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Football News: Review Of The Day 9th March 2018

Review Of The Day 9th March 2018
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Review of the Day


Wenger Hails His Boxers For Getting Off The Canvass To Beat Milan

After a run of defeats Arsene Wenger's Arsenal situation is without doubt the worst time since he arrived as an unknown at the club from Japan to take over from Bruce Rioch. Having to go to Milan to face European heavyweights AC Milan, despite their standing being little if any higher than Arsenal's right now, was still seen as the last thing the Gunners needed. The players responded by beating the 7th placed team in Serie A 2-0, to once again give Wenger some respite from calls for him to go. "When you have big disappointments you forget quickly that you have some qualities. In one week, you do not become a bad team or a bad player. Nothing is permanent in life," said Wenger. "When you are knocked down it's a little bit like in a boxing match when you're half-knocked down you don't have time to recover and the next one comes again. That's what happened to us. But at some stage you know you have to respond. Your pride and desire to show quality has to come through in the game."


Mahrez Thanks Team-Mates For Standing By Him

When Manchester City made their interest known in Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, it seemed inevitable that the Algerian would move, especially as he handed in a transfer request and missed training as he tried to force a move. The Foxes stood their ground and refused to sell for anything less than their asking price and the move fell through, leaving the 27 year old in an awkward position, especially as he continued to miss training after the transfer window shut. Now he is back in the fold and in the team and admits he has regrets but wants to move on. "It was a difficult situation. Now it's the past, it's behind," Mahrez said. "I was away from here because I needed some time to think. You'll always have regrets but at that time I thought it was the best thing to do. I spoke with the players, I spoke with the manager, I spoke with everyone. Everyone was OK, was good. I've always been in contact with the club. The club handled it very well. In football players come, players leave, I'm not saying I'm coming or going. We always talk between me and the club, everything is good, so we will see in the summer if things come. At the moment I'm a Leicester player." Still sounds like a player desperate to leave with those final few sentences!


PSG And Basel Charged By UEFA Over Fans' Conduct

Swiss side Basel have been charged after their supporters set off fireworks in their last-16 game away to Manchester City, while Paris Saint-Germain are facing their 4th disciplinary proceeding over fans' conduct in the Champions League this season alone. The Parisiens tie with Real Madrid was briefly paused in the second half of the home tie when their fans set off flares and smoke covered the pitch. They have been hit with four charges for use of fireworks, use of a laser pointer, insufficient organisation and blocked stairways. The cases are to be dealt with on 22nd March.


Coleman Gets Ireland Recall

Despite only just returning to the Everton team following surgery on a double leg-break suffered playing for the Republic of Ireland, Seamus Coleman is called into the squad. Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O'Hara (Manchester United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), John Egan (Brentford), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (both Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Liam Kelly (Reading), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (both Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)


England Talk Well Deserved Says Dyche

Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes his goalkeeper Nick Pope and defender James Tarkowski deserve to be talked about as potential England internationals due to their performances this season. "It's nice to see our players laying down markers to be thought about," Dyche said. "I respect Gareth Southgate and speak to him - but I don't always speak to him about the players here. If he asks my opinion I'll give it, but I do respect it's very difficult to choose the right players in a squad, whether it's a friendly or a tournament. They are certainly candidates to be spoken about. Cork as well. Mee and Lowton are on the periphery. People mention their names - it's good for them and good for us."


Cobblers Make Free Agent Signing

Northampton Town have added free agent Dutch striker Kevin Luckassen to their squad on a deal until the end of the season. The Cobblers are currently just one point above the relegation zone in League Two.


EFL To Look Into Wolves

Following complaints from the teams currently trailing behind them in the Championship table, Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to meet with the EFL to discuss concerns raised by other clubs over the relationship between their owners, Fosun, and Portugese agent Jorge Mendes. Following Leeds United's 3-0 defeat to Wolves at Elland Road on Wednesday, Leeds' owner Andrea Radrizzani went on a rant on Twitter to question the legality of the link-up. The EFL responded with a statement: "The EFL executive will meet with the management of the club [Wolves] to reiterate the requirements of our regulations and those of the FA and will report back to the board in due course. It should be noted that the club was explicitly informed in July 2016 of all the requirements it was expected to meet as part of the change of control, and appropriate arrangements were put in place to ensure compliance. The club has confirmed that the undertakings given at the time remain in place and are being complied with."


Shrewsbury Post Profit

With Shrewsbury Town, currently chasing promotion from League One, sitting in second in the table and into the EFL Trophy final later in the year, average gates have been up 15% and there is a real sense of optimism around the club. To add to that they have announced a profit of £409,000 for the 2016-17 season, despite having bought and renovated their training ground.


Sturrock Makes Dundee Utd Return

Dundee United have appointed former player and manager of the club, Paul Sturrock, to a new role as their chief scout in England. "I am delighted to be back working for my club," he told United's website. "I look forward to working hard and using my knowledge of the English game to bring talent to the club." Dundee Utd's chairman Mike Martin said: "Paul's passion for the club is very evident and his knowledge of the lower leagues in England remains outstanding. Recruitment from England has to play a big part in our ability to produce talent right through the ranks. Seeing the instant connection between him and Csaba and after listening to Paul's views in our meetings over the last few days, I do not doubt that this appointment will be productive for United and I am excited to welcome Paul back to Dundee United."


Bonucci Believes Milan Were Scared Against Arsenal

AC Milan's Italian international centre back Leonardo Bonucci believes his team were scared during their 2-0 loss to Arsenal in the Europa League. "We did not have the right mentality right from the get go," Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia. "We were a little scared since we are so young. Let's hope we learn from this. It is hard but we will have to give it a go [in the second leg]. Anything can happen in football so we have to stay positive. Arsenal ran a lot and they have a lot of quality but we also made mistakes. We didn't play as a team so that's what you get. We had to be smarter and more responsible with the ball, this we know. We were too nervous and excited, everyone made mistakes. In the second half we played with more courage but it wasn't enough. Credit to Arsenal, who played a great first half. If we play in London with the same spirit we showed in the second half, we might be able to pull it off."


Palace Expecting Loftus-Cheek Return

Crystal Palace have been boosted by the likely return of on-loan Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to fitness. The 22 year old has yet to play in 2018 and had been back with his parent club for treatment, but Palace manager Roy Hodgson is delighted that the midfielder is close to returning to play. "Then as long as he comes through those three sessions OK, which both we and he are hoping, he will have Sunday off and will come back [to Palace] on Monday and he will be available to us," Hodgson said. "The medical department have to look and speak with him but my hope is that he will come on Monday, walk into the treatment room, they will say 'How you feeling Ruben?' and he will say, 'I'm feeling great, what time does training start?' That is what I am hoping for. I've had a few disappointments lately so I've learnt to lower my level of hope and optimism."


Three Football Clubs Named And Shamed For Underpaying Staff

The UK Government have released a list of 179 employers who are underpaying their minimum wage workers and the list included three football clubs, including Premier League side Stoke City. Birmingham City were number 32 on the list after underpaying 534 workers a total of £5,634.03. Stoke were at 95 with a total of £1,102.62 owing to just 7 workers. To put that in perspective, owner Denise Coates, of Bet365, paid herself more than £200m in 2016! Yeovil Town also made the list with a total of £174.18 owed to 2 members of their staff.


Mackems Hit By Defensive Crisis

Sunderland are facing up to the weekend's clash with QPR with just one fit centre back at the club after on-loan defender Tyias Browning was ruled out for the rest of the season with a groin injury.


Dons Delighted By McKenna Deal

With English Championship clubs sniffing around Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, the Scottish club have been delighted that the 21 year old has penned a new, improved, long term deal which runs until 2023. McKenna said, "it was an easy decision. It was only mentioned to me last week, so it did not take at all long to get sorted. I love being at this club, I love working with the manager, all the staff and we have a great dressing room. I am very settled here and now I can just focus on my football."


Canaries Announce Bond Scheme To Fund Youth Academy Facilities

Norwich City are hoping to raise £3.5m towards the cost of improvements to the facilities of their youth academy through a bond scheme. With parachute payments set to end this summer, the Canaries have come up with a 5 year bond with a maximum £5m threshold. The bond will pay 5% gross interest annually to investors, with an additional 3% gross in club credit. Investors will also receive a one-off 25% payment if Norwich are promoted within the lifetime of the bond. The minimum subscription is £500. "We didn't want to be in a position where we were asking fans and businesses to donate to the academy," City's MD Steve Stone explained. "We see this as an investment opportunity, a very good investment opportunity, to get the academy up and running but it is a loan rather than a donation." Stone continued: "The board will be investing in this bond, just as other people at the club will, staff and myself included. There is an element of the board's money going into this but part of this and part of the rationale for going down this route was having something that our fans could participate in as well and feel part of something for the future of the club that is ring-fenced from player trading. This is something we have wanted to put to one side from that, raise the funding specifically for the academy, spend it specifically on the academy, have the players coming through and be in a position to repay that loan in five years' time after people have been involved in seeing the growth of the academy and earned a decent rate of interest at the same time."


Coleman Denies Fletcher Loan Clause

Out of form, low on confidence and on loan from local rivals Middlesbrough, yet Ashley Fletcher is a regular in a struggling Sunderland side under Chris Coleman. Coleman has denied that he is forced to pick him by the terms of the loan deal: "If he plays, that's my choice," Coleman said. "He's low on confidence at the moment. I had a chat with Ashley. I thought he did quite well on Tuesday until he had that bad touch when he got through. That affected him, but he has to get over it. He'll be thinking at the minute that he's never going to score again," Coleman admitted. "He'll be feeling like it's the end of the world, that's what strikers do. But he will score. He's 22, and he's going to have a good career. We may not be seeing the best of him yet, nevertheless Ash will be okay. He's got to get up to speed, and for his own sanity, he's got to put the ball in the net. Of course he's getting criticised, but he'll be criticising himself as well. He'll be okay, he's just got to give us what he's got. I'm convinced he will score a goal, and no matter how he scores it, that will give him confidence. He shows glimpses of what he is capable of, but in our situation it's not like he's coming into a team that is scoring lots of goals and playing great. He's coming into a struggling team, and he's trying to find his feet. He's struggling a little bit with his form, but I'm sure it will come sooner or later for him."


Ramos Becomes Champions League's Dirtiest Ever Player

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has set a new Champions League record for most cards to move ahead of Man Utd legend Paul Scholes. Ramos's 37 cards moves him ahead of Scholes on 36.


Rummenigge Hits Out At Premier League Team's Youth Scouting

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has previously compared the way Premier League clubs pressure youngsters into signing contracts as borderline kidnapping. Now, in an interview with GQ, Rummenigge has been critical of their scouting methods. "I have noticed that English clubs, in particular, are already scouting 10 and 12-year-olds and convincing them to sign by handing a lot of money to their parents. That is alarming. We are ready to compete, but not at all cost. We are scouting a lot more aggressively and are also prepared to spend a lot more money than we used to. But, we are always faced with the question: when do you reach the point when you must take a step back, even though the whole world is searching for the next Messi?"


Dortmund Fans To Boycott Trip To RB Salzburg To Donate Money Saved

Sudbtribune Dortmund, a group of Borussia Dortmund fan clubs and ultra groups, have released a statement claiming their members will avoid the second leg of their Europa League game with RB Salzburg, a team owned by Red Bull. The group's members have previously also boycotted games against the German side also owned by the energy drinks makers, RB Leipzig. Sudbtribune Dortmund said: "As already practised at the last two away matches in Leipzig, large parts of the Sudbtribune Dortmund alliance will stay away from the return match at RB Salzburg. Although the games are piling up without our presence in recent weeks, this decision is essential for us. The reasons remain the same: we can and will not accept test-tube clubs like those from Salzburg or Leipzig, as they trample on all the values ​​for which the popular sport of football stands in our eyes and should still stand. These values ​​also include the integrity of the competition, which is more than negatively affected by the participation of both clubs in the round of the last 16 of the Europa League." Instead their members will send symbolic 10 euro admission fees to SV Austria Salzburg, a phoenix club birthed in 2005 after the original club was bought by Red Bull and rebranded in the corporate image. Austria Salzburg now compete in the 3rd tier of Austrian football.


Milan Confirm Interest In Reina

AC Milan have confirmed they have spoken to both Napoli and the agent of Pepe Reina in an attempt to sign the goalkeeper, in a move which has intensified speculation around the future of Gianluigi Donnarumma. "We did inform Napoli that we want to speak to Pepe Reina's agent, because we want to see if there's a possibility of bringing the player to Milan," Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli told Sky Sport Italia. "We are always looking to the future. You all know that if I am here, then Gennaro Gattuso will remain at Milan. He may well remain even without me!"


Redknapp Recounts Vargas Doing A Runner From West Ham

Harry Redknapp said: "I signed Javier Margas, he was the captain of Chile. I went to watch him play in the World Cup, he was fantastic, I went to see him play at Wembley, he was the best player on the pitch, I thought, and we took him to West Ham. It was very different in those days. We didn't have anyone to really take care of the foreign players. They came in and we just let them get on with it. We gave him a car and a house. Someone showed him the training ground, next day he set off for training and instead of coming to Chadwell Heath he ended up a Stansted Airport which is about 40 miles the wrong way, got a puncture in a country lane, I mean, what a nightmare! He started playing, would have been a good player, but his wife hated [living in England]. She had a big family back home, she was crying, and suddenly [Margas] didn't show up for training one day. Someone said his wife had gone home and he was staying at a hotel. So we went round there to see him and someone said they had a feeling he might be going home. I said 'he can't, he's got a contract here, we've bought him.' [The hotel staff] said that he was in the room because he'd come to get his key. I asked them to ring him, no answer. We were knocking on the door, went back to reception, came back with a key, we went in the room and he'd left half his gear there, the window was open. He'd obviously taken what he needed - his passport - jumped out of the window, legged it up towards the motorway somewhere and we never saw him again. He went back to Chile and then was the end of his career at West Ham. Half his gear was still in the room, suits and clothes and all sorts, but he'd made his mind up that he didn't want to stay and his wife wouldn't come back."

Written by Tris Burke March 09 2018 06:52:55