Selasa, 30 Oktober 2012

'He wanted some distance from football' - Cruyff reveals motives behind Guardiola's move to New York

Johan Cruyff - Barcelona
Johan Cruyff has explained that Pep Guardiola's decision to move to New York was motivated by a need to "distance" himself from the intense nature of football management.

The former midfielder stepped down from his position as coach of Barcelona during the summer after four trophy-laden years at Camp Nou, where he lifted a succession of Liga titles, Copa del Rey trophies and Champions Leagues.

His decision to resign and take a sabbatical on the East Coast was met with scepticism from some quarters, but after visiting him, the Blaugrana great is adamant that the change of scenery will do him the world of good in the long run.

"Pep lives in the USA now because he had four very intense years as coach of Barcelona," he told reporters.

"He wanted some distance from football. In New York, he can walk around without being recognised so that he can think about his future.

"I am very busy with football at the mome nt, so it was good to speak with someone like Guardiola. He sees things very clearly and is open with his opinion. He understands the things I am doing [at Ajax and Chivas]."

Senin, 29 Oktober 2012

Henry, Heskey or Hernandez? Pick your Goal of the Week

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Venezuela star Juan Arango won last week'scompetition with over 40 per cent of the vote, having scored a thunderbolt against Ecuador.

As always we select our favourite five strikes from the Goal Show. Enjoy!

First up we have former Arsenal striker, Thierry Henry. The Frenchman scoring against Philadelphia to secure third place in the Eastern Conference.

Goal two comes from the Concacaf Champions League, as the Mexican volleyed home against Alajuelense.

Welcome to the stage, Mr Emile Heskey. The former England striker making his first appearance in Goal of the Week following his move to the A-League.

Option 4 is the the former Blackburn midfielder, Brett Emerton. The Australian scoring a delightful chip for Sydney FC against Perth Glory.

We finish this week's list with a title-clinching strike. Goa Lin scori ng for Evergrande to seal the Chinese Super League championship.

Minggu, 28 Oktober 2012

Dempsey looking for Tottenham response at Southampton

EPL - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Clint Dempsey
USA international Clint Dempsey is hoping Tottenham's recent run of form can be turned around, as they take on struggling Southampton on Sunday in what has become a must-win game for both teams.

The north London club suffered a 4-2 home defeat by Chelsea in their last Premier League outing, and followed that with a disappointing 1-1 Europa League draw in Slovenia against Maribor in midweek.

But having already won 3-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford this season, Andres Villas-Boas' men have shown they are capable of taking on and beating the best, and Dempsey is hoping for a swift response from the team at St. Mary's.

"Its always difficult on the road in the Premier League and it will be on Sunday because Southampton are clearly a good team that have shown that they can score goals," former Fulham star Dempsey told The Daily Mail.

"After playing on a Thursday night on the other side of Europe you just have to make s ure your body is right and that you are taking care of yourself in the way you need to.

"All you can control is how well you rest, rehab, take ice baths and train. You must stay sharp and be able to give your best effort. Its a busy schedule but every team has to deal with it. Well just have to keep plugging away."

Spurs were widely expected to progress from their Europa League group when the draw was made, and Dempsey believes they can still achieve that despite an unconvincing performance against Maribor.

"At least we ground out a result. We showed character to get back in the game and put ourselves in a position where we are still right there in the group. The group remains very tight and there is everything to play for. Were taking every competition seriously, including Europe. We want to do well in everything."

I could have been playing for Inter, claims Marco Di Vaio

Marco Di Vaio - Montreal Impact
Marco Di Vaio had the opportunity to sign for Inter, amongst other clubs, during the summer before deciding to move to Montreal Impact in Canada where he has settled in quickly.

The Italian, who scored 65 goals in 143 matches for Bologna, said it was important that his last appearance in Italy should be for the Rossoblu.

Di Vaio told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I had a few interested clubs over the summer, including Inter but at 36 I decided to move to the MLS. It was important for me, above all, that my last match in Italy was for Bologna."

Speaking of life in Canada, the striker added: "It's like a different world in Montreal, the approach is more serene."

"There are new stadiums, often full, and people immerse themselves in the game," Di Vaio said of the MLS.

"The inclusivity of the fans is really good. We train in the morning, and about four times a month we stay behind and talk to the fans wh o have the chance to come and talk to us, take pictures and ask for autographs."

Sabtu, 27 Oktober 2012

Tottenham goalkeeper Friedel to consider retirement at end of season

Brad Friedel - Tottenham vs. Sunderland

Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel admits that he may consider retiring at the end of the season as he begins to look at his future with the Premier League club.

The 41-year-old, whose run of 310 consecutive league games over eight years stretching back to August 14, 2004 - was halted when his rival Hugo Lloris was chosen ahead of him for Spurs fixture against Aston Villa on October 7.

And, although the American insists that the rivalry with the France captain is healthy, Friedel will access his options at the end of the current campaign with his current up for renewal.

"I'm definitely looking at all the possibilities for next season," he told Sports Illustrated.

The former USA international is expected to make way for Lloris as the north London side take on Maribor in the Europa League and insists he accepts Andre Villas-Boas rotation policy following the 25-year-olds summer move to the capital.

Meanwhi le, Friedel is positive that compatriot Clint Dempsey will prove to a vital part of the Tottenham first-team squad.

"Tottenham's a big club, and the fans expect to play in a certain way, a very attack-minded way," he added.

"Clint with his ability to score goals will fit into it really well."

Jumat, 26 Oktober 2012

Our goal is to win trophies at Arsenal, insists Kroenke

Stan Kroenke, Denver Nuggets

Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has moved to reassure the clubs fans that the shareholders main goal is to win trophies.

The statement comes in the wake of a stormy Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, at which the shareholders tried to reassure the fans of their plans to win trophies at the club, despite manager Arsene Wenger insisting that Champions League qualification was primary focus over FA Cup and League Cup triumph.

However, after losing 1-0 to Norwich in the Premier League and suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Schalke in the Champions League within four days, Kroenke has released a statement aiming to further reassure fans of his ambition for the club.

"The reason I am involved in sport is to win," he said.

"It's what it's all about. Everything else is a footnote. I can assure you no-one is more ambitious than me."

"Arsenal is a tremendous club with a track record of consistent performance at the top level.

"That is very rare, but we have managed it. I know that will continue as we move forwards. We have an exciting future and our goal is to win trophies."

Mallorca ready to attack Madrid, says Dos Santos

Giovani dos Santos, RCD Mallorca
Mallorca attacker Giovani dos Santos has warned the Real Madrid squad that they will be up against it when the two clubs meet on Sunday.

The forward, who came through the ranks at Barcelona's youth system, La Masia, believes the pressures of the title race could work against the Spanish champions, and is determined to spring a shock result.

"The visit of Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a huge motivation for us to up our game," he stated at a pre-match press conference.

"We really need a result after three defeats [against Getafe, Granada and Sevilla] and Madrid haven't been playing great recently. If you want to beat Madrid, you have to attack them.

"They have the added pressure of knowing that Barcelona are running away with the league and therefore they'll go out and attack us from the off, and we'll try to take advantage of the space they will leave."

Rabu, 24 Oktober 2012

Donovan doubts January return to Everton after hinting at break from football

Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan has thrown the prospect of a future loan spell at Everton in doubt after revealing his desire to assess his future playing career.

The USA internatonal is unsure over whether to prolong the playing dayd, revealing it is "impossible to think" about his future while he is an active progfessional.

Donovan has admitted to suffering from a lack of motivation during points in his career, and enjoys the freedom of travelling around the world away from the constraints of the modern-day game.

"Right now, I need time to think and that is impossible to achieve while I am playing," he told ESPN.

"I need to determine if I want to play, and if the answer is yes, I need to work out where and for how long.

"I plan to spend a lot of time travelling to distant places, alone. I am not sure where. I want to take time to have some freedom and not worry about my next game or being fit. It may take me two weeks, two months or a year."

Donovan insists he is not just concerned with when, or if, he comes back, but more so how he feels at that moment in time.

He continued: "I don't plan on worrying about the end result. I want to focus on being present and making the decision when I am ready.

"I am at a point where I realise that if I am to come back I need to do so with the right mindset."

And if Donovan was to return to football after a spell away, he would definitely consider rejoining Everton, with whom he enjoyed two fruitful loan spells.

"Everton was a fling that grew into a full-blown affair. I do think about them because they really stole my heart when I walked into Goodison Park," he said.

"Everyone was so unbelievably welcoming, from [David] Moyes to the tea lady. I have such affection for the club.

Selasa, 23 Oktober 2012

Howard: Jagielka form could lead to permanent England role

EPL,Phil Jagielka,Everton v Queens Park Rangers
Tim Howard believes Everton "rock" Phil Jagielka's recent form should see him rewarded with a regular run in the England team.

The USA international was full of praise for Jagielka after an "immense" defensive display in the Toffees' 1-1 draw with QPR on Sunday, ensuring David Moyes' side left Loftus Road with a point despite being reduced to 10-men following Steven Pienaar's red card in the second half.

And the Everton keeper is more than confident that Jagielka will continue his impressive form and lead the side to victory when Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side make the short trip across Stanley Park this coming weekend.

"Jags was immense. He's a leader, he's solid - and he was an animal against QPR," Howard said.

"He's grown and grown and looks like he will cement himself in the England team playing like that. He's been doing that for us for years.

"He's been a rock at Everton for a long time and we need him to have th e momentum going into the derby."

Jumat, 12 Oktober 2012

Goal of the Week: Arsenal's Denilson wins our latest poll ahead of Robbie Keane

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Sao Paulo midfielder Denilson, on loan from Arsenal, has secured over 50 per cent of your vote following his screamer against Palmeiras to win our latest poll.

In second place was was LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane with 19.68%. The former Spurs striker converting a driven volley from an acute angle.

Be sure to check out next week's competition on Monday, as we pick our favourite efforts from the Goal Show.

Senin, 08 Oktober 2012

Guardiola would be perfect for Arsenal, claims former Barcelona defender Marquez

Pep Guardiola - Barcelona (Getty Images)
Former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez believes Pep Guardiola would be the "perfect" manager for Arsenal.

The 33-year-old played under Guardiola at Camp Nou for two seasons before his move to MLS side New York Red Bulls in August 2010.

Guardiola has been linked with a host of top European sides following his departure from Barcelona at the end of last season, while exclusively revealed in September that Sir Alex Ferguson has earmarked the 41-year-old as one of two candidates to succeed him at Manchester United, with the other potential appointment being Jose Mourinho.

But Marquez claims Guardiola would be a better replacement for Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium and believes the Spaniard's next managerial role will be in the Premier League.

Marquez told SER: "Guardiola will soon return to the game. I think he'll go to England. He'd be perfect for Arsenal."

Arsenal's Denilson, Robbie Keane or Luis Fabiano? Pick your Goal of the Week

Robbie Keane; Los Angeles Galaxy; MLS

Thierry Henry won last week'scompetition with over 85 per cent of the vote, with. Kim Hyun-Sung finishing in second spot.

As always we select our favourite five strikes from the Goal Show and ask you to pick your winner.

Teenager Louis Fenton scored on his debut for Wellington in their victory over Sydney.

The former Spurs striker scored from a tight angle, as his volley flew into the bottom corner of the goal.

The San Jose man netted a hat-trick against the Rapids at the weekend, and comes in at number three.

Remember him? The Brazilian's still on loan from Arsenal and is option number four, following his effort against Palmeiras.

And finally, another goal from the same game. as former Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano found the net.

Minggu, 07 Oktober 2012

Camp Nou has always been the reference of Catalanism, says Crosas

Santos Laguna midfielder Marc Crosas says Camp Nou will always be the "reference point" of Catalan nationalism, as the former Barcelona youngster looks ahead to the Clasico with Real Madrid on Sunday.

Mass demonstrations were initiated in the streets of the autonomous entity during August, with reportedly up to as many as 1.5 million people marching in support of the region's fight for independence from Spain.

A supporter of the movement, Crosas, a product ofLa Masia and now plying his trade in Mexico, revealed his preference at being labelled Catalan and claimed the sporting venue has born into a manifestation of the ideology.

"This is not something new. Camp Nou ha s always been the reference point of Catalanism and if a fan does not want to post the ballot paper because they do not feel Catalan, then they must not do it," Crosas toldMarca.

"I always hear the notion that sport and politics do not mix, but that's one of the biggest lies I've ever heard. Whenever you do something in politics, it is always viewed as a mistake by someone else.

"In all places I have always been to, I have been treated as Spanish, except in Scotland, whose people have more knowledge of the Catalan conflict.

"There, if I was called Catalan. I'd always agree with them. Outside Spain, I am Spanish and Catalan. Anyway, I find them to be small matters. I've never bothered to call myself Spanish, but quite the opposite.

Crosas, who has twice been capped by Catalunya, never made a first-team appearance for Barca in La Liga, having been shipped out on loan to Olympique Lyonnais before being transferred to Celtic in the summer of 2008.

Nonetheless, he remains an avid supporter of Tito Vilanova's men and expects his previous employers to narrowly overcome their bitter rivals.

"I am Cule to the core," he added. "Barca will win but it won't be easy. I'll say 3-1 because 2-1 would be too risky.

"Right now, I don't think there is a better match at club level worldwide. It will be a great match, but it will be a very even game.

"It won't be as open as the Supercopa, when Barca and Madrid were vastly superior at varying points over the two legs."

Much was made about the departure of Pep Guardiola and his replacement Vilanova last summer, but Crosas feels the Blaugrana's continued positive results under the former assistant pays testament to the quality of the squad.

"Guardiola's personality would be missed by any team, but [Barcelona] are working really well without him, which means that those who make the difference are the players," he said.

"Tito is certainly not as charismatic as Guardiola, but the message is always the same."

The Liga MX was swelled by the arrivals of Spanish-based quartet Crosas, Valdo, Raul Tamudo and Luis Garcia in the summer, but while the midfielder has flourished at Santos Laguna, the others have struggled at their respective clubs.

Nonetheless, the former Volga man is confident that his compatriots will eventually come good in the Mexican top flight.

"The truth is that, here in Mexi co, I am comfortable," Crosas claimed. "The people treat me very well and I like the championship. I would not mind being here for the next five years.

"Personally, I feel very well. At first I felt I was lacking in pace, but today I feel I have the consistency levels that I was looking for. Right now, the team is responding to the expectations we set out [at the start of the season].

"I'm surprised that Valdo, Tamudo and Luis Garcia are not getting many minutes, but I have no doubt that they will end up making a difference.

"I know Luis the most and he's a great player like the others. [If they didn't get much more game time], I would be a very concerned fan because I know that when these players are given a chance, they will do very well."

Jumat, 05 Oktober 2012

Goal of the Week: Thierry Henry storms to victory in record win

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New York Red Bull's Thierry Henry secured over 85 per cent of your vote following his fantastic effort against Toronto, securing the accolade by a record margin.

In second place was Shimzu S-Pulse's Kim Hyun Sung with 5.78%. The South Korean striker scoring from distance against Vegalta Sendai.

Be sure to check out next week's competition on Monday, as we pick our favourite efforts from the Goal Show.

Kamis, 04 Oktober 2012

Harry Redknapp open to possibility of coaching New York Red Bulls

FA Cup: Harry Redknapp, Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
By Alex Labidou

Harry Redknapp is open to the possibility of managing the New York Red Bulls, but the former Tottenham boss will not express a formal interest in the position until the future of current coach Hans Backe has been resolved, can reveal.

Speculation over the future of Red Bulls head coach Backe continues to grow with the arrival of new general manager Jerome de Bontin.

Backe is in his final year of his three-year contract with the Red Bulls and it is speculated that De Bontin will want to hire his own coach unless the 60-year-old delivers an MLS Cup this season.

Still, the recruitment of Redknapp could help the club in its ambitions. It is no secret that the Red Bulls are interested in Real Madrid midfielder Kaka. The Brazilian's agent told the New York Post that his client would consider a move to the Big Apple in 2014. Having a seasoned well-known manager like Redknapp would only be more enticing for the former World Player of the Year. Also, it is rumored that Thierry Henry has a good relationship with the currently unemployed coach.

As for Backe's end, a source close to the coach told that the Red Bulls haven't started conversations about a possible extension, leaving his future uncertain with the club. Red Bulls lead executive Gerard Houllier was unavailable for comment on Backe's future.