Gary Neville Condemns Moyes’ Sack As Lacking Decency

NevilleFormer Manchester United defender, Gary Neville, has responded to the sacking of the manager on Tuesday and referred to it as one that showed a “lack of decency”.

“I believe in managers being given time, I think they should be allowed to complete the work. The idea of giving people three and four and six year contracts and then getting rid of them after 10 months is something that is foreign to me,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“However there is no disguising that the football this season has been poor, the results have been poor. As a fan, I’ve not enjoyed watching it. I’m sure David Moyes himself hasn’t enjoyed watching it.”

Neville made over 400 appearances for United in a trophy-laden career under previous boss, Alex Ferguson and said the managerial landscape has changed completely from his early days in the game.

“It’s a different world to what it was in the 1980s when (former managers Dave) Sexton, (Ron) Atkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson were given time for their difficult moments,” he said.

“That’s just not going to happen anymore. It’s something that I don’t like about the modern game, the fact that managers get sacked every 12 months.

“I genuinely believe there is a lack of decency now in the way in which football managers get dealt with. They are so much in the firing line.

“You accept it’s a pressurised job and they get well paid for it…football managers now get tossed around and chucked about, disregarded, rubbished. Decent men, good men basically just get thrown away and chucked in the bin.

“We used to ridicule Italy and other countries for sacking managers every 10 minutes and now we’ve actually turned into that.”

Neville, who was part of the England coaching set up, said that the current crop of United players, most of whom helped the club to the Premier League title last season, should shoulder their share of the blame for this season’s slump.

“The players have to take massive responsibility,” he said.

“They are the ones out on the football pitch. I never once in my 18-year career at United turned around after the game and thought ‘you lost us that game, boss’. It’s always the players.

“Players have to take responsibility and accountability in football.

“Those players are not as bad either as they’ve been showing. I’ve played with a lot of those players, they love the club and are desperate to do well for the club but they’ve just completely lost confidence and belief. That’s ultimately what’s cost David Moyes.

“The decline has been surprising to say the least.”

David Moyes Sacked As Manchester United Manager

MoyesDavid Moyes has been sacked as the manager of Manchester United with immediate effect after receiving poor results in the league.

The former Everton boss took over as the boss of the Red Devils in 2013 following the departure of legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who, just like Moyes was also a former Drumchapel Amateurs player in the 1950s.

Moyes has been sent packing after a disappointing run of form has seen United slump to seventh in the Premier League table — 23 points off leaders Liverpool.

A spokesperson for the club said on Tuesday: “Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.”

Ryan Giggs has since been confirmed as Interim Manager until the end of the season, following the dismissal of David Moyes and the Welshman will take control of first-team affairs until a permanent successor to Moyes is found.

Former Manchester United defender Clayton Blackmore believes that Ryan Giggs would have the respect of the players after taking temporary charge of the club.

“He’s going to get the respect because he’s done more than any other player in the Premier League,” Blackmore told BBC Radio Wales.

“For me he could be the man to look after the club in the foreseeable future. “Everybody starts somewhere and the experience you’ve got. He’s got 22 years’ experience with Alex Ferguson so he knows everything Alex Ferguson’s done.”

Giggs has made 962 appearances for United since making his debut in 1991.

English FA Cup Semi-Final: Arsenal Beat Wigan 4-2 On Penalties

ArsenalArsenal Football Club have made it into the final of the 2014 English FA Cup.

The game went into penalties after 120 minutes of gruelling football had ended in a 1-1 score line.

Wigan had gone ahead through Jordi Gomez’s second-half penalty, after Callum McManaman had been brought down by Per Mertesacker.

Mertesacker, however, atoned for his earlier error by heading in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s mis-hit shot at the back post with just eight minutes remaining.

Both teams struggled to create chances in the 30 minutes of extra time during which a fine Arsenal move culminated in Oxlade-Chamberlain smashing a drive off the angle of post and bar, in what was the best chance of the extra time.

Arsenal goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski, however, became the hero on the night by saving Wigan’s first 2 penalties from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, while his team mates; Mikel Arteta, Kim Källström, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla did their part of the job by delivering perfectly taken kicks.

Holders, Wigan gave their absolute all but in the end they lost the chance to defend their title in the final. It has been a great run for Rosler’s men who would be expected to concentrate on winning promotion back to the Premier League.

Arsenal will play either Hull or Sheffield United in the final at Wembley.

 

Arsenal Goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski Became The Hero As He Saved 2 Penalties

ArsenalArsenal Football Club have made it into the final of the 2014 FA Cup.

The game went into penalties after 120 minutes of grueling football ended in a 1-1 score line.

Arsenal goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski became the hero by saving Wigan’s first 2 penalties with his team mates Mikel Arteta, Kim Källström, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla doing their part of the job by delivering perfectly taken kicks.

More details here…

EPL: Chelsea Go 4 Points Clear As Arsenal Slump To Stoke

Andre Schurrle celebrates at Craven Cottage during Chelsea's defeat of Fulham Photo: AP

Arsène Wenger admitted that Arsenal’s loss at Stoke City was a “massive setback” as the Gunners fell four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Manager Arsene Wenger had Mesut Ozil back in the squad after injury, but he saw his side beaten by a 76th-minute Jonathan Walters penalty after Laurent Koscielny had been penalised for handball.

And Wenger revealed his concern at the manner of the defeat, although he felt his side were “unlucky” to have been beaten.

“It is a big worry not to win a game like that,” said Wenger, whose side will drop to third in the table if Liverpool win at Southampton. “It’s a massive setback.

“We didn’t produce the performance that we wanted. To win a title, you have to perform when you’re expected to.

“It was a good defensive performance and overall I think we were unlucky to lose this game. Offensively we didn’t create enough. Our offensive game was poor considering our standards. At the end of day we didn’t score.

“I don’t assess our title chances at all. We just have to play well in the next game.”

Meanwhile, an Andre Schurrle hat-trick saw Chelsea stretch their lead in the Premier League on Saturday.

Germany international Schurrle scored three times in 17 minutes during the second-half as Chelsea beat Fulham 3-1 to give Jose Mourinho’s side a four-point lead over their London rivals.

The victory extended Chelsea’s lead to six points over Manchester City, who have two games in hand, while Fulham, who pulled a goal back through Jonny Heitinga, remain four points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

Manchester City tackle Sunderland in Sunday’s League Cup final.

Mourinho Admits To Using Mind Games Ahead Of Newcastle Match

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confessed that not everything he says in the Premier League title run-in will be the truth.

“Everything I say is mind games, everything I do is mind games, everything is mind games, you know. The only thing that is not mind games is the results,” he told reporters on Friday.

Mourinho fooled no-one on Monday when he ruled his team out of title contention after masterminding a 1-0 win at free-scoring Manchester City that left his team two points behind leaders Arsenal.

The Portuguese coach had a glint in his eye when he described his side as “a little horse that needed milk” in a race with the “two big horses” of Arsenal and second-placed City.

And he carried on that tone by maintaining that his squad’s big goal for the season was simply to finish in the top four places of the Premier League.

“Big objective for all of us is to finish top four, if possible top three, with direct qualification to the Champions League.”

However, his stance has now softened because Mourinho acknowledged that Chelsea could land the crown in May although he confirmed that they were outsiders.

“I am not saying we are not going to win, I am not saying that. I am saying we are not candidates. I am saying that we are outsiders,” he said on the eve of Saturday’s home league game with Newcastle United.

“Do we dream to win the Premier League? Of course, if you don’t do, we don’t play.”

Mourinho also hailed Chelsea’s improvement this season compared to their last campaign under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benítez.

“I think last season in this moment, how many points we had less, how many points we were from Man United, I think huge difference. I think in this moment Chelsea was for sure outside of every possible race and struggling to get a top four position to play Champions League, so the people is enjoying. I see the boys enjoying the situation very much and that’s what I want them to do.”

Luis Suarez Signs New Long-Term Liverpool Contract

Liverpool striker, Luis Suarez has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Anfield.

Twenty-six year old Suarez joined the Reds in January 2011 and has scored 17 goals in 11 Premier League starts this season. Suarez, whose original deal was set to expire in 2016, will reportedly earn around £160,000 until the end of the current 2013/2014 season and then £200,000 per week over the final four years of the contract.

“I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible.” He said.

In the summer transfer, Suarez was close to joining Arsenal, but Liverpool rejected the Gunners club record offer of £40 million plus £1 in an attempt to trigger a release clause in his contract. Since the new season started, Suarez’s relationship with leading figures at Anfield has improved significantly.

Suarez joined Liverpool from Ajax for £22 million and his time at the club has often been controversial as he has previously served two long-term bans.

In December 2011, the Uruguayan was banned for eight games  for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and again received a 10-match ban in April 2013 for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez who is widely regarded as one of the most talented footballers in the world paid tribute to the supporters, citing the ‘special relationship’ he has with them as a key factor in reaffirming his commitment to Liverpool.

Arsenal To Face Bayern Munich In Champions League Round Of 16

Premier League leaders have been drawn against reigning European and German champions in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Spanish champions Barcelona will face big-spending Manchester City, while Manchester United will be facing Greek champions Olympiakos.

In other fixtures, Didier Drogba will be facing his former club and boss, as Galatasaray faces Chelsea. Real Madrid are up against Schalke 04 and last season’s finalists, Borussia Dortmund will host Zenit St. Petersburg.

Italian giants AC Milan will be entertained by Atletico Madrid.

The first legs will be held across February 18, 19, 25 and 26, with the second legs on March 11, 12, 18 and 19.

Below is the full fixture list:

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
Manchester City vs Barcelona
Manchester United vs Olympiakos
Schalke vs Real Madrid
Dortmund vs Zenit
Galatasaray vs Chelsea
Bayer Leverkusen vs PSG
Atletico Madrid vs AC Milan

Biggest Brand: Bayern Munich Topples Manchester United

It’s no longer news that German club side; Bayern Munich won the Champions League title and the Bundesliga and take away the German Cup to make it a treble win for this season, but it what’s news is that the German side has knocked off English side; Manchester United from its position as the world’s most valuable brand.

In the new rankings done by BrandFinance Football 50, Bayern Munich leapfrogged after a nine per cent rise in value from 2012, moving from second to first after the double success and hopefully would clinch the German Cup.

European Cup finalists Borussia Dortmund also rose one place to 10th, with the Bundesliga’s soaring reputation clear – Schalke are 11th with Hamburg in 15th.

But the division as a whole is only worth two thirds of the Premier League – $1.9billion compared to $3.1bn.

English clubs dominate the list, with several appearing in the top 10; as well as United in second, Chelsea are fifth, Arsenal sixth, Liverpool seventh and Man City eighth.

One of the key factors in United’s drop of two per cent value was their early Champions League exit – turfed out by Madrid at the last-16 stage.

Barcelona, thrashed an embarrassing 7-0 on aggregate by Bayern, are ranked fourth in the list – where they were last time – but their brand value actually depreciated by 1 per cent.

Tottenham came in 12th, but after that a host of sides from Germany and Italy crop up before we reach our next English entry, in 29th, West Ham.

Newcastle follow in 30th – a 10-place drop from last term – with Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham close behind.

Astonishingly, Stoke City come an impressive 41st in the world.

Adidas and Nike dominate the kits of the top 15, the former providing 18 deals with the latter on 14. But emerging brands Warrior and Under Armour pose threats to these manufacturers in the future.

Below is the list of the first 10 clubs.

RankClubBrand value ($)% changeBrand rating
1Bayern Munich860m9AAA
2Man United837m-2AAA+
3Real Madrid621m4AAA+
4Barcelona572m-1AAA
5Chelsea418m5AA
6Arsenal410m6AA+
7Liverpool361m-2AA
8Man City332m10AA-
9AC Milan263m-10AAA-
10Borussia Dortmund260m15AA

EPL: Arsenal, Spurs To Battle For Champions League Slot On Sunday

 Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs will be doing battle in their last English Premier League match on Sunday, to decide who takes the fourth position on the EPL table as the fourth place slot means a ticket to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal will be hoping to outdo Newcastle to edge out their arch rivals Tottenham. With Manchester United crowned champions, Manchester City guaranteed second spot, the focus is on the Champions League places with Chelsea on 72 points, Arsenal on 70 and Spurs on 69.

Chelsea, placed third on 72 points, earns automatic passage to the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition.

According to Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, he knew it was going to come down to the last games of the season to decide who takes what.

Tottenham Hotspur are in dying need of a home win against Sunderland, a club that was doing well at the early part of the season beating the likes of Arsenal 2-1, but couldn’t hold on to the pressure and slumped in terms of performance in the last two months.

Tottenham Hotspurs are now hoping that Newcastle can do a good job on Sunday by cleaning out the Gunners so that they can seal the fourth place slot.

Last year, Wenger’s Arsenal side snatched third on the last day of the season with Spurs ending up fourth, their misery compounded by the fact that they missed out on the Champions League as Chelsea took the final English spot as European champions.

Newcastle guaranteed safety from relegation when Wigan dropped down from the Premier League after losing 4-1 to Arsenal last weekend.

Newcastle coach Alan Pardew was so relieved he said it did not matter if Arsenal beat them, which infuriated Tottenham fans. He later withdrew his declaration, saying it was just a joke. Wenger explained Pardew was speaking out of excitement.

I Will Honour Contract With Arsenal– Wenger

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has once again said he will be honouring his contract with the Gunners.

This he said during a news conference while reacting to a speculation that the 63 year old Frenchman is in a contract romance with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) that he is likely to leave the English club saying he had no intention of leaving Arsenal.

“I answered that question already, no, I respect my contracts,” he said.

“Every football game excites me and football in general excites me and the love for this club as well.

“I want to stay if I do well, and if I consider and the club consider that I do well, that’s all. I want this club to do well, and that is my basic feeling.”

Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the larger Emirates Stadium while maintaining a place in the Champions League against clubs with huge transfer budgets has proved challenging but Wenger believes the club are now in a much healthier position for the future.

“We have gone through a period that was very sensitive, the club is coming out of it now in a much stronger position financially and I believe that the club is in a very strong position for the future. For the rest my own person is less important, what is more important is the future of this club,” he said.

With Manchester United already crowned champions and Manchester City seemingly assured of second place Arsenal are vying with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton for a place in the Champions League.

Chelsea are third in the final automatic Champions League spot with 65 points, one ahead of Arsenal who have one game less to play and three ahead of Spurs, who have the toughest run-in on paper as they visit Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in what could prove a decisive fixture.

Fourth is worth a Champions League playoff spot.

Wenger believes that the Gunners must maintain their focus to continue their good recent form.

“The most important thing is just not to lift your head, just focus on your job and continue our strong run. We have built up a strong run, put a strong run together and we want to use this belief in a very positive way,” he said.

Wenger pointed to Arsenal’s performance in the Champions League against Bayern Munich as a pivotal moment, after losing 3-1 at home they won 2-0 in Munich to lose out on the away goals rule.

“We’ve had to rebuild the team in the last two seasons, we lost some massive players and we have moved forward, for me, in the second part of the season considerably,” he said.

“We have gone out against Bayern Munich on away goal and they just thrashed Barcelona by seven goals so I have to consider that we have moved forward.”

Arsenal face a trip to already relegated Queens Park Rangers on Saturday as they chase a 16th consecutive appearance in the Champions League.

“We go game by game and every game gives you a different proposal that you have to sort out. We are highly focused on tomorrow’s game and on our performance and everybody’s really focused and wants to do well in tomorrow’s game, that’s what we of course want to achieve,” said Wenger.

EPL: Arsenal Cruises Into Top 4

[highlight bgcolor=”#0000FF”]Arsenal boosted their hopes of a top-four finish by scoring three times in the closing six minutes to floor Norwich 3-1 at the Emirates stadium.[/highlight]

Goals from Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud and substitute Lukas Podolski ensured the gunners displace London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the race for champions’ league spot.

Everton scored either side of half-time to maintain their European challenge and push Queens Park Rangers closer to relegation.

Aston villa remain precariously placed in the battle against relegation after being held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham  while Southampton and west ham moved closer to sealing their premier league status with a 1-1 draw.