Kamis, 31 Januari 2013

Sunderland terminate Saha contract by mutual consent

Louis Saha of Sunderland profile pic
Sunderland have confirmed that Louis Saha has left the club after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

The Frenchman moved to the Stadium of Light on a one-year deal after leaving Tottenham in the summer, but failed to net in his 14 total appearances on Wearside.

The 5 million arrival of Danny Graham from Swansea on Thursday left the veteran striker surplus to requirements, and the Mackems have now decided to bring his contract to an early end.

Speaking to the club's official website, Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "We wish Louis all the very best for the future and thank him for his contribution to Sunderland."

The former Fulham, Manchester United and Everton man is expected to pursue his career outside of Europe, with clubs in Brazil and MLS said to be showing an interest.

Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

Chicharito's form gives me a terrible dilemma, says Manchester United boss Ferguson

Javier Hernandez, Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the "terrible dilemma" Chicharito's scintillating form has given him this season, with the Manchester United boss admitting he is struggling to accommodate his four international strikers.

The 71-year-old manager signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal for 24 million in the summer, and the Holland striker has dazzled Old Trafford with 22 goals in just 28 appearances in all competitions.

Some fans feared this would lead to Chicharito being marginalised, especially with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck also amongst Ferguson's armoury, but the Mexico international has hit 14 in 24 games to give the coach a difficult selection problem as the season enters a crucial phase.

"It's a terrible dilemma when I've got that lad [Chicharito] there," he told reporters.

"Sometimes I leave him out to bring in Robin van Persie but, as I explain to him, we regard him so highly.

"He's a fantastic profession al, unbelievable attitude to the game, never stops running or working and every training sessions the same.

"So I'm really pleased for him and it's also good to see Wayne [Rooney] back scoring."

Chicharito's latest brace eased his side to a 4-1 win over Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, while they lead the Premier League table by five points and contest Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

And while recent results leave fans quietly wishing for another attempt at a historic 'treble' season, Ferguson insists his side have to be wary of the threat posed by Southampton, who United host on Wednesday evening in the league.

"[Southampton] played really well against Everton who are at the top of their game and playing really well, so we're not taking anything for granted.

"They should have won as they were superb and could have been five-up in the first half," he added. "Tim Howard had a fantastic ga me, they hit the woodwork and Rickie Lambert missed a couple of chances."

Rabu, 23 Januari 2013

Howard: Everton must improve to qualify for Europe

Tim Howard - Everton

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard says his side need to maintain their early-season form to challenge for European places in the Premier League.

After starting the campaign brightly the Toffees sit fifth in the league but, following a 0-0 draw away to Southampton, manager David Moyes was disappointed that his side did not keep up momentum on their rivals for fourth spot.

And Howard says it is important to keep their performance levels high and keep picking up points wherever they can.

"It is going to be a matter of whether we can put two halves together," Howard told reporters.

"That is what is everyone is wondering and it is our job to keep it up and keep our levels high. When we don't perform well we need to get something out of it and so at the moment that is working.

"It is easy to say 'what if?' but I always think if we can keep picking up points here and there it is better than a loss. I t just depends how you look at it.

"We are right there in the mix and it is going to go week-to-week now.

"We are three points off Spurs, Liverpool are four points behind us and Arsenal are four [points behind] with a game in hand, so if everyone does their job, it is going to be basically who wins the head-to-head battles."

Selasa, 22 Januari 2013

Dempsey prepared to fight for new attacking role at Tottenham

Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey has warnedEmmanuel Adebayor he will not give up his place in the Tottenham side easily when the striker returns from Afcon duty with Togo.

The 29-year-old was paired in attack with Jermain Defoe by manager Andre Villas-Boas against Manchester United on Sunday and rewarded his boss when he scored a 93rd-minute equaliser to force a 1-1 draw with the league leaders.

Adebayor is certain to miss Spurs' next two games at least, and Dempsey, who has scored seven goals so far this season for, sees it as the perfect opportunity to prove his worth.

"Ade is a great player and he is going to be missed, but there is competition," the American told reporters.

"You try and fight for a spot and when you get an opportunity to play you want to stand up and take advantage of that opportunity.

"For me, it was a slow start to the season so it's good to be chipping in with goals now and repaying the club for their belief in me. Hopefully there will be more goals to come because that's why they brought me here.

"I can play that position [striker]. It's a position I feel comfortable in, a position I have played a lot this season and I feel like I am starting to feel more comfortable there.

"Now it's about just trying to create more chances in the attacking third, whether it's getting goals or getting assists and I feel like I have been on a good run of form."

Donovan 'definitely' returning for 2013, says Arena

Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
Landon Donovan missed the first day of LA Galaxy's pre-season at the Home Depot Center on Monday, but coach Bruce Arena still expects his captain back for the upcoming season.

Donovan, 30, spoke openly of his mental exhaustion leading up to and directly following the Galaxy's 2012 MLS Cup triumph, even publicly toying with retirement.

But Arena, who spoke to Donovan on Sunday, has said the U.S. international will play a role in the 2013 season.

We've given him a little bit more time off, Arena said. He's definitely playing this year, just working out a return date that makes sense for all of us.

We haven't narrowed it down yet. We'll wait and see. We haven't firmly established a return date yet.

I thought he was going to come back, I think he just needs an extended leave of absence. He's had a couple years that have taken its toll.

Donovan is one of 12 Galaxy first-team players who skipped the first day of pre-season, including Todd Dunivant - who is on his honeymoon.

And Arena said he was happy to tailor pre-season training for some of his older players.

[Donovan], like any player, needs the right time of pre-season to get ready to play. The longer he takes off, it's going to take him a longer period of time to be ready to play, Arena said.

The older players, they prefer less time [in pre-season] because it wears them down. The younger players can deal with the grind a little bit better.

"But generally we like to see players get three to four weeks in before they're ready to play. Then you need some real competitive matches to bring your fitness along.

Donovan's absence has also ruled him out of the January U.S. training camp and contention for the World Cup qualifying match against Honduras on February 6, according to U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Senin, 21 Januari 2013

Cruyff's absence led to Chivas sacking, says Gallardo

By Pavel Ibarra Meda

Chivas midfielder Antonio Gallardo believes that former advisor Johan Cruyff's absence at the club ultimately led to his sacking.

The Dutch legend took up the role in February 2012 and the Mexican club were hopeful that the 65-year-old's advice could lead into positive results after a long losing streak.

However he could not turn the tides and was sacked in December and Gallardo feels that Cruyff's lack of presence at the club was one of the main reasons for the failure of the experiment.

"I think that Johan is a person with a huge career, but his not being present made it difficult to get positive results," the 23-year-old told Goal.com.

Gallardo, who is currently enjoying a loan spell at Queretaro, went on to say that he is hoping to gain some much-needed experience at the club.
"There are many players with experience and quality [at Queretaro], each player brings something to the team, so hopefully I can mature, learn and grow a lot in a sporting aspect."

"I see this as an opportunity to grow as a professional and as a person. I am very pleased to have come here and motivated to do well for the team."

Sabtu, 19 Januari 2013

No Beckham or Balotelli moves for AC Milan, insists Allegri

Mario Balotelli - Manchester City
AC Milan coach Massmiliano Allegri has dismissed claims his club are interested in signing Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli or David Beckham.

The Italy international has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A but Allegri has suggested the City man is simply too expensive for Milan.

"Last Friday his price at Manchester stock market was 37M. We'll see on Monday," he told reporters ahead of his side's clash with Bologna.

Allegri also claimed that the club were not interested in bringing Beckham back to the club for another spell, and that they were focusing their attentions instead on signing Kaka.

"'[We are] only negotiating for Kaka, so there will be no Mario Balotelli or David Beckham," he added.

"There are talks in progress for Kaka, an important negotiation process if this great return should occur. I agree with the club and Adriano Galliani on everything, so there has never been my position opposed to that of the club. There is an exchange of ideas, certainly, but it's not true that I don't want Kaka.

"Beckham? I know Beckham, he is a great guy and a player of real class. However, you can't wipe out his birth certificate and Milan have chosen to focus on youth hopefully with support from an important champion like Kaka.

"Balotelli? We are only negotiating for Kaka. In attack we have Giampaolo Pazzini, Bojan Krkic and M'Baye Niang, while we also have experienced players who bring a sense of security."