Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Return of Fernando Torres


Fernando Torres finally broke his Chelsea duck when he scored in his side's 3-0 win over West Ham last weekend, which has sparked belief in his team mates that he could soon be returning to prolific goalscoring form.

Chelsea fans had to wait through 14 games before they got to see their £50 million star find the back of the net and Florent Malouda believes that there will be more goals to come from the Spaniard in the remaining games of the season.

'The first goal is always important and you could see everyone was very happy,' he said.

'We did a big pile up on him and there was a lot of happiness. It's very good for his confidence. We're going to have more goals from Torres before the end of the season.'

Frank Lampard was full of praise for Torres following his goal stating that ‘You can't change quality and you can't change a world-class player. We've seen it in him and nothing changes. We all go through little patches like this.’

‘Fair play to him, he's not opened his mouth and said anything when he's been on the bench. He's come on and given everything. It was always going to be a matter of time before he scored. It was a well taken goal and I think now you're going to see him fly, whether that's in the remaining games of this season or next.'

'It's been difficult for him. As a striker he will be judged on his goals. He's got off the mark and I'm sure he'll look back at it fondly in a couple of years time because he is going to be very prolific for us.'

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

When Will Torres's Goal Drought Finally End?

Fernando Torres has been at the center of the media spotlight for his lack of goals since his £50 million move to Chelsea, but Carlo Ancelotti has stated his belief that he will score soon.

The Chelsea boss said he is still confident in the forward's ability and compared his poor goalscoring form to that endured by Wayne Rooney until recently.

'Rooney lived the same situation. He was not playing well and not scoring, but everyone at the club maintained good confidence with him. Everyone believed that he could move on and he moved very well', the Italian stated in reference to the Manchester United hitman's recent return form.

Ancelotti insists that Torres will break his goalscoring duck before the end of the season, but has refused to guarantee the Spaniard would return to the starting line-up for tonight’s match against Birmingham.

He will score,” said Ancelotti. “He can score if he plays. It’s very difficult to change the team that played so well against West Brom, not just for the result, not just for the performance. They did very well against West Bromwich.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Another Trophyless Season Looms for Arsene

 
Arsenal's trophy drought looks set to continue into a seventh year after their Premiership title hopes were dealt another blow at the weekend against Liverpool.

The Gunners were denied victory after conceding a penalty in the twelfth minute of injury time, which left Arsene Wenger fuming and Arsenal's title prospects hanging by a thread.

There are six games left for Arsenal to try and close the six points gap between them and league leaders Manchester United, starting with tomorrow's game against Tottenham.

Arsenal need to win at White Heart Lane to stand any chance of beating United to the title and midfielder Jack Wilshere believes his team are still in with a chance.

'Arsenal versus Tottenham is massive for the fans,' said Wilshere. 'It’s the one they want to win all year. So we have to put the Liverpool game behind us. We have to go to Tottenham and not just do it for the fans but do it for ourselves and keep our title hopes alive.'

'Maybe the fans are starting not to believe but they are great every week, they are behind us. 'We have to repay that. We are confident Man United will drop points.'

'They lost at the weekend and they have a big game in the Champions League coming up. Maybe that can put them off. They still have to come to the Emirates. If we beat them then maybe we can put them on a bad run.'

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Blackpool’s Rollercoaster Season Takes a Plunge

Things were looking rosy for Ian Holloway and his Blackpool side as they entered 2011 positioned comfortably in the top half of the Premier League, after a start to the season that exceeded all expectations.

Since the turn of the year though there has been a sharp downturn in the Seasiders results, which after only managing to pick up eight points from fifteen matches has seen them come within a point of the relegation drop zone.

Blackpool's attacking style of play has earned plenty lot of praise as well as some memorable victories over the course of the season and now the pressure is on as they enter the final stages to yield positive results from their positive style of play.

With the relegation battle being so closely contested this season another few wins could be all that is needed to save the Seasiders from the drop and Saturday's visit of bottom club Wigan kicks off a run of three straight home games which could make or break their season.

Holloway has admitted his team's confidence has taken a blow thanks to their recent slump in form, but remains convinced they can get the points needed to beat the drop and keep the Tangerine dream alive.

'Obviously if our current form is anything to go by, it is not looking good,' said Holloway. 'But if you look at the last time we played every team we have got left to play, we got 13 points out of 21 in the first part of the season. Surely we have to take some faith from that, and try to reproduce that at the business end of the season.'

Friday, 8 April 2011

Going’s Good for Fergie as Squeaky Bum Time Draws Near


As the end of the season nears things are coming together nicely for Sir Alex Ferguson as he seeks success on numerous fronts.

His team took a big step towards reaching the Champions League semi-final with their 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this week, whilst they sit seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The FA Cup is also well within United's grasp if they can win their semi-final match against Manchester City later this month.

Many have been critical of Ferguson's team this season, but as we enter the final furlong his side is still on course in all three major competitions with many of his key players returning to full fitness and form.

Rio Ferdinand returned from injury to re-established his defensive partnership with Nemanja Vidic on Wednesday and after a slow start to the season Wayne Rooney looks to have finally found his scoring boots.

Fergie’s team is hitting good form at the right time and no doubt he will be hoping the same goes for his racehorse 'What a Friend' which runs in the Grand National this weekend.

At 12/1 'What a Friend' is amongst the favourites for the race on Saturday afternoon, though Ferguson's attention will be elsewhere as Manchester United play Fulham at Old Trafford.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

FA Punish Rooney for Celebration Outburst

Wayne Rooney is used to teaching youngsters new tricks on his TV show Wayne Rooney's Street Striker, but his recent obscenity filled outburst is one lesson the youth of today could do without according to the FA.

The United star is facing a two-match ban after being charged by the Football Association for 'the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language' in Saturday's game against West Ham.

Rooney was seen angrily swearing into a pitch side camera following the completion of his hattrick which has sparked a heated debate about swearing in football.

The England international released a statement shortly after the game on Saturday saying 'I want to apologise for any offence that may have been caused by my goal celebration, especially any parents or children that were watching.'

'Emotions were running high, and on reflection my heat-of-the-moment reaction was inappropriate. It was not aimed at anyone in particular.'

Rooney has until Tuesday evening to launch an appeal against the charge, which if accepted means he will miss United's league match with Fulham and the FA Cup semi-final showdown against Man City.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mancini Confident Balotelli can Improve on and off the Pitch

Roberto Mancini has praised Mario Balotelli following his team’s crushing 5-0 victory over Sunderland. The wayward striker failed to get on the scoresheet, but his performance impressed the City boss who hopes it is a sign of things to come.

'Mario was perfect today,' Mancini told reporters. 'It wasn’t important he didn’t score today. He worked for the team, he ran all day, he was perfect. He must continue this.'

There have been strains on the relationship between the two as a result of the erratic behaviour of the Italian striker who has made headlines for all the wrong reasons since his arrival at Eastlands.

Recent controversies have included a fine for lobbing darts at a youth team player, an incident in which Balotelli's sports car was smashed in and a red card in the Europa League last 16-clash with Dinamo Kiev.

Mancini has admitted that Balotelli's behaviour has been unacceptable since his £20 million move from Inter last summer, but stated his belief that he can improve both on and off the field.

'I don't regret bringing Mario here,' Mancini said. 'Mario is a fantastic player. He is a 20-year-old, so it is usual his behaviour is not good enough. I understand this situation very well. Playing here could be a fantastic experience for him. He can be one of the best players in the world.'

'I think he wants to show that he can change his behaviour. In the future he will be good.'