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Walcott’s hat-trick bring Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool

August 22nd, 2010 No comments

phpfB8Q6CAfter the dream, inevitably, comes the awakening. The tangerine hordes of Blackpool gathered at the Emirates Stadium with a sense of trepidation but sung and celebrated throughout, never allowing the details of the scoreline and an early sending-off to spoil their day out.

Yet this was the reality check they feared. When Arsenal were 5-0 up with 30 minutes to play, they brought on Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, which is as dispiriting as it must get for any opposition team. While not every club will be able to boast such reserves, Arsenal provided a more authentic welcome to the Premier League than Wigan last week.

‘They were absolute class,’ acknowledged Blackpool boss Ian Holloway. ‘If my team play like that one day I’d be delighted. The ball hardly left the grass, the pace and movement were terrific and it’s a joy to watch. It shook us that we couldn’t play our natural game and it was an absolute education. We have to learn quickly.
Read more…

Totenham get Gallas

August 20th, 2010 No comments

phpq3n38nGALLAS is set to sign for Spurs - and instantly become a hate figure for Arsenal fans.

The free-agent former Gunners captain will have a medical and is due to sign a one-year deal over the weekend.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said: “The chairman’s agreed a one-year contract with him and the wages are more than reasonable.

“He’s a no-brainer on a free transfer.”

Gallas met Redknapp last night and asked for a two-year contract but only a year was on offer.

Redknapp was desperate to boost his defence due to the long-standing injury problems of Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate.

Gallas, 33, will not be registered in time to face Stoke tomorrow or play in the crucial second leg of the Champions League qualifier against Young Boys with Spurs 3-2 down.

He was let go by Arsenal after refusing to accept a one-year deal that included a pay cut.

The ex-Chelsea centre-half suffered abuse from fans every time he went back to Stamford Bridge.

But that will be nothing compared to the reception he will get at the Emirates on November 21.

Wenger : Sunday’s keeper will be our No 1

August 15th, 2010 No comments

phpKCXCmdArsène Wenger has revealed that the keeper who starts against Liverpool on Sunday will be Arsenal’s No 1.

At the start of pre-season the manager laid down the gauntlet to his four stoppers, stating that the place was up for grabs.

Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczesny have all featured in friendlies this summer and Arsenal fans are close to finding out who will be the Gunners’ No 1.

“The goalkeepers are great, all ready to play,” said Wenger ahead of the trip to Liverpool. “I just wait for my decision and you will get it soon.

“The guy who plays on Sunday will be No 1. It is never for definite but it will be a consequence of what I have seen in pre-season.”

However, the manager has admitted that handing the gloves to Szczesny would be a ‘great gamble’.

“He has not played one game in the Premier League,” he said. “I believe he has huge quality but I believe it would be a great gamble to play him.

“Man United play with a goalkeeper who is 40 years old and Chelsea with a keeper with seven years in the Premier League. You need experience at the back.”

Gerrard : I’ll prove myself to Roy

August 15th, 2010 No comments

103267118AP003_Liverpool_FCThe skipper feels there is a real buzz reverberating around Melwood at the moment and reckons the 2010-11 campaign will provide the players with the perfect opportunity to show their true worth.

“When you are captain of Liverpool, every single day you have got something to prove,” said Gerrard.

“When you have a new manager and new players coming in, the demands on you to prove yourself intensify.

“Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres are the same. At Liverpool Football Club there is no time to relax. You are expected to win every game you play and perform to your maximum every time you pull on a Red shirt.

“There is lots to be positive about and you have got to give credit to the people high up in the club. They have made a lot of changes to the staff and the players and sometimes that just needs to happen.

“When things like that happen, you get a freshness around the place and that leads to people having smiles on their faces. I’m just glad I’m going into the season feeling positive and with confidence that we can be successful.

“Everybody is going into training feeling good and the fans are looking forward to it.” Read more…

Drogba’s hat-trick rick crush West Brom 6-0

August 15th, 2010 No comments

phpvZ7da8 Didier Drogba threw down the gauntlet to title rivals Manchester United last night as his hat-trick helped Chelsea to a 6-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge.

Florent Malouda also scored twice as the champions picked up where they left off last season to record the biggest opening-day win of the Premier League era.

Chelsea, who broke the 100-goal barrier last term, also had Frank Lampard on the scoresheet and have now scored an incredible 29 goals in their past five home games.

‘I want to score a lot of goals and make history,’ said Golden Boot holder Drogba, who claims he feels fitter than ever after summer hernia surgery. ‘We had a difficult preseason but this was a good start and everything is perfect at the club.’

Chelsea lost four of their five recent friendlies but after swatting aside newly promoted Albion are hungry to show they can improve on last term’s Double success.

And manager Carlo Ancelotti kept everyone grounded, describing the win as ‘nothing special’ and promising to improve a lot as his World Cup players return to fitness.

‘This team can show this kind of play, scoring a lot of goals. We had a difficult pre-season, but now everything has come back to be OK. Read more…

BPL set to kick-off

August 14th, 2010 No comments

phpVi4ed6The new Premier League season kicks off on Saturday, with many tipping this to be the most competitive campaign yet.

Big-spending Manchester City open up away at Tottenham at 1245 BST, with champions Chelsea completing the day’s action at home to West Brom at 1730.

Newly-promoted Blackpool get their top-flight return under way at Wigan, with a total of eight games scheduled.

Liverpool host Arsenal in Sunday’s only Premier League fixture, with Newcastle away at Manchester United on Monday.

While Chelsea remain many pundits’ favourites to retain their Premier League title, Carlo Ancelotti’s side could face challenges from a number of sides.

Manchester United, who have won 11 out of the 17 Premier League seasons, go into the campaign as their most likely rivals for the title, and having boosted their squad with the likes of Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez. Read more…

Chelsea get Ramires from Benfica for £18m

August 4th, 2010 No comments

PORTUGAL - FÚTBOLPortuguese club Benfica say they have agreed an £18m deal to sell Brazil international midfielder Ramires to Premier League champions Chelsea.

The deal is subject to the 23-year-old - who has won 16 caps for Brazil - passing a medical at Stamford Bridge.

Ramires joined the Portuguese giants last summer for £6.2m from Cruzeiro.

He will become the second player to join Carlo Ancelotti’s squad this summer following the arrival of Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool.

Benfica say the deal amounts to 22m euros, which equates to about £18.2m at current exchange rates.

Ramires, whose full name is Ramires Santos do Nascimento, was praised by Brazil boss Dunga after strong displays in the opening stage of the World Cup in South Africa. Read more…

Robinho : Let me leave!!

July 30th, 2010 No comments

phpBzdjcgThe £32.5million Brazilian flop played his final loan game for Santos this week.

Robinho has begged Manchester City to let him quit Eastlands.

Now the 26-year-old striker will ask City boss Roberto Mancini to allow him to make his switch to the Samba club permanent.

He said: “I hope this is not goodbye. It’s not easy to convince the English to agree a deal, but I trust the leaders of Santos to be successful.

“I think I belong here in Brazil more than the Premier League.”

He added: “My agents have received several offers from clubs in Europe but everything is on hold until Santos meet City.”

Robinho is due in Manchester on August 4 but plays for Brazil in America six days later.

Mancini hinted City will not make Robinho stay in England. He said: “We have heard nothing from Santos and Robinho will return to Manchester.

“It depends on him. If he decides he doesn’t want to, I don’t know what will happen.”

Vidic agrees new United contract

July 24th, 2010 No comments

phpQydtAwManchester United central defender Nemanja Vidic has agreed a new “long-term” contract at the Premier League club, says chief executive David Gill.

Vidic, 28, joined United in 2006 for £7m from Spartak Moscow and has been a mainstay of the side ever since.

The Serbia international had been rumoured to be leaving United with Real Madrid reportedly interested.

Gill told MUTV: “We’ve shaken hands on it and we’re confident it will all be signed and sealed in early August.”

Vidic’s decision to stay at United is a huge boost for the club considering fellow central defender Rio Ferdinand’s injury problems.
Ferdinand is recovering from the knee injury that ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup and which will see him miss the start of the domestic season.

The England captain was also plagued by back and groin problems last season, limiting his involvement.

During his four years at United, Vidic has won the Premier League three times, as well as the Champions League and three League Cup medals.

“There was a lot of speculation about Nemanja’s future but in my view it’s been the media drumming some old stories,” added Gill.

“They certainly didn’t come out of the Manchester United camp and I’m confident they didn’t come out of Nemanja’s camp. Read more…

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