Football news round-up 17-23 May
Blackpool celebrate Premiership dream at Wembley.
Sunday 23 May 2010
Blackpool clinched promotion to the Premier League following a 3-2 victory over Blackpool in the Championship Play-Off Final. Michael Chopra scored the opening goal before Charlie Adam equalised with a stunning free-kick. Cardiff went back in front, only to be pegged back again, and Brett Ormerod was the hero as his goal on the stroke of half time.
Jose Mourinho won the Champions League for the second time as his Inter Milan side beat Bayern Munich 2-0. Diego Milito scored both goals as Inter completed the Treble.
Fabio Capello hopes England’s performances at this summer’s World Cup will inspire a new generation of Three Lions fans. Ahead of England’s World Cup opener with USA on 12 June, Capello said: " As we take our first steps onto the pitch at the World Cup, I would like as many people as possible to take their first steps in football. I would like more people to play, more people to coach, more people toreferee - more people to be involved in every area of the game.”
Gareth Barry is confident he will be fit for the World Cup. The England midfielder has an ankle problem but he said: “I am still feeling positive but it is too early to assess just yet.”
Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor has agreed a new one-year contract with the Premier League club.
Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy has undergone life-saving surgery after suffering a injury in a training match on Friday night. The Everton starlet suffered a laceration of the kidney in what has been described as a ‘freak accident’.
Nacho Novo will leave Rangers to join Sporting Gijon in his native Spain, where he has agreed a two-year contract. The striker spent six years at Ibrox.
West Ham have made an audacious bid for Barcelona star Thierry Henry. The former Arsenal forward is out of contract at the Bernabeu and Hammers co-owner David Sullivan said: "I've made an offer which would make him the highest-paid player in the club's history.”
Saturday 22 May 2010
Blackpool and Cardiff City battle it out at Wembley today for a place in the Premier League next season and Blackpool manager Ian Holloway says it could be a life-changing experience. He said: “If we go up and can get people to Bloomfield Road then everybody will prosper. It's not just our lives we're trying to change it's everybody in the town." Cardiff manager David Jones said: "It's life-changing for everybody - that's why we are trying hard to achieve it." Cardiff hope to become the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League.
Cardiff have decided not to take the coach to Wembley from their team hotel this afternoon – but will arrive by train! Chairman Peter Ridsdale said: “We decided after The Cup Final experience when it took about an hour and a half to get there by coach to do things differently. The train is about ten minutes, so 21 of us going by train we are going to enjoy the day out!”
Arsenal have completed the signing of Moroccan international striker Marouane Chamakh from Bordeaux on a free transfer. The 26-year-old, who hit 79 goals in eight years in France, has been a long-term target for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who said: “Chamakh is a striker of real quality and has all the attributes suited to come to England and do very well. He is also a fighter, not only a good football player, but a fighter as well. He is very good in the air and also a good team player. He is a great addition to our squad."
Jose Mourinho has refused to confirm speculation he will be manager of Real Madrid as he prepares for today’s Champions League Final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. "Whoever plays the Final of the Champions League can't think about anything else,” he said. “When I won with Porto I knew before that I would leave for Chelsea, but right now I can't say... I don't know Real Madrid." Mourinho can complete an historic Treble if his side beat Bayern – having already won Serie A and the Copa Italia.
England goalkeeper David James has shown an interest in the vacant manager’s job at Portsmouth. The club’s administrator Andrew Andronikou said: “David has expressed an interest in taking the next stage of his career into management. Albeit we believe it has come a bit too early to appoint him as manager."
Andy Hessenthaler has been confirmed as the new manager of Gilliingham. He was also in charge at the League Two club between 200 and 2004.
Chelsea pair Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic have been dropped by Serbia coach Radomir Antic after he cut his World Cup squad to 24. Miralem Sulejmani, Jagos Vukovic, Nemanja Tomic and Dejan Lekic were also discarded.
Everton’s Steven Pienaar has arrived at South Africa’s pre-World Cup training camp. He is in contention to play a part in a friendly match against Bulgaria in Soweto on Monday.
Friday 21 May 2010
Avram Grant has resigned as manager of Portsmouth. Grant, 55, failed to save the club from relegation last season but led them to The FA Cup Final. He said: "This was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to take in my football career."
Dagenham and Redbridge reached the League Two Play-Off final, despite suffering a 2-1 loss against Morecambe. After winning the first leg 6-0, the game was still all but over when Mark Duffy put Morecambe in the lead. Paul Benson equalised for Dagenham before Dave Artell netted an injury time winner for the home side. Dagenham and Redbridge will now face Rotherham in the final at Wembley.
Aston Villa have rejected a £20m offer from Manchester City for England midfielder James Milner. A Villa spokesman said: “We plan to sit down with James and his representative after the World Cup to agree a new long-term deal and this remains our position."
Coventry have named Aidy Boothroyd as their new manager on a three-year deal. Boothroyd was in charge of Colchester, but the two clubs have agreed a compensation fee.
Middlesbrough have appointed former Coventry and Leeds manager Gary McAllister as their new first-team coach. Jim Blyth has also been named as the new goalkeeping coach.
Former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann has signed for MK Dons as a player-coach. Hamann said: “It's a professionally run football club. It's a club that wants to go higher and into the Championship."
England’s Howard Webb will referee the Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan on Saturday night.
Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres have both been included in Spain’s final 23-man squad for the World Cup this summer. Both players have been struggling with injury but are expected to be fit for the tournament in South Africa.
Former World Cup winner Laurent Blanc will replace Raymond Domenech as the new France coach after the World Cup. Blanc, who won the World Cup back in 1998, will quit his position as Bordeaux coach.
Thursday 20 May 2010
Lord Coe believes England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup is still on track. Lord Triesman resigned from his post as chairman of the bid team on Sunday, but Lord Coe, who was behind London’s successful campaign to host the 2012 Olympics and is on the 2018 bid team, remains confident after talks with FIFA president Sepp Blatter. "Blatter's clear inference was 'go on telling our story, talk about the bid's qualities, the eminence of the venues and why we are doing it',” said Lord Coe. "The impression I get from him is that we will be judged on those things."
England goalkeeper David James is one of four players to have been offered new contracts by Portsmouth. The other players to be offered deals by Pompey, who will play in the Championship next season after their relegation from the Premier League, are Hermann Hreidarsson, Ricardo Rocha and Kanu.
Ben Foster has completed his move from Manchester United to Birmingham City. The goalkeeper, who has won four caps for England, has signed a three-year deal at St Andrews.
Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen has signed a contract extension, keeping him at Ewood Park until the summer of 2014. “Blackburn always was my first choice. We have a united team, great management and brilliant supporters," said the 28-year-old.
Everton defender Seamus Coleman has signed a four-year contract extension at Goodison Park. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 right-back joined the club from Sligo Rovers in January 2008.
Rotherham have booked their place in the League Two Play-Off final after a 2-0 second leg victory over Aldershot. Adam Le Fondre and Kevin Ellison scored the goals that secured a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Coventry have reportedly been given permission to speak to Colchester United manager Aidy Boothroyd about their vacant managerial position. The former Watford boss joined Colchester last September.
Crewe duo John Brayford and James Bailey have both moved to Derby County. Both centre-back Brayford, 22, and 21-year-old midfielder Bailey have signed three-year contracts at Pride Park.
Cambridge United defender Dan Gleeson has signed a two-year deal with Luton Town. And the Conference Premier side have announced that 34-year-old striker Kevin Gallen has signed a new one-year contract extension.
Wednesday 19 May 2010
Barcelona are attempting to blast the summer transfer window into overdrive with the signings of Valencia striker David Villa and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. Barca vice-president Rafael Yuste claimed: “Negotiations are progressing well especially in the case of Villa."
Millwall have reached the League One Play-Off final for the second successive season after goals from Steve Morison and Paul Robinson secured a 2-0 aggregate victory over Huddersfield. They now face Swindon at Wembley.
Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has agreed a four-year contract that could keep him at the club until 2014. The Australian international midfielder said: “It's a big decision and I couldn't be happier.”
Administrator Andrew Andronikou has confirmed Portsmouth will not demand compensation if manager Avram Grant leaves the financially troubled club.
Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has been given a new one-year contract. The Italian broke both wrists and injured his pelvis in a bike crash last November.
Birmingham have signed 20-year-old Spanish midfielder Enric Valles from Dutch side NAC Breda on a free transfer.
Sheffield Wednesday have been given until the end of the week to accept or reject an investment offer from American company Club 9 Sports. “This is the club we want. I would say we're willing to give it this week,” said Club 9 director Jon Pritchett.
Dover chairman Jim Parmenter claims he has given Gillingham permission to talk to manager Andy Hessenthaler about a possible return to the vacant manager's job at Priestfield. He said: “I won't stand in his way provided that Dover is suitably compensated.”
Midfielders David Prutton and Phil Ifil have been offered new contracts by Colchester United. Scott Vernon, Matt Lockwood, Sam Corcoran and Russell Malton have been released.
Lee Harrison, who was released by Barnet last month, has been signed by Dagenham & Redbridge as their goalkeeping coach for the remainder of their season as they bid for promotion via the Play-Offs.
Tuesday 18 May 2010
Swindon Town reached the League One Play-Off final with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Charlton at The Valley. The sides drew 3-3 on aggregate after Charlton won the second leg 2-1 following extra-time. Nicky Bailey missed the crucial penalty for the hosts while Danny Wilson’s side scored all five of their spot kicks. They will play the winner of Millwall and Huddersfield Town, who play on Tuesday night, at Wembley on 29 May.
The FA’s plans for a National Football Centre in Burton have been granted planning permission. “The planning permission enables us to move towards crystallising the tendering and funding arrangements for this enormously important education hub for football,” said David Sheepshanks, joint acting chairman of The FA.
Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury playing for Chelsea in their FA Cup Final triumph against Portsmouth on Saturday.
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has admitted he was affected by the collapse of a proposed move to Spanish giants Barcelona last summer. “The situation with Barcelona really affected me,” the Argentina captain said. “It was a shame it didn't happen as it was the city where I wanted to live.”
Birmingham have had a bid for 23-year-old Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia rejected. “Birmingham have made a bid for Charles and Wigan have turned it down,” said N’Zogbia’s agent Franck Peslerbe.
Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery has been ruled out of the Champions League Final against Inter Milan on Saturday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal against his three-match ban. The Frenchman was sent-off during the German club’s semi-final first-leg match against Lyon.
Twenty-four of the 30-man provisional England squad have flown out to Austria for the first of their pre-World Cup training camps. The only players not yet there are the five who featured in The FA Cup Final and the injured Gareth Barry.
Dutch midfielder Boudewijn Zenden has signed a new 12-month deal with Sunderland after a successful first season at the club. Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said: “He has played at the top level for a long time and has a wealth of experience which is so valuable both on and off the pitch.”
Hull full-back Bernard Mendy has left the club by mutual consent following the club’s relegation from the Premier League. The 28-year-old Frenchman made 56 appearances after arriving on a free transfer in July 2008.
Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford has resigned following the club’s relegation to League One and will be replaced on an interim basis by Howard Wilkinson. Wilkinson, who once managed the club, said: “It is an honour for me to become chairman, albeit I stress that this will only be on an interim basis.”
Aston Villa’s James Collins and Fulham’s Simon Davies have become the latest Wales players to withdraw from their friendly in Croatia this Sunday through injury.
West Brom have released Sloevenian midfielder Robert Koren after choosing not to take up an option to extend his contract following their promotion to the Premier League. West Brom sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth said: “Robert has been a great servant to the club and we would like to thank him for all his efforts.”
Dick Advocaat has been appointed as new manager of Russia. The former Rangers manager takes over from fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who is taking charge of Turkey.
Monday 17 May 2010
England star Ledley King has signed a new contract at Tottenham, keeping him at White Hart Lane until 2012.”I have been here since I was a schoolboy and I could never see myself going anywhere else," said King, 29.
Oxford United are back in the Football League for the first time in four years after beating York City 3-1 in the Conference Premier Play-Off final at Wembley. Matt Green and James Constable put them 2-0 ahead before keeper Ryan Clarke fumbled Ben Purkiss’s corner to give York hope. But Alfie Potter sealed victory in front of a crowd of 38,957.
Dagenham crushed Morecambe 6-0 in the first leg of their League Two Play-Off semi-final, with Josh Scott scoring four times. Paul Benson also scored twice for the Daggers, leaving manager John Still purring. He said: “It was an amazing performance by a fantastic group of players who have come so far in not a very long time. We’ve got to be professional and do our job in the second leg.”
Michael Ballack is still waiting to find out if the ankle injury he suffered playing for Chelsea in The FA Cup Final will keep him out of the World Cup. He was unable to have a scan on Sunday because the joint was too swollen.
Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan have been crowned champions of Italy after winning 1-0 at Siena on the final day of the season. Having already won the Italian Cup, they can clinch a remarkable Treble if they beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final next weekend.
Barcelona are the champions of La Liga in Spain after beating Real Vallodolid 4-0, including two more goals from Lionel Messi. Real Madrid finished second after drawing 1-1 away to Malaga.
South Africa beat Bryan Robson’s Thailand 4-0 in a World Cup preparation match in Nelspruit. “It was an important game as it was the first one back at home after our camps in Brazil and Germany," said South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
England legend Bryan Robson, now manager of Thailand, believes the deafening noise of vuvuzelas – a plastic trumpet that makes a loud screeching sound – could become a real problem at the World Cup. “With that noise they could have an advantage in the World Cup," he said. "If the atmosphere is like that in the World Cup it will raise the level of the players a little bit. If the supporters are behind them like that, it will be a big boost. But for opposition coaches it's very difficult to get any message to the players from the bench. Coaches are going to have to make that known to their players."