COME ON YOU SPURS!
Former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has revealed a rift with the club’s manager, Brendan Rogers, led to him leaving Anfield last month.
The Denmark international ended an eight-year association with the Reds during the recent transfer window when he returned home to rejoin Brondby.
Despite his injury problems, Agger was a mainstay at the back for the Merseysiders and was named vice-captain ahead of the 2013/14 season following the retirement of Jamie Carragher.
However, the 29-year-old centre-back fell out of favour with Rodgers last term and found himself behind Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure in the pecking order.
Agger has now admitted that he and Rodgers did not see eye-to-eye and feels the Ulsterman didn’t appreciate his talents, having been restricted to just 20 league appearances as the Reds finished runners-up to Manchester City in the title race.
He told Danish sports channel TV3 SPORT: “Let me put it this way, me and the manager were perhaps not on the same page last season. For most of the season at least.
“He and I maybe went wrong with each other because I am very direct. I say things as they are, so I expect people will be the same to me. Maybe it’s wrong to expect this sometimes.
“There was much (distance) between us, and for me it was just enough. I felt he didn’t appreciate the things I could do and contributed. When I feel that, then it’s time to move on.”
Agger added: “When you are a part of the starting 11 for several games in a row and the team have performed well, and you feel that you have played well, then you are left out of the team and don’t feel appreciated, it starts to prey on your mind and you wonder.
“Then at the same time you see the statistics from your game – which are so important all around the world of football – and you don’t understand why you weren’t used more often.”
Marseille midfielder Florian Thauvin has revealed that he had an offer to join Inter Milan in the off-season, but is happy that he stayed at the Stade Velodrome.
The highly-rated Frenchman joined L’OM in September 2013 after protracted negotiations, just months after he signed a four-year deal at Lille.
And after impressing in his first season at Les Phoceens, the 21-year-old was linked with a whole host of clubs throughout the summer transfer window.
However, one team actually agreed a deal with Marseille to sign Thauvin, but he rejected the chance to go to the Serie A to earn a place under new boss Marcelo Bielsa.
“The president had contact with Inter, but I don’t know exactly what happened,” the France U21 international told the club’s official website.
“Things were clear for the president and me: my departure was out of the question, so honestly I haven’t studied the offer.
“It’s flattering [interest from elsewhere]. [But] I am a Marseille player and they are a big club too. Here I feel really good.”
Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi has ruled out the possibility of calling up Manchester City wonderkid Kelechi Iheanacho to the Super Eagles squad.
The 17-year-old won many admirers during the Citizens’ pre-season tour of the USA and has since been linked with a loan move to the MLS in January.
There have been calls for the Under-20 international to be considered for the creative role in the Super Eagles team, but Keshi has insisted that the youngster is not ready.
“Iheanacho hasn’t been playing in the premier league and it simply tells you that Manchester City wants him to get more experience,” the Eagles boss is quoted as saying by Vanguard.
“He is not part of the team (City) at the moment and he has to get more experience and maybe see if he has what it takes to be there.”
Keshi has also said that he will not be selecting Obafemi Martins after the Seattle Sounders striker declared his availability.
“For Obafemi Martins, it’s good to indicate interest to play for his country, as a former player of course,” he added.
“But we have other players out there in his position, younger players. So we have to give younger players a chance and the opportunity to grow.”
Keshi, who is still discussing a new contract, is reportedly set to continue as Nigeria coach for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a match-to-match agreement.
The competition’s sponsors have handed the away fans 1,000 green sweatshirts to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of legendary former boss Brian Clough’s passing
Fiorentina have been handed a fresh injury blow with the news that striker Mario Gomez is expected to miss around three weeks with a thigh injury.
La Viola have already lost Guiseppe Rossi to a serious knee injury, which could keep him sidelined for several months.
The club confirmed that Gomez would also miss a couple of weeks after undergoing scan on the injury sustained in a 1-0 win over Atalanta on Sunday.
“ACF Fiorentina can confirm that in the closing stages of the Atalanta v Fiorentina match, Mario Gomez sustained a grade one injury to the myotendinous junction of the flexor tendons in his right thigh,” an official statement read.
“This diagnosis was confirmed by medical checks carried out today [Monday]. Gomez has already started treatment on the injury, and will undergo more tests in 10 days.
“He is expected to return to full fitness within three weeks.”
Gomez has had several injury problems since making the move to the Stadio Artemio Franchi from Bayern last year, limiting him to 10 Serie A appearances.
Italy manager Antonio Conte has backed his decision to unexpectedly leave Juventus, saying it was the right time to part ways with the club.
Conte oversaw a hugely successful period at the Turin club, winning the Serie A title in each of his three seasons at the Juventus Stadium.
However, after clinching the league crown again last season, the 45-year-old suddenly resigned from his post in the off-season, eventually taking replacing Cesare Prandelli as Italy head coach.
And Conte believes he made the right decision to leave, even if some people don’t understand his decision to do so.
“When you have a strong sentimental relationship, there comes a time when it’s right to separate – for the good of everyone,” the Italian told Il Processo del Lunedi.
“It’s hard to understand if you’re a fan, but everything was done with good intentions.
“My relationship with Agnelli, Marotta and Paratici isn’t broken. The relationship remains, but I thought and I said that after three years we had reached the end.
“In three years, Juve built a skyscraper from the ground up. [When I took over] the team was coming from two seventh-place finishes, and it wasn’t easy to bring in the right mentality.
“However, by the time we went to the training camp I realised I had at my disposal a group of players willing to overcome any obstacle.
“I had a great team, and along with the President we believed we could achieve miracles. And that’s what we did.”
Tottenham Hotspur take on Nottingham Forest tomorrow evening in the Capital One League Cup. Check out the complete history of results between the two teams.
San Siro side chase White Hart Lane striker.
Inter Milan are readying a bid for Tottenham flop Roberto Soldado according to Spanish source Fichajes.
The Serie A side are ready to offer €15m (£11m) for the Spanish international, an offer that is some way short of the £26m the White Hart Lane side paid Valencia for the forward just over a year ago.
The 29 year old netted just six goals in 28 Premier League appearances last season, of which four were from the penalty spot, and boss Mauricio Pochettino has handed the experienced marksman just 39 minutes of top tier domestic action thus far this season and therefore may be open to selling the attacker.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy may however demand a bigger fee for Soldado and one has to wonder as to why San Siro manager Walter Mazzarri even has to entertain the notion of an offer for the Premier League star at all.
His Inter Milan side have netted nine goals in their opening three Serie A fixtures and don’t appear to be in urgent need of further striking reinforcements.
Time to Stand Up and Be Counted!Vitalfootball: Spurs: 23/09/2014 08:29:00Its often good to hear players lament a performance, but what we need is not players talking the talk, but walking the walk.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists he is not concerned about Steven Gerrard’s poor form in the back-to-back defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham.
The Reds skipper’s looked a shadow of himself as he completed his third 90-minute appearance in the 3-1 reverse at Upton Park having featured in the unconvincing Champions League win over newcomers Ludogorets.
The loss on Saturday meant that Rodgers’ side has slumped to three defeats in their opening five games and the manager insists the whole squad must take responsibility for their poor form.
“I have no concerns,” the Ulsterman said when asked about Gerrard in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Middlesbrough.
“He’s a brilliant player for us, really talented. It was a team performance that was not up to scratch against West Ham.
“We have conceded eight goals and the majority of those could have been avoided. But for us as a team, we need to be better.
“We’re still looking to find our performance level, which apart from Tottenham, we’ve not been at.”
Despite Gerrard playing 270 minutes last week, Rodgers is pleased with how the 34-year-old’s recovery have been handled.
“We have managed his recovery really well in the last two seasons, even when Steven was playing international football,” he said.
“If you look at his numbers and games, they have been as good as ever. He is at the age where we need to treat him individually.
“We want him to be involved in the big games because of his experience and we will always taper that recovery to allow him to be the best he can be.”
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has slammed the current fixture congestion his side has to navigate as they prepare for their third game in seven days.
The Bavarians played out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, before slumping to a goalless draw with Hamburg at the weekend.
Next up they face early Bundesliga leaders Paderborn at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday in an unusually scheduled midweek fixture.
And Guardiola believes players will suffer from burnout if they are forced to play too many games in such a short period of time.
“We’re killing the players,” he told reporters. “We’re asking too much of them. The players need time to rest.
“This is true not only for Bayern, but for Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. It is impossible to play every three days and keep the same players.”
The defending league champions have made an indifferent start to their season with two wins and two draws, but it is the newly-promoted Paderborn who sit at the summit with the same record.
However, Guardiola is not concerned with the shape of the league table just four games into the new season.
“The table isn’t important yet,” he added. “We have to focus on our own results and performances, not others.
“Paderborn are very impressive, though, and we know why they’re top of the table. They’ll press us aggressively. They have nothing to lose.”
Poor PochVitalfootball: Spurs: 23/09/2014 08:14:00Pochettino will probably be sacked by the end of the season…
Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany believes Frank Lampard’s equaliser against his former side Chelsea could be pivotal in the title race come the end of the season.
Lampard was released by the Blues at the end of last season after his contract expired and subsequently signed for New York City FC, who in turn loaned him to sister club Manchester City until January.
On Sunday, the Citizens looked set to fall eight points behind early leaders the Blues as Andre Schurrle opened the scoring minutes after Pablo Zabaleta’s sending off for a second yellow card.
However, with five minutes remaining, the all-time top scorer in Chelsea’s history popped up with the equaliser that would deny his former side the three points at the Etihad.
And skipper Kompany believes Lampard’s strike could prove to be the pivotal moment of City’s season as they aim to retain their Premier League title.
“Ever since I’ve been at this club, seasons and big moments have been decided on small events like this, so I will never underestimate what it could mean to our season,” the Belgium international told reporters.
“Frank has brought experience – experience is not just a word you make up, it’s really something that helps, like the goal he scored.
“It means keeping your head cool when you’re under pressure and we’re down to 10 men. How many players would’ve scored that goal? That’s what he’s proven in only a few minutes.”
Mamelodi Sundowns have been boosted by the return to training of creative duo Lebohang Mokoena and Khama Billiat ahead of this weekend’s league match against Polokwane City.
The pair have missed the start of the new campaign as they have been nursing injuries, but have joined the rest of their team-mates for full training this week.
Billiat has been recovering from a foot injury suffered last term, while Mokoena has been sidelined since pre-season after undergoing an operation for a shoulder injury.
The duo’s return is good news for head coach Pitso Mosimane as they add to the Brazilians’ attacking options for Sunday’s trip to Rise and Shine.
Orlando Pirates skipper Lucky Lekgwathi’s return to action will have to wait even longer after the reappearance of his ankle injury.
The 38-year-old is yet to feature for the Buccaneers this season after injuring his ankle in training in August. Lekgwathi was back in training this week, but all did not go according to plan, with the defender suffering a setback.
“I thought I was fully recovered and went back to training, but then I hurt myself and that’s why I am still out,” he told Soccer Laduma.
“I am working hard on the injury now to recover and help the team. I know it’s frustrating to be on the sidelines but that’s football and I understand, but I will be back very soon.”
Orlando Pirates striker Lehlohonolo Majoro has revealed that he did not receive a particularly warm reception on his arrival at the club.
Majoro made the switch from Kaizer Chiefs to Pirates in February, having fallen out with the Glamour Boys and his agent, Tim Suzuki.
The South Africa international was initially confined to the sidelines as he looked to regain match fitness, and the transition was made even more difficult by the fact that his new team-mates did not welcome him with open arms.
“The truth is most of them [Pirates players] thought I was arrogant when I first arrived,” Majoro told KickOff.
“I didn’t just arrive and start making jokes; I got there and greeted each and every one. When you arrive at a new team, you are expected to come and show respect to the ones who are already there.
“The truth is most of them [Pirates players] thought I was arrogant when I first arrived. I didn’t just arrive and start making jokes; I got there and greeted each and every one. When you arrive at a new team, you are expected to come and show respect to the ones who are already there.”
Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin insists the club can back up their impressive start to the campaign by winning silverware this season.
West Ham will be out the services of midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for six weeks due to a groin injury suffered against Liverpool.
The Senegal international picked up the injury in the first half of Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Reds, and although he played on, scans later revealed the full extent of the injury.
“Bad news. C.Kouyate will be out for 6 weeks,” West Ham co-chairman David Gold wrote on Twitter. “He will probably miss 5 games and might be available for Aston Villa at home 8 nov.”
The 24-year-old is currently enjoying his first season with the Hammers, having joined the London outfit from Anderlecht in the off-season.
Cliff Jones is a Tottenham Legend and will never be forgotten at White Hart Lane for his contribution to the ‘Double’ team and the glory days of the early 1960s. Cliff Jones was a speedy winger who could create and score goals. He served the club for ten years and played a major part in […]
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has lauded the coaches at the Southampton Academy ahead of his side’s Capital One Cup clash with the Saints.
The South Coast outfit has in recent years produced talents the likes of Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale and the Arsenal trio of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and Calum Chambers.
In addition to the loss of academy product Chambers ahead of the new season, Southampton also saw Adam Lallana,Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw head for the exit.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s clash, Wenger said that Southampton’s start to the campaign, which sees Ronald Koeman’s team sitting in second in the league table, is quite an achievement due to the instability surrounding the club.
“I think if you look at the talents they have sold over the years, they could have been contenders to win the Premier League because they lost Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Bale plus all the players they lost last season, plus all the players they still have,” Wenger said Monday.
“They have done a fantastic job at Southampton, they deserve a lot of credit,” the veteran French boss added.
“They are miracle-workers at Southampton and you must say everybody expected them to collapse, they lost the spine of their team, they lost their manager and they bounced back in a such a way.”
While the Southampton youngsters may be in the limelight already, Wenger will be looking to give some of his own bright, young talents a run in the cup encounter.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) night you might see Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Isaac Hayden. In the squad, we also have Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi as well. These are the players that are the closest,” explained Wenger.