Single word yields best result

Football News: Review Of The Day 9th February 2018

Review Of The Day 9th February 2018
Image from:

Review of the Day


Naismith Put Off By Artificial Pitch

Steven Naismith returned to Scotland on loan in the January window to play for Hearts until the end of the season. The 31 year old, who is contracted to Norwich City, said that his former club Kilmarnock were also interested in signing him, but their artificial turf pitch made him decide against returning. "The biggest thing was the AstroTurf, for a player of my age, with the injuries I have had," Naismith said. "As much as I appreciate Kilmarnock for what they did for me when I was younger, that is something I would never consider. I have spoken to [Kilmarnock boss] Steve Clarke on and off over the years at certain times in my career. He has said, tongue in cheek, 'I would love to get you back' and things like that. But I never seriously considered it, solely because of the AstroTurf. For me, every club in Scottish football should play on grass. I couldn't train on AstroTurf every day. My second game for Hearts was at Hamilton [who have an artificial pitch at their New Douglas Park home]. For a couple of days afterwards, it is not great for your body, especially as you get older. Youngsters might be used to it, but you can't tell me for the long term it is good for you."


Hoolahan Announces International Retirement

Fan favourite Republic of Ireland midfielder Wes Hoolahan has announced his retirement from international football. The 35 year old Norwich playmaker has 43 caps for the senior side after making his debut in 2008, while a Blackpool player.


Wright Disagrees With Lookman Loan

Former England striker Ian Wright has said Sam Allardyce made a mistake allowing Ademola Lookman to leave on loan. The Everton youngster has already scored on his debut for loan club RB Leipzig and has often impressed for the Toffees in his sub appearances. Wright said: "I would not get rid of Lookman. I wouldn't send him out because I think he is somebody that can come on and change a game. He can. He is somebody that you could bring on for Theo (Walcott), but to send him out completely is just ridiculous." Personally I can understand the loan move, the bit that confused me was why Allardyce was so upset that he wanted to go to Germany. Surely playing in the Bundesliga is better experience than playing in the lower leagues in England?


Fred Set To Sign For City

Former Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu has stated that Fred will sign for Manchester City in the summer transfer window. The Brazilian midfielder had played on the left until Lucescu decided to move him to sit in front of the defence and his performances there have impressed City this season. Lucescu, now the Turkish national coach, believes Fred will go there to provide competition for Fernandinho. "Shakhtar Donetsk's best player is Fred in the centre of midfield," he said. "He was a bit anarchic on the left. I moved him in front of the defence. He will go to City like Fernandinho before him."


Bellamy Questions Evra Signing

Craig Bellamy has questioned West Ham's signing of France international left back Patrice Evra, as he believes age has caught up to him. "He hasn't been the same player in the past four or five years," Bellamy said. "His last year at Juventus was really poor, and he isn't the same player he was when he worked [under Moyes] four years ago. Age catches up with you, and he's in that position. It's a great move for him and his experience will be great for a club like West Ham, but I don't believe they're going to get much out of him playing-wise."


Cech Doubt For North London Derby

Arsene Wenger has revealed that goalkeeper Petr Cech's calf injury, which saw him taken off on 70 minutes of Arsenal's 5-1 win over Everton on Saturday, has kept him from training all week. It also means he is a doubt for the visit to Wembley to face North London rivals Spurs on Saturday. Wenger said: "Cech is doubtful. He has not trained so I don't know. I've no problem with playing Ospina and I will make my decision on Friday. I will not take any risk if he is not 100 per cent because I have full confidence in David Ospina."


Tosun Aiming For Success

Newly signed Everton striker Cenk Tosun has ruled out a quick return to Besiktas as he looks to make a success of his time in England first. "I've zero interest going back to Turkey at this point. Yes I'm a Besiktas fan, but I'll never return to them without fighting and achieving things in Everton. That's not me," Tosun told the Liverpool Echo. "I'll show everyone in England who is Cenk Tosun. I have a dream. I never quit a work before completing it. After I finalise my mission in here, and if the conditions are suitable I'd love to go back to Turkey but it's too early for that. I've just started to know my team-mates. In Besiktas, my team-mates knew where I was going be on the pitch before they passed. They knew what I was going to do. In here they'll learn that too in time. It's not easy to adjust to a new environment, a new atmosphere, new friends even a new house. Even though I was born in Europe this situation is different. I moved from Turkish league which the league I'm playing for years to the toughest league in the world. It's hard to adapt. Sam told me that too. He always talks to me. I've zero problems. He told me that when I fit into the league and team, I'll be a regular starter."


English Players Masters Of Diving Says Wenger

After Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino that 'tricking the opponent' is a part of football, Arsene Wenger has suggested the comments were blown out of proportion but does believe diving has become a major problem. "We have to get the diving out of the game," said Wenger. "I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now. I am convinced that he [Pochettino] wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever. How far was it an apology for diving? I'm not sure at all. I don't think he would. In my personal case? No. I don't encourage my players to dive at all. But if you look at the situation, I think when sometimes you do not want to provoke a dive as well. Sometimes you want your players to be intelligent, they have played a little bit with the rules, they make more of it on the penalty case. Every striker will do that. They extend a little bit the rules. Where is it and how far can you go? That is down to the referees and I think that sometimes, at normal speed, it is very difficult to determine, I must say."


Warnock Hits Out At Man City Challenges

Yes that Neil Warnock, the man who sends out his teams to hurt the opposition each week, the vile thuggish neanderthal that somehow has wormed his way into punditry despite representing all that is wrong with the game, has now accused Pep Guardiola's Man City players of 'some horrendous challenges' in recent weeks. In particular Warnock has pointed the finger at Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne. Warnock said: "I wished they would have put a slow still of Kevin De Bruyne's tackle and studs on Jazz Richards. And the bad tackle of Fernandinho, and then when they played West Brom the following week. There were some horrendous tackles and nothing was said about that because there were another eight or nine games. We were unlucky on the day because Chelsea and Newcastle was the only other game and that was a damp squib." While Warnock does have a point, City are not shy in fouling opponents to avoid being countered on and some of the tackles are nasty, he does have some cheek to defend the assaults his players have by pointing the finger at other teams!


Fryatt Retires With Swipe At Forest

Former Nottingham Forest striker Matty Fryatt has announced his retirement from the game with a swipe at his former employers. The 31 year old had been fighting to comeback from an Achilles problem for about 3 years, during which time Forest paid his salary and for his treatment. However Fryatt is still bitter about his treatment while with the East Midlands club: "This a big moment for me, but at the same time it's been a long time coming," he told the Telegraph. "I haven't played for nearly three years now so it was only natural. I've given it everything, from when it all started and thinking it was going to be a minor injury, to three years later and realising the only option is to call it a day. It would have been so much easier to just run out onto the grass, feel comfortable and play a game of football, rather than go all over the world to see a surgeon in Germany, in Holland, in Portugal and getting absolutely nowhere. When you've had half of your Achilles taken off, reattached, bone smashed up and then put back on with someone saying 'you've got a good chance of coming back', it's hard to take. This is closure really. At Forest it was like I was a car on the driveway, rusting away and they just thought 'just leave it, we'll get a new car'," Fryatt said. "I'd get further down the line and nobody would ask what's happening with this rusting car. I just got lost and forgotten a bit. It never felt that anyone was asking, 'is he ever going to come back? Oh, just send him for surgery again'. It was probably the way the club operated at the time. I didn't even meet one of the managers (Philippe Montanier). They paid my wages and for most of the operations, so I can't grumble at that, but nobody was accountable for things." Fryatt is now working towards obtaining his 'A license' coaching certification.


Henderson Suffers Season-Ending Injury

Stephen Henderson that is, on loan at Portsmouth from Nottingham Forest, has been given the bad news that his League One debut for Pompey is likely to be his last game of the season. He was taken off in the game against Doncaster Rovers with a leg injury and it now looks like the 29 year old will not play again until next season according to Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett. "The estimation is he'll be out for the season with his quad," Jackett told BBC Radio Solent. "We felt his experience could help us in quite a young group. The injury's frustrating for him and for us."


Ipswich Sign Brown

Grays Athletic had given 16 year old a chance to play in the first team this season but will have to watch him continue his development as a scholar with Ipswich Town. The youngster had a trial with the Tractor Boys before Christmas and has now passed his medical and signed schoolboy forms with the East Anglian club. Grays manager Jamie Stuart has backed him to be a success in professional football: "I spoke with [youth team coach] Phil Sackey and he told me to come and look at this lad's potential and I was impressed. He and a number of young players got involved in training and Kai in particular impressed me. I told him I wanted him to play with confidence. He had some fantastic games for us and although he got a few whacks and was caught a few times he always carried on. He is a great lad and I spent time talking to his dad Wayne who is a fantastic gentleman. There was interest for a professional clubs. I spoke to Kai's dad and said you must do what's best for Kai. He came in to our team and did very well and although it will be tough for him it will be a great experience either way. As long as he keeps that hunger, he can go all the way. He is young but age is just a number. Look at me. I am 41 and was playing last season. These boys always have a chance. I remember when I was playing with Margate I played against Grays and Freddie Ladapo was there. I remember thinking in all the games I had played there were not many as good as him. I spoke to Mark Bright at Crystal Palace and he got a move down the line and there are others here that have potential as well."


Forest Appoint Sporting Director

Championship club Nottingham Forest have appointed Luke Dowling to be Sporting Director. Dowling was previously fulfilling the same role at Watford and involved as they were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League and helped establish them in the top flight. Forest will be hoping he will have as much success while with them.


Caulker Joins Dundee

Dundee boss Neil McCann believes he has got a huge coup as he has managed to clinch the signature of free agent defender Steven Caulker on an 18 month contract. McCann said: "I think it's one of the best signings of the season, never mind January. I really am that excited about it. To get someone of Steven's calibre at the club, I thank the club for enabling that to happen and most of all thank Steven to come up here. He's not played, clearly, since he's left QPR but he's got so much ability and so much to offer. I was really open and honest with him. Clearly, this is not about finances because Steven could have earned so much money going elsewhere. He had lots of offers on the table. I sold myself, I sold the club, I just sold the environment. He could come up here with the freshness of something new. He's not experienced Scottish football before. I want him to be a big player for us, and really I just want him to enjoy himself for us."


Grujic Not Trying Hard Enough In Training

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has confirmed a criticism that has dogged Serbian Marko Grujic since he signed for Liverpool, by admitting the Liverpool loanee was not working hard enough in training when he arrived. "He's catching up and he's getting better," Warnock told WalesOnline. "It's difficult for him to be flung straight in, with the second game being Manchester City. I think it's toughened him up being with us. When he first came into training, he left a little bit to be desired should we say. But you soon get into it with us - when you train as hard as we do, you want to be like that. And I think it's improved his game. The minimum requirement is effort because when you have ability like he has, it comes through on top. I think he's realised that early doors and wants to stay in the team. He wants to play and wants to go to the World Cup. He's in the window and has got 17 games to show it. I won't play him if he doesn't deserve to be in the team - I keep reading I've got to play him but all it is is that he have to pay more money if I don't. The club agreed to that so it's not my worry." Has the light bulb finally clicked on or is he just putting it in to go to the World Cup? Only time will tell, but it is a lesson most young footballers who get a big move struggle with, that you have to work hard or fall by the wayside.


Whing Makes Cov Return

Former Coventry City player Andy Whing has returned to the club to work as a coach in the academy. Whing rose through the academy and completed 4 years as a first team player before leaving in 2007. Now he is back with the Sky Blues to assist U18s Lead Coach Andy Crabtree.


Rigg Quits Football For Tattoos

Newport County midfielder Sean Rigg left professional football ahead of his team's FA Cup 4th Round Replay with Spurs to start a new career. "I feel like I've had a decent career, money doesn't rule the world," Rigg told BBC Newsbeat. "You've got to be happy and I wasn't totally happy with the way things were going. I wasn't really getting a lot of game time at Newport." He continued: "People would think that there's more money in football than tattooing but that's for players in the Championship and above. The tattoo industry is booming at the moment and people make a hell of a lot of money, especially the ones who are knocking out really good work and have a good reputation."


Torres Documentary To Be Made

Crowd-funding has raised the 10,000 euros needed to help make a documentary about lower league star Sergio Torres. The Argentinean has already been the subject of a biography in paper form and now there will be a film biography called 'The Unknown Torres' to tell the story of a man who left his father's brick factory in Argentina to move to England to try and make it as a professional footballer. Torres went on to become a part of Crawley Town's double promotion-winning side after signing his first professional contract at the age of 24.


Pochettino Unhappy With Rochdale Pitch

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has asked the Football Association to look at whether Rochdale's pitch at Spotland is suitable to host their FA Cup 5th Round tie. The pitch has been described as being a mix of mud and sand and Pochettino is claiming his players risk injury playing on it. "We are going to struggle," Pochettino told Thursday's press conference ahead of Saturday's North London derby. "Not only us but them too. The FA need to assess the pitch and make a decision if its good for the FA Cup. It's not a pitch in a condition to play football. It's about to providing a safe place to play for the player. It's a big risk to play on a pitch like this. If its like the picture I have seen then we cannot play football. That is my point of view. Not because we are Tottenham, Rochdale cannot play too. The FA Cup need to go in and make a decision for football." Is it a decision for football he wants or a decision to ensure the great leveller of a rubbish pitch cannot hinder his team?


Warne Dismisses Speculation

With Rotherham United unbeaten in 10 matches and sat in 5th place in League One the rumour mill has been linking manager Paul Warne with a move to replace Paul Heckingbottom as manager of Championship side Barnsley. Warne has talked down the chances of him leaving and said he has not been contacted over any other jobs. "I haven't had any phone calls about any jobs. I thoroughly enjoy my job here," he said. "I can't see anything changing any time soon. I've got a good relationship with the chairman (Tony Stewart). I sincerely idolise my players. I've got no reason to turn my back on them."


Campbell In Oxford Talks

Former England defender Sol Campbell is in talks with Oxford United as he seeks to get his managerial career off the ground. David Unsworth has already been ruled out, but Craig Bellamy has also put himself forward for the role, as they have a number of big-name former players to choose from, despite Frank Lampard turning down their overtures.


Forest Continue Rebuild

Nottingham Forest's new manager Aitor Karanka has continued to build his own side with a couple of new arrivals. Greek international keeper Stefanos Kapinos was released by Olympiacos in the January transfer window while left back Juan Fuentes has been a free agents since leaving Osasuna in the summer. Eight players had already been signed since Karanka too charge.


Charlton Suffer Injury Blow To On-Loan Arsenal Youngster

Arsenal loanee Stephy Mavididi has suffered a hamstring injury which could rule him out for two months. Mavididi only joined Charlton Athletic in the January transfer window and had scored twice in his five appearances before picking up the injury against Oxford United.


Celtic Announce Increase In Profits

On-field success has been reflected in the off-field results at Glasgow giants Celtic, who have announced a rise in both revenue and profits. The interim accounts show an increase in revenue of 16.8% to £71.5m and an increase in profits from £18.6m to £19.5m. This end of year accounting period also shows an £18.6m rise in net cash in the bank of £30.9m, up from £18.6m. "The board is committed to investment in the squad so as to be as competitive as we can within Scottish football and Europe," said chairman Ian Bankier. Is an increase in profits what fans want though or would they prefer that money to actually been invested in playing staff, rather than reading the chairman paying lip service to that ideal?


Abedi Pele Told Me To Return To Swansea Reveals Ayew

Legendary former Ghana player Abedi Pele helped to persuade one of his sons, Andre Ayew to return to Swansea City, to join forces with his brother Jordan. Andre was a club-record signing when he was brought back from West Ham in the January window. "He's happy. Even when I was leaving [in 2016] he wasn't for me leaving Swansea that season," said Ayew. "He didn't really want me to leave but football things happen and decisions are made. When I had the choice to come back here or go to other places, he said, 'I think you should go back to Swansea'. That was his advice."


Zaha Out For A Month

Crystal Palace will have to find a way to maintain their progress up the table without talisman Wilfried Zaha for a month, after his knee injury ruled him out for that period of time. "If he recovered in a week or two it would be a fantastic effort, but it's more realistic we'd have to wait a month for him," Hodgson said. They are already missing Bakary Sako and Ruben Loftus-Cheek due to injury.


Old Trafford Profits Affected By Wage Bill Rises

Manchester United may have made an operating profit of £28.7m in the final quarter of 2017, but that was a major decrease of 23% over the same period in 2016. Wages, which make up 50% of the club's costs, rose 9.4% to £69.6m. That rise was largely offset by an increase in broadcasting revenue of 17%, to reach a figure of £61.6m, and total revenue also went up 3.8% to reach £163.9m. "Our solid business model has allowed us to invest in the future of the Club with the extension of Jose Mourinho's contract as manager and the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez. We look forward to the remainder of the season with confidence," said Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman of Manchester United.


Di Maria Close To Joining Barca

Angel di Maria has claimed he was close to joining Barcelona in the summer: "I was really close to joining Barcelona but in the end, it wasn't to be," Di Maria said. "But I started 2018 on a good foot, though, and I am really happy, I like assisting goals more than scoring them."


Crotone Send Romero Out On Loan

Venezuelan international Aristoteles Romero has struggled to adapt in Serie A since joining Crotone in August. He will now go out on a 6 month loan to Slovenian club NK Ankaran to try and help him adapt to European football.


Gabbiadini Looking For Move From Southampton

Italian forward Manolo Gabbiadini is searching for an escape from Southampton but his agent has ruled out a return to Bologna as the forward wants to play for an ambitious side. "I don't want to create illusions [for Bologna], it's true that Manolo is tied to this city and its people but he also wants to play in a team with big ambitions," agent Silvio Pagliari was quoted as saying in the Corriere di Bologna newspaper. "If Bologna are ready to do the deal - despite its very high numbers - I want to make it clear it would also depend on the club's plans. It's clear that if they were to offer participation in the Champions League within three years, a new stadium and the signing of other strong players we could definitely have a think about it. On the other hand, I can't deny we'd struggle to accept a low level project and, consequently, an anonymous league season. Manolo is still young, he wants to win something. If he can do it with Bologna so much the better, if not then it's not time for his return yet." Since the article was published Pagliari has insisted he was slightly misquoted: "With regards to the article published this morning in the Corriere di Bologna about Gabbiadini's future, I wish to make clear that I never, ever talked about the 'Champions League' nor a 'new stadium,' but only an 'ambitious medium and long-term project.'"


Bologna Sign Free Agent Midfielder

19 year old Younes Boufous left Club Brugge after graduating from its academy and has now signing with Bologna in Italy. The Belgian youngster had interest from around Europe in his services.

Written by Tris Burke February 09 2018 05:24:38