Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be Arsenal captain NOT Granit Xhaka, says Invincibles legend Martin Keown

27 Sep

Arsenal Invincibles legend Martin Keown says Unai Emery has ‘got it wrong’ by making Granit Xhaka his club captain, telling talkSPORT Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been a better choice.

The Swiss midfielder has been given the Gunners armband permanently, following a vote from his team-mates.

Xhaka had been the club’s acting captain following the departures of Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey over the summer, and he will make his first outing as permanent skipper against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday.

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Granit Xhaka is now the permanent Arsenal captain – and fans are not happy[/caption]

However, the choice has not been popular with fans who have been highly critical of Xhaka’s performances in Arsenal’s midfield.

And Keown has echoed supporters’ views, saying Xhaka should not have been given the armband as he should not be a guaranteed starting in Arsenal’s first XI.

“This is a massive call and I think perhaps he [Emery] has got it wrong,” the legendary former centre-back told talkSPORT on Friday.

“This is really going to divide the fans. There are times when Xhaka goes missing in midfield, he’s given penalties away… he must be an incredible character off the pitch!

“It’s surprising, particularly how he was booed off the pitch less than a week ago.

“It’s a brave decision by the manager, he’s picked him every time he’s available so he clearly believes in the player, but I’m surprised, I must say.

“You need to be sure the captain is going to be in the team and he’s on borrowed time. There are others in that group, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, who are starting to progress, so if Xhaka is still going to be a permanent fixture than I’m surprised by that.

“I would have gone for Aubameyang, he would have been a pretty good fit. It might have given him a little more extra responsibility. He’s doing fantastically well at the moment and he’s secure in the team, he’s a regular.”

Keown has also taken aim at Emery’s management and team selection, saying the blame will fall on him if his Xhaka gamble doesn’t pay off.

Unai Emery has faced criticism for Arsenal’s lack of improvement since his appointment over a year ago
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“It’s a bold move from Emery and he better get it right,” he continued.

“I was just reading the statistics about the number of shots the opposition have had at Arsenal’s goal this season, the number of unforced errors – Arsenal are the top of all these lists, and it’s because Emery is not getting the balance right with his team.

“He’s been in the job a year now and things are going to have to improve away from home. It’s a massive test on Monday [against Man United].

“If you get results, everybody stands by the decisions, but this is a massive call and I think perhaps he’s got it wrong.”

Keown has already made it clear he is no fan of Xhaka.

Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this month, the three-time Premier League blasted the Swiss’ defensive ability – ‘He is SO BAD at tackling!’ – and said he ‘does more damage than good’ on the pitch.

Keown has told Xhaka to be more disciplined in Arsenal’s midfield and prove his leadership on the pitch
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And the Invincible has told Xhaka the improvements he and all Arsenal fans will want to see in his game now he has been made captain.

On being voted skipper by his team-mates, Keown said: “Within that dressing room, clearly, obviously, he’s a leader because that’s why they voted for him.

“The players want him, but it’s interesting the manager couldn’t see that for himself and he needed to throw it to the players.

“We have to respect that, but really it’s about the performance on the pitch and I want more from him in midfield.

“I don’t want silly, crazy tackles, I want him to sit in front of the defence, I want to be picking out those diagonal passes, I want to see him talking to players, cajoling players and in their ears. I want to see those leadership skills on the pitch, not just in the dressing room. I haven’t seen that so far.

“The vote on confidence, the actual armband, can do big things for you, so I hope it does that for his game.”

Listen back to a clip of Arsenal legend Martin Keown on talkSPORT above

West Ham EXCLUSIVE: Glen Johnson slams Hammers for ‘not being bothered’ about Carabao Cup after humiliating 4-0 defeat to Oxford United

26 Sep

Glen Johnson has slammed West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini and his players for ‘clearly not being bothered’ about the Carabao Cup after they were ‘battered and destroyed’ by Oxford United.

The Hammers were thumped 4-0 by the League One side on Wednesday night to be dumped out of cup in a humiliating night for the London club.

Pellegrini made nine changes to the team that enjoyed a 2-0 home victory over Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend, and it backfired badly as the Hammers were outplayed in every department by a club 51 places below them in the football pyramid.


RANT: West Ham fan in ANGRIEST talkSPORT call ever – ‘It’s an absolute disgrace’


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West Ham were well and truly beaten by League One Oxford United in the Carabao Cup third round[/caption]

And boyhood Hammer Johnson is baffled as to why West Ham did not take the competition more seriously, especially given it’s one of their few chances to win a first major trophy since 1980 and have little else to play for.

“They’ve been battered,” he told talkSPORT host Natalie Sawyer on Thursday.

“Yes, they made changes and obviously these competitions can kick up the odd strange result, but to be hammered 4-0… that’s not just exiting the competition, that’s getting battered and destroyed.

“If they lost on penalties or it was 1-0, you think yeah, that can happen in football, but they made nine changes and were clearly played off the park by a mid-table league one side.

“I genuinely don’t get it, it’s a chance of winning trophy and a chance of winning a trophy by February.

“Clubs use it to give young lads minutes and give players who aren’t regularly playing a game, but you can do that at the same time as taking the cup seriously. You can still field a strong side and give a few players a chance.

“But to make nine changes, I think that is blatantly saying, ‘we’re not bothered, we’re just going to keep everybody fit for the weekend’.

Manuel Pellegrini has been criticised for his team selection against Oxford, although his starting XI should have been good enough to beat the League One outfit
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“I’ve been fortunate enough to win this competition twice and it’s something no one can ever take away from you.

“Their squad haven’t won many medals between them, so surely they’d love to get a trophy somewhere.

“West Ham aren’t going to be in the top four, they’re not going to be fighting for the Premier League, so this is the perfect opportunity for the mid-table teams to really field a good outfit and give it a good run.

“The bigger teams of course have the Champions League, they’re fighting for titles and they might rest players, but ultimately they’ve got a squad they can rotate and still have a strong side.

“West Ham don’t have that.”

Manchester United players ‘scared’ and Old Trafford has ‘lost the fear factor’, says Rochdale defender Jimmy McNulty after Carabao Cup clash

26 Sep

It’s fair to say Manchester United aren’t in the best shape right now, but you know it’s bad when a League One player says the fear factor has gone from Old Trafford.

That’s exactly what Rochdale defender Jimmy McNulty told talkSPORT after their Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday night.

United players left the pitch breathing a sigh of relief as they needed a penalty shootout to see off a side currently sitting 17th in the third tier on English football.

Manchester United named eight internationals and World Cup winner Paul Pogba in their side to face Rochdale
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a much-changed, yet still undoubtedly strong, team featuring the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Jones and Fred.

And while they avoided a similar upset to when United were knocked out of the League Cup by Southend United in 2006 – doo doo doo dooFreddy Eastwood – they still failed to produce a performance to give supporters any shred of hope that good times are around the corner.

What positives there were came from United’s youngsters, with 17-year-old striker Mason Greenwood scoring his second goal of the season, 21-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe named captain for the evening, and £15million summer signing Daniel James netting the winning spot kick.

But there is a sense United are beyond the ‘transitional period’ many have labelled this season.

In fact, Solskjaer looks like he has a full blown rebuilding job on his hands.

McNulty says Rochdale were ‘proud’ to take the 20-time champions of England to penalties with a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, after a first professional goal from 16-year-old star Luke Matheson.

But he admitted the visitors were helped by the overwhelming sense of dread, uncertainty and nervousness that emanated from the Old Trafford stands.

“Truthfully, there is definitely not the fear factor [at Old Trafford] right now,” the Dale centre-back told Natalie Sawyer and Glen Johnson on talkSPORT.

“I’m so proud to say that I’ve played there. It’s an incredible arena. It really does feel like you’re in a giant’s den. We very rarely go into a stadium like that and we were very humbled by it.

Jimmy McNulty says playing at Old Trafford was one of the highlights of his career, but that Rochdale were not intimidated by the Theatre of Dreams
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“We seemed to gain more and more support from the fans as the night went on, and even some of the home supporters applauded our performance. It was a special night for us. It was a shame we didn’t go all the way and dump Manchester United out on penalties but it was very special nonetheless.

“When we saw the team line-ups we were truthfully very happy; Ole had gone almost as strong as possible, and we felt he needed to do that after the West Ham game.

“We didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves and say that we were going to beat Manchester United, but we felt that it was as good a time as any to go and face them.

“There was definitely a feeling that once they hadn’t blown us away in the first 20 minutes, you could hear and feel the doubt and the pressure kicking in.


CUP ROUND UP: West Ham thrashed by minnows, Liverpool win, Chelsea score seven


“You can sense changes in stadiums, and to be fair a lot of United fans stuck with them and I thought it might get a bit volatile, but certain sections did change.

“I almost felt that the United players became very scared to be that player who gave the ball away, and they started taking fewer risks.

“All that helped us all out. We needed as much help as possible, our task was enormous.

“I’m glad they put almost a full complement out against us; it was great for our lads to head off against the likes of Pogba, Lingard and Wan-Bissaka. It was a great night and we almost did it.

“We did ourselves proud.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Rochdale defender Jimmy McNulty

Manchester United wrong to offer Paul Pogba a new contract, says Simon Jordan on talkSPORT – ‘I would have sold him last year’

24 Sep

Simon Jordan believes Manchester United should sell Paul Pogba, not offer the ‘divisive’ midfielder a fresh new contract at Old Trafford.

Recent reports claim the club have opened negotiations with the World Cup winner over a new ‘long-term’ deal, despite his attempts to leave over the summer.

Pogba is reportedly in talks over a new ‘long term’ contract at Manchester United
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Pogba said he was ‘ready for a new challenge’ earlier this year and his agent Mino Raiola worked hard to get him a move away, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all interest, but to no avail.

He ended up staying at Old Trafford, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisting the French midfielder remains a key part of his squad and future plans at United.

That’s not what former Crystal Palace owner Jordan would have done, however.

On Tuesday, talkSPORT host Jim White asked if executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should entertain extending Pogba’s contract.

And, as only Simon Jordan could, he quoted Al Pacino as he gave his response: “I think the actual question should be is; if I was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, would I entertain him?

“I think Paul Pogba is divisive.

“I don’t doubt and never have doubted that there is a player with innate talent there, but there is also a player that is also more about himself, I believe, than he is about the wellbeing of the football club.

“And the fact is at the moment Manchester United seem to have an amputated spirit, and there is no prosthetic for an amputated spirit and players like Pogba…

“You see Gary Neville talking about Mino Raiola the other day about how the agent is creating a division and shouldn’t be involved in football…

Pogba is currently on the sidelines with an ankle injury. He has made four Premier League appearances this season, claiming two assists
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“I personally would have sold Pogba last year, moved him along and made changes that are very definite.

“The reason why I fear for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is I don’t think he’s a definite manager. I think he’s learning his trade on other people’s time and on their dime and I think Manchester United need better than that.

“And players like Paul Pogba removed out of the club sends out very strong message about what Manchester United are really about.”

Solskjaer has been warned his job could be under threat if United’s performances don’t improve after their poor start to the new Premier League campaign – two wins, two draws and two defeats from their opening six games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under the spotlight in the Old Trafford dugout
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The stats look even worst for the boss if you take a wider view. Manchester United have won just four league games out of 14 since he was given the job permanently in March, while they have scored just 15 goals.

And asked if he thinks Solskjaer will last the season in charge, Jordan added:

“I think he probably will, but I don’t think he’ll go much past the end of the season.”

Manchester United wrong to offer Paul Pogba a new contract, says Simon Jordan on talkSPORT – ‘I would have sold him last year’

24 Sep

Simon Jordan believes Manchester United should sell Paul Pogba, not offer the ‘divisive’ midfielder a fresh new contract at Old Trafford.

Recent reports claim the club have opened negotiations with the World Cup winner over a new ‘long-term’ deal, despite his attempts to leave over the summer.

Pogba is reportedly in talks over a new ‘long term’ contract at Manchester United
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Pogba said he was ‘ready for a new challenge’ earlier this year and his agent Mino Raiola worked hard to get him a move away, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all interest, but to no avail.

He ended up staying at Old Trafford, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisting the French midfielder remains a key part of his squad and future plans at United.

That’s not what former Crystal Palace owner Jordan would have done, however.

On Tuesday, talkSPORT host Jim White asked if executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should entertain extending Pogba’s contract.

And, as only Simon Jordan could, he quoted Al Pacino as he gave his response: “I think the actual question should be is; if I was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, would I entertain him?

“I think Paul Pogba is divisive.

“I don’t doubt and never have doubted that there is a player with innate talent there, but there is also a player that is also more about himself, I believe, than he is about the wellbeing of the football club.

“And the fact is at the moment Manchester United seem to have an amputated spirit, and there is no prosthetic for an amputated spirit and players like Pogba…

“You see Gary Neville talking about Mino Raiola the other day about how the agent is creating a division and shouldn’t be involved in football…

Pogba is currently on the sidelines with an ankle injury. He has made four Premier League appearances this season, claiming two assists
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“I personally would have sold Pogba last year, moved him along and made changes that are very definite.

“The reason why I fear for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is I don’t think he’s a definite manager. I think he’s learning his trade on other people’s time and on their dime and I think Manchester United need better than that.

“And players like Paul Pogba removed out of the club sends out very strong message about what Manchester United are really about.”

Solskjaer has been warned his job could be under threat if United’s performances don’t improve after their poor start to the new Premier League campaign – two wins, two draws and two defeats from their opening six games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under the spotlight in the Old Trafford dugout
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The stats look even worst for the boss if you take a wider view. Manchester United have won just four league games out of 14 since he was given the job permanently in March, while they have scored just 15 goals.

And asked if he thinks Solskjaer will last the season in charge, Jordan added:

“I think he probably will, but I don’t think he’ll go much past the end of the season.”

Danny Murphy blasts Jose Mourinho for ‘unfair’ criticism of Chelsea following 2-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool

23 Sep

Jose Mourinho was ‘unfair’ in his criticism of Chelsea and their fans following Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool, according to Danny Murphy.

The Reds continued their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, but it was their toughest test of the campaign so far with the Blues pushing hard for a point in the second half.

Chelsea fans were so impressed with their side’s performance that they clapped them off the pitch at full time, despite the result – which earned praise from Frank Lampard.

Frank Lampard was impressed with Chelsea’s performance even if the result wasn’t there to go with it
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On the supporters’ reaction, the boss told Chelsea TV: “Firstly the positives, the performance was really good. The second half was great. The crowd don’t applaud a team off unless they deserve it. Fans react to passion, energy and desire.”

Mourinho said Liverpool ‘got lucky’ to win the match, but he did not appear so pleased with the Chelsea fans’ reaction and sent them a warning during his appearance as a pundit for Sky Sports.

“I hope they don’t get used to it, that’s a very important thing,” he said. “When you start accepting defeats just because your team played well or the players gave their best and gave a performance for people to be proud of in terms of attitude and commitment – I think when you get used to it is when big clubs stop being big clubs.

“I hope they don’t get used to it. But I think it shows the people are ready for what the season is going to be for them, because clearly today, despite part of the performance and the result [being positive], the reality is in the numbers. Liverpool are ten points above Chelsea.”

Murphy, however, disagrees with the Portuguese coach and told talkSPORT: ‘What’s wrong with applauding that?’

Speaking to Jim White on Monday, the former Liverpool midfielder said: “I think [Mourinho] was unfair on Chelsea yesterday… in fact I disagree with him wholeheartedly.

“I think it’s really refreshing for a group of supporters to be appreciative of a super performance, irrelevant of the result.

“Small details change results in football; VAR ruling out their goal, [Mason] Mount’s chance late on, [Tammy] Abraham had a one-on-one. They had chances against the best defence in the Premier League.

N’Golo Kante scored in the second half to give Chelsea hope of a comeback. While it didn’t come, fans still praised their team for their performance
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“They went toe-to-toe with Liverpool; they played with belief, had a good mentality, a nice balance, a good mixture of youth and energy and they controlled the game for long periods.

“I think [Mourinho’s criticism] is unfair, especially when he knows the manager. Jose knows Frank better than anyone and you’re talking about a winner.

“Frank has always been a winner, that guy never gave up until the last minute. In the big games he turned up and he was as bad a loser you could play against, Frank.

“Jose knows his mentality, so it was a little bit of a dig for me.

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“There’s nothing wrong with a group of supporters appreciating a team in a transitional period playing the right way and giving their all, because they did give their all, it was a heroic effort in the second half to try and get back into the game.

“Young players giving their all, playing with quality, everybody at it and everybody playing together – what’s wrong with applauding that?

“You don’t want to see your team lose every week, of course you don’t, but if you perform with energy, with heart and with quality you’re going to win some games.

“And Chelsea fans understand the context of the club at the moment, they’ve had a transfer ban, they’ve had to get rid of a couple of their best players and they’ve had a couple of big injuries.

“There’s no way Frank hasn’t got a winning mentality and there’s no way his team played yesterday like people who aren’t winners, they played with a confidence and quality that winners have.”

Romelu Lukaku abuse: ‘It boils my blood’ – Clinton Morrison furious Cagliari have escaped punishment for racist chants

18 Sep

A furious Clinton Morrison has blasted ‘disgraceful’ Italian football chiefs after Cagliari were cleared of racist chanting towards Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku.

Cagliari supporters racially abused Lukaku as he stepped up to take a match-winning penalty in Inter’s 2-1 victory at the Sardegna Arena on September 1.

Romelu Lukaku is the latest high-profile footballer to suffer racial abuse in Italy
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But the Serie A club will face no punishment for their fans’ actions after a sports judge acting on behalf of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) ruled there was not enough evidence for any sanctions.

It’s the third time the Sardinian club has been investigated for racist abuse in the last two years, following cases involving now-Everton striker Moise Kean and his former Juventus team-mate Blaise Matuidi – no action was taken on any of those occasions either.

Cagliari have, however, been fined €5,000 for their fans throwing plastic bottles onto the pitch during Sunday’s clash at Parma.

And that enraged Morrison when he learned the news on Wednesday’s talkSPORT show with Jim White.

He fumed: “How can you get fined €5000 for throwing plastic bottles on the pitch, but get cleared of racial abusing Romelu Lukaku? I don’t get it.

“It’s embarrassing, the Italian authorities are totally embarrassing. It’s a disgrace.

“This boils my blood. I only saw this news a few minutes ago and I was not prepared for it.

“It’s the biggest disrespect I’ve seen in football at the moment. I’m really upset about it.”

Speaking on talkSPORT earlier this month, Morrison urged Lukaku to consider leaving Inter just four weeks after joining them from Manchester United over the abuse he faced.

He also advised black footballers against moving to Italy, with former Chelsea striker Demba Ba doing the same, after a group of Inter Milan fans defended Cagliari supporters and insisted their monkey chants towards Lukaku were not racist.

Romelu Lukaku joined Inter Milan this summer in a £74million move from Manchester United
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This incident, followed by another which saw Raheem Sterling racially abused by a Bulgaria fan over the international break, also sparked the latest debate over whether players should leave the field if they are subjected to racial chanting.

And Morrison says he would have no hesitation in refusing to play if he suffered such abuse.

Asked if he feels offended for Lukaku, he replied: “I feel offended myself, personally!

“And yes I do feel offended for Romelu Lukaku, and for every black player out there getting racially abused in Italy, I am. It’s a disgrace. More has to be done.

“I’d walk off the pitch if it happened to me. I’d tell the manager to take me off, I wouldn’t play in that country.

“Everyone is different, I can’t speak for Lukaku or any of the other black players, but I would not play if the fans racially abused me.

“They’re not doing anything about it, that’s the problem and that’s what’s hurting most black players at the moment, that’s why so many people are speaking out about it.”

Watch a clip of Clinton Morrison on talkSPORT above

Tyson Fury EXCLUSIVE: Trainer Ben Davison responds to John Fury’s criticism: ‘We saved Tyson’s career and potentially his life’

17 Sep

Tyson Fury’s trainer, Ben Davison, has defended his handling of the heavyweight boxer and insists the Brit is lucky to have the training team he does.

After Fury’s tense victory over Otto Wallin in Las Vegas on Saturday night, John had plenty to say about his son’s performance and blamed his support team, led by Davison, for the lethargic display.

Tyson Fury has been trained by Ben Davison since his comeback
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The Brit was badly cut above his right eye by Otto Wallin but rallied to win via a unanimous decision victory.

“Whatever’s gone wrong in that camp, which it has gone wrong, somebody’s to blame and he just to me looked like he didn’t have any strength from the off,” John said on the BT Sport broadcast afterwards.

“If I had my say, the lot would be gone. Looking at that there, if he keeps hold of that team, they’re gonna cost him his career, I’ll say it live on TV.

“The team being what’s around him now, Ben Davison, whatever he’s got there in charge of the business needs to have a look in the mirror and say, ‘Not good enough at a high level.’ It’s proved it tonight.”

However, Davison, who has guided Fury since he ended a three-and-a-half year hiatus from the ring in 2018, responded to the criticism by claiming Fury owes his career and potentially his life to his coaching and support team.

Speaking exclusively to Jim White on talkSPORT, he said: “I spoke to Tyson about this right away. He is Tyson’s father, you have to respect that. I fully understand that he is worried for his son. It was a nasty cut and he is not able to be there to make sure that everything is OK and that his son is OK.

“Emotions run high at these times, I fully understand that. But to say that this team could cost him his career, I have got to say that I disagree.

“Like Tyson has said previously, he wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for this team and he potentially wouldn’t have a life. He has said that was on the verge of suicide. It is a shame that these things can be easily forgotten but I fully understand that emotions run high and I care for the family like they are my own. It is one of these things.”

After the fight, Fury went straight to hospital and had 40 stitches put in to his cut eye by a surgeon in Vegas.

“Of course we are concerned. He had surgery on it that night,” Davison revealed.

“We all went to the hospital with him. It was a terrible cut but these things happen – this is boxing. It is not a movie script.

Fury was forced to go the distance with Wallin
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“Everybody seems to think it is a given that Tyson is going to win and it will happen like it is already set out but each fight is a real fight and at this level, there are no easy fights. Even when you make it look easy, it is not easy because there have been hard training camps, hard preparations. Tyson showed he has the heart and character.

“I’m not a surgeon, I’m not an expert on the area so I wouldn’t make too many comments on that area because to be honest I would be out of my depth in that situation.”

Fury was hit 127 times by Wallin, the highest number of punches landed on him in a 12-round fight in his entire career, showing just how badly the cut he suffered affected him.

“Everybody knew there was a terrible cut that took place in the third round that worsened throughout the fight before the cut happened,” Davison added.

“The fight was going pretty much how I anticipated. I made no bones about the fact that Otto would ask questions.

“The plan was to let Tyson find his rhythm, find his distance. We  knew that with Otto being a six foot fix southpaw, Tyson was going to have to try some things, find what works, find what doesn’t work. In the second round, I felt like Tyson just started landing some telling shots.

“That followed through into the third round and then Tyson got cut. It was about making the decision on when then right time was to close that gap up.

“I knew the vision was impaired so it was a bit safer to be inside but I also knew that too much inside work with the rubbing of the heads is going to worsen the cut. It was just about timing and I feel like we got the right decision.”

Kevin McCabe EXCLUSIVE: Outgoing Sheffield United owner ‘concerned about the future of Chris Wilder’ after losing legal battle with Prince Abdullah

17 Sep

Kevin McCabe has told talkSPORT he is ‘concerned’ about the future of Sheffield United and their manager Chris Wilder after losing his ownership battle with Saudi Prince Abdullah.

Outgoing owner McCabe has been ordered to sell his 50 per cent stake in the Blades to his fellow co-owner, after a long-standing legal battle following a falling out between the pair.

McCabe and Prince Abdullah have been locked in a battle over ownership of Sheffield United
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The 70-year-old, who has a long association with Sheffield United and has put over £100million into his boyhood club, said following Monday’s High Court ruling that he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ and ‘heartbroken’ by the outcome and is considering lodging an appeal.

However, it has also been claimed the lifelong fan has been told to ‘stay away’ from Bramall Lane if he fights the decision.

McCabe has revealed he has ‘many misgivings’ about Prince Abdullah – the grandson of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz – taking control of the Premier League side.

And he has told talkSPORT he fears for the future of manager and ‘true friend’ Wilder after being forced out of Sheffield United.

Asked about his future plans following the ruling, McCabe said in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT host Jim White: “I suppose it’s just looking at what’s to be done now to ensure my football club is properly run and managed in future years.

“I’ve many misgivings over the suitability of Prince Abdullah being in control of Sheffield United.

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“I’m the longest-ever serving director, chairman or owner of Sheffield United in a history which stretched back to the roots of Bramall Lane in 1855.

“So I care enough to ensure that whatever I do now is to benefit one organisation alone, and that’s Sheffield United.

“We’re a great community and family club that has evolved in a peculiar way over the last 25 years since the McCabe’s have been in charge.

Bramall Lane is the oldest major stadium in the world still to be hosting professional football matches
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“We have invested heavily in Sheffield United, we have revamped, recreated, updated and extended the stadium – the world’s oldest – and built an academy. It’s fact not fiction. We’ve devoted a lot of time and financial resources to achieve that because of one’s love for the club.

“And I want desperately to ensure that is maintained rather than ruined by people who may not understand the importance of this institution to the city of Sheffield.

“The future of the club, the future of Chris Wilder, the future of season ticket holders, I have hesitation and concern about all of those aspects of Sheffield United.

Chris Wilder is much loved by Sheffield United fans and his players – but could he leave under the club’s new ownership?
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“Sheffield United means an awful lot to me. I was born across the street and I have no interest in any other football club bar the Blades.

“I really want someone to take over who understands what Sheffield United means to the supporters and the city, and I question as to whether Prince Abdullah has the suitability to be leading as the owner of Sheffield United.”

Watch Kevin McCabe’s interview with talkSPORT, in full, above…

Liverpool vs Manchester City: Anyone claiming Premier League title race is already over ‘should be put back in the asylum’, says Danny Murphy

16 Sep

Danny Murphy believes anyone claiming the Premier League title race between Liverpool and Manchester City is already over should be ‘put back in the asylum’.

The Reds went five points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, as they continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.

Sadio Mane scored a fine brace in Liverpool’s win over Newcastle at Anfield
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Defending champions City, meanwhile, endured a nightmare weekend as they suffered a shock defeat to Norwich City that leaves them a little behind in second place.

Following the game, Pep Guardiola joked ‘congratulations to champions Liverpool’ and insisted any talk of his side being out of the title race is premature.

But that didn’t stop some from saying exactly that, with even Ian Holloway telling talkSPORT on Monday morning that he ‘just can’t see Liverpool slipping up’ this term given their remarkable run of form.

The win over Newcastle was Jurgen Klopp’s side’s 14thin a row – a run which stretches back way into last term.

But Murphy insists anyone suggesting the Reds have already won the title after just five games is insane and has a very short memory.

“You can put them back in the asylum, those people,” the former Liverpool midfielder told Jim White.

“In January last year Liverpool were six points clear, so let’s not get carried away.”

 

Murphy also insists you can’t count out champions City just because of the injury to top centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who has been ruled out for FOUR MONTHS with a serious knee injury.

Asked if City can win the title with the same back-four that conceded three goals against Norwich, he added: “Yes, I think City can still win the title.

“I’ve tipped Liverpool, but City can mix it up. I know they’ve got injuries, but they could put Fernandinho at centre-half, they could put Kyle Walker at centre-half.

Pep Guardiola’s Man City suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to Norwich at the weekend
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“They could change it tomorrow and go on a ten game winning run, they’ve got that much quality [in their squad].

“Yes, there were some silly mistakes from City against Norwich, but let’s not write them off – we’re not even out of September!”