Steven Gerrard To Have Scan On Hamstring Injury

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-LIVERPOOLLiverpool FC Captain, Steven Gerrard, is to have a scan on a hamstring injury as Liverpool wait to find out the extent of the problem.

The midfielder was seen limping off with an injury during a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Prior to this, Major League Soccer club, LA Galaxy, had confirmed that Steven Gerrard would be joining it in July on an 18-month deal.

Steven Gerrard, while expressing his excitement said “I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy.

“The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come,” Gerrard told the MLS club’s official website.

Gerrard who is, to date, the only footballer ever to have scored a goal in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Final, told the Liverpool Echo, that he would have agreed to continue his long Liverpool career, had the club offered him a new contract.

Meanwhile, the English club has expressed hope that Gerrard would still be able to play his usually key roles in the team’s quest for a good finish in the Premier League before his impending move to the U.S.

Liverpool Assistant Manager, Colin Pascoe, said of the injury, “Unfortunately, he felt his hamstring towards the end of the game and he is having a scan this morning and we are just waiting for results to come back.

“Hopefully the scans won’t show too much but as we’ve not got the results I can’t say too much.”

Gerrard would also be hoping that the injury is a minor one as he had declared his desire to give more to his boyhood club before departure.

“I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club.

“In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy,” said Gerrard.

The former England captain had spent his entire career at Liverpool, making nearly 700 appearances and winning the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

The 34-year-old midfielder would join a growing list of high-profile former Premier League players to cross the Atlantic in the latter stages of their careers, most notably David Beckham.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker, Robbie Keane, will be a teammate of Gerrard at the Galaxy while former Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard had signed for New York City FC, although he is still in England on loan at Manchester City.

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.”

We Knew Fabregas Was An Important Player – Mourinho

MourinhoJose Mourinho has praised the impact made by Cesc Fabregas early on in the Spanish midfielder’s Chelsea career.

The former Barcelona man only joined up with his new team-mates in July, as the team headed for their European training camp, but already his quality seems apparent.

Two goals during pre-season, a stunning free-kick against Vitesse Arnhem, followed by a wonderful individual effort against Ferencvaros, preceded a man-of-the-match performance during Monday’s 3-1 win at Burnley, which was capped by the disguised pass to tee up Andre Schurrle for Chelsea’s second goal on the night.

“We knew Fabregas was an important player from the moment we tried to buy him,” said Mourinho.

“Our team already had a structure and a way of playing on the pitch, but we knew we clearly needed that kind of midfield player and a striker who could play with his back to the goal, hold the ball and associate with the different attacking players. That would make us a different team, not just in terms of results but especially in relation to the style of play.

“Cesc has been important for us, everybody knows how good he is, he was already good as a kid, he disappeared from us for three years but he’s back at a fantastic age so I think we enjoy him and he enjoys playing in the Premier League.”

Mourinho also addressed the mood of another new signing, Diego Costa, after the striker was booked for simulation at Turf Moor when replays showed he had been brought down by goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, during the first half.

“Diego is upset because he’s been behaving extremely well,” explained the Portuguese. “He thought it was going to be a penalty and a red card for the keeper, then suddenly it’s a free-kick and a yellow card for him, so he was disappointed.

“But, I know Michael Oliver and the linesman know it was an unfair decision, so let’s move on.”

Meanwhile, the manager hasn’t given Petr Cech a personal explanation for his decision to start Thibaut Courtois in goal ahead the more experienced Cech, but insisted the overall needs of the team have to take priority.

“If I speak with him then I have to speak with everybody, I never did this in my career,” he said. “I don’t feel I have to speak with them [the players] about my decisions. The club is not under my control but the team is, and everything I do is for the best of the team.

“What I always tell them is that they know where my office is, they know where I am and if they need an explanation I never close the door. Petr didn’t come to see me, he’s worked fantastically well as always. He’s with his mates, he’s been polite, professional and that’s what we need.

“Obviously I have no problem playing him in any match, it doesn’t matter when or in which competition, I’m so confident in him. If I decide to rotate when we have an accumulation of matches it’s probably the easiest position to do it. As I said, we have two of the three best goalkeepers in the world.

“Sometimes people say a player is experienced or not experienced because of his age, but you can be 22 and still have a lot of experience,” explained the Blues boss.

“Courtois has played in the biggest matches you can play in; the World Cup, Champions League final and semi-final, UEFA Cup final and semi-final, big matches against Barcelona and Real Madrid, local derbies, Super Cup.

“Obviously he knows he has to perform but I think he can cope with that because he’s very experienced,” Mourinho told chelseafc.com.

Everton Defeat Was An Off Day – Wenger

WengerArsène Wenger admits Arsenal’s last season’s 3-0 defeat to Everton was a low point, but says it was no more than an “off day” during a dramatic season.

The Gunners hopes of securing a top-four place looked in serious danger after the defeat at Goodison Park, with the hosts moving above them in the table.

However, a late resurgence helped Wenger’s side secure a Champions League spot at the expense of Saturday’s opponents.

Wenger told Arsenal.com, “In the quality of our performance, and even more than that in our mental resistance, the mental steel on the day [the defeat to Everton] was one of our low points.

“At the start I played with Arteta and Flamini in the middle of the park. We did not have Ozil, we had Ramsey on the bench, just coming back from injury. We played with Podolski, Giroud, and we were a bit bullied. At the back we had Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal and Sagna. It was an off day, as well physically.

“[I was worried afterwards] because it was not in our hands anymore. It was in the hands of Everton. It was only their defeat against Crystal Palace at home that allowed us to get there.

“It was very tight last year. We finished with 79 points and I think it’s the first time since I arrived in England that you finish fourth with 79 points. You can look at the tables – that never existed before.

“Even if the Premier League was more interesting than ever last season, the top four teams took more points together than in any other year. For Everton, it’s the first time a team on 72 points didn’t get in the top four. It was very difficult.”