Football news round-up 5-9 Aug
The latest football news from around the country and beyond.
Sunday 9 August 2009
Sven-Goran Eriksson made a perfect start in charge of Notts County as the Magpies went top of the League Two table with a 5-0 victory over Bradford. The former England manager, who is Director of Football at the club, saw former West Brom striker Lee Hughes grab a hat-trick in the opening day win.
Life in League One began in the worst possible way for Norwich with a 7-1 thrashing at home by Colchester United. Bryan Gunn’s side, relegated from the Championship last May, were 5-0 down before half-time, by which time unhappy fans were leaving Carrow Road and even throwing down their season tickets in protest. It is Norwich’s worst home defeat in their 107-year history.
Cardiff City are the early leaders of the Championship after a resounding 4-0 win over Scunthorpe. Michael Chopra scored twice, while Jay Bothroyd and Peter Whittingham added goals. Derby and Leicester are the only other sides on maximum points following victories over Peterborogh and Swansea respectively, while the remaining opening day fixtures were all draws.
Catalan club Espanyol have been stunned by the death of their captain Daniel Jarque, who suffered a massive heart attack on a pre-season training camp. The club’s medical staff were unable to revive the 26-year-old midfielder after he collapsed in Italy. Only two years ago Seville’s Antonia Puerta died in similar circumstances.
Owen Hargreaves could miss the first half of the season with the knee problems that continue to dog the England and Manchester United midfielder. Hargreaves has flown out to Munich to see specialist Hans Muller-Wolfhart about the tendinitis in his knees that mean he may be out of action until the New Year.
Newcastle began life in the Championship with a 1-1 draw at West Brom when Damien Duff equalised Shelton Martis’ opener. But the match was most memorable for an emotional and enthusiastic minute of applause in memory of Sir Bobby Robson who played for West Brom and managed Newcastle during his illustrious football career.
Clough got the better of Ferguson in the battle of the managerial big names when Derby beat Peterborough 2-1 in the Championship. But it was of course Nigel Clough and Darren Ferguson, sons of the Nottingham Forest and Manchester United legends Brian and Sir Alex, in charge. Miles Addison put Derby ahead, George Boyd equalised from the spot and then Gary Teale scored the winner for the Rams.
Myles Weston scored twice on his debut as newly-promoted Brentford began their League One campaign with an impressive 3-1 victory at Carlisle. Sam Wood also scored for Andy Scott’s side. It was a good day for the promoted sides because Gillingham produced a stunning 5-0 victory over Swindon thanks to a hat-trick from Simeon Jackson. Meanwhile Southampton’s first game in the division following relegation saw them draw 1-1 with Millwall.
Manchester City warmed up for the start of the Premier League next weekend by beating Celtic 2-1 in a friendly at Eastlands. Craig Bellamy scored the winner and Carlos Tevez made his debut in the second half.
Liverpool lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid at Anfield and saw their injury problems deepen when defender Jamie Carragher limped off in the second half. However, manager Rafa Benitez is confident Carragher will be fit for their opening Premier League game with Spurs next Sunday. "He's okay," said the Spaniard, "He twisted his ankle and it was just a precaution to bring him off." Arsenal, too, suffered defeat as they went down 2-0 in Valencia.
England strikers were on form in friendly matches as Emile Heskey scored the winner for Aston Villa in a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina and Darren Bent scored on his debut for Sunderland in a 1-1 friendly draw against Hearts.
AFC Wimbledon’s fairytale rise continued as the club made its debut in the Conference Premier and drew 1-1 at home to Luton. A Jon Mains penalty earned the Dons a point in front of a crowd of almost 4,500.
Lazio have lifted the first trophy of the season in Europe by beating Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan 2-1 to lift Italy’s Supercoppa in a match staged in Beijing's Olympic Stadium. Francelino Matuzalem and captain Tommaso Rocchi scored for Lazio while Samuel Eto'o replied on his debut for Inter.
Mark Viduka has agreed a deal to join Portsmouth and is expected to confirm his free transfer from Newcastle in the next few days. The Australian striker is a free agent after his contract at St James’ Park expired and Portsmouth manager Paul Hart says he has agreed terms.
Michael Bridges, the former Sunderland and Leeds striker, has joined MK Dons on a free transfer from Hull City. Bridges spent much of last season on loan at Carlisle.
Tranmere manager John Barnes has snapped up Marlon Broomes on a free transfer after the former Blackburn defender was released by Blackpool this summer.
Friday 7 August 2009
Newcastle United defender Sebastien Bassong has completed a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in a deal believed to be worth £8m. The 23-year-old centre-back completed a medical on Thursday. He will have to wait for his debut, however, as he is suspended for the first two games of the campaign.
Fulham have joined Everton and Aston Villa in today’s draw for the Europa League play-off round after beating FK Vetra of Lithuania 3-0 at Craven Cottage, completing a 6-0 aggregate victory. England striker Andy Johnson scored twice and Dickson Etuhu once for Roy Hodgson’s side. The draw takes place at 12.30pm
Hull City have signed Stoke’s Nigerian international midfielder Seyi Olofinjana for £3m and also taken United States international striker Jozy Altidore, who played in the Confederations Cup Final in South Africa this summer, on a season-long loan from Villarreal. They have also agreed a fee for defender Habib Beye with Newcastle and will discuss personal terms with the 31-year-old today.
Everton’s England defender Joleon Lescott is set to play in a friendly against Malaga tonight after the club insisted they were ‘mystified’ by reports they had agreed to sell him to Manchester City for £22m. Everton say no new bid has been received for the centre-half since they rejected a £19m offer last week.
Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who could face England in next Wednesday’s friendly international in Amsterdam, is on the verge of a move from Real Madrid to AC Milan after the Italian club said a deal had been agreed for the 25-year-old.
Uruguay international defender Martin Caceres, 22, has joined Juventus on a season-long loan from Barcelona.
Scott Sinclair hopes to earn himself a call up to the England team after signing a year-long loan deal with Wigan from Chelsea. The winger, 20, said: “Hopefully if I do play every week I can prove I'm good enough for England.”
Thursday 6 August 2009
England striker Wayne Rooney scored as Manchester United beat Valencia 2-0 in their final friendly before Sunday's FA Community Shield against Chelsea.
Manchester City lost 3-2 away at Scottish Premier League champions Rangers - meaning Mark Hughes' men have won just once in their five pre-season games
Liverpool beat Lyn Oslo 2-0, Sunderland beat Durham City 4-1, Birmingham lost 3-1 at Tamworth while Blackburn Rovers were held to a goalless draw at home to Hibernian.
Celtic clinched a place in the play-offs for the Champions League in dramatic fashion following a 2-0 win away at Dynamo Moscow. The Hoops, trailing 1-0 from the first leg, booked their place in the draw for the final qualifier on Friday following goals from Scott McDonald and Georgios Samaras' 93rd minute winner.
Xabi Alonso was unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Wednesday night, following his £30million move from Liverpool. The Spanish midfielder, 27, has signed a four-year deal at the Bernabeu, taking Madrid's summer spending to £220million. "It has been an absolute pleasure to play for Liverpool, but I am very, very happy now to have joined Madrid."
Alberto Aquilani is due to undergo a medical at Anfield today after Liverpool agreed a £20million fee for the Roma midfielder. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said: "Alberto is a very good player and I'm delighted we've reached agreement with Roma for his transfer."
Didier Drogba has signed a new three-year contract at Chelsea, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until 2012. The Ivorian striker said: “My number one objective is to win the Champions League. I am convinced that this year we can go to the end and finally lift this trophy.”
Darren Bent has finally sealed his switch from Tottenham to Sunderland. The Black Cats have paid a club record £10million for the former Charlton striker, who has four England caps. "He's everything I want," said Steve Bruce, Sunderland's manager.
Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson’s funeral took place on Wednesday. A statement released by his family said: "Sir Bobby Robson was laid to rest today at a private family service. Lady Robson has been overwhelmed by the wonderful tributes and messages of condolence and is very grateful that the family's privacy has been respected at this sad time."
West Brom will wear "England 2018" logos on their shirts for Saturday's Championship opener against Newcastle, as the Baggies back England's bid to host the World Cup.
The start of the football season in Argentina has been delayed indefinitely due to financial problems. The season was due to start on August 14 but the Argentine Football Association say some clubs do not have enough money to pay players.
Following Martin Ling's resignation as Cambridge United manager on Tuesday after just nine days, United chairman George Rolls has also quit. Gary Brabin, Ling's predecessor, resigned last month after clashing with the board.
Transfer round-up: Lyon striker Frederic Piquionne has joined Portsmouth on a season-long loan deal and Reading have signed Doncaster Rovers defender Matthew Mills - while Rovers have signed Mustapha Dumbuya and Byron Webster. Elsewhere, former Manchester City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver has joined Dundee United, Glen Little has moved to Sheffield United and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi says Andrea Pirlo will remain at the club. Bury have re-signed David Worrall on an initial one-month loan deal from West Brom and Marc Edworthy has joined Burton Albion.
Wednesday 5 August 2009
Liverpool have agreed a fee with Real Madrid for the sale of influential midfielder Xabi Alonso. The Spanish international will undergo a medical in Madrid today.
Aston Villa have signed Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph for an undisclosed fee. Martin O’Neill beat a number of managers to attract the England Under-21 player to Villa Park.
Arjen Robben has ruled out a move to Tottenham and says he is only interested in joining a club who are playing in the Champions League. Robben said: "I hope to achieve a lot with Real Madrid this season. The only thing I would consider is a move to another club in the Champions League."
Arsene Wenger admits he will not be upping his bid to sign Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh. The Arsenal manager said: "In five months, if he doesn't prolong his contract, Chamakh will be free to talk to any club and Bordeaux won't get anything. In the current context, to me, it is over."
Michael Ballack is set to return for Chelsea in the Community Shield against Manchester United on Sunday. The German captain has resumed training after missing the pre-season tour to America with a fractured toe.
Everton, who lost 2-1 in a Tuesday night friendly against Blackpool, have confirmed they are in talks to sign Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: "We have been negotiating with Arsenal for the transfer of Philippe. Nothing has been concluded yet but talks are on-going."
Birmingham have agreed a fee with Galway United for striker James O'Shea. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international captained the Irish side last season and scored ten goals.
Blackpool have signed Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam for £500,000. Adam enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Championship side last season and is expected to go straight into the starting line-up for the opening league game against QPR on Saturday.
Martin Ling has left Cambridge United, after just nine-days in the job. The club have cited "irreconcilable differences between Ling and chairman George Rolls" as the reason for his sudden departure.
Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has been ruled out of action for eight weeks following surgery to his left hand. The Dutchman broke a bone and a finger saving a penalty in the pre-season match against Bayern Munich.