Cutting the Booze is key to Carroll Improvement Says Capello

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Andy Carroll bagged his first international goal for England this week, but Fabio Capello has stated there is still room for improvement for the Liverpool star.

Following Englands draw against Ghana on Tuesday Capello said ‘He scored a good goal but he needs to improve.’

‘He's not the same Carroll I remember, he needs games. I hope he'll be back to his best for Switzerland in June.’

Before the game England boss revealed that he had spoken to Carroll about the need for him to reduce his alcohol intake and concentrate only on scoring goals instead of downing pints.

‘He's young. Really young’ said Capello. ‘His behaviour now is really, really important. Really important. He needs to be careful at every moment.’

‘When you play with the England national team, at every moment you are the focus of the fans, the newspapers, the photographers, the people that live around him.’

‘I spoke with him privately. I think not only Andy likes to drink beer. Not only Andy. He needs to improve, to drink less.’

The Liverpool striker developed a reputation for clubbing and hanging out with the lads during his Newcastle days, but since coming to Anfield the only night out he’s been seen on is attending a Boyzone concert with Kenny Dalglish.


Fabio Capello STILL Hasn't Spoken to Rio Ferdinand

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Fabio Capello revealed this afternoon that he still hasn't spoken to Rio Ferdinand after having reinstated John Terry as England captain.

The England boss stripped Terry of his England captaincy 13 months ago following allegations over his private life, but this week made a controversial U-turn on the decision.

There have been accusations that Capello has shown a lack of respect for Ferdinand by failing to contact him after axing him as captain.

Speaking in today's press conference Capello admitted he had made mistakes over the captaincy issue, but handed blame to Ferdinand for the absence of communication between the two.

'I tried to meet him when Manchester United played against Marseille but he told me no,' said Capello. 'It didn't happen, he didn't come. I was in the directors' box. You will have to ask him.'

'I can understand why he was disappointed but I needed to make a decision. I prefer to speak personally, not on the phone. I'll be happy when I meet him in the future.'

Capello has a history of blunders that have exposed his lack of communication with his England players, including selecting Paul Robinson and Wes Brown for a friendly against Hungary when they had both withdrawn from the game and retired from international football.

He also failed to speak with David Beckham before revealing in a television interview that he would not be picked again to play in another competitive international for England.


Torres Goal Drought Continues

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Chelsea's 2-0 win against Manchester City yesterday marked Fernando Torres's seventh appearance without a goal since his £50 million switch to the West London club.

Roman Abramovich shook his head with frustration when his star signing was subbed off with twenty minutes remaining and the game tied at 0-0, but was celebrating nine minutes later when David Luiz put the Blues ahead.

Luiz's arrival at Chelsea was overshadowed by Torres's record breaking transfer, but the Brazilian defender has made the bigger impact with two goals in five games and some excellent defensive displays.

None of Chelsea's strikers are in prolific form at the moment and goals from defenders and midfielders have been responsible for the recent run of wins which have seen Chelsea leapfrog Manchester City into third place.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has emphasised the need for patience with Torres and the rest of his misfiring strikers.

'He has to keep going,' said Ancelotti. 'I don’t ask him to score, I ask him to move well, to have good movement. We have to be patient, he has to be patient and then the moment will arrive.'

'Hopefully Anelka, Drogba and Kalou also will start to score. The most important thing is the team has good spirit and the strikers are trying hard.'


FA Attempt to Silence Sir Alex

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Alex Ferguson’s advisor Graham Bean has compared the FA to a communist state following the five match touchline ban and £30,000 fine the United boss has received.

The FA have come down hard on Fergie for his remarks about referee Martin Atkinson after his side’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea by handing him the longest ban in Premiership history.

Bean acts on behalf of Sir Alex in disciplinary matters and has stated 'The FA has become like a communist state in the way that you cannot speak out against authority. It is becoming clear that if you are in football you give up your right to freedom of expression.'

'What everyone has missed because they have focused on this big ban on Sir Alex, is that Martin Atkinson made one of the biggest blunders of the season in not dealing with David Luiz and he has got off with it, nothing has happened to him.'

'That cannot be right that the ref is protected in that way, and then the FA hammer Sir Alex. I have seen confidential reports where Atkinson is criticised by the assessors at the game in the way he dealt with David Luiz and that he didn't deal with the incident the way he should have done.'

Ferguson was reluctant to comment on the ban, but stated 'It is disappointing. It is the only industry where you can't tell the truth.'

He has accepted the ban which will begin with immediate effect which means he misses today’s Premier League home match against Bolton and allows him to be back in the dugout for United’s decisive league match with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on May 1.


Unveiled: Fulham's Michael Jackson Statue

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Mohamed Al Fayed announced this week that a life-size statue of Michael Jackson is to be erected outside Craven Cottage.

The Fulham owner originally intended the statue to be put outside his Harrods store, but following the sale of the landmark store it needed to be relocated.

The statue will be unveiled on 3 April to honour the friendship Al Fayed shared with the legendary performer.

‘I hope Fulham fans will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world among them, the finest fans in the world,’ said Fayed.

‘Michael Jackson was truly a legend. He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a very tragic death.’

The decision has hit a sour note with some Fulham fans and a petition was made on the club's website calling for the move to be abandoned within 24 hours of it being announced.

Fulham manager Mark Hughes acknowledged the move is controversial, but spoke out to defend his Chairman’s decision.

‘The fact that it's at the football club will maybe cause a debate,’ he said. ‘But, really, we shouldn't question our chairman's motives.’

‘In fairness to the chairman, he's fully supported this club for a long time now, put in something like £200m. And if he wants to make that gesture to somebody who he knew personally then who am I to pass comment on it?’


Balotelli Expected to be fit for FA Cup Clash

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Roberto Mancini is hopeful that Mario Balotelli can feature in Manchester City’s game against Reading today which could see them reach the FA cup semi finals for the first time in 30 years.

Balotelli was unable to complete the Blues’ 2-0 Europa League first leg defeat against Dynamo Kiev last Thursday after suffering an allergic reaction to the pitch.

The young striker was late out for the start of the second half and had to come off 12 minutes later due to a swelling to his face.

It has been reported that he is allergic to certain types of grass, though Kiev have insisted they have a 'normal pitch with standard grass'.

Balotelli has been assessed by the clubs doctors and returned to training on Friday, but it has not yet been confirmed if he will play in todays game.

Mancini has emphasised the importance of beating Reading today in a week which could make or break his sides chances of winning a trophy this season.

'It's a big week coming up in all three competitions,' he said. 'The Europa League is going to be hard for us but we still have a chance. The next few days will be important.'

'The FA Cup offers us a big chance. We know how long it's been since the last semi-final so this would be good for us, good for the club and the fans.'


Final Whistle Blown on Snoods

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Carlos Tevez & Co will be feeling the chill following the International Football Association Board's decision to ban players from wearing neck warmers with immediate effect.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said snoods were a “dangerous” safety risk and could 'hang somebody'.

After the International Football Association Board meeting, Blatter stressed 'there was not even a discussion about the matter.'

Snoods have been popular with Manchester City players Tevez, David Silva and Mario Balotelli, plus Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh, among others.

Manchester City boss and fellow neckwear enthusiast Roberto Mancini said 'I don’t know why this decision has been taken. It’s strange.'

In stark contrast Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already banned his players from wearing snoods stating that 'Real men don't wear things like that.'


Can Spurs Knockout Milan?

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Gennaro Gattuso has opted not to travel with AC Milan for the return leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Tottenham to avoid the no doubt unfriendly reception he would receive at White Hart Lane.

The 33-year-old midfielder was involved in an angry confrontation with Tottenham coach Joe Jordan at the end of the first leg at the San Siro that has resulted in him being given a four-match ban by UEFA.

Speaking on Italian radio he said ‘I would like to go to White Hart Lane for the second leg but I have been advised not to. I have been told there will be 47,000 people there just waiting to give me a slap, so I will stay in Milan.’

As well as Gattuso’s suspension Milan have suffered injuries to Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini which means the Italians will be without their three key midfielders for tomorrows tie, whereas Tottenham’s leading men are returning to fitness.

Both Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale took part in Tottenham's training session this morning and stand a good chance of featuring in the action.

Tottenham have the upper hand thanks to their 1-0 victory in the first leg and are bookies favourites to progress to the next round, but Spurs midfielder Luca Modric has warned they must be wary of Milan.

‘We have a big advantage, but this is far from over and we can’t underestimate Milan and think it’s finished,’ Modric said.

‘They are a great side and we need to stay focused and prepare like we did in Milan. We have showed how good we are and that we can handle the big teams, but beating them was something special.’

Speaking about Spurs' form in the Europe he added ‘One of the reasons why we are playing so good in the Champions League is because we are so excited to play here and we want to enjoy it while it’s going good. We have great belief and if we continue to play like that we can achieve a lot.’

Can Spurs knock out Milan?