Fergie blames agent for Pogba’s Man United exit – and he hits back

first_img Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola The agent of Paul Pogba has hit back at claims by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson that he was to blame for the midfielder leaving Old Trafford.The Frenchman left the English giants in 2012 for Juventus, where he has since won three Serie A titles.United have often been criticised for letting the 22-year-old go after watching him develop into one of the world’s best players.In Sir Alex’s new book, Leading, the Scotsman claims it was Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola who caused the move.However, Raiola has now rubbished those remarks and instead argued that Sir Alex made a mistake.“Those words don’t describe my work in a negative way. I rate them as a proof that I am good at my job,” Raiola told Tuttosport.“I have to do what’s best for my player’s sake. If I had looked only at my immediate gain, I would have kept Pogba in Manchester.“But I put Pogba’s interests first and we decided to go to Turin. Maybe Ferguson only likes those who obey him.“From his quotes, I understand that Ferguson still doesn’t have a clue who Pogba really is. Ferguson was an excellent manager, but the greatest managers can be wrong sometimes.” 1last_img read more

Is Slaven Bilic right to say West Ham play like this?

first_imgSlaven Bilic has urged his West Ham side to stop treating home games like ‘basketball’ matches.The Hammers have picked up just one win at Upton Park this season but made it four on the road on Saturday when they scored a late double to beat Crystal Palace 3-1. Alan Pardew’s Palace join Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in all losing to the Irons on home turf this season.“We don’t say ‘away we are going to play like this, and at home we are going to play like this’,” he said. “But sometimes you have to change.“We will try to win our home games and maintain our away form, but it’s more that we started sloppily in a couple of home games.“At home sometimes we are playing like it’s basketball and you have a limit of 24 seconds to finish your move, and you are forcing the situation too early.“Away we are a little bit more patient, but at home not patient enough.”The Selhurst Park victory saw Bilic’s men go fourth in the Premier League and they are now unbeaten in six, but the Croatian is keen not to get carried away. He stated: “At the club we have no expectations.”“You can’t stop the fans’ (expectations) – unless you start losing, and that is not what we want.“But our target is to stay in the league. It’s early days, not late May. Our target is to play good football, to be solid, defend and attack with numbers and keep the ball, score more goals and get more points. “Where we will finish, I don’t know! But it should be good.” West Ham’s away success has not been matched by their home form this season 1last_img read more

Gary Cahill signs new FOUR-YEAR Chelsea contract

first_img1 Chelsea defender Gary Cahill Gary Cahill has signed a new four-year contract at Chelsea, the Premier League club have announced.Just weeks before his 30th birthday, the England international has penned a new deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2019.The centre-back has won every major club honour since arriving at Stamford Bridge in January 2012 in what now looks like a bargain £7million deal.Fresh from committing his future with the club, Cahill said: “I’m really pleased to commit my future to Chelsea and it’s great the club has put their faith in me.“I have achieved a lot here and I hope I can keep on learning, helping the team and lifting trophies over the next four years.”Cahill was named in the PFA’s Premier League team of the year for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, having won the league title and Capital One Cup in the latter campaign.The Dronfield-born defender has also claimed winners medals in the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup, racking up 177 Chelsea appearances in the process.Cahill has won 40 international caps and is England vice-captain, leading the side out for the first time in October’s Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Estonia.last_img read more

Tottenham aiming to land young Italy striker – but face Juventus fight

first_img1 Domenico Berardi Tottenham are still hoping they can persuade young Italian striker Domenico Berardi to join them instead of Juventus at the end of the seasonBerardi is co-owned by Sassuolo and Juve but there is a clause in the player’s contract which allows the Turin club to buy him outright in the next two seasons.However, according to Sport Mediaset, Berardi is concerned about the amount of playing time he is likely to get at Juve, having seen former team-mate Simone Zaza struggle to get a look-in there this season.  The report also claims Berardi is interested in what Spurs have to offer and was in London during the winter break.Monaco are also keeping an eye on the situation but any potential buyers will have to better the £12m Juve have agreed to pay at the end of the 2015/16 season.last_img read more

REVEALED! English football’s longest unbeaten runs in ALL competitions

first_imgBarcelona’s 2-0 Champions League last 16 first leg victory over Arsenal on Tuesday night has extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to 33 games.The spell of form, which started on October 17 with a 5-2 win over Rayo Vallecano in La Liga also covers matches in the Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup and Champions League.Luis Enrique’s side will, though, be wary about their next match as they take on Sevilla, the team who inflicted their last loss, at the Nou Camp.But how does Barcelona’s current run compare to the longest unbeaten spells in English football?Click the right arrow above to find out…NB. We have only included teams that played in the top division of English football. Results in competitions include First Division/Premier League, European competition (including UEFA Super Cup), FA Cup, League Cup and Charity/Community Shield. Friendly matches are not included. 6. Liverpool – 25 games unbeaten in all competitions in 1982! Barcelona are currently on an unbeaten run across all competitions since October 17 covering 33 games. But how does their streak compare to the best English records? Liverpool have the SIXTH longest with 25 games in all competitions (March to September 1982) CLICK THE RIGHT ARROW ABOVE to see which clubs boast even longer unbeaten records! – With Barcelona on an incredible run without defeat, we’ve discovered the longest unbeaten runs by English sides in all competitions, and at number six in our countdown is Liverpool’s early 1980s vintage. After losing 1-0 at home to Brighton on 6 March 1982, the Reds went 25 games unbeaten (23 league, one League Cup final and one Charity Shield), claiming three pieces of silverware in the process. 2. Manchester United – Unbeaten for 33 games in all competitions (December 1998 to August 1999) Click the arrow to see which club is still number one! – The Red Devils’ run from late 1998 through to the end of the 1998/99 season culminated in the most sensational period experienced by any English club. United lost 3-2 at home to Middlesbrough on 19 December 1998, and didn’t lose another game until Arsenal beat them 2-1 in the Charity Shield on 1 August 1999. In between, United went unbeaten in 20 Premier League matches, eight FA Cup games and five Champions League ties. The result was a remarkable treble success in all three competitions. But it’s not the longest unbeaten run in all competitions. 7 Joint 3rd. Arsenal – Unbeaten for 28 games in all competitions (April to November 2007) Click the arrow to see which club shares this record with Arsenal! – Yes, while the 2003/04 Arsenal team went an entire Premier League season unbeaten – and a record 49 league games in total – that team did lose games in Europe and the domestic cups. Perhaps surprisingly, it is the 2007 Gunners that went unbeaten for the longest in all competitions. On 7 April 2007, Arsenal lost 1-0 at home to West Ham to record their third Premier League defeat in a row, but they didn’t lose another match in any competition until 27 November, when they lost 3-1 to Sevilla in the Champions League. The unbeaten run included 20 Premier League games, plus six games in Europe and two League Cup ties. Sadly for this side, they blew a great chance of winning the title, and lost in the Champions League quarters to Liverpool, plus Spurs in the League Cup last four. That makes this Gunners team the only one on this list not to pick up trophies as a result of their unbeaten run. 7 Joint 3rd. Everton – Unbeaten for 28 games in all competitions (December 1984 to May 1985) Click the arrow to see the legendary side that’s level with Everton! – Everton’s 1984/85 season was truly miraculous. The Toffees had won the FA Cup in 1984 and marched on during the next campaign to surpass their local rivals Liverpool, coming close to bagging a sensational treble. On 22 December 1984, Everton lost 4-3 at home against Chelsea, but didn’t lose another game until 11 May, away to Nottingham Forest, by which time they had already won the title. The Toffees also reached the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup finals, helping to extend their unbeaten run to 28 matches. They claimed the continental trophy with victory over Rapid Vienna, but succumbed to Man United at Wembley three days later to narrowly miss out on a third piece of silverware. 7 7 1. Nottingham Forest – Unbeaten for 40 games in all competitions (March to December 1978) Click the arrow for a brilliant graphic of Forest’s achievement – At number one, with the longest unbeaten run in top class English football in all competitions, it’s Brian Clough’s brilliant Nottingham Forest team of 1978. On 11 March that year, Forest – who had only been promoted to the top flight the previous May – were top of the league and aiming for a unique domestic treble. West Brom duly beat the Tricky Trees 2-0 in the FA Cup quarters, but Clough’s side bounced back by winning the League Cup final against Liverpool. They added the League title, going unbeaten in the last 26 league games of the 1977/78 season, which contributed to a run of 42 league games unbeaten across two seasons. A 5-0 Charity Shield victory over FA Cup holders Ipswich was recorded in August, and it wasn’t until 9 December 1978 that any team found a way to beat them. On that day, Liverpool triumphed 2-0 at Anfield, bringing to an end a quite remarkable undefeated run. While Liverpool went on to win the title that season, Forest recovered to win the European Cup and League Cup. 7 7 Joint 3rd. Preston North End – Unbeaten for 28 games in all competitions (September 1888 to September 1889) Click the arrow to see which sensational side went 33 games unbeaten! – The original ‘Invincibles’, Preston didn’t lose a single league game in winning the first ever Football League championship. In addition, they won the FA Cup without conceding a single goal in five knockout matches, en route to clinching the double. Preston’s proud record came to an end when they lost their second league game of the 1889/90 season, 5-3 to Aston Villa, having thrashed Stoke 10-0 in their opening game. Preston did go on to retain their title, though. 7 Nottingham Forest – 40 games unbeaten in all competitions!last_img read more

‘Man City can still catch Leicester!’ – Sagna confident title chances NOT over

first_imgBacary Sagna has told talkSPORT Manchester City have not conceded defeat in the Premier League title race and are confident they can catch Leicester City at the top.Manuel Pellegrini’s side currently sit in fourth place, a whole ten points adrift of the table topping Foxes, though their game in hand due to the League Cup final gives them a chance to claw their way back up the standings.Many believed City’s title chances to be over after a run of three consecutive league defeats to rivals Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool.But after returning to winning ways against Aston Villa last week, and with another seemingly simple tie against Norwich coming up, Sagna is certain City have what it takes to fight their way back into the reckoning.“We have good opportunity against Norwich to show that we’re back in business, to show we’re a strong and consistent team and to show we want to come back into the title race,” he told talkSPORT reporter Warren Haughton.“I was very pleased with the way we played against Aston Villa, we kept a clean sheet and scored many goals, so there’s no reason why we can’t do the same again.“I’m not surprised [with how well Leicester have played this season] to me they’ve been the best performing team since last December. They have quality players, they work really hard as a team and they’ve been doing really great.“We’re ten points behind them, but we still have a game in hand, so we want to catch them, and we know we have to be consistent as a team to do it.“We’re working really hard as a team to come back strongly [in the title race]. I’m not worried about it. There are still 30 point to play for, and if I’m that if we keep playing to the max we can come back.”For your chance to meet Bacary Sagna as part of a new TV Show ‘Meet a Star’ go to www.meetastar.comlast_img read more

Eden Hazard IS committed to Chelsea and he proved it against PSG, says Ivanovic

first_img Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic 1 Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has leapt to the defence of Eden Hazard.The Belgian has suffered a dramatic dip in form this season and was booed by supporters after limping off late on in Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.Fans were annoyed by the sight of the playmaker swapping shirts with Angel di Maria at half-time of such a crucial clash, while his commitment to the club has been questioned given his recent admission that he would find it hard to turn down a move to PSG.But Hazard has the support of his Chelsea teammates, with Ivanovic claiming the 25-year-old played through the pain against the French champions and hailing his performance as one of the best he has given this season.“It’s not an excuse, but people have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic said in the Evening Standard.“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”Next season appears almost certain to be Chelsea’s first without Champions League football under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, who took over in 2003. Their most recent season without top-level European competition was in 2002-03, when they played in the UEFA Cup.Chelsea are well adrift of qualifying through the Premier League – the Blues are 10th, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with nine games remaining – 10 months after winning the title.And the competitive nature of the Premier League means there are no guarantees of a swift return to Europe’s top table.Ivanovic said: “I will really miss playing in the Champions League a lot. All of the players dream to play in the Champions League – we live for the competition and the games. It’s going to be very disappointing to not be in it next season.“There are great teams and you have to concentrate all of the season to be in the top four. It’s very difficult to be at that level all season.“But this team has the character to grow and finish in the top four next season. We can fight for the title. We can come back stronger for the Champions League.”The immediate focus is Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.Gary Cahill said on chelseafc.com: “We need to refocus as we have one big chance to do something this season and the first hurdle is at the weekend.”Like Hazard, Diego Costa departed injured and is a doubt for the trip to Goodison Park.Costa had been a nuisance to PSG in the hour he was on the field and cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the visitors’ second to end the tie.Ibrahimovic hopes the Ligue 1 leaders can match their performances against Chelsea in their fourth successive season in the last eight. They were knocked out by Barcelona in 2013 and 2015, either side of a defeat to Chelsea.“In France we are doing the maximum we can do – we can’t do any better than that – but the Champions League is the next step for us,” Ibrahimovic said on uefa.com.“We did great, but can we repeat the good things we did against Chelsea? If we can then things are looking good.”last_img read more

Pacifica crossover is one classy, smooth, quiet ride

first_imgI slipped behind the wheel of the 2007 Chrysler Pacificia Limited crossover and it felt just like a car. Pretty similar seat-of-the-pants experience to our Volvo S70 GLT. It’s not quite a low rider, but the feel is more sedan-like than SUV. And the wife’s PT Cruiser seems to offer a more elevated ride. The Pacifica hit the market in 2003, taking some styling cues from the BMW X5, but offering a third-row seat. And there’s good and bad about the instrument cluster and controls. A big positive is the driver-side power seat control. It’s in a panel at the top of the driver’s-side door and is shaped like a seat. Control buttons are placed opposite the part of the seat they move. And the backup camera screen pops up in the middle of the speedometer when reverse is engaged. This one is easy to read even in bright sunlight and features a yellow grid that outlines the path you are taking. The rear-view camera came packaged with a navigation system, a $1,995 option. On the downside, the audio system controls are a bit hard to read. Safety equipment includes standard all-row side-curtain air bags, an Electronic Stability Program, traction control and brake assist. The test model also featured the new 4.0-liter, single overhead-cam, aluminum V-6 engine that turns out 254 horsepower and a new six-speed transmission. Chrysler said its engineers focused on five primary noise, vibration and harshness sources when developing the new engine. The result is a fairly quiet ride. “The new 2007 Chrysler Pacifica offers consumers an inspired driving experience in a stylish vehicle that has the flexibility and utility for active, everyday lifestyles,” said David Rooney, director of Chrysler Marketing. The model comes in base, touring and limited trim packages and each has front-wheel or all-wheel drive options. And the wife liked the Pacifica a lot. So that means the Chrysler brain trust got one thing right: The primary target market. Here’s some of those demographics: a married woman, age 35 to 50 with a median annual household income of $85,000 and most likely a college grad. I liked the car, too. That’s not surprising, either. I fit the target market demo of being a male over 55 years old. [email protected] (818) 713-3743 — Chrysler Pacifica Limited ENGINE: 4.0-liter V-6 TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic HORSEPOWER: 253 PRICE: $33,775/base; $38,695 as tested MILEAGE: 16 city, 24 highway THE MANUAL SAYS: You need proper knee impact protection in a collision. Do not mount … any aftermarket equipment on or behind the knee bolsters. THE WIFE SAYS: “That’s so cool. It’s there and then it’s gone,” referring to the backup camera video screen. NEXT WEEK: Goodyear tires160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityFor the 2007 model year, Chrysler updated the exterior with a redesigned hood, fenders, headlamps and the grille and front fascia. The company added three new exterior colors: Cognac Crystal Pearl Coat, which was on the test model; Marine Blue Pearl Coat and Modern Blue Pearl Coat. Inside updates include a revised instrument cluster graphics and a white-faced analog clock in the center of the dash. The back seat on this model features a larger eight-inch rear seat video screen incorporated into the entertainment system. And a CD/DVD/MP3 radio instead of the older CD/cassette radio. The interior is roomy, especially with the third-row seats folded flat. In fact, that’s probably the best use for the third row, which would be a tight ride for two adults. last_img read more

Hey, stop hogging the cameras, kids

first_imgRush to judgment: Rush Limbaugh says his comments calling U.S. troops who disagree with his own view of the Iraq war “phony soldiers” has been taken out of context. “Clearly, what I meant was that those who disagree with me and the president seem to make more phone calls than those who agree with me,” said El Rushbo. “Although it’s the Democratic troops who call collect.” What’s old is new again: Radio talk show host Stephanie Miller (daughter of former Barry Goldwater running mate William Miller) and C.C. Goldwater (granddaughter of the late senator and presidential candidate) have joined together for another Goldwater-Miller White House run. While some – mainly Goldwater and Miller – have called it a cheap publicity stunt, the glamorous ticket feels that they’d have to work hard to do worse than the first Goldwater-Miller ticket. “And we aim to work just that hard,” said Miller – or Goldwater. It’s hard to tell the difference. Steve Young is author of “Great Failures of the Extremely Successful” (www.greatfailure.com).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityIn other Britney-can-barely-take-care-of-herself-how-does-she-take-care-of-two-babies news, the family court judge overseeing her children’s custody gave full guardianship to their father, Kevin Federline. “And when anyone is better off with K-Fed,” said the judge, “is there any question their mom has a problem.?” “Maybe they slipped behind the washing machine,” added Spears. A watch to die for: O.J. Simpson is resisting a court order to turn over his Rolex watch to the family of Ron Goldman, one of the two victims 12 nitwits said Simpson didn’t murder. “I never owned any ugly-ass Rolex,” claimed Simpson. “The picture of me wearing my, I mean, some Rolex was planted by the LAPD.” In other O.J. job-opportunity news: Blackwater Corp., the Defense Department’s top choice when it comes to outsourcing unaccountable crimes in Iraq, has been pursuing Simpson as an instructor for new recruits. “Tell me there’s a better person out there today to show our kids how to get away with murder,” said Blackwater VP Ray Penpillage. “And he gets to keep all the Iraqi sports memorabilia he can steal, er, uh, finds on his vict … er, um, fans.” It’s not a numbers game. It’s a percentage game: Competing phone-tax ballot measures are fighting over which carries the greatest benefit. Supporters of dropping the phone tax 10 percent say their ballot measure will create a far more substantial savings for the voter than those who do not want to decrease it 10 percent. “It’s simple math,” said one anonymous L.A. mayor. “Decreasing 10 percent will save the taxpayer $27 million. Those who want to eliminate the tax altogether don’t tell you that it would leave no room for any decreases after that. Next year, we could drop the tax another 10 percent, or $24 million. If we have no tax, a 10 percent decrease would save you nothing. It’s $24 million savings versus nothing. Take your pick.” Enough about me: Seventy-five youngsters were sworn in as part of City Year/Los Angeles, a program to provide volunteer service to the nation’s cities. “One of the things I have told people is that this is not about me, it is about us,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “Though every one of you kids should remember, that without me, there is no us. So take one of my million trees and get out of the way. The photographer’s trying to get a picture of us, but without you.” Stop it! Researchers claim that the mysterious rash of shattered computer monitors infecting the nation is not a computer malfunction, but caused by “deliberate throwing” or “punching” of the monitors by the owners themselves after incessant, vibrating pop-up advertisements show up on the screen. “I clicked X, then `close’ and it still sent me to the advertiser’s site,” said one institutionalized computer owner. “I may be a geek, but I’m still only human.” There were good reasons: Some leading Republican candidates did not show up for the PBS minority issues debate last week because they didn’t realize they were allowed in. “I thought it was a minority debate,” said Mitt Romney, who actually spent a great part of the day shaking hands at a pancake house. “I happen to be white and rich and didn’t want to take a place that minorities have fought so hard to attain.” Rudy Giuliani couldn’t make it because he was fundraising with Bo Derek. “Bo `Freaking’ Derek,” said Giuliani. “I can talk to a minority almost any day, but Bo Derek? Come on.” Britney Spears loses her kids: “I know I put them somewhere,” said the befuddled rock mom. last_img