Saturday, 26 November 2011

AVB: Leaving Torres Out is the Correct Decision for the Team

Fernando Torres failed to make it into Chelsea’s starting line up in their game against Wolves yesterday despite claims from Andre Villas-Boas that the Spaniard is getting back to his best form.

Torres had to watch the majority of the game from the bench as his team returned to winning ways, before being brought on for Didier Drogba in the 77th minute with the game already wrapped up thanks to three goals in the first half.

Speaking in regards to the 27-year-olds performances for the Blues, Villas-Boas recently stated: 'I think Fernando has, of course, picked up from last season not only with his form, physically, but also his availability and movement for the team.'

'He is back to his old sharpness and goal-scoring form. We're pretty happy with the way he's performed. We just have to make a decision on our front-line, but Fernando will always be in contention.'

The Chelsea crowd were calling for the introduction of Torres long before he was sent on, but Villas-Boas justified his choice after the game stating that not selecting the Spaniard was the correct decision and that he was brought on at the right time.

'I wanted to make the correct substitutions for the benefit of the team," said Villas-Boas. 'I think Didier was tired after three games in six days, I understand the crowd wanted Fernando to be on, I have no problem with it, but our decision is not based on what the crowd wants.'

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Sword of Abramo-cles Hangs Over AVB [picture]

Chelsea manager Andres Villas-Boas has insisted he still has the support of trigger happy chairman Roman Abramovich following a 2-1 home defeat against Liverpool and dismissed claims that fractures are beginning to emerge in their relationship due to a run of poor results.

The Blues have had their worst start to a Premier League campaign in the Abromovich era under Villas-Boas’ stewardship and Sunday’s loss means they now sit 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City after only 12 games.

Abramovich has shown on numerous occasions that he has no fear of making ruthless decisions if managers do not live up to his high expectations, but Villas-Boas has stated he will feature in the Russian's long-term plans despite a third defeat in four league games.

'He didn't pay 15m euros (£13.2m) to get me out of Porto and another fortune to get me out of Chelsea,' said Villas-Boas. 'It is not a question of the owner having patience. I have said we have set out to build something new at this club and the club is committed to what we are building for the future.'

The ever present threat of Abramovich’s axe has hung heavy like the sword of Damocles over the head of every manager bold enough to take hold of the reins at Chelsea and Villas-Boas has accepted the need to win trophies in order to keep his chairman happy.

'There is no running away from our responsibilities,' said Villas-Boas. 'There is no calling this a year of transition, no calling for time to do our work. Our responsibility is to win the most amount of trophies we can and at the moment we are in four competitions.'

'It is not the brightest of starts in the Premier League for Chelsea in the last 10 years, but the belief is there from the team and that is what we have to focus on.'

Saturday, 12 November 2011

There's No Place Like Home For Tevez [picture]

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez is yet to contact his club after taking an unauthorised trip back to his homeland of Argentina and failing to return for a training session on Wednesday that he was expected to attend.

A statement from the City read: 'We have asked Carlos to get in touch today but have not yet heard from him.' They have given the 27-year-old until Monday to report back to the club for a disciplinary meeting or risk being sacked.

Tevez handed in a transfer request last season stating he wanted be closer to his wife and children who have remained in Argentina and since then has been involved in a number of incidents which have made his relationship with the club untenable and his departure inevitable.

Chief executive of the PFA Gordon Taylor intervened to reduce the fine Tevez received for his refusing to warm up against Bayern Munich, but following this latest transgression he now believes there is little chance of a reconciliation between the Argentian and City.

'To say the least, I am very disappointed and extremely concerned now. To go out to Argentina when  he was clearly told not to because they needed to work on his fitness, and to blatantly ignore that instruction starts to affect any chance of any reconciliation now,' Taylor told The Guardian.

'The whole relationship between clubs and players is one where there has to be clear understanding of what is to be expected and what is not expected. From that point of view, he is making it virtually impossible to have a reconciliation and leaving himself very vulnerable to strong action by the club.'

'If he is determined to leave the club, which may well be apparent, then his money value is being diminished by his actions and can affect another club’s interest. As such, he could be held responsible for that, so it is getting to be a situation that I am not at all happy about. Neither are the club of course, and it is one that we will have to deal with.'

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Newcastle's St James' Park Renamed: Toons History vs Profits


After an unbelievable start to the season Newcastle currently sit 3rd in the table and are unbeaten in 11 premiership games. So with Toon fans finally starting to quieten their anti Mike Ashley protests, something controversial just had to happen. The Magpie’s board have decided to rename historic Newcastle’s St James Park to the Sports Direct Arena with the hope of bringing in extra sponsorship money in the future.

Newcastle’s Twitter friendly players have been giving their opinion on today’s news, with Sammy Ameobi suggesting that his 'very 1st game at St James' Park...was also my last!' and Danny Simpson stating that the players will 'keep doing what we’re doing on the pitch.'

Sky Sports News’s Jeff Stelling has described the decision as 'hideous' and has stated 'Although the caption on Soccer Saturday will refer to whatever the stadium's official name now is, I for one will do my utmost to call St James' Park just that.' Many people have questioned what potential sponsors will get back for their money, with newspaper journalists, television pundits and fans unlikely to refer to the ground as anything but St James.

Newcastle’s City Council have also criticised the clubs decision stating 'some things are beyond profit' and also refused to change any signs in Newcastle bearing the name St James’ Park.

Some of Newcastle celebrity fans have been sharing their opinions on Twitter, with Steve Harmison likening changing the name to 'changing the team's colours from black and white, to red and white and making us look like Sunderland.' The Newcastle news reached Ant and Dec in Australia this morning; the Geordie duo claimed it was a 'Sad day. However, you, me, us - every fan who values the heritage of their club will always know it as St.James' Park.'

For all you Newcastle fans, Flaming Hairdryer still will be referring to the Toons stadium as St James’ Park in future. :)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Arseman and Robin [picture]: 'RVP in World's Top 5 Best Players'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed striker Robin Van Persie as ‘world class’ after the Dutchman put in yet another inspirational performance to lead his side to their fourth consecutive Premier League victory.

Van Persie was at his scintillating best on Saturday with a goal and two assists in the Gunners 3-0 win over West Brom, which means he is now the Premierships top scorer with eleven goals from eleven games.

Following the game Wenger stated his belief that his prolific striker ranks within the world’s top five players suggested that he could be a future contender for the Ballon d’Or if he is able to keep up his current form.

'The only thing you know is 'world class'. When I was a kid, in Germany they had three rankings: national class, international class and world class,' he said.

'At world class there were always only four or five players in that category, but I would put Van Persie into that calibre.'

'There is some quality there. And of course, certainly Messi will win the best player in the world award, deservedly so, because he won everything.'

'But let’s let van Persie enjoy the full season and we can make an assessment about him. Let’s not put too much pressure on him yet.'

Friday, 4 November 2011

Arsene City: Resurgent Form Brings Gunners Back From the Dead

Arsene Wenger believes his side can continue their climb up the Premiership table if they are able to maintain the excellent run of results which has seen them rise from the bottom of the table to seventh place.

Arsenals prospects looked grim after receiving an 8-2 hammering at Old Trafford in August, but since then they have gone on to win five of their seven league games and the Arsenal boss believes they can still challenge for the title if they maintain their momentum.

'If we are capable of maintaining our run we will come back up quickly,' the 62-year-old told Arsenal's official website. 'I think we have made a big improvement in recent weeks by bridging the gap and I am personally convinced that the teams ahead of us will drop points.'

Arsenal look to build upon their resurgent form against West Brom at the Emmirates tomorrow and Wenger has emphasised the importance of the match as well as warning his players against the dangers of complacency.

Speaking to reporters Wenger said: 'I believe that we are in a position where the last thing that should creep in is complacency. We have come so far from difficult times. I believe we have an intelligent group and so we need to realise that there is a lot more for us to achieve to come back into a stronger position.'

'For us it is of course a vital game tomorrow because we are coming back into a better position in the league,'' he said. We feel at home we are managing to win games and we want to continue to do that.'

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Hart: Silva is Half Wizard Half Weasel

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart joked that his team-mate David Silva is a combination of 'wizard and weasel' in response to a question asked by a fan on twitter during an interview for the Manchester City officail website earlier this week.

Silva has been outstanding so far this season for City and his performances have been instrumental in their rise to the top of the Premier League.

So when the England international was asked whether the Spanish midfielder was in fact human, he responded: 'David Silva is a mixture between a wizard and a little weasel. More weasel than wizard.'

Hart was also asked why he wears the No.25 for City, given his prominence at the club and the availability of the No.1 jersey.

'It's nothing to do with superstition,' he said. 'I just like the number 25, and that's what I am now, so I'm going to stick with it.'

Hart also revealed who which goalkeepers he most admired when he was growing up, as well as who he believes are the top three goalkeepers in the world currently.

'I looked up to Peter Schmeichel and David Seaman. I would say that, right now, Petr Cech, Pepe Reina and Manuel Neuer,' he said.

'I don't really watch any other leagues, but obviously we've seen a bit of Neuer playing for Bayern Munich.'

To watch the full interview with Joe Hart click here.