Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool can land psychological blow with win at Arsenal

first_img Brendan Rodgers Liverpool can land a psychological blow on Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal with victory at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.The Reds travel to the capital for an early meeting with another side who have top-four aspirations this season aiming to continue their bright start after back-to-back 1-0 victories over Stoke and Bournemouth.Rodgers admits the result is unlikely to have too much impact on the final standings at this stage, yet appreciates an away win over Arsene Wenger’s men can greatly enhance the confidence among his group.“You’re playing one of the rivals that you’re hoping to be competing with at the top end of the table; these games are important,” Rodgers acknowledged.“They don’t give the full picture in terms of how it will finish up – you can draw or lose these games and still go on and achieve what you want to achieve. Of course it’s for the confidence and psychologically they are important.“No matter when these games come in the season they are always good for the psychological effect.“We’ve got a tough game away from home but we’ll arrive into the game with confidence. We know they’re an outstanding group of players and some quality individual players but there’s a real focus in this group for this season, a real toughness, mentally.“We know that we’ve got that ability to scrap and fight to get a result as well as play good football. If we can go there and perform like we think we can and keep to our game-plan we’re confident we can get a result.”In studying Arsenal’s recent home defeats, Rodgers has discovered his side may not necessarily need to match their opponents in the ball-retention stakes to prosper.Both sides have earned plaudits for being aesthetically pleasing under their current managers but Rodgers will be happy to cede possession to the hosts if it means they follow West Ham in taking three points at Arsenal this month.“If you assess Arsenal’s last 10 games they’ve lost at home, the teams that have won, it’s been about dangerous possession,” Rodgers noted.“The teams that have been there have only averaged about four shots on target, with 43% possession. It tells you that you can go there and you don’t need to dominate the ball, but you can dominate the space and that’s something that is important when you go away.“For us, tactically, we’ll arrive into the game in a good mind of how we can win it. Like Arsenal, we do like to dominate the ball, but there are certain games where tactically you look at the approach of what is going to get you the result. That’s something we’ve done and been working on this week.” 1last_img read more

‘He can become the best we’ve ever seen in this country!’ – Joey Barton on Ross Barkley

first_imgFormer England midfielder Joey Barton believes Everton youngster Ross Barkley could develop into ‘the best we’ve ever had in this country.’Barkley’s reputation has risen since a breakthrough 2013/2014 season and has started this campaign well with two goals in his first three games.The 21-year-old was criticised for an inconsistent season last term where his progress arguably plateaued, but Barton, a boyhood Everton fan, feels the midfielder has the potential to get to the very top.“I think he could go on to become the best we’ve ever had in this country,” Barton told Drivetime.“I think he’s a phenomenal player having played against him as well. I think he’s got everything – he just needs a little bit of time to settle.Barkley has assumed a multitude of positions already in his fledgling career, but Barton feels his best role may be as a number 10.When asked where he thinks Barkley can excel, the 32-year-old said: “Probably as a number 10. I think he’s that good he can play anywhere though.“He can use his left foot, right foot and he’s six foot two. If handled with care he could be the best player to ever come from these isles.” 1 Ross Barkley last_img read more

Rodgers should have attempted to appease Liverpool fans after dismal League Cup showing, claims former Red

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers should have faced the media following his side’s narrow escape from a Capital One Cup exit to Carlisle on Wednesday night, according to ex-Reds midfielder Ray Houghton.The League Two side held Liverpool until the Premier League team triumphed, rather belatedly, on penalties to reach the fourth round, with Reds’ assistant manager Gary McAllister taking care of the media commitments instead of Rodgers.Liverpool have endured a torrid start to the season, which has seen them go six games in all competitions without a win, and Houghton insists Rodgers should have ‘fronted up’ after the insipid League Cup display to appease the increasingly disgruntled fans.“Maybe he should have come out and fronted up and said ‘OK, It wasn’t what we expected but at least we got through and we’re trying to build,’” Houghton told Hawksbee and Jacobs.“If he came out and did that he might have got some leeway with the fans, but we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.“Obviously with him not coming out, the media will have a frenzy at his press conference ahead of the Aston Villa game on Saturday.”Rodgers is facing growing scrutiny by the week after a series of poor results and performances to match, and Houghton feels pressure from the Anfield faithful may force the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group into a cut-throat decision.He added: “I think there are question marks – it’s more from the fans.“I think once the fans turn on you you’re in real trouble because then it puts immense pressure on the owners.”last_img read more

Exclusive – Michel Platini’s FIFA presidency hopes are ‘completely damned’

first_imgUEFA president Michel Platini’s ambitions of assuming the same role at FIFA are ‘completely damned’ following his provisional suspension, according to Inside World Football journalist Andrew Warshaw.Platini, along with incumbent Sepp Blatter and former secretary general Jerome Valcke, has been handed a 90-day ban by football’s governing body, which could be extended for a further 45 days.The former France striker is under investigation for alleged unauthorized dealings with Blatter but still harbours hopes of running for president after the Swiss chief announced in June of his intention to stand down next year.But Warshaw believes the appeals process is far too complex for Platini’s presidential candidacy to be recognised and formally submitted before the October 26 deadline.“Platini cannot fulfil his dream of taking over at FIFA unless this suspension is somehow lifted before the October 26 deadline for nominations, which is highly unlikely,” Warshaw told Hawksbee and Jacobs.“Appeals take time at FIFA and unless there is some sort of legal procedure which we don’t know about, Platini’s hopes of taking over at FIFA are completely damned.”last_img read more

Chelsea and Manchester United told to shelve plans for Serbian sensation until the summer

first_img1 Marko Grujic Chelsea and Manchester United have been told to forget about signing teen sensation Marko Grujic until the summer.The 19-year-old has impressed for Red Star Belgrade this season and clubs across Europe have taken note.Both Chelsea and Manchester United have expressed an interest, while Napoli scouted the midfielder back in October.However, any clubs hoping to secure a January move for Grujic have now been told to wait until next summer by Red Star’s sporting director Blazo Raosavljevic.“Lots of clubs want the player, Napoli are also courting him,” Raosavljevic told Gazzetta dello Sport.“However, we have not received any offers at the moment. If one came in now for €6m (£4m) I would reaffirm that our goal is to avoid selling the player until August 31, 2016.”last_img read more

Chelsea star out of Everton clash but set for Arsenal return

first_imgChelsea manager Guus Hiddink says he expects Eden Hazard to be fit to play in next weekend’s London derby against Arsenal.The Belgian has been suffering with a groin injury sustained in the win over Crystal Palace at the start of the month.Hazard has been training this week but Hiddink will not risk him in tomorrow’s game at home to Everton.The reigning PFA Player of the Year, however, is in line to be ready to face the Gunners.“He is on the pitch working and I think in the upcoming week he will have full training sessions,” said Hiddink.“And then I will decide if he can join us for next’s weekend’s game against Arsenal.“We must be careful he doesn’t have a setback which is why he needs some tough training sessions next week from Tuesday to Thursday.” Eden Hazard 1last_img read more

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri hails Vardy’s moment of brilliance in Liverpool win

first_imgLeicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has praised ‘incredible’ striker Jamie Vardy.The England marksman netted a brace in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool and the win keeps the Foxes three points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.Vardy volleyed in from 30 yards and ran riot over Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, having regained top form following groin surgery.He finished well for his second, hours after it emerged the club are in talks to extend his stay at the King Power.The Italian told Sky Sports: “It’s incredible what Vardy did.“He watched the ball, watched the opponent and watched the keeper. It’s amazing, fantastic. This opened the match.” Leicester dominated for long spells and deserved their victory but Ranieri admitted they face a different test when they go to their top of the table clash against Manchester City at the Etihad at the weekend.“On Saturday we have to run, run and run a lot,” he said.“It’s important to see my players fight and try to win. We know sooner or later we’ll lose a match but it’s important how we lose.“If there is a great goal, well done, but we have to fight. If Manchester City fight more than us, well done to them.”last_img read more

Premier League top scorer signs new contract

first_imgLeicester City forward Jamie Vardy has signed a new contract with the Premier League leaders. The England striker’s new deal keeps him at the King Power until 2019 and it comes off the back of a red-hot 2015/16. Sheffield-born Vardy has netted 18 goals for the Foxes this season, as they have taken the Premier League by storm and they lead with just 13 games to go. The most recent victory in the club’s incredible rise – after avoiding relegation last season – came on Saturday afternoon as Claudio Ranieri’s men beat Man City 3-1 at the Etihad. Vardy has broken into the England squad, winning four caps, and is in line to be included in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad this summer. He also set a new Premier League record when he scored in 11 straight games earlier in the season.Vardy, 29, told Leicester’s official website:”I’m absolutely delighted to be fighting to achieve something special with this club, as part of this squad.“I’ve never known a spirit like it – from the owners, to the manager and his staff, the players and the fans. I want to be part of it for a long time. “Leicester City have shown nothing but total faith in me since the day I arrived here three and a half years ago and it’s impossible to measure how much that belief has helped me to improve. I’ll forever be grateful for the investment the Club has made in me and I’ll spend every day working to repay it.”This time last year the club were at the bottom of the league having lost to Crystal Palace and Vardy had just one goal to his name. He has flourished since Ranieri came in and the Italian boss commented: “Jamie is a fighter. He has had an unbelievable journey to get to this point in his career and continues to play every game as if it’s his last.“I love his spirit, which is a quality I want in my players above all else. “He has shown what a fantastic player he is and, more importantly, he is part of a fantastic group. I am very happy that he will stay with us for a long time.”Vardy joined Leicester in 2012 for £1million from Fleetwood Town and he had previously played non-league football.Since arriving in East Midlands, he has scored 44 goals in 132 appearances. Jamie Vardy 1last_img read more

Revealed! 10 most undeserving Champions League winners ever

first_imgCAN YOU BELIEVE THE PLAYERS ABOVE HAVE ‘WON’ THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE? BUT ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC HASN’T? TAKE A LOOK AT 11 OF THE BEST PLAYERS NEVER TO WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – CLICK HERENot everyone is blessed with footballing ability to win the Champions League – we can’t all be Lionel Messi.Only the best in the business can help their teams to glory in Europe’s elite competition and lift Ol’ Big Ears aloft, right?Wrong. It might not surprise you too much that there have been some less talented players (we’re looking at you, Igor Biscan) to win the trophy but, not only that, there are also men who are seemingly completely undeserving of a winner’s medal.Some players have extremely miniscule parts in their team’s triumph but somehow find themselves adorned with a winners medal.So who are the most undeserving Champions League winners ever? Click the right arrow above to find out a selection of contenders. 8. Jamal Blackman (Chelsea – 2012) – We can accept Ross Turnbull’s role as back up to Petr Cech as the Blues triumphed in Munich but Blackman’s medal for being a squad member seems a bit generous to us. 10 9. Oier Olazabal (Barcelona – 2011) – The goalkeeper made only one La Liga appearance for the Catalan giants in seven seasons with the club and not a single minute of Champions League action. But, thanks to Jose Manuel Pinto’s red card in their semi-final first leg, he made the bench for the return match and the final against Manchester United at Wembley. 10 4. Valdo (Real Madrid – 2002) – The Cape Verde international joined the club’s reserves at the start of the 2001/02 season and made three appearances for the senior side the same year. Two were off the bench in Champions League clashes Lokomotiv Moscow and Panathinaikos, which got him his medal. Squad mates Ruben and Carlos Sanchez run him close too. 10 1. Carlos Aranda (Real Madrid – 2000 and 2002) – Striker Aranda didn’t play a single La Liga match for Real’s first-team but a start against Molde in 1999 and an appearance off the bench against Lokomotiv Moscow in 2001 saw him land TWO winners medals. After winning the second he joined Numancia and spent the rest of his career moving from club to club in Spain. 10 10 10 10 5. Scott Carson (Liverpool – 2005) – Bought in January 2005 to rival Jerzy Dudek for the No.1 shirt at Anfield as injury problems blighted Chris Kirkland’s career, the £750,000 signing made nine appearances in total for the Reds but his role on the bench for six games and one start against Juventus – when he boobed to let Cannavaro score – saw him pick up a medal ,as the Reds went on to miraculously beat AC Milan in the final. 7. Marko Arnautovic (Inter Milan – 2010) – Now starring at Stoke, the Austrian once had an unsuccessful spell with Inter Milan where he made just three substitute appearances in Serie A. He didn’t make a single Champions League appearance but got a medal after appearing on the bench against CSKA Moscow and Barcelona. He even wore a pair of boots embroidered with ‘CL winner 2010’. 10 10. Rene Krhin (Inter Milan – 2010) – click the arrow above, right, to see who else can claim to be a Champions League winner – The Slovenian youngster made the bench for one group match with Rubin Kazan and wasn’t in the 18-man team for the final, which they won by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Bernabeu. He’s still got a medal to polish though, while he now struts his stuff at Granada in La Liga. 10 6. Valerio Fiori (AC Milan – 2003 and 2007) – Think Richard Wright is the ultimate third choice goalkeeper? Think again! Fiori joined Milan at the age of 30 and spent eight seasons barely even warming the bench. He made two appearances across his time with the club, but in 2003 he was on the bench on five occasions – enough to bag a Champions League winner’s medal – and, 90 minutes on the bench for a group stage match with Lille in 2006 earned him his second UCL gong, when his team-mates went on to win that season’s trophy. No wonder he had the time to get a law degree in 2007. 3. Jonathan Greening (Manchester United – 1999) – In the treble winning season, academy product Greening made seven appearances in total but not one was in the Champions League, despite sitting on the bench in the final – not that he will give a damn. 2. Vladimir But (Borussia Dortmund – 1997) – But became the second Russian ever to win the Champions League when Dortmund beat Juventus 3-1. It will always remain on his honours list but in the run to the triumph in Munich he only made the pitch for a total of four minutes in a substitute appearance against Steaua Bucharest. 10last_img read more

Bush loses top economic adviser

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsHubbard’s departure comes as Bush faces one of the biggest economic challenges of his presidency, a severe slump in housing and a credit crisis that have roiled financial markets and triggered fears of a recession. Hubbard said in a letter to Bush that he would leave by year’s end. “Were it not for my strong desire to spend more time with my kids, I would not have considered departing,” said Hubbard, the father of three. Hubbard wrote that the Bush White House was a place of “forthrightness” and “mutual respect” in Washington, which is “often portrayed as an arena of deception and self-promotion.” Hubbard has helped direct White House policy on entitlements, energy security, climate change, housing and trade investment. He has been deeply involved in the debate over a children’s health insurance program and Bush’s proposal to treat health insurance costs as taxable income for the first time. “Al contributed his own ideas and also worked to ensure that all views were brought to the table and given fair analysis and debate,” Bush said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President Bush on Wednesday promoted his No. 2 economic adviser to the top job after yet another White House aide announced he was quitting before the administration’s final year in power. Departing is Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, which advises the president on U.S. and global economic matters and helps coordinate policy. His successor is his deputy, Keith Hennessey. Hennessey came to the White House in 2002 and has been deputy to two previous directors of the council. He also was a top budget aide to Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and worked for the Senate Budget Committee. “Keith has been an important member of my White House team for more than five years,” Bush said in a statement. last_img read more