Fonte backs Bertrand for England

first_img Press Association The on-loan Chelsea full-back blasted his first Saints goal as Ronald Koeman’s men saw off QPR 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday. Bertrand has two England caps and a Champions League winners’ medal, but his season-long switch to Southampton is his ninth loan stint away from Chelsea. Captain Fonte believes Southampton can now help 25-year-old Bertrand force his way back into Roy Hodgson’s England plans. “I’ve been telling him a lot he needs to get forward, that he needs to start scoring goals to get in the England squad,” said Fonte. “He has the ability for that. He’s a great player and he’s been great for us so far. “He came and he gelled very well. Also, we want to keep pushing him so he can be better and better. “He’s a player with a great pedigree. “I think he’s enjoying it here: we gave him a lot of confidence, a lot of self-belief. “He’s matured now, he’s a little bit older and everything’s getting together for him. “I just hope he can keep pushing on, and I hope he can get in the England squad.” Southampton manager Koeman won 78 caps for Holland as a defender packing a goal threat, and he can see a kindred attacking spirit in Bertrand. The former Ajax and Barcelona defender said Bertrand now needs regular football to reach his potential. “We spoke about the possibilities after (Luke) Shaw went to United because we needed a player in that position,” said Koeman. “If you are a Chelsea player that means you have good quality but he missed playing regular games. “I like him as a player because he’s an offensive left full-back. “He has shown his qualities from the first day, but I expected this kind of quality. “All he needed was to play every weekend, and now he’s doing that it makes him stronger and more confident.” Ryan Bertrand can develop the goal threat to break back into the England squad, according to Southampton team-mate Jose Fonte. last_img read more

Magpies stun Spurs

first_img It was an impressive header which proved the only difference at half-time as Spurs failed to create any further shots on target. Danny Rose was unable to keep an effort down after an impressive Erik Lamela prod put him through, before the left-back saw a hopeful appeals for a spot-kick rightfully waved away. Chadli wastefully blazed over a volley at the end of an uninspiring first half in which Newcastle looked poor. Cabella and Ameobi were brought on in a bid to change things, but Pardew could not in his wildest dreams imagined their impact. Five touches and around seven seconds was all it took for Newcastle to pull themselves level, with Eric Dier caught napping from a fine Colback pass which substitute Ameobi rifled home. Pochettino and many of the Spurs substitutes were not even back at their seats when the goal was breached – a shock to the system Spurs could have recovered almost immediately had Fabricio Coloccini not impressively denied Eriksen turning home a squared ball from Rose. That block saw Newcastle remarkably turn the match on its head. Despite having looked to receive a pass from Sissoko in an offside position, second-half introduction Cabella sent in a cross which full debutant Perez headed home. The visitors’ relief was clear by the wild celebrations which would have been repeated had Cabella ended a solo run by squeezing his effort inside the near post rather into the side-netting It was a let-off the home faithful thought they had capitalised on in the 66th minute when Eriksen caught out Tim Krul directly from a corner, but the Newcastle goalkeeper’s blushes were saved by linesman indicating the cross had gone out of play before curling back in. Harry Kane, fresh from coming on, could not beat Krul with his first attempt of the afternoon as Spurs upped the ante, with Aaron Lennon failing to hit the target. A low, driven cross from Kane somehow evaded his team-mates and Roberto Soldado had an effort blocked as a leveller proves beyond them. Press Association Alan Pardew’s half-time substitutions inspired Newcastle to a much-needed comeback victory at Tottenham, where Ayoze Perez capped his full debut with the goal which secured back-to-back victories. The result was a timely shot in the arm for under-fire Pardew, who built on their maiden win against Leicester with a first away victory for seven months. It had looked unlikely after Adebayor deservedly put Mauricio Pochettino’s side ahead in the Bill Nicholson anniversary match, marking 10 years since Tottenham’s great former player and manager passed away. But it was Newcastle, a club Nicholson represented as a guest during the Second World War, who secured victory, with substitute Ameobi making the most of lax defending to start the comeback just after half-time. Things got worse still when Cabella crossed for Perez to put Newcastle ahead and, try as they might, there was to be no leveller for Spurs as they lost a third league match of the season at White Hart Lane. It was a result which looked unlikely in a dominant, if uninspiring, first-half display by Spurs, who appealed for a spot-kick against Daryl Janmaat inside the opening two minutes. Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Ryan Mason all failed with long-range efforts, before Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett missed an audacious attempt of his own from 40 yards. Jack Colback wasted a fine opportunity when the normally-reliable Hugo Lloris unconvincingly punched away a Moussa Sissoko cross, before a rare moment of class led to an 18th-minute breakthrough. Last-ditch blocks kept Nacer Chadli and Eriksen at bay, but Mason showed impressive ingenuity to clip in a cross for Adebayor to direct home. Bouncing around the bottom three after a bruising start to the campaign, it had looked like the Magpies would struggle in north London. However, Emmanuel Adebayor’s header was wiped out by half-time introduction Sammy Ameobi seconds after the restart, before fellow substitute Remy Cabella set-up Perez to secure Newcastle an unlikely 2-1 win. last_img read more

Anichebe plans fitness drive

first_imgVictor Anichebe has revealed he will put himself through a personal boot camp to revive his season. The West Brom striker is ready for a fitness drive during the international break after his injury struggles. He had a hernia operation in September and made his first Barclays Premier League start since August in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle. Anichebe has scored once in eight appearances this term and is desperate to prove his worth at The Hawthorns. “For me it’s very difficult,” said the 26-year-old. “I had niggling injuries here and there and I have just come back from hernia surgery and I had some complications. That’s not an excuse or anything, it’s just normal. “I feel a lot better and hopefully, given the break we’ve got, I can go away, get myself right and come back and help the team.” Press Association The Baggies next go to Chelsea on November 22 and Anichebe is planning to return fighting fit. He said: “For me, over the international break, I need to go away, come back and be as fit as possible. I don’t feel as sharp and fit as I was at the start of the season but that will come. “I came back about a month or six weeks ago from hernia surgery, something which reoccurred after I did it a couple of years ago. “I need to go away, come back and take care of my own body and be fitter than I have been recently. “I have the medical team here, they have helped me a lot and I have guys in America I have worked with a lot. Between the two we have come up with a fitness regime which will help me to get to where I should be. “I will go away and I will do parts to try to get myself ready but I’ll also be with the team. We just need to come back after the international break and be ready for the difficult fixtures ahead of us.” The former Everton starlet has only netted four goals for Albion since his £6million move from the Toffees in September last year. He has also made just 16 starts for the Baggies in over 12-months after struggling with a series of minor injuries. last_img read more

Torres staying with Milan

first_img Press Association The deal does not rule out a return to Atletico in the upcoming transfer window. The Spanish champions have indicated they do not have the funds for a permanent deal themselves, but may yet sign him on another loan deal from Milan once he has left Chelsea. A return home could be what Torres needs to reignite a once sparkling career. The World Cup winner and double European champion scored 46 goals in 172 Chelsea appearances, but only 20 of those came in 110 league outings – a poor return when compared with the 65 Premier League goals he scored in 102 appearances for Liverpool. Torres moved to Stamford Bridge late on January transfer deadline day in 2011 for a then record British fee, but initial struggles soon appeared to be a crisis of confidence as he managed just one goal in 18 appearances before the end of the season. The following season he scored 11 goals, including a hat-trick against QPR and a vital breakaway goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, but still looked a shadow of himself. His best season in a Chelsea shirt came in the following campaign as he scored 22 goals across seven competitions, including the winner in the Europa League final against Benfica. He managed only 11 goals the following season, after which Jose Mourinho broke up his misfiring striking trio of Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, all of whom left the club. His move to Milan has not exactly seen his form ignite, with only one goal in 10 appearances, but that has not prevented a deal being done. Fernando Torres’ Chelsea career is officially over after the Premier League leaders announced he is to make his loan move to AC Milan permanent next month.center_img Torres, 30, won the Champions League, the Europa League and the FA Cup in three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge, but never lived up to expectations after a £50million transfer from Liverpool, failing to replicate his once-prolific scoring record in the capital. He moved to Milan on a two-year loan in August and, although he had been strongly linked with a return to his first club Atletico Madrid in recent days, on Saturday Chelsea announced a deal had been reached for him to join Milan permanently from January 5. last_img read more

Pellegrini bids to end Lampard saga

first_img Lampard has been the face of New York City’s marketing campaign ahead of their inaugural season and many fans demanded a refund on their season tickets after it was confirmed he would remain in Manchester until the summer. City boss Pellegrini said: “I think it’s an issue which is finished. Frank now is here. I know that there a lot of different opinions about Frank, about that. I respect all of them, but the decision is taken already and Frank will stay here until the end of the season.” Lampard released a statement via Steve Kutner Management on Friday morning seeking to clarify the situation, although clarity is one thing sorely lacking. “I want to make it completely clear about my situation as I have read a lot of lies and nonsense over the last few days,” the 36-year-old said. “When released from Chelsea last year at the end of my contract I signed a commitment to play for NYCFC for two years starting January 1, 2015. I was then offered the chance to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York. “This period has since been extended by Man City and I will now start playing for NYCFC at the end of this current Premier League season. “There has always been a constant dialogue between all parties in this time to find the best solution for everyone. I can say that I am very excited about arriving in New York and giving everything to the team to make us a success in the MLS as soon as possible.” Pellegrini, meanwhile, did not rule out trying to hold onto Lampard beyond the end of the season. The Chilean said: “I think Frank is doing very well with us and I am happy with him as part of the squad. Not only on the pitch but off the pitch, as a professional, as a leader, which is always good for young players, to see him working here. “But at the end of the season, he finishes his contract here. I cannot say what will happen in the future. If I say I cannot say, you will suppose that maybe he will stay here.” There has been confusion over the precise nature of Lampard’s contract status in relation to both clubs since it was announced on New Year’s Eve that he would remain with the Barclays Premier League champions until the end of the season. That announcement has delayed his debut with sister club New York until midway through their first MLS campaign, to the anger of many fans in the United States. On Thursday, the Premier League announced that, after reviewing Lampard’s status, it was satisfied his contract was solely owned by Manchester City with no agreement in place between the two clubs – which sparked fresh speculation he might never play in MLS. But Lampard issued a statement via his representatives which said he does have an agreement in place with New York and will move there in the summer. Quoted in the Guardian, City said: “The statement on the NYCFC website in July saying Lampard’s two-year contract took effect from Aug 1, 2014 was a mistake. [The] initial statement on City’s website that it was a loan was also an error. “There was a head of terms commitment from Lampard to join NYCFC from Jan 1, 2015. That was extended to the end of this season. Any contract with NYCFC will now take effect from July 1, 2015.” Manchester City and New York City, both part of the City Football Group, have been criticised on both sides of the Atlantic for their handling of the situation. With Yaya Toure heading to the African Nations Cup, City were understandably keen to keep Lampard after his return of seven goals, largely as a substitute, but in doing so they have angered the fan base of New York City before they have kicked a ball in competitive action. Manchester City on Friday admitted making mistakes in the way the former Chelsea midfielder’s move to the Etihad Stadium was reported. It was claimed in August that Lampard had joined City on loan until the start of January after penning a deal with Major League Soccer side New York City FC earlier in the summer. Manuel Pellegrini wants a line to be drawn under the Frank Lampard contract saga. Press Associationlast_img read more

O’Leary eyeing Gold pot with Riches

first_img He went on: “The horse (Road To Riches) has been on a break since the Lexus. The key to him looks to be keeping him fresh. Even though he’s been going all year, he has been kept fresh the whole time, and is starting to build up again now.” Don Cossack has been a star for Gordon Elliott this term and is bound for the Ryanair Chase but could switch to the Gold Cup should anything happen to Road To Riches. “The plan if all goes well is that Don Cossack would go for the Ryanair. But there’s an awful long way to go to Cheltenham yet. We’re taking nothing for granted and it could depend on nothing happening to the other fella,” said O’Leary. Don Poli is well fancied for both the RSA Chase and the four-miler and could run at Leopardstown next weekend, with Drinmore winner Valseur Lido also in the frame. “I would presume one of them will run in that and that will be a call for Willie (Mullins.) It’s too early to say who will run in what race at Cheltenham. Don Poli is favourite for the two races but we also have Wounded Warrior and Thunder And Roses as options for the four-mile,” said O’Leary. Mullins also faces some difficult choices with his novice hurdlers with Tell Us More, Outlander and McKinley all in the mix for Gigginstown. “Willie will decide too if Tell Us More runs in the Deloitte at Leopardstown or goes straight for the Festival. We also have Sub Lieutenant and Identity Thief in the Deloitte as well so we will see. But I would imagine the Neptune is the race for Tell Us More at the Festival if he gets there.” Elliott’s No More Heroes was the big Gigginstown hope for the Albert Bartlett but was well beaten on Sunday behind Outlander, although a reason for that has emerged. “He scoped rotten after the race so thankfully we have a reason for that performance,” added O’Leary. “He never travelled and never jumped a hurdle but now we know why so we hope the Bartlett is still on for him.” Road To Riches is building up in his preparation for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and will spearhead a powerful team for Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud. Having won the blue riband event with War Of Attrition in 2006, the team are keen to hit the target again having gone so close with Sir Des Champs a couple of years ago and Noel Meade’s charge has progressed through the ranks this season to be second favourite for the big race. Eddie O’Leary, Gigginstown’s racing manager, told the Irish Times: “The Gold Cup is everyone’s Holy Grail and it is definitely very significant for us.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Allardyce wants full stadiums

first_imgWest Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes filling your home ground is paramount to Premier League clubs – with the Hammers announcing their new season-ticket structure ahead of the move to the Olympic Stadium. Press Association And Allardyce believes performing in front of a sold-out crowd is something that should not go unappreciated as the other 19 Premier League clubs are now being pushed to follow West Ham’s lead. “The most important thing at a football club is to fill the stadium,” he said. “I think filling the stadium is the ultimate for the success of the team. Obviously it’s not from a revenue base like it used to be. “The revenue base for a football club used to be the sustainability of the football club in my years before the Premier League and before Sky made it a worldwide brand. “It’s about creating the atmosphere in a stadium that thrills not only the fans there enjoying the atmosphere, but the players who respond to that “To make sure everywhere you go in the Premier League maintains a high level of attendance and selling out your stadium has to be the ultimate goal for any Premier League football club, for me. “What we’ve announced has to be the best piece of business, for me, seen in the Premier League for a long, long time. “Hopefully everybody at West Ham football club, particularly the fan, will come and enjoy, as Karren says, a fantastic facility for less. That will only encourage future young West Ham supporters to be West Ham supporters.” center_img Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham, announced during the week that the club would be making significant cuts to their current pricing as the move is being offset against increased television revenue. The cheapest season ticket at Upton Park is £620 but there will be £289 seats on offer from the 2016/17 season – the club’s first in the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium. last_img read more

Monk keen on England manager role

first_img “He is a great guy,” said Monk, who was joined by Mourinho at the Barclays Premier League launch at Southfields Academy in west London earlier this week. “I haven’t had lots and lots of dealings with him but the times we have met and spoken he has been very humble, and very supportive towards me. “That is important and you have to look at him as the benchmark for this league and his career in terms of what he delivers year in, year out.” Press Association Monk has impressed in his role at the Liberty Stadium after he succeeded Michael Laudrup in February of last year. The 36-year-old guided Swansea to a record 56 points and an eighth-placed finish last season and was rewarded with a three-year deal at the start of the summer. Swansea boss Garry Monk has set his sights on managing England, describing it as the “ultimate job”. The ease in which he has moved into management after 10 years as a player for Swansea has seen him emerge as one of the country’s most promising coaches. But while Monk insisted taking charge of England is his ultimate goal, his focus, for the foreseeable future at least, remains on managing Swansea. “I have always been patriotic, a massive supporter of England and grew up watching all of it,” said Monk. “To manage or play for your country, whichever way round it is, has to be the ultimate job doesn’t it? “Representing your country would be an honour for anyone, and you see the players and managers who have done it over the years and the regard they are held in, so of course it is. “But right now it is about concentrating on club football and trying to do well.” Monk’s side travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday for their opening fixture of the Barclays Premier League season, and Monk can count Jose Mourinho among his growing list of admirers. Earlier this week, the Chelsea boss described Monk as a “very good manager” and hailed the “magnificent” job he has done at Swansea. last_img read more

Duo left out of Ireland squad

first_img “Guys are looking good, Marty (Moore) is back in full contact and he looks fine,” said Murphy. “Luke Fitzgerald is back in full contact and looks really good. “Most of the squad now are back on their feet and available for selection. “There’s no real update on Cian Healy, he’s progressing well. “He’s not doing full contact but he’s doing more or less the whole session yesterday and today. “He’s progressing reasonably well. “There will be quite a few changes (to the team to face Scotland). “The guys at the weekend did reasonably well. “It’s another opportunity to get more guys onto the pitch over these first two games, so I think you would expect quite a few changes and some guys who haven’t had game time will be coming back in.” Tommy O’Donnell’s dislocated hip has already ruled the Munster flanker out of the World Cup reckoning, and perhaps alleviated the need for another flanker to leave Ireland’s squad this week. “I haven’t actually been talking to Tommy myself, but it’s a massive blow,” said Murphy. “He had a great performance at the weekend and definitely was right up there fighting for a place in the squad. “For anyone at this stage, after putting in a really gruelling five weeks of training, it’s tough for him to miss out.” Murphy confirmed Ireland would not add a back-row replacement in the wake of the nasty injury O’Donnell suffered in Cardiff last weekend. “There’s probably no need in that position,” said Murphy, when asked if Ireland would boost resources. “Obviously it’s one of those positions that we have a lot of really talented players, so it does open up opportunities for other guys. “I don’t think we need to look at the squad at the moment.” Ulster hooker Rob Herring and Leinster centre Noel Reid have been omitted from Ireland’s World Cup training squad. Ireland must submit their final 31-man squad on August 31, and Schmidt could make further cuts to his training group later this week. Herring’s departure leaves hookers Rory Best, Sean Cronin and Richardt Strauss all-but nailed-on for the final World Cup squad, barring injury. Reid’s omission does little to clarify the midfield options, with some six potential centres remaining in Ireland’s World Cup training camp. “Two guys have gone back to their provinces this week and over the next while it’ll be an ongoing process,” said assistant coach Richie Murphy. “Rob Herring has gone back to Ulster and Noel Reid has gone back to Leinster. “We’re not here just to cut players and get rid of them though. “We’ll see how that is and when we feel we’re in a really good position guys will feed back to their clubs.” Tighthead prop Marty Moore and three-quarter Luke Fitzgerald are both fit for selection for Saturday’s warm-up Test against Scotland in Dublin. Leinster prop Moore and club-mate Fitzgerald have both now fully recovered from shoulder injuries, with both carrying strong claims to final World Cup selection if fit. Confirming Cian Healy is still battling his neck problem, Murphy said Ireland will look to mix up selection for Saturday’s Scotland visit, following on from last weekend’s 35-21 win in Wales. Press Associationlast_img read more

Manchester United in contract talks with David de Gea, according to reports

first_imgManchester United are in talks with goalkeeper David de Gea about a new contract, according to reports. The BBC and a number of national newspapers said on Thursday night that the Spain goalkeeper was talking about a new deal, just 10 days after a move to Real Madrid collapsed. De Gea looked set to join Madrid on deadline day in a long-mooted move, only for administration errors to scupper a deal. Press Associationcenter_img Pictures carried by the Daily Mail showed De Gea’s agent, Jorge Mendes, in Manchester on Thursday afternoon, giving rise to talk of negotiations. De Gea has not played for United this season as a result of the uncertainty surrounding him, but could be in line to return against Liverpool this weekend. United manager Louis van Gaal is set for his first club media commitments since deadline day on Friday. There was no comment from the club on Thursday night. last_img read more