Everton Sack Coach Roberto Martinez

Martinez, EvertonRoberto Martinez has been sacked by Everton with immediate effect. The club officially announced this on Thursday afternoon.

The statement by the club reads; “Everton Football Club regrets to announce that Roberto Martinez has left his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.

“The Chairman and the Board of Directors would like to place on record their thanks for the dedication and commitment Roberto has shown during his three seasons with the Club.

“Roberto has been a great ambassador for the Club, conducting himself, at all times, with the utmost integrity and dignity.

“He secured the Club its highest ever Premier League points total, a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and appearances in both domestic cup semi-finals.

“He has also played a key role in the development of several young players, managing their progression to the Everton First Team and International honours.”

The Toffees have picked up only four Premier League points since March 5 and the 3-0 loss to Sunderland on Wednesday stretched their dismal run of form to just one win in 10 matches in all competitions.

Although Martinez has led Everton to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup this season, it appears the club’s poor league form has proved his downfall.

Everton are 12th on the log and, with only one match remaining, they are set to finish in the bottom half for a second straight year.

 

Klopp May Go Shopping Because Of Injuries

liverpool-kloppLiverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, admits the club’s worsening injury situation in central defence may force him to go shopping in the January transfer market.

Liverpool defeated Stoke 1-0 in their Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at the Britannia on Tuesday but the victory came at a cost as Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure all suffered injuries.

Coutinho limped off with a hamstring injury in the 18th minute, while Lovren left 10 minutes before half-time with a similar complaint.

With Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho also side lined, Klopp is now seriously thinking about bringing in options for the defence.

League Cup: Sheffield Humble Arsenal As Chelsea Lose

League CupArsenal were dumped out of the League Cup after a weakened team crashed to a humbling 3-0 defeat at second-tier Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round on Tuesday.

Ross Wallace put Wednesday ahead after 27 minutes and set up Lucas Joao for the second goal shortly before half-time, with Sam Hutchinson completing victory early in the second period.

It was Wednesday’s second Premier League upset in this season’s competition, following their third-round win at Newcastle United.

Arsene Wenger fielded a relatively weakened squad and also lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injury in the first half.

Asides bringing Arsenal’s run of four successive victories to an end, the loss also means Arsene Wenger’s wait for a first League Cup of his lengthy reign goes on.

The Gunners have not won the competition since 1993, when they were victors over the Owls at Wembley.

Chelsea needed a late Loic Remy equalizer to force their game against Stoke City into extra time but eventually lost 5-4 on penalties in another upset on the night.

With nine well taken penalties by both teams, Chelsea’s hope were dashed as Eden Hazard saw his final spot kick saved in a spectacular manner by Stoke’s Asmir Begovic.

Everton beat Norwich City 4-3 on penalties while Hull City also defeated Leicester City 5-4 on penalties after both games ended 1-1 at regulation time.

We Can Be Dangerous Against Anybody – Wenger

WengerArsène Wenger believes Arsenal’s “relentless” attack earned them a hard-fought victory against Watford.

The Gunners scored three times in 12 minutes as Alexis, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey were on target in the 3-0 win at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Arsenal have found the back of the net 13 times in their last four games and Wenger is encouraged by that.

“I like that we continued to attack relentlessly until the end and to finish with it was a convincing win,” he told Arsenal Player.

“We scored five at Leicester, we scored three against Watford today, who had only conceded one [at home], so that tells you we can score goals and we can be dangerous against anybody.

“We faced a team that was very well organised, very strong in their challenges and very direct as well. It took us a while to adjust to that level of commitment and when we did it in the second half we dominated the game and after the first goal you could see that mentally and physically they got the blow.

“Sometimes the first goal changes the game. When they had to come out it was much easier for us. We know once we are in full power, we are quick in transition and we can kill teams off with our pace and that is what happened.”

What Is Important Is Good Football – Wenger

WengerArsène Wenger believes that Arsenal are getting better with every passing week and he wants the team to continue with their style of football.

The Gunners followed on their midweek Capital One Cup win at Tottenham with a 5-2 victory at Leicester City on Saturday.

Having ended the Foxes’ unbeaten run, Wenger feels his side are close to repeating the form shown in the second half of last season.

“It has been two weeks and the league is tight again,” he said. “You have to be consistent and that is what we focus on.

“I feel like the quality of our game is getting better week by week. Overall we are finding the level back that we showed at the end of the season.

“We came to Leicester who have not lost this season and the fact that we came here and won in a convincing way was important for the confidence as well.

“I’m just glad I did my job for the team and the fans. I’m not too concerned about the result. I have had 30 years of football and I know what is important and that is good football.

“What you want is to manage a team that enjoys to play together and gets better every week.”

Capital One Cup: Man Utd, Man City Get Home Draws In Round 4

capital-one-cupManchester United and Manchester City have been rewarded with home draws in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

Louis Van Gaal’s side will host Championship side, Middlesbrough, having eased past Ipswich 3-nil at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Manchester City will welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium, while Sheffield Wednesday’s reward for beating Newcastle United is a home game against Arsenal.

There are four other all Premier League ties with Everton playing Norwich, Southampton paired with Aston Villa and Stoke hosting the holders, Chelsea.

Liverpool survived a scare against League Two side, Carlisle, squeezing through 3-2 on penalties at Anfield.

Liverpool will host Bournemouth in the next round.

Chelsea Defender Admits Man City Game ‘Will Be Difficult’

ChelseaChelsea defender, Kurt Zouma is expecting a tough match away to Manchester City in their Barclays Premier League Match Day 2 fixture on Sunday.

He is, however, relishing the challenge that awaits the team and this is because of the impressive performance he produced against Manchester City at the end of January, when the Premier League’s top two sides met at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea five points clear at the summit.

Four days earlier, Chelsea had beaten Liverpool to progress to the Capital One Cup final when Zouma shone from the off. It was enough to earn him only his second start in England’s top-flight for the visit of their nearest title rivals.

“It is a good memory,” he recalled in a chat with the official Chelsea website. “And it was an important stage in my development.

“First of all I played the game and I was really proud of that. We drew 1-1 and we defended well. For my part I think I did well against a good attack, helping the team to a draw.

“We know we are playing against a good team on Sunday and it will be difficult, but we have a chance to win. I think it will be a very interesting game.

“It’s a chance early in the season to show why we are champions. We want to defend our title. The season after a very good season is always hard but we have to show we are ready to try and do it.”

Zouma showed his versatility in the 2014/15 season when he lined up in central midfield for certain games, most notably the League Cup triumph over Tottenham at Wembley.

He had grown up as a right-sided defender but both in the pre-season game against Barcelona and the Community Shield he featured on the other side of the back four.

Cesc Fabregas would also make his 50th appearance for Chelsea if selected for the game.

The Spaniard’s 49 appearances to date have come in the Premier League (35), the FA Cup (1), the League Cup (4), the Champions League (8) and the recent Community Shield.

Kyle Promises More Determination As Tottenham Face QPR

TottenhamTottenham Hotspurs defender, Kyle Walker, insists the players are ready to give 100 per cent again at Queens Park Rangers, despite the intense fixture schedule in recent weeks.

Spurs travel to Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon, three days after defeating Swansea City at White Hart Lane and just six days on from the Capital One Cup Final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley.

The Europa League trip to Italy in the last midweek adds up to a congested spell of matches – but right-back Kyle says everyone is raring to go as ever, as they come up against a Rangers side managed by Chris Ramsey, a former Spurs coach.

“The training that we put in throughout the week is very intense and the gaffer makes sure that we can go for the 90 minutes at all times,” he said.

“To be fair we’ve got a lot of good cover on the bench as well, so we’re not just an 11-man squad – we have strength in depth.

“We roll onto QPR now, which is another London derby, so we need to go there and take the game to them as we took it to Swansea in the second half on Wednesday.

“Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand know us well but we need to play our game as I’ve said all season, take one game at a time and hopefully we should get the three points.”

Reflecting on the 3-2 win over Swansea, Kyle regretted the manner in which the team conceded in both halves against the South Wales club.

“I feel that teams are coming here sometimes and we’re probably giving them a bit too easy goals from a defensive point of view, but we showed good character in the second half to come back out and do the attacking.

“With them playing the diamond, it gave us license to go forward a little bit and we saw a good few balls into the box. Danny Rose set up the first goal which was vital to keeping us on track.”

Capital One Cup: This Could Be Start Of Something Very Good – Terry

TerryThe Man of the Match in Chelsea’s Capital One Cup triumph, Captain John Terry, has been able to draw parallels with a decade ago as the current crop under the same manager quickly set their sights on more silverware this season.

Ten years after lifting his first Chelsea trophy, a very happy John Terry repeated the success but this time with the added bonus of his first cup final goal.

“This is the first one, it is massive,” he the Chelsea website.

“It meant an awful lot to us in 2004/05 in Jose’s first year here and it could be the start of something very good. Now we have to kick on with the League to focus on next but it’s a great day and a great win.

“I’m delighted with my goal and delighted with the team’s performance and lifting the trophy but you have to build on that. You have to set the foundations and we have done that, this is the first one and hopefully we can kick on.”

Terry, who also made his debut in the League Cup back in 1998, spoke about the strong desire among the current Chelsea crop to make history and the way they went about doing so at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

“It is the start of something and we have to win trophies to be up there with some great sides, but we have won our first one now and in 2005 it inspired us and kicked us on and hopefully this will do the same.

“The pressure was there before the game but that is what cup finals do to you and I thought we handled the game very well.

“It was fairly even in the first half but we controlled it a little better in the second half and we are deserved winners.

“Spurs like to press, certainly in that first phase, so we tried to miss that out and get the ball into the front man a bit sooner which eliminated it a little bit, and I am delighted for Diego, he is in great goalscoring form and it is great to see him do it on the big stage as well.”

One of the game’s big talking points was Jose Mourinho’s solution to being robbed of the services of Nemanja Matic and needing to deal the Tottenham central attacking threat of Harry Kane with Christian Eriksen behind. The manager deployed Kurt Zouma further forward than normal with Gary Cahill and Terry paired in central defence.

“We did a little bit of work on it in the week and we shuffled it, so the manager does keep everyone guessing and on our toes,” said Terry.

“He said in the team meeting everyone has had a part to play in this competition and it is hard to leave some people out, but that is why he is the best because he makes good decisions.

“In this competition he made it very clear from the outset that we were out to win it and credit to the manager and the squad.

“The squad is moving in the right direction with some young players and hungry and experienced players as well, it is a great mix.

“A few teams over the years have written this competition off but it has always been close to my heart, and to be in this great stadium lifting this trophy is a really great feeling.”

It was the Blues skipper who fired his side into the lead against Tottenham to turn the Capital One Cup final tide against North London and in favour of the west, with the 2-0 win sealed when Diego Costa’s strike found the net and the Chelsea defence held firm.

Chelsea Wins Capital One Cup

chelseaJose Mourinho has claimed his first trophy since returning for his second spell as Chelsea manager, as Chelsea emerged winner of the Capital One Cup over Tottenham at Wembley.

Jose Mourinho was delighted after seeing his side crowned Capital One Cup kings, the club’s fifth success in the competition’s history.

Mourinho’s mastery of the big selection decision was also demonstrated again by his deployment of Kurt Zouma, a central defender by trade, in midfield to fulfill the role left behind by the suspended Nemanja Matic to outstanding effect.

John Terry, Man of the Match striked with a goal on the stroke of half-time.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Diego Costa, scored with an assist pass from Cesc Fabregas which deflected off the leg of Kyle Walker.

Speaking to the media after the game, Mourinho started by praising the opposition saying, ”First of all I want to say that in the middle of my happiness is space to think about Mauricio Pochettino, his staff and Tottenham as a team and a club, I met him in Spain many years ago as a player and then when he was a young manager when I was at Real Madrid. He came to England, proved himself, nobody gave him anything for free.”

The Chelsea’s boss added:  ”The second thing I want to say is that now I don’t think about John Terry, Azpilicueta or Diego Costa; I think about Courtois, because without him there would have been no final, we would have lost against Liverpool. I think about Matic, Filipe Luis and Oscar, the guys who didn’t have a chance to play. I think about Schwarzer, Salah, Schurrle, all the guys that started the season with us, they are all winners.”

Despite a career laden with trophies, Mourinho claimed this was the most important final of his time in the game and Chelsea were never seriously troubled once Christian Eriksen’s early free-kick rebounded to safety off the woodwork.

Mourinho also spoke about Diego Costa saying ”He needs the team, without them it’s difficult to do anything. He needs to keep his nature as a person and a player. He played a final at the top of his motivation, there was no yellow card because he did nothing to deserve a yellow card.

Chelsea plans ‘Fright Night’ for United ahead of Capital One Cup clash

Chelsea promised to give United so much to worry on come Wednesday as the league leaders play host to United again in the  in the Capital One Cup.

Manchester United has been promised a “horror show” as Wednesday was tagged ‘Fright Night’ as the night will be a night of vengeance.

And after Sunday’s thrilling Premier League encounter, which ended with a controversial 3-2 victory for the visitors, Chelsea has encouraged Blues fans to turn up in west London in Halloween attire.

Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo who has been desperate for revenge as well as his Chelsea players as they will be hoping to mess up their arch rivals on Wednesday night, and to also use the win to book their place in the competition’s quarter-finals, chasing out Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from the Capital One Cup in the process.

Fans were urged to wear their scariest fancy dress costumes, in a bid to terrify the Manchester United players and help Chelsea secure an easy win.

“Wednesday night sees Chelsea take on Manchester United in the League Cup and it’s sure to be a brilliant match, but it also happens to be Halloween – the spookiest night of the year,” read a statement on the club’s official website.

“We want all ‘bridge kids’ who have tickets for the game to come along early and wear their best Halloween outfits so that we can help scare the United players and help the Blues get a win.

Toure says defensive crisis can mar City’s hunt for trophies

Kolo Toure, defender for Manchester City and Ivory Coast has admitted that a solution has to be proffered to the defensive crisis plaguing the current EPL title holders so as to relevant in hunting for trophies but mostly to retain their EPL title.

This is coming from the Ivorian defender after a surprise 4-2 defeat at the Etihad stadium against Aston Villa during the third round of the Capital One Cup and this was despite a change in the tam setup.

Conceding two late goals in the Bernabeu cost them a famous victory against Real Madrid last week and now one of the four competitions they would have expected to challenge in has slipped through their grasp.

City, were leaders twice in the game before they slipped totally and conceded the much desired victory to the visitors.

City so far have conceded 16 in eight matches including the Community Shield but without it then Roberto Mancini’s side have conceded 14 goals in seven matches and are without a clean sheet in a match.

Defensive errors certainly cost them against Villa and Toure accepts it is a concern.

According to Toure ‘It was a disappointing night for the team as we didn’t play up to standard because we gave cheap goals to Villa and conceded four goals, which is not good’.

‘It concerns us because a team like Man City cannot expect to concede four goals at home.

‘Since the season started we have not had a clean sheet and that is very important when you want to be a top club, you have to defend better as a team.

‘As a defender and as a group we have to work on it because mistakes were done by a few players and when you win it is everybody so when you lose it is everybody.’

After the defeat Mancini accepted his side had been poor and that defensively they needed to tighten up.

‘This is a problem. We need to work with our defenders because they don’t work well at this moment,’ said the Italian.

‘When the situation is like this we have to understand our mistake and do our best for the future.’

Toure’s foreseeable future seems destined to be on the bench as, after just one start and a substitute appearance prior to last night, he was hoping a good cup run would give him more pitch time.

But now that avenue has been closed off to him and several others the focus has to be on ensuring he is still able to do a job for the first team should he be called upon.

‘It is disappointing to go out,’ he told CityTV. ‘For us we don’t have a lot of games to play in and this was a chance to have a few games but we’ve wasted that.

‘I think it is going to be hard maybe to play now but we will work hard to try to get a chance to play in the Premier League.’

City is still awaiting an update on midfielder Jack Rodwell’s groin injury after he pulled out of the starting line-up having been injured in the warm-up.