea show unity in defeat

Despite the Premier League champions' dreadful start to the season, any suggestions of disharmony in the Blues ranks looked wide of the mark at Britannia Stadium.
The visitors showed no signs of their recent troubles in the first half, passing the ball around confidently and stretching the Stoke back line with their sharp movement.
England international Butland thwarted the visitors with a trio of top-class saves in the opening half-hour, twice denying Diego Costa and then Oscar, while Chelsea skipper John Terry's cheeky flick from Willian's cross was ruled out for offside.
And the character showed to level deep in stoppage-time suggested that the players were prepared to fight for Mourinho.
Returning to his former club, Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was given a good reception by Stoke supporters

History stays on Stoke's side

Stoke started the match having never lost to Chelsea in the League Cup, winning four and drawing three of their seven previous ties, including victory in the 1972 final.
And the home fans thought their side had done enough to extend that record within 90 minutes.
The Potters were left deflated by a dramatic turnaround in the dying moments of normal time and were forced to contemplate playing another 30 minutes with 10 men.
But they showed resilience throughout extra-time, keeping the visitors at bay - even with forward Mame Diouf forced into an emergency full-back role - to force the tie into a shootout.
Now Mark Hughes and his men can look forward to a second League Cup quarter-final in three seasons as the Potters aim to win the trophy for the second time.
Jack Butland
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland made the decisive penalty save

Shawcross shores up Potters defence

Stoke welcomed back Ryan Shawcross for his first appearance of the season after the skipper had back surgery in the summer.
And his return was perfect timing for Potters boss Hughes, who watched his team produced a shoddy defensive display in the 2-0 Premier League defeat by Watford on Saturday.
The once-capped England international impressed for the home side, marshalling his defence superbly - particularly after the break - to keep out Chelsea until Remy's late intervention.

Manager reaction

Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "Full credit to the lads because they showed tremendous character and determination and nobody can ever level that we don't have that in abundance inside our dressing room.
"It was there for everybody to see this evening, and I think to a certain degree it surprised Chelsea, especially when everything seemed to be conspiring against us at the end of normal time.
"We had a back four that was thrown together to a certain extent, there were a lot of guys out there who haven't played together and there were a number who haven't had a great deal of football neither."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Stoke City

  • 01 Butland
  • 02 Bardsley Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 17 Shawcross
  • 26 Wollscheid
  • 05 Muniesa (Wilson - 49' Booked )
  • 06 Whelan
  • 16 Adam
  • 18 Diouf
  • 14 Afellay (Shaqiri - 76' )
  • 10 Arnautovic
  • 19 Walters (Odemwingie - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Ireland
  • 09 Odemwingie
  • 12 Wilson
  • 21 Sidwell
  • 22 Shaqiri
  • 24 Given
  • 25 Crouch

Chelsea

  • 01 Begovic
  • 05 Zouma
  • 24 Cahill
  • 26 Terry
  • 06 Baba Booked (Nunes do Nascimento - 70' )
  • 07 Ramires (Traore - 80' )
  • 12 Mikel
  • 22 Willian
  • 08 Oscar
  • 10 Hazard
  • 19 Diego Costa (Remy - 33' )

Substitutes

  • 14 Traore
  • 15 Djilobodji
  • 16 Nunes do Nascimento
  • 18 Remy
  • 28 Azpilicueta
  • 32 Amelia
  • 36 Loftus-Cheek
Ref: Kevin Friend
Att: 24,886

Match Stats

Possession59%41%120minsStoke CityChelsea

Ancelotti to Chelsea, Pato to West Ham?

Carlo Ancelotti: Would apparently consider Chelsea return

Carlo Ancelotti would consider a Chelsea return, Lionel Messi is staying at Barcelona, while West Ham are reportedly keen on Alexandre Pato.

ANCELOTTI WOULD CONSIDER CHELSEA RETURN

Carlo Ancelotti would consider a return to Chelsea if Jose Mourinho is sacked – but not as an interim manager.
That is according to the Daily Mirror, which says the Italian has told friends he would only go back to Stamford Bridge if he was offered a permanent contract. ‘It is known he would relish the chance to manage in England again,’ the newspaper adds.
However, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is widely reported to be Roman Abramovich’s top choice to replace Mourinho if he wields the axe, meaning the Blues owner is likely to look for a stand-in until the end of the season when Guardiola’s contract expires.
The Mirror, however, says there are ‘currently no indications’ that Guardiola would even be willing to take the Chelsea job.

BARCA TO TIE DOWN MESSI AND NEYMAR

Barcelona are set to offer Lionel Messi a new contract to see out his career at the Nou Camp, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.
The four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner is already the highest-paid player at the club, with an annual salary believed to be €20million, and is currently contracted until the end of the 2017-18 season, but there has been speculation that the 28-year-old could leave Spain amid allegations of tax fraud.
Sport, however, say Messi is happy to stay in Catalonia after receiving the full support of Barca during the investigation.
The newspaper also claims that, before turning their attention to a new contract for Messi, Barca will first arrange a new deal for Neymar, who has also been tenuously been linked with moves away from the Nou Camp in recent times.

PATO COULD YET JOIN WEST HAM

Alexandre Pato could sign for West Ham, according to the Daily Mail, with Corinthians president Roberto de Andrade apparently looking to offload the 26-year-old forward.
It was first reported in the summer that Pato could move to the Premier League, with the Brazilian said to have been offered to several clubs after expressing a desire to play in one of the big cities in England.
West Ham were linked then and are still ‘currently the likeliest suitors’, according to the Mail.
Pato, who has been on loan at Sao Paolo since February 2014 after falling out of favour at Corinthians, scored 51 goals in 117 appearances in Serie A for AC Milan between 2007 and 2012 before moving back to his homeland.

AND THE REST

Everton, Swansea and Sunderland all want Bordeaux midfielder Wahbi Khazri (The Sun)
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has joined the race for Sion’s Swiss centre-half Leo Lacroix (The Sun)

A wonderful week

Nigerian soccer: A wonderful week 
John Obi Mikel ’s Chelsea may have lost, Sunday Oliseh may have fallen sick, and Emmanuel Emenike may have called time on his Super Eagles career.
But it’s still been an excellent week for Nigerian soccer and the nation’s football teams, as both the U-17 team secured top spot in Group A at the ongoing youth World Cup, and the home-based Eagles advanced past Burkina Faso to seal a spot at the Championship of African Nations.
Emmanuel Amuneke, first of all, deserves credit for his management of the precocious Super Eaglets.
The U-17 team, whose heritage in young competitions was discussed in a recent feature, headed into the young World Cup in Chile with the weight of great expectation on their shoulders.

Amuneke |  The coach has guided the kids through to the Last 16
Not only are Nigeria the competition’s reigning champions but, having previously won the tournament a record four times, much was expected of the current crop. Nigeria are not only expected to win, but to do so in style.
They duly tore through their group stage in emphatic style, defeating the United States 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Chukwudi Agor and Victor Osimhen, before devastating hosts Chile 5-1 in Vina del Mar.
Some of the squad’s higher-profile players, figures such as Kelechi Nwakali and the aforementioned Osimhen, have delivered on their pre-tournament promise.
Admittedly, Amuneke’s outfit ended their superb run with defeat to Croatia in their final group game—despite taking the lead through Osimhen—but Eaglets fans shouldn’t be too down-hearted.

Osimhen |  How big can his impact be in the latter stages of the U-17 World Cup?
Nigeria, missing suspended forward Funsho Bamgboye, played cautiously—a showing in contrast to their mesmerising attacking display against Chile—and are unlikely to be so chastened in their Round of 16 clash with Australia on October 28.
Nonetheless, Amuneke will know that his side must improve on their last outing, particularly in defence, if they are to realise pre-tournament expectations.
“We have to keep working hard and prepare our players physically and psychologically for the match [against Australia] especially after losing our last group match to Croatia,” the coach and former Super Eagles great told the NFF’s official website.
“We have to let the players realize that the stage we are in now is crucial and it needs high level of concentration from them.”

While Amaju Pinnick will doubtless be largely delighted with the way the nation’s youth side have flown the flag for the country’s football in South America, the showing of the home-based Eagles was arguably as encouraging.
Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh, like his predecessor Steven Keshi, has not been afraid to incorporate players plying their trade in the NPFL into Nigeria squad, and the excellent showings of some of his squad members in the home-based squad—even if the coach wasn’t there to witness first hand—ought to improve the chances of some domestic players in the senior squad.
Having won the first leg in Port Harcourt 2-0, Nigeria cruised to the tournament proper—to be held in Rwanda next year—after securing a 0-0 draw away in Ouagadougou.
Chima Akas, an increasingly regular fixture in the Super Eagles squad, was impressive at left-back in the second leg, showing his maturity with a composed and measured performance.
Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa made a handful of smart stops and may find himself higher up in the senior side’s pecking following the retirement of Vincent Enyeama.

Could Akas do enough to reclaim the left-back spot from Elderson Echiejile?
Austin Oboroakpo in the heart of defence and Ezekiel Bassey—who came good in the second leg after a an anonymous showing in the first match—might also be hoping for a call from Oliseh later this week.
“I am the chairman of the League, and I am convinced one hundred percent that we have quality in the League,” Shehu Dikko began, in an interview with the NFF’s official website, “and that more home boys can break into the full Super Eagles squad.”
He may just get his wish.

Nigeria won the bronze medal in South Africa in 2014, their first showing in the Chan tournament, and will harbour realistic hopes of making the final at the tournament in Rwanda next year.
In the meantime, don’t be surprised to see one or two of the home-based squad invited for the Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualifier against Swaziland.
The U-17 boys may have to wait a little longer yet for the call from Oliseh, but as their showings in Chile indicate, their time will come!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Victoria Pendleton: Cyclist turned jockey unseated at Newbury

Victoria Pendleton
Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton avoided injury after being unseated from Satanic Beat on her third competitive ride as an amateur jockey.
Pendleton, who won keirin gold at London 2012, walked away after a fall in the final stages of the Rayner Bosch Car Service Handicap at Newbury.
"I'm fine," the 35-year-old told the Racing Post. 
"I lost my balance and couldn't regain it. It's so annoying but it won't put me off."
Pendleton is aiming to ride over jumps at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
She retired from cycling in 2012 after adding London gold to the sprint title she won at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Marcel in shock Racing Post Trophy victory at Doncaster

Marcel and Andrea Atzeni win the Racing Post Trophy
Marcel recorded a shock win in the final Group One of the flat season, the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
Unbeaten odds-on favourite Foundation, ridden by Frankie Dettori, found himself boxed in during the mile race and could only finish third.
It was a third successive victory in the race for jockey Andrea Atzeni, who moved to the outside to guide 33-1 shot Marcel home by a length-and-a-half.
Johannes Vermeer finished second in the field of seven.
"What a nightmare for Frankie Dettori. At the end of a dream year when practically nothing has gone wrong for him, nothing much went right here as Dettori and the previously unbeaten Foundation were stuck behind a "wall" of horses when needing space to mount a challenge.
That said, Marcel might have won anyway. He was quite impressive for the ever-popular - but quieter than he used to be - Peter Chapple-Hyam, the winner of this with subsequent Derby winner Authorized (2006); Epsom is sure to be the target for Marcel too."
Dettori was tracking second favourite Deauville, one of three Aiden O'Brien horses in the race, but by the time he found clear ground in the closing stages he was was left with too much to do.
Atzeni, who rode Kingston Hill and Elm Park to victory in the previous two years, said: "I was going to follow Frankie, but it got a bit tight so I thought I'd go round.
"As soon as I pulled him out, he picked up."
It was also a third success in the coveted race for trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, after Commander Collins in 1998 and Authorized in 2006.
"Authorized won this at a big price and I did say Marcel was no Authorized, but that was because this lad had already won a maiden," a jubilant Chapple-Hyam said.
"Even though I don't have many good horses, you know when a good one comes along.
"He obviously goes on any ground and will be better next year when he's stronger.
"I see him as a French Derby type, I'd be worried about him staying further (12 furlongs). If I get my way, he'll be in my favourite race, the Dante, but if he shows enough speed before then he could go for the Guineas."

Chris Eubank Jr stops Tony Jeter in round two in Sheffield

Chris Eubank Jr
Chris Eubank Jr returned to the ring with a swift victory over American Tony Jeter to retain his interim WBA middleweight title in Sheffield.
The Briton, 13 years younger at 26, had his man down with a minute remaining in the first round and finished off Jeter after 29 seconds of round two.
It was Eubank Jr's first contest since winning the temporary title against Dmitry Chudinov in February.
Eubank Jr is next set to face Ireland's Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan in December.
"This was the warm-up fight," Eubank Jr told Sky Sports.
"This is the fight that's getting me ready. This was getting rid of the ring rust and ready for December 12 against a man called Spike O'Sullivan.
"It's going to be one hell of a fight. He's been talking a lot of mess and it's time for some punishment. It's going to be all-out war; I'm going to be going in there an absolute animal, I hope he's ready for it."
Gavin McDonnell defended his European Super Bantamweight title with a unanimous decision against France's Jeremy Parodi, extending the 29-year-old Yorkshireman's unbeaten record to 16 fights.

Heather Watson loses to Ana Ivanovic at Luxembourg Open

Britain's Heather Watson
Britain's Heather Watson is out of the Luxembourg Open after losing 6-4 6-3 to Serb Ana Ivanovic in the first round.
The British number two, who reached the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals, lost the first two games to former world number one Ivanovic, 27, ranked 12th.
The 23-year-old, world ranked 54, levelled by breaking back to love but lost the opening set in 28 minutes.
Second seed Ivanovic maintained the pressure and won in 70 minutes in the first meeting between the pair.
Watson won successive games to close to 3-5 in the second set and went 40-0 ahead in the next game, only to lose the next five points, three of them with double faults.
"I was very happy about this victory because I expected a tough match - I know Heather's a great fighter and she can play really well against top players," said Ivanovic, who won the event in 2007.

WTA Finals: Maria Sharapova & Simona Halep win openers

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep won the opening Red Group matches as the WTA Finals got under way in Singapore.
Halep, the top seed and world number two, thrashed US Open champion Flavia Pennetta 6-0 6-3, before Sharapova saw off Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 6-3 6-4.
The eight-player season finale begins with two round-robin groups, the top two from each qualifying for the semis.
World number one Serena Williams is absent as she recovers from injury.
The White Group consists of Spain's Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, and Germany's Angelique Kerber.

Halep wins in 72 minutes

Romania's Halep reeled off the first seven games on her way to beating Pennetta in just 72 minutes and taking control of the Red Group.
Halep, last year's runner-up, showed no sign of the ankle injury that hampered her earlier this month.
Simona Halep of Romania
Halep made amends for defeat by Pennetta at the US Open last month
"I didn't play the right game against her at the US Open," she said. "Here I was well prepared and I knew how to play against her."
Pennetta, who is playing her final tournament before retiring, said: "She was playing really well today. Maybe I had not too much energy. I didn't push a lot like I always do."

Sharapova earns first win since July

The Russian last completed a match at Wimbledon in July, since when she has struggled with leg and forearm injuries, so it was no surprise that her game was far from at its sharpest.
Sharapova showed that her battling qualities remain intact, however, as she hit back from a set down to win in just short of three hours, after recovering from 15-40 when serving for the match.
"One match down," said an emotional Sharapova afterwards. "I still have a few to go but it's great to get a win against such a tough competitor as Radwanska, we always have such difficult matches.
"To be able to come out here, fight until the end and win it means a lot to me."

Petra Kvitova: Fighting jet lag and finding motivation at WTA Finals

Petra Kvitova and the other seven finalists in Singapore
I arrived in Singapore on Tuesday night and I'm hoping the jet lag will be gone by Monday when I step on court for my first match at this year's WTA Finals. 
I've spent the last two months chasing the points I needed to qualify as one of the top eight players in the world, travelling from New York to Europe to China and now Singapore, and it feels great to have finally made it.
I'm not feeling too bad and I certainly hope to do better than last year, when I lost two of my three round-robin matches. Reaching the Finals is one of my goals every year and I know what it feels like to end the season on a high after winning on my debut in 2011.
There is not much time to rest when you arrive at the season finale, with all sorts of commitments off court as well as the need to practise, but fortunately I'm the sort of person who likes like to keep busy.
Let's just hope that the jet lag wears off after three or four days!
Petra Kvitova and the other seven finalists in Singapore
Kvitova and her seven fellow finalists have plenty of off-court duties in Singapore

'Playing without motivation is tough'

I'm especially happy to be here playing the WTA Finals after taking the most time off during a season that I think I ever have.
I took a month out earlier in the year, something I never really did before, so it was kind of a new experience but showed me that I can still come back, play well and stay in the top five. That's great.
Winning three Premier titles along the way was amazing, as well as beating Serena Williams in Madrid, although of course I wanted to have some better results in the Grand Slams.
But I think you can always take something good from the bad things, so that's what I'm trying to do, and I still have my motivation. I'm really happy to be here competing as one of the top eight.

WTA Finals groups

Red Group
White Group
Simona Halep (Romania, rank 2)
Garbine Muguruza (Spain, 4)
Maria Sharapova (Russia, 3)
Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, 5)
Agnieszka Radwanksa (Poland, 6)
Angelique Kerber (Germany, 7)
Flavia Pennetta (Italy, 8)
Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic, 9)
This already feels like it has been a special season, but with the Fed Cup final against Russia to follow Singapore it could be a really great end to the year.
It won't quite match up to Serena's season, even though she won't be playing in Singapore. I think she was very disappointed when she lost at the US Open, just two wins from completing the calendar Grand Slam, and it was then tough to find the motivation to play the end of the season.
Playing just because she has to is not really her way of playing. Playing without motivation is tough even for her, but I think what she did this year is great.

'I'm not a fan of airplane food'

I have been on some very long flights over the last two months, heading back from the US Open to Europe, then returning from China for a break in the Czech Republic before coming here to Singapore.
Petra Kvitova
It can be tricky to cope with this kind of schedule, which means many, many hours in the air, but I'm lucky that I have no problem sleeping on a plane!
When you fly as much as I do, you get into a pretty familiar routine. I don't do any exercises when flying but use compression socks, and spend as much time as possible lying down. I try not to eat much - I'm not a fan of airplane food, everything is just so weird.
I always take my book, my MP3, my phone and my computer. I like to watch movies - I just saw the documentary about Amy Winehouse, which was very good and emotional.
The other thing I always try to travel with by my side is my racquet bag. It's kind of big and sometimes I have a bit of trouble with that, but usually I can persuade them to let it on!

'I hit once a day and really give everything'

Unfortunately I lost early in Beijing and then couldn't go to Moscow as planned, but it did give me a few extra days off to rest and recover, and then I had a really good practice in the Czech Republic.
Petra Kvitova
A couple of weeks back in Europe offered up the chance to take in some ice hockey
I think maybe Aga Radwanska, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep arrived in Singapore before me. With only eight singles players at the tournament sometimes it can be more difficult to arrange practice but we are lucky with the players here this year and before the draw is made it's a little bit easier.
We have the coaches to hit with as well but before the matches I think it's just time to play some points and get the final touches from the coaches.
There is always a lot of work going on behind the scenes at a tournament and that's even more true at the WTA Finals, where we have many activities during the day and you really have to set everything up.
It is for sure a big part of the coach's job to make sure the tennis does not get neglected. I don't think you can do much great practice here so we are trying to hit once a day and really give everything to the session, then we have the other commitments.
I'm happy how we've arranged everything and even though it's still been a really long season for me, I feel OK now and ready for a challenging few weeks.

WTA Finals: Garbine Muguruza & Angelique Kerber win

Garbine Muguruza
Second seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain marked her debut in the WTA finals with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Lucie Safarova in Singapore.
The 22-year-old world number three is the first Spaniard to play in the event since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 2001.
Sixth-seed Angelique Kerber beat world number five Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) for her second win in seven matches at the season-ending event.
World number one Serena Williams is absent as she recovers from injury.

Revenge for Muguruza

Muguruza, who was beaten by Williams in her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon this year, lost to Safarova in the French Open quarter-finals, the only other time they have met.
Safarova served five double faults as she succumbed to defeat in an hour and 56 minutes.
"It was a very tough match, I was very nervous as it was my first time here playing singles," Muguruza said.
"At Roland Garros she played an amazing match - I played a good match also - but this time, I don't know, I just wanted to win so much. I was fighting and concentrating very much."

Third time lucky for Kerber?

Angelique Kerber
Kerber saved seven of 10 break points
This is Kerber's third appearance in the finals but the 27-year-old German has yet to progress beyond the round-robin stage of the competition.
She raced through the first set, but looked to be in trouble in the second as fellow left-hander Kvitova was twice up a service break, but the Czech player failed to capitalise on the advantage and she served a total of seven double faults.
Kerber was broken when serving for the match at 5-4, but managed to secure victory in the tie-break, the match spanning one hour 45 minutes.
World number seven Kerber has been troubled by illness and admitted: "I feel weird. It's really tough to describe... I mean, it's just something I really can't do anything against."

Manchester derby player ratings: Rooney and Sterling flop

Wayne Rooney: Captain struggled again according to media
England stars Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling were rated by the media as the worst players on the pitch in Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Little was created in terms of clear goalscoring opportunities in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, and that is reflected in the poor ratings all round for the attackers from both sides.
Manchester City winger Sterling, who was replaced after only 55 minutes by Jesus Navas, earned the lowest average rating of 4.75 by the Independent, Mirror, Telegraph and Times.
United captain Rooney, whose form has been under scrutiny all season, was given a 5 by all four papers after another underwhelming display. His opposite number, City striker Wilfried Bony actually received the same average rating, although having been awarded two 6s and two 4s, the media are clearly split on whether he was decidedly average or extremely poor.
Pundit Gary Neville labelled the first half as the best 45 minutes he has seen all season in terms of defensive intensity, perhaps explaining why Chris Smalling, Joe Hart and Nicholas Otamendi all got the best average rating of 6.75.
Tellingly, no player received an average of 7 or over.
Man Utd Independent Mirror Telegraph Times Total Average
De Gea 6 6 6 6 24 6
Valencia 6 6 6 7 25 6.25
Jones 6 6 5 7 24 6
Smalling 7 6 7 7 27 6.75
Rojo 8 5 6 7 26 6.5
Schweinsteiger 7 6 6 7 26 6.5
Schneiderlin 6 7 7 6 26 6.5
Mata 6 5 6 6 23 5.75
Herrera 6 6 6 6 24 6
Martial 6 6 7 7 26 6.5
Rooney 5 5 5 5 20 5
Man City





Hart 6 6 7 8 27 6.75
Sagna 6 6 6 6 24 6
Kompany 7 5 6 6 24 6
Otamendi 7 6 7 7 27 6.75
Kolarov 6 6 6 6 24 6
Fernandinho 6 5 7 7 25 6.25
Fernando 6 4 6 7 23 5.75
De Bruyne 5 6 6 6 23 5.75
Toure 6 5 6 6 23 5.75
Sterling 5 4 5 5 19 4.75
Bony 6 4 6 4 20 5

Rooney hails Martial and ‘world-class’ Smalling

Anthony Martial Wayne Rooney Manchester United TEAMtalk
Wayne Rooney has paid tribute to the “incredible” Anthony Martial while labelling Chris Smalling as one of the top three centre-halves in the world.
Martial and Smalling both impressed again in Sunday’s goalless Manchester derby to continue their superb form this season.
Teenager Martial has scored five goals in 10 games after joining United on deadline day in a £36million move from Monaco. The Frenchman has been shunted to the left wing to accommodate Rooney in the centre-forward position, but the England skipper’s poor form has led to many to call on Louis van Gaal to drop his captain in favour of the new signing.
Despite the battle for the No.9 role, Rooney has praised Martial for the way he has settled into life at Old Trafford.
“I think he has been incredible, how he has come over to Manchester and started the way he has,” Rooney told United Review.
“Let’s not forget he is still a very young lad as well. To come over with his young family and start the way he has, he deserves a lot of credit.
“You can see what a good player he is and he’ll be an important player for us from now until the end of the season. He is probably the quickest player in our team, if not the quickest in the league.”
Smalling has also been in sublime form this season and remains the only United player to have played every minute in the Premier League so far this campaign.
“He has been incredible,” Rooney said. “He is in the top three centre-halves in the world – I think he is that good!
“He is a great player and he is developing to become more of a leader of the back four. It is great to see for both United and England, and hopefully that can continue for him and he can help us to be successful.”

Barcelona’s Godwin Ekpolo gets Nigeria U23 invite

Siasia invites Barcelona defender
The Dream Team VI handler has invited the Blaugrana defender for the Africa U23 Championship billed for Senegal in November
Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia has sent invitation to Barcelona B defender Godwin Ekpolo and Nathan Oduwa of Glasgow Rangers ahead the second Africa U23 Nations Cup.
The former Super Eagles handler had earlier called up 51 players to camp ahead the African Olympic qualifying tournament in Senegal.
According to Siasia, both players were given a nod to fight for a place in his team, as well as build a formidable squad that will make the country proud.
“After the All Africa Games in Congo, I noticed some departments of the team that needed to be worked on, so I decided to extend my dragnet in search of players who have shown interest in playing for Nigeria in a bid to building a solid team that will be the pride of all Nigerians," Siasisa was quoted by the Nigeria Football Federation website.
The U-23 supremo disclosed that no player will be released from the camp as the team begins preparation on Monday, October 26.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group B of the tournament where they will face Egypt, Algeria and Mali while hosts Senegal headline Group A which has South Africa, Zambia and Tunisia.
The tournament is the final qualifying competition for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. The top three teams will qualify for Rio 2016.

First half at OT best I’ve seen all season

Manchester United and Manchester City: Dire draw at Old Trafford
Gary Neville says the first half of Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Manchester City was “probably the best 45 minutes” of the Premier League season so far.
The first shot on target of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford did not arrive until the 82nd minute, but Neville believes that was more down to two excellent defensive performances than it was any lack of offensive quality.
He wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: ‘Supporters from both sides of Manchester may have left Old Trafford at the end of a 0-0 draw between United and City shaking their heads at the lack of goalmouth action or excitement, but for me, it was 90 minutes which told me that Premier League clubs can look forward to challenging in the Champions League again.
‘The fan watching it probably thinks that it is boring, that the entertainment is poor, but I really enjoyed the game and the first-half was probably the best 45 minutes I have seen anywhere in the Premier League this season.
‘The Premier League is renowned for entertainment and madness, but this was a game for the professional and I genuinely believe there were a lot of very good things out on that pitch.
‘For every attacking player out on that pitch, it was a nightmare, but that was largely because the defensive units of both teams did exactly what is required in the Champions League.
‘If I was a coach of United or City, I would be proud of how the players conducted themselves and followed instructions.
‘At a time when the Premier League is teetering with its co-efficient and facing the prospect of losing a team in the Champions League, this game offered a level of comfort in that teams are starting to apply themselves to defeding, concentration and focus.
‘What is a quality football match?
‘If City or United had torn the other apart, with the other team defending as they did, then you would say it was a quality performance.
‘But when a team nullifies the other, pays attention to detail of every one of the others’ strengths, you also have to say that that is a quality football match.
‘Every time I watch a big game in the Premier League, there is no doubt there is a correlation between the madness and chaos in domestic games and then the lack of application, focus and concentration that we see in the Champions League, where we have looked like the most na├»ve players in the world.
‘Concentration is a word that was rammed down my throat, and all my United team-mates’ throats, for 20 years.
‘But it seems like a word that doesn’t exist in the game anymore. It’s all about expanse, risk, goals, excitement, drama, mistakes.
‘The drama and mistakes of the Premier League might give fans some momentary high, but in this game, I saw a quality football match.
‘There is a place in football for this type of game. I want to see goals and incident, but when I have seen how we have been in the Champions League over the past few years, I want to see more of what I saw between United and City because, in all honesty, I think we have looked like muppets in the Champions League for the last three years.’

Mourinho the man to reinspire Chelsea. says Anceletti.

Jose Mourinho: Backed by Ancelotti to turn Chelsea around
Carlo Ancelotti has told Chelsea fans not to worry because Jose Mourinho is “the right man” to stop the rot at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues suffered their fifth defeat in 10 matches on Saturday at Upton Park as Mourinho’s side continued their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
Reports have suggested that Mourinho’s job could be in jeopardy but former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Ancelotti is confident that the Portuguese will turn things around.
“I did not expect this crisis, but I understand the reasons for these problems,” Ancelotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I think they are feeling satiated.
“Last year they won by a huge margin, and now they are more relaxed. Don’t worry, Mourinho will put everything back in order, he is the right man.”
Ancelotti, who was linked with he Liverpool job before Jurgen Klopp was appointed, believes the title race will be close and the Italian says Manchester City and Arsenal are the two teams to watch.
“Manchester City are the most complete team in the Premier League, but occasionally they switch off,” he continued.
“They are not 100 percent reliable.
“I’d watch out for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger did well to change their system, so he waits and counters to get the best out of the pace of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.”

Neymar is better than Messi and Ronaldo says; Roberto Carlos

Neymar is better than Messi and Ronaldo - Roberto Carlos
The former Brazil left-back had no doubts in placing his compatriot above both his Barcelona team-mate and the Madrid forward, predicting that he will win the Ballon d'Or in two...
Roberto Carlos has singled out Brazil captain Neymar as the best player in the world, placing him above both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine No. 10 and Real Madrid's frontman have dominated the discussion over who is the greatest in recent years, enjoying a monopoly on the Ballon d'Or.

But Roberto Carlos insisted that it was time to add a new name to the argument.



"When I am asked about Messi and Cristiano I say that Neymar is the best for me," he told Globoesporte.

"It is not just for his goals, but for the ease with which he plays and the confidence he has.

"Neymar is going to have a Ballon d'Or in one or two years because he is going to deserve it."

Continuing on the same theme, the 2002 World Cup winner and former Madrid star pointed out that Ronaldo plays a more crucial role within his team.

"Messi is phenomental but in my opinion, Cristiano is a special player because he does everything for Madrid," he affirmed.

"It is not that Madrid do not have others - Kroos, Marcelo - but I think Cristiano is more decisive in Real Madrid than Messi in Barcelona.

"Messi plays with Neymar, Suarez, Iniesta, Busquets, while Cristiano starts to fight, assist and score from the front. He is a special player."

Chelsea performances are getting better

 Asmir Begovic Chelsea TEAMtalk
Asmir Begovic claims Chelsea’s performances are improving, despite the club’s worst ever start to the Premier League continuing at West Ham.
The Blues suffered their fifth defeat in 10 games this season to leave them languishing in 15th place, with serious doubts being raised over Jose Mourinho’s future at Stamford Bridge.
But Begovic believes the Blues are on the right track and says “the tiny little differences didn’t go our way” during the 2-1 defeat at Upton Park.
“We’re going to take it a game at a time – there is still a long way to go,’ he told the club’s official website: “This league is very unpredictable so we need to take care of our performances first. I think our performances are getting better so we just need to keep that going.”
Mourinho watched the second half from the directors box after being banned from the bench for protesting Nemanja Matic’s red card, which Begovic felt was harsh. The keeper also felt Cesc Fabregas’s goal should have stood, with the midfielder’s first-half strike being ruled out by an offside flag.

“We performed pretty well over the 90 minutes,” the Bosnian said.
“We got unlucky with the sending-off. I think we had a good goal disallowed as well, so things are just not going for us at the moment.
“I thought we were well in the game, no matter what the situation was, and the tiny little differences didn’t go our way.
“It’s coming from all corners at the moment so we have to cope with that. We came back, we showed good character and I think our performance showed we are still positive and trying hard, it’s just that little moments are not going our way.”

FA charge Mourinho with misconduct

FA charge Mourinho with misconduct
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association for his behaviour towards referee Jon Moss during his side's defeat to West Ham.

Reports suggest Mourinho entered the referee's room at half-time of the clash at Upton Park, with the former Real Madrid boss forced to watch the second half from the stands.

And just three weeks after being fined £50,000 and given a suspended stadium ban for his comments to the media regarding officials after his side's defeat to Southampton, he again finds himself in hot water.



"Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct in relation to his language and/or behaviour towards the match officials in or around the dressing room area at half-time," an FA statement read.

"Chelsea coach Silvino Louro has also been charged with misconduct in relation to his behaviour which led to his 45th minute dismissal from the technical area."

Both teams have also been charged with failing to control their players after referee Moss was surrounded in the aftermath of Nemanja Matic's sending-off late in the first half.

Mourinho’s Chelsea crisis: What the newspapers say

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager's future under question
Unsurprisingly, Jose Mourinho is back making headlines following Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham when the manager was sent to the stands.

The Times – ‘Chelsea’s greatest asset is looking like an erratic liability’

‘Back in August, when Jamie Carragher proposed that Jose Mourinho was “worth ten points a season” to Chelsea, few disagreed,’ writes Oliver Kay. ‘Mourinho, after all, had instilled the spirit and organisation that turned the previous Barclays Premier League title race into a Chelsea procession.
‘At his best, when focused on building a team and fostering a never-say-die attitude, Mourinho could indeed be said to be worth ten points a season. What about this season, though, now that the “Special One” finds himself embroiled in one fiasco after another, and his volatility – so often an apparent strength – has taken on another dimension and his aura unravels with every defeat?
‘Right now Mourinho, arguably Chelsea’s greatest asset last season, is in danger of looking like a liability. His team selections are erratic, his messages are conflicting and the atmosphere at the club’s training ground has soured to an alarming degree. Good managers do not turn into bad ones overnight – and brilliant managers certainly do not – but it does seem plausible in Mourinho’s case that the darkening of his mood, from one season to the next, can severely impact on his performance and on that of his team.

The Independent – ‘FA may hit Mourinho with further sanctions’

‘The irony is also that the excuse of decisions going against Chelsea is the one thing Mourinho has in his defence right now,’ writes Miguel Delaney. ‘It has become such a refrain, the only explanation he ever seems to be able to offer after bad results.
‘That in itself is worrying, because it is as if he has nothing else he can say, which makes it all the more conspicuous that he refused to speak to media after the game on Saturday.
‘The reality is that there remains a lot more wrong with the champions than just bad luck or bad refereeing. For one, as Slaven Bilic said immediately after the game, the decisions at West Ham were mere matters of interpretation rather than obvious mistakes.
‘One story has it that many players began to raise their eyebrows when Mourinho would “obsessively” go on about the treatment of Diego Costa by pundits and officials last season. It is not a leap to think moments like that are when the aura around someone they used to consider an authority starts to evaporate.’

Daily Telegraph – ‘Guardiola in running as Mourinho crisis deepens’

‘Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, will be encouraged to try for a second time to convince Pep Guardiola to accept the job as manager at Stamford Bridge if Jose Mourinho cannot quickly turn around the club’s alarming slump,’ writes Matt Law.
‘The hope at Chelsea remains that Mourinho will find a solution to his team’s problems but a fifth Premier League defeat of the season, against West Ham United, increased the threat that Abramovich will eventually feel he is left with no option but to make a change.
‘Other than the result on Saturday, the growing sense that Mourinho is struggling to remain in control was heightened by the fact that he was sent to the Upton Park stands for ranting at the referee Jonathan Moss at half-time.
‘It seems a number of the Chelsea players who comfortably won the Premier League title last term thought they would be able to coast through another season.
‘Costa’s commitment cannot be questioned, but he should have been fined for returning for pre-season overweight, while the fact Eden Hazard stepped off the place in Kiev last week and immediately ‘liked’ an Instagram post linking him to Real Madrid show where his priorities lie.’

The Guardian – ‘West Ham twist the knife in wounded Chelsea as Mourinho cries fould once more’

‘On the only other occasion when West Ham United scored first against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, way back in April 2006, they ended up losing 4-1 against 10 men,’ writes Jacob Steinberg.
‘When Mauro Zarate rammed in West Ham’s opening goal on Saturday the mind drifted back to that awesome show of force and character at Stamford Bridge nine years ago, an afternoon when Michael Essien ruled midfield on his own, Didier Drogba became a human wrecking ball up front and Chelsea demonstrated how adversity brought the best out of them.
‘They were like that during Mourinho’s first spell: tough, resilient, a team packed with strong characters whose competitive instincts so often overwhelmed their opponents, and beating West Ham that day effectively confirmed Chelsea’s second consecutive title. Yet the old togetherness is only visible in these days and the second Mourinho era is in danger of ending in bitter acrimony after Chelsea lurched deeper into crisis with a performance that reeked of indiscipline on and off the pitch at Upton Park.
‘Roman Abramovich is unlikely to be impressed by an increasingly toxic situation and the sense is growing that too many of Chelsea’s players are not behind Mourinho, who will be under immense pressure if Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool win at Stamford Bridge this Saturday.’

SPORTMASTA VEIW.

How much longer can this go on for? Mourinho’s meltdown seems to be getting increasingly graphic as the weeks pass by.
Chelsea’s players are putting in the type of performances which saw the likes of Andre Villas Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Luiz Felipe Scolari unceremoniously sacked by Abramovich without a passing thought.
The Russian has shown in the past that success does not necessarily guarantee job stability in the Chelsea dugout – having sacked Carlo Ancelotti the year after the Italian had guided the club to its first ever league and FA Cup double.
Quite possibly the only thing keeping Mourinho in a job is the fact he will be due a severance package worth an estimated £30million. However money is no object for Abramovich, and next Saturday’s visit of Liverpool could be a landmark fixture for all involved with the Blues.