Arsenal news: Unai Emery insists he remains in the dark over Ivan Gazidis’ future amid AC Milan links

13 Sep

Unai Emery has revealed Ivan Gazidis has made no indication he is to leave his role as Arsenal’s chief executive.

Gazidis has been linked with a move to AC Milan throughout the summer, having overseen Emery’s appointment as replacement to Arsene Wenger earlier this year.

AC Milan have been trying to tempt Gazidis to Italy

The 54-year-old has worked for the Gunners since 2009 and played a major role in introducing roles such as head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.

Those appointments wrestled some power away from Wenger, whose 22-year tenure came to a close at the end of last season.

Emery has since taken the reins and has won his last two Premier League games after defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea at the beginning of the campaign.

But the Spaniard admits he is in the dark as to whether Gazidis will soon depart his post, bound for Serie A giants Milan.

“First of all, every conversation with him is speaking about us and about our work here every day. I don’t know any other news from him,” Emery said ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

Gazidis oversaw the appointment of Emery as Arsenal’s manager earlier this year

“Every conversation with me is speaking about us. About our performance. About our ideas. Our process. Then, for his future we didn’t speak. I think it’s one question for him.”

Arsenal return to action at St James’s Park following the international break, with Emery’s squad carrying no fresh injury concerns.

Emery is hopeful the club can now reap the benefit of Mesut Ozil’s international retirement.

The 29-year-old retired from Germany duty under a cloud following their poor performance at the World Cup and politics within the camp.

He has been able to train with Arsenal throughout the recent international break and – ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle – Emery feels he has enjoyed a rest from playing.

“The players have the habits to play in the international break, in important matches, defending their identity and when one player is finishing that, I think it is also good for them to focus only on their team,” he said.

Ozil retired from the Germany national team after their disastrous World Cup

“The reason for Mesut is important for me also, this focus every day with us, a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut, like other players, works very well here and also working the ties and also together to improve things. Mesut, I look at him with the focus totally here.”

Hugo Lloris WILL remain Tottenham captain despite drink-driving charge, manager Mauricio Pochettino confirms

13 Sep

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Hugo Lloris will remain Tottenham captain despite being sentenced for a drink-driving charge earlier this week.

Lloris, the France goalkeeper, was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £50,000 on Wednesday after admitting to a charge of drink-driving at Westminster magistrates court.

Lloris admitted to a drink-driving charge earlier this week

He was pulled over during a routine police stop in Marylebone in August, and was found to have a blood alcohol level of more than double the UK limit.

There have been calls for Lloris to lose the armband due to his actions, but he remained captain for Spurs’ first match after he was charged – a 3-0 win at Manchester United.

And now Pochettino, the club’s manager, has confirmed Lloris will keep the armband having already been punished internally.

“He is the first to regret about everything and all that happened is not good, he doesn’t feel great,” Pochettino said. “He said he is sorry and he is a man and accepts his mistake.

“Everyone can make a mistake, he made a mistake and he is suffering. He is punishing himself. That is a massive lesson for everyone, he was the first to tell me he made a mistake.”

When asked if he would stay on as captain, he said: “Of course.”

Lloris kept the armband after being charged and will now remain captain indefinitely

The 31-year-old, who captained France to World Cup glory over the summer, missed Tottenham’s most recent game before the international break, and he’s set to be out for ‘several weeks’ further with a thigh injury.

Leeds United dealt further blows as Roofe, Hernandez and Berardi ruled out days after Patrick Bamford’s knee injury

13 Sep

Leeds have been dealt a string of further injury blows following the news Patrick Bamford will be out of action until the new year.

Earlier this week it was confirmed Bamford, the forward, will miss around four months of football due to knee ligament damage, and manager Marcelo Bielsa has now revealed further woes.

Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi are all to miss this weekend’s clash at Millwall, meaning Leeds are without their big-money signing (Bamford), their top scorer (Roofe) and their joint-second top scorer (Hernandez).

Roofe is Leeds’ leading scorer with four goals in six games

Berardi is also a big loss, having played every minute of Leeds‘ league season so far at the heart of their defence.

Speaking in his press conference, Bielsa said: “He [Roofe] received a kick that does not allow him to play.

“So we have four players missing, three of them are offensive players and I have to take this into account.

“But we have solutions to face these problems. I have to contend with that on Saturday. We’ve designed the group so that we can solve these kind of problems.”

Leeds are without three attacking players, including Hernandez (above)

Hernandez, who has three goals and two assists this season, is expected to be out of action for up to five weeks, while Berardi could be back before the end of the month.

Catalans Dragons release Fouad Yaha as winger switches codes and joins Agen

13 Sep

Catalans Dragons have released winger Fouad Yaha immediately to enable him to switch codes with Top 14 club Agen.

The 22-year-old, a member of the Dragons team that won the Challenge Cup at Wembley last month, has signed a two-year contract with the rugby union club.

Yaha has opted to change codes

Yaha, who came through the club’s academy, scored 32 tries in 62 Super League appearances for the Catalans and was in the France team that lost to England in their last group match of the 2017 World Cup.

“I would like to thank the Catalans Dragons for the four seasons I spent at the club,” he said.

“I have improved into a better player during my time at the club and I’m happy to make the Catalans Dragons history by winning the club’s first trophy.

“I would like to thank Steve McNamara, Bernard Guasch, the board members and all the club staff for giving me the opportunity to play and to improve in the best conditions.”

“I also want to thank my team-mates. It’s not easy to leave them as they are much more than friends.

“We took up together the challenge to win the club’s first trophy and I am looking forward to a new challenge now, playing in the Top 14.”

Yaha leaves Catalans Dragons with 62 Super League appearances to his name

Catalans coach Steve McNamara said: “Fouad has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The improvements he has made in both his game and lifestyle have been very good.

“He expressed an interest to me some months back to fulfil a goal of trying rugby union and, whilst it is with regret that Fouad will no longer be with the Dragons, we wish him well in his new adventure.”

Tottenham Hotspur news: Hugo Lloris to miss Liverpool clash and faces several weeks out with thigh injury

13 Sep

Hugo Lloris is set to miss several weeks with a thigh injury that rules him out of Tottenham’s Premier League clash against Liverpool.

Lloris, the France goalkeeper, suffered the problem in August’s win over Manchester United and missed Spurs’ following game, a 2-1 defeat at Watford.

Lloris’ injury is forcing him to sit on the sidelines

The 31-year-old, who was sentenced for a drink-driving charge earlier this week, will miss Saturday’s game against unbeaten Liverpool at Wembley.

Michel Vorm is expected to replace Lloris in goal during the Frenchman’s absence, having played the full 90 minutes at Vicarage Road prior to the international break.

Michel Vorm - 4 (Click on the right arrow, above, to see the rest of the Spurs team)
Vorm came into the starting line-up for the loss at Watford

Dele Alli will also miss Saturday’s clash through injury, having picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty. The midfielder left the England camp before their second match of the break, a 1-0 friendly defeat of Switzerland.

 

Liverpool SHOULD prioritise the Premier League over Europe, but Stuart Pearce says Gary Neville is only ’95 per cent right’ about Reds

13 Sep

Stuart Pearce believes Gary Neville’s opinion Liverpool should ‘kick the Champions League into touch’ is only ‘95 per cent right’.

Manchester United legend Neville told The Times on Thursday that the Reds have a real chance of winning the Premier League if they play the second half of the season without any European commitments.

Liverpool are joined in their Champions League group by PSG, Napoli and Crvena Zvezda

A failure to progress in the Champions League would give Jurgen Klopp’s side a wealth of rest time as they would no longer be playing midweek fixtures, and this could be a huge advantage over their title rivals who are likely to still be in Europe by that stage of the campaign.

Chelsea’s league success in 2016/17 came about because they never once had to play European fixtures, which meant they were by far the fittest and most injury-free of all the title contenders.

Discussing Neville’s belief on talkSPORT, former England defender Stuart Pearce explained his own view, saying that he only agrees ’95 per cent’ with the Old Trafford great.

“I make him 95 per cent right,” Pearce told Jim White on talkSPORT.

“Given the choice at the start of the season – if I were a Liverpool fan – which one would I like to get my hands on, it would probably be the Premier League.

“It’s been so long since Liverpool won the league – I was still playing!

“That would be the priority for me.

“I wouldn’t do it at the cost of the football club not getting out the group stages of the Champions League. I would like the team to qualify out the group, and then after Christmas when you are involved in the latter stages, have the option to rest one or two players.

Liverpool sit joint top of the Premier League with four wins from four

“If you are very close to the Premier League title and very close to progressing in the Champions League, I would probably strengthen my side in the league.

“If whoever it may be needs a rest and you’ve got a game in the Champions League on Wednesday night, then a real big Premier League game on the Saturday, rest the player [in] the Champions League.

“They’ve still got a really strong squad so it’s not as if you’re putting kids in, but the Premier League would certainly be the priority for me.”

talkSPORT host Adrian Durham doesn’t understand Tottenham star Eric Dier’s qualities – ‘What is he?’

13 Sep

talkSPORT host Adrian Durham has asked the question on everybody’s lips – just what does Eric Dier bring to the England team?

The Tottenham ace has won 34 caps for the Three Lions, the majority in central midfield, and he captained the team against Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Dier has been a regularly member of the England set-up over the last couple of years

But our Drivetime presenter is struggling to understand what England boss Gareth Southgate sees in the 24-year-old.

“I don’t think he is a bad player but I don’t know what he is,” he began.

“Can you define his game? As captain, this is a guy who should be leading the team, setting the tempo.

“From what I saw he had 16 touches; eight of them backwards, two of them were fouls, one was a tackle, three simple short passes forward that you would expect any player to make, and one decent ball to Kyle Walker, albeit it was only a couple of yards.

“It wasn’t defence splitting, it wasn’t particularly imaginative or an amazing pass.

“There is nothing special there, there is nothing dynamic, nothing creative. I don’t understand it.

“I don’t want to say he is a bad player but in that position, at home, I’m expecting loads more than that.”

Marcus Rashford: Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam says Manchester United forward should be ‘kicking the door down’ to play for Red Devils

13 Sep

Marcus Rashford has been urged to stay and fight for his place at Manchester United by Charlie Adam, the former Liverpool midfielder.

Rashford, the forward, has been the subject of a huge discussion that has taken place this week, having scored in both of England’s recent matches, a Nations League loss to Spain and a friendly defeat of Switzerland.

Rashford netted England’s only goals of the international break

Gareth Southgate selected Rashford to start both fixtures, and in playing the full match on both occasions, the 20-year-old has played more minutes (180) for England this season than he has for Man United (121).

Jamie Carragher launched the discussion by telling Sky Sports Rashford should leave Old Trafford for the sake of his career, before joining talkSPORT to further explain his comments; Carragher said Rashford does not deserve to play for United as he’s not as good as Romelu Lukaku, the club’s first-choice striker, but he asked how will Rashford improve unless afforded the chance to start for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Despite Carragher telling Rashford to leave, The Sun say, on Thursday, that Rashford has vowed to stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place.

And Adam believes the young forward has made the correct decision, as he should be doing all he can to start for the ‘biggest club in the world’.

Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Adam said: “If I’m him I’m kicking the door down as I want to play – I want to play for Man United. For me, it’s the biggest club in the world, and I think he’s got the potential to be one of the best.

“Everything he’s got – he’s got pace, power, he’ll learn as he’s still young.

“Everybody’s getting frustrated as he’s not playing much, but he is playing for England.

Marcus Rashford's Man United career

2015/16: 18 apps / 8 goals

2016/17: 53 apps / 11 goals

2017/18: 52 apps / 13 goals

2018/19: 3 apps/ 0 goals

“If you’re at Man United and not getting a game then you have to think about it, but he is playing parts of the season. They play a lot of games so he will get his opportunity.

“So I think he should stay there and fight for his place.”

Charlie Adam blasts Scott Brown after Hampden Park criticism – ‘the atmosphere is unbelievable’

13 Sep

Charlie Adam cannot understand Scott Brown’s criticism of Hampden Park after the Celtic midfielder called the ground ‘one of the worst stadiums’ he has ever played at.

The Scottish Football Association confirmed their decision to continue with Hampden as Scotland’s home of football beyond 2020, despite serious discussions over a potential move to Murrayfield.

The SFA announced the decision to buy Hampden earlier this week

The SFA will pay £5million to buy the ground off Queen’s Park, with the League Two side set to use Lesser Hampden as their primary stadium.

Brown, the Celtic captain, criticised the SFA’s decision to stay at the almost 52,000-seater Hampden, instead suggesting Scotland should have toured the country.

Quoted in the Daily Mail, Brown said: “Do I think staying at Hampden is the right move? No! Hampden is possibly one of the worst stadiums I have played in for atmosphere.

“For Scotland, I think we should be playing at Celtic Park, Ibrox, then the smaller games – when you only get 17,000 crowds – should be at Hibs and Hearts.

“The bigger games could be at Murrayfield as well. We have some great stadiums here but we choose to use the wrong stadium for a football match.”

Stoke midfielder Adam, who has played 26 times for Scotland, could not believe Brown’s view of Hampden, and the former Rangers star joined talkSPORT to blast the Celtic man’s criticism.

“It’s strange,” Adam said. “I don’t get where he sees it from.

“When you are playing against the smaller nations of course the atmosphere is going to be difficult, but [against bigger teams] there have been great days and great nights at Hampden. The atmosphere is unbelievable!

“So I don’t know where he’s coming from, it’s probably publicity a little bit.

“I’m surprised.

Adam and Brown have previously represented their country together

“But we are where we are now. We’re going to stay there for a long time and buying the stadium is great news.”

Adam did agree with Brown’s view that Scotland could take games around the country, but only the lesser matches that will not draw a big crowd.

He continued: “That’s our national stadium and we’ve had some great games there – we’ve got to stay there. Okay, maybe one or two of the smaller games we take round the country, but the big ones have got to stay at the national stadium.”

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock confirms he has spoken to Harry Arter about Roy Keane situation

13 Sep

Neil Warnock has told talkSPORT he has no problem with Harry Arter after speaking to the midfielder about allegations he was the subject of a foul-mouthed attack from Roy Keane.

A leaked WhatsApp message, spoken by Stephen Ward, detailed the verbal assault against Arter and Jonathan Walters, the forward, by Ireland assistant manager Keane.

Arter is ready to return to the international set-up after making himself unavailable following the row

The incident occurred during an international break when Arter and Walters did not train due to injury, with Keane going on to call Arter a ‘c***’ and a ‘p****’.


Read the full transcript of Roy Keane’s alleged attack on Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters


Martin O’Neill, the Ireland boss, has stood by his number two, revealing that Keane’s version of the story does not tally with the one told by Ward in the leaked message.

There have been calls for Keane to step down from his position or be sacked by the Irish FA, while O’Neill is hoping Arter and Keane can reconcile with the former open to returning to the Ireland set-up.

Arter, the midfielder, joined Cardiff on a season-long loan from Bournemouth during the summer, and Neil Warnock has confirmed to talkSPORT he has spoken to the 28-year-old about the incident.

“He’s a gem of a lad for a manager to have,” Warnock told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“He’s just so enthusiastic. Every day in training I have to calm him down.

“In fairness to Eddie [Howe] he did tell me his biggest problem is getting booked… and he’s had three bookings in three games!

Arter joined Cardiff on loan for the season in August

“And that’s because that is how he plays, and he trains the same.

“I have no problem with him at all. We had a chat about this situation, but no more than what a manager and a player would do in the same circumstances.”