Wenger Denies End To Coaching Job, Considering New Arsenal Offer

Arsene Wenger On SagnaCoach Arsene Wenger has debunked claims that he will be ending his coaching job with Arsenal at the end of the season.

The Frenchman stated that he has no intention of retiring, even if it means managing another club.

His position has been under intense scrutiny, after the Gunners lost 5-1 to Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s Champions League clash.

Wenger, however, maintained that the ongoing season would not be his last in managing the North London side.

While his contract with the Gunners will expire in the summer, the 67-year-old said he is undecided on whether he would take up the two-year deal which has been offered to him by the Arsenal Board.

Benitez Earns First Win To Move Newcastle Closer To Safety

Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez earned his first win as Newcastle United manager and boosted their hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday.

Benitez made five changes to the starting XI in response to last weekend’s defeat by Southampton and the Spaniard’s team selection was vindicated on his birthday, with Newcastle earning their reward for a much-improved showing.

Jamaal Lascelles, who came in for Steven Taylor in the back four, opened the scoring in the 40th minute, heading in only his second goal for the club from Andros Townsend’s corner.

Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis both spurned big chances for Swansea before Moussa Sissoko’s first goal of the campaign and Townsend’s late third sealed a result that, combined with Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Norwich City, moves Newcastle within three points of safety with five matches to play.

Newcastle United boss, Rafael Benitez, praised the “passion and commitment” shown by his players in their victory over Swansea City.

“I have to say congratulations to the players,” Benitez told BBC Sport. “They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it’s easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win. The players that started were really good. And the other players who came on helped the team.

“Striker Papiss Cisse was fantastic up front and Aleksandar Mitrovic was good too when he came on. When you win games everybody is happy. Today we saw what we expect from this team.

“We have to show the same in the other games. We were not thinking about the earlier win for Sunderland over Norwich. Now we can see the table but before the game it was about focusing on the game.”

The North-East outfit are now three points within safety with five games left to play.

Ranieri, Kane Win Premier League Awards For March

Premier LeagueHarry Kane and Claudio Ranieri have won the March Barclays Premier League awards for Player and Manager of the Month respectively.

Ranieri guided Leicester City to a draw and three 1-0 wins over Watford, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, to maintain their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

He was voted for the award ahead of a managerial shortlist that featured AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe (W3 L1), West Ham’s Slaven Bilic (W2 D1) and Swansea City’s Francesco Guidolin (W3 L1).

It is the fourth time Ranieri has claimed the Barclays manager award, the joint-most for an Italian alongside former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. Ranieri is the 15th manager to have won the award four times.

Ranieri won the award in November this season and also was awarded it twice during the 2003/04 campaign when with Chelsea.

No Leicester manager has won the award more than once in one season, although Martin O’Neill claimed it three times in a three-year period from September 1997.

Ranieri has the chance to join Joe Kinnear (1993/94 with Wimbledon) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1999/00 with Manchester United) and Ancelotti (2010/11) to have won the award three times in one season. That feat is also possible for Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who was named manager of the month in August and February.

Five goals in four matches won the Barclays Player of the Month award for Kane, a tally that has taken him to the top of the race for the Barclays Golden Boot with 22 goals so far.

He beat a shortlist that also included Southampton’s Graziano Pelle, Swansea City’s Ashley Williams, Leicester duo Wes Morgan and Riyad Mahrez, and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet.

It is the third time Kane has claimed the award, after winning it in January and February last year.

 

Culled from premierleague.com

Guus Hiddink Hints At Possible Pato Debut

Guus HiddinkGuus Hiddink says Alexandre Pato could make his Barclays Premier League debut when Chelsea visit Aston Villa on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Brazilian joined Chelsea on loan from Corinthians in January and has yet to feature, but interim manager Hiddink says the forward’s fitness may have put him into the frame for the visit to Villa Park.

“Whether Pato will be actively involved we will see tomorrow,” Hiddink told chelseafc.com. “I don’t give any player a guarantee but there might be some time for experiments.

“Pato’s fitness has improved. He has worked very hard during the international break. When I started we had just Diego which was one of the reasons we got Pato on loan.

“Meanwhile there was development in, for instance, [Bertrand] Traore, so there was more competition for Pato. Remy has come back after a long-term injury too. I try to make a fair judgement and give opportunities to the others knocking on the door,” he said.

Focusing on the match itself, Hiddink expects the home side to be rejuvenated as they seek to impress new caretaker manager Eric Black.

”They were playing with a lot of ambition against Swansea. The team looked very fresh. When there is a change there is automatically a reaction. We can expect an entertaining game tomorrow.”

Liverpool Agree Deal To Sign Danny Ings

Danny IngsLiverpool FC have announced that they have agreed personal terms with Burnley striker, Danny Ings.

The English Premier League side announced this on their website on Monday, June 8.

The club says subject to a medical, the striker will join the club on July 1 after his contract with Burnley has expired.

The 22-year-old struck 11 goals in 35 Barclays Premier League appearances last season, which was his first in the top flight. He also averaged a goal from every 2.8 shots he took in his debut season in the English top flight.

Danny Ings had found the target 21 times in the previous campaign to help the Clarets secure promotion from the Championship. He was voted the best player in the Championship as he helped Burnley win promotion to the Premier League in 2013-14.

The forward has nine caps for England U21s, with four goals to date too, and will represent his country at the U21 European Championship later this month.

He faced the Reds twice in 2014-15, featuring for 90 minutes at Anfield in March and his signing is expected to be well accepted among Reds fans having scored against both Everton and Manchester United last season.

Danny Ings scored 43 goals in 130 appearances in total for Burnley over the course of four seasons at Turf Moor.

Arsenal’s Giroud, Wenger Win Monthly Awards

ArsenalArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has been named Barclays Manager of the Month alongside the Gunners’ striker, Olivier Giroud, who clinched the Player of the Month Award.

The Gunners won four Premier League games consecutively in March, scoring nine goals and conceding two.

The French international Giroud scored five times, with a brace at Newcastle adding to goals against Everton, QPR and West Ham in the English Premier League.

The Arsenal boss had earlier won the award 13 times, while this will make it the 14th time of winning the same award in 19 years at Arsenal.

The Gunners are third in the Premier League table with eight matches remaining.

They are seven points behind Chelsea, who is leading with a game in hand and Manchester City who is just a point ahead.

Arsenal’s remaining games also include a home match against Chelsea on April 26 and a trip to fourth-placed Manchester United on May 17.

Fifth-placed Liverpool travel to the Emirates on Saturday.

Although, based on current form, the Gunners seem likely winners against Liverpool on Saturday, Arsene Wenger is not taking chances especially as the international break could have affected the momentum. He just wants to keep on winning!

“It’s a big game and an opportunity for us to continue our run, which is what we want to do,” Wenger said. “We are on a strong run and we just want to focus on winning our games, winning the next one. Liverpool is a big opponent but we play at the Emirates and we want to do it.

“You know after the international break it’s always important that you come back and straight away you are on it.”

Liverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers, is also confident he can get a result at the Emirates after a disappointing home loss to Manchester United.

“It’s a game we will want to get something from,” he said.

“In terms of the objectives going into the game, it’s no different to what it was before Manchester United. But of course we had a disappointing result and performance last time out.

“We really want to make sure we perform and give ourselves a chance to get a positive result.”

Premier League: Dzeko Expresses Cautious Optimism Ahead Of Arsenal Test

Premier LeagueManchester City’s defence of their English Premier League title is firmly in the back of striker, Edin Dzeko’s mind.

The new Bosnia-Herzegovina captain, who scored a sublime solo goal for his country in their 3-0 win over Liechtenstein on Thursday, has continued his impressive start to the 2014/15 season.

As well as discussing his new role as national team skipper, the 28-year old has also been weighing up chances of winning a third Barclay’s Premier League title in four seasons, with City’s trip to Arsenal just days away.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Dzeko declared, “It will be difficult, but I’m an optimist.

As with every season, there are several teams that will battle for the title of champions in England.

This season Chelsea might be the most serious challenger, but we mustn’t ignore Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, or United, who will certainly be much stronger than last year.

After all, everyone has gotten stronger, and everyone wants to be first.”

Edin’s role in City landing a second title in three years last season can hardly be overestimated, given his five goals in the last four games of the league run-in.

The striker penned a new deal which will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until at least 2018, following a season which he described as one of his best-ever.

The past season was one of the best in my career, and in the end we reached the title of champions of England, the second in the past three seasons,” the 28-year old said.

We succeeded in winning the Capital One Cup and I am really happy how everything played out in the past season, both for the club and for myself.

As far as the contract, in general I had no dilemma around an extension.

I am happy at City, the manager believes in me, which is certainly important, and I give my all on the pitch and altogether it means quite a lot to me, because Manchester is a club with great ambitions and I easily decided to stay put.”

Edin succeeded Emir Spahic as national team captain in the summer, following Bosnia’s unfortunate group stage exit from the World Cup in Brazil.

On the captaincy, Edin said: “I would be lying when I say that it isn’t the dream of every player, including me.

I will give my all to replace Spahic in an adequate manner. I am aware that with the captain’s armband comes greater responsibility, and I will work hard to prove in the best way that I didn’t become captain by accident.

I believe I can fulfil all expectations, both of the manager and of fans, my teammates, the media, and my own. I wouldn’t be here today if I doubted myself.

Together with the Belgians, we are the favorites, but Israel should not be forgotten and certainly not underestimated, as they are known to be very unpleasant on their home field, nor Wales, who in their ranks have players like Bale and Ramsey.

We were at the World Cup, we saw what it means, and it is great experience for us that will help us in the future.

Our goal is France, and it should be taken seriously.”

Ashley Cole Will Get New Chelsea Contract – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has declared that defender, Ashley Cole, will be offered a new Chelsea contract despite the England international having been out of the first team for over a month.

There has been speculation that the 33-year-old will leave the club in the summer owing to the status of his current deal which expires at the end of the season and, the preference for right-sided Cesar Azpilicueta at Cole’s left back position.

However, Mourinho sees things differently, as he confirmed that Cole would return to the Blues starting 11 for Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions’ League Group E clash with Romanian club, Steaua Bucharest.

“Naturally he will get his contract because he’s a valuable player for us,’ the Chelsea boss said.

“Even if you are not playing every game and you are not a first-choice player, like he was always, I don’t think sometimes it means that you are not well, you are not in well conditions, you are not deserving a new contract.

“I feel he’s fine. And I think tomorrow he’s going to show that he’s fine. He starts tomorrow.

“It’s easy to feel that he’s not happy, that he’s not comfortable with a situation, but the way he behaves, the way he trains (is) super professional, as always.

“As always, he’s a fantastic trainer, fantastic professional. When he’s on the bench behind me, I can feel that he’s there to win, even if he’s not on the pitch.”

Also expected back in the first team for the UCL final group game is central defender, David Luiz, who like Cole, has not featured for Chelsea since their Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on November 2.

The Brazilian has been side-lined since suffering a bruised patella during the international break while away with his national team in November.

Although, Chelsea have qualified for the knockout phase despite losing to Basel last month, they need a point against Steaua to finish top of the group, a position many teams would fancy in order to avoid playing a tough team in the Round of 16.

Podolski can be kept quiet – Marko Marin

One of new Chelsea signings for the 2012/2013 season Marko Marin boasted that Chelsea will have no problem keeping his German rival Lukas Podolski under control as both clubs will be meeting for a London Derby.

Podolski who has been in a tremendous form will be a huge threat to the Blues’ hopes of winning Saturday’s London ­derby against Arsenal.

After a slow start, Podolski has bagged three goals in his last four Gunners games.

Attacking midfielder Marin, 23, said: “At the beginning it was a bit new for him, but now he is doing very well.“He has scored a few goals and he is playing well.

“Will Lukas be a threat? I think we have a very good ­defence. Our right-back Branislav Ivanovic will do very well.“It will be very hard for Lukas to play against him. I am not sure that Arsenal has played against a good team like us.

“I am confident that we can keep Podolski quiet.“There are two German players that we will be playing against, with Per Mertesacker also playing for Arsenal.

“I have not spoken to Lukas. We know each other from the national team, of course, but we are not really friends. “I hope I’m in the team, but the important thing is that we win and keep our position in the Premier League.”

Marin finally made his Blues debut in the 6-0 Capital One Cup rout of Wolves after missing the start of the season with a ­hamstring injury.He said: “I did it in a training session, but I feel good now and I can forget all that and look to the future.

“I just want to play for as long as possible, for as many games as I can. I am nearly 100 per cent fit again, so I hope to play.” Meanwhile, full-back Ryan Bertrand aims to build on his success after scoring in Tuesday night’s romp.

The 23-year-old has played a part in all but two games this season and forced his way into the England reckoning.

He said: “The year just keeps getting better for me so as long as I can keep it going, I should be able to do good things.

“We want to keep it going and hopefully repeat the success we had last year.”

 

Newcastle Manager Pardew charged by FA for shoving assistant referee Kirkup

Alan Pardew; Newcastle United Manager has been charged by the Football Association for shoving assistant referee Peter Kirkup from Northampton.

The incident happened during the game between Tottenham Hotspurs and Newcastle United which ended in favour of Newcastle United in a Barclays Premier League game which took place on Saturday.

Although Pardew gave an unreserved apology afterwards but this didn’t prevent the FA from bringing the hammer on the manager and he has been given till 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.

Pardew said it was ridiculous and he has apologised publicly saying Kirkup was right in front of him and he thought the ball was out and he shoved him.

Pardew said he went to see him and told him it was stupid and he didn’t know what he was thinking.

Pardew was ordered to watch the final 20 minutes of the match at Sports Direct Arena from the stands.

Pardew reacted angrily having thought Kirkup had missed a throw-in for his side moments before Spurs shot narrowly wide.

The incident was missed by referee Martin Atkinson but it was immediately brought to his attention by fourth official Lee Mason.

Arsenal agree terms with Barcelona over Song

Arsenal has agreed terms with Barcelona for the transfer of midfielder Alex Song to the Spanish side.

The 24-year-old Cameroon international will now travel to the Nou Camp to agree personal terms and undergo a medical.

Barcelona confirmed in a statement the fee for Song will be £15million.

The Barcelona statement read: ‘Barcelona has agreed a deal with Arsenal for the transfer of Alex Song to the Nou Camp. The fee is €19m (£15m).

‘The Cameroon international midfielder will sign for the next five seasons with a release clause of €80m (£63m).

‘On Monday he’ll have a medical and then join the rest of the squad for the official team presentation at the Joan Gamper Trophy.’

Barca, who begin their La Liga campaign against Real Sociedad on Sunday, face Sampdoria in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Monday evening at the Nou Camp.

Arsenal, who saw captain Robin van Persie move to Manchester United, began their Barclays Premier League campaign with a goalless home draw against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Wenger revealed Song had been keen on a move away from Emirates Stadium.

Speaking after this afternoon’s goalless draw against Sunderland, Wenger said: ‘He expressed a desire to go to Barcelona.

‘It is frustrating, we have learnt to deal with that. I believe as well that the financial potential of some clubs is massive and that makes a difference.’

Robin Van Persie will remain a Gunner – Wenger

Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger made his stand known to those bidding for his star striker Robin van Persie that the Dutchman is not going anywhere as he is keeping him as he admitted the 28 year old is one of the best strikers in the World.

Italian Serie A Champion, Juventus, EPL champion Manchester City are the top bidders for his signature as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson joined the bidding race on Friday to have him at Old Trafford, a bid which is believed to around £30 million.

Van Persie’s deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer and he is presently unsettled at the club due to Manchester United’s joining the bid for his signature.

Van Persie won both Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association player of the year prizes in recognition of his phenomenal 36-goal contribution for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.

Van Persie we learnt will not travel to Asia later today on Arsenal’s pre-season tour, although the Gunners were keen to stress his non-involvement was due to the striker having only trained for four days since returning from holiday.

The saga is shaping up to be a carbon copy of those that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both sold last summer – something which dragged on towards the tail end of the transfer window.

But Wenger is convinced that Van Persie will continue to give his all for Arsenal – regardless of whether he leaves the club.

But in case Van Persie leaves Arsenal, the clubalready signed two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but are also said to be lining up Spain star Fernando Llorente.