Sunderland hero BANNED by the club

first_img Gray has warned footballers to be more careful on holiday 1 Sunderland legend Micky Gray has been banned from the club after scathing remarks made about chairman Ellis Short, who disputes his claims he has lied to the fans.Gray spent 12 years with the Black Cats and witnessed their poor performance against Norwich first-hand last week as a part of talkSPORT’s commentary team.He later delivered a damning assessment of the players and Short, but it has now been revealed he is ‘no longer welcome’ at the club following the tirade, while the chairman would like him to ‘admit he was wrong.’Short has hit back at criticism of his stewardship of the club and a claim that he has been “lying” to supporters in his programme notes for their game against Swansea City.Sections of the home crowd chanted “Are you watching, Ellis Short?” during last Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat by Norwich, while former defender Gray later accused the American of failing to see through promises to invest in the squad.However, Short refuted claims that he lacks ambition for the club and insisted he has not short-changed fans.Writing ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Swansea, Short said: “Regarding last Saturday’s match, to answer the question asked of me, yes, I was watching. Also, like many of you, I ‘left early’, turning off the TV after the third goal and going for an angry walk.“I normally don’t respond to criticism, but based on some recent comments, I feel that there are some points I need to address for the benefit of the fans.“First of all, no one who knows me or knows anything about me would say that I have no ambition for the club. That ambition certainly has not been realised yet, but it does not mean that I don’t have it.“Secondly, the assertion that I have been unwilling to spend money to fulfil the ambitions of the club and its fans is completely wrong. Every penny that comes from TV income and other commercial activities is spent on operating the club – that is, buying players, wages, and other associated costs.“I have never taken money out of the club. In fact, I have funded significant shortfalls each and every season.”Indeed, Short claimed that without his cash, Sunderland would have been in even worse trouble.He said: “Since I have been involved, the good news is that my investment has kept us in the Premier League for nine consecutive seasons. The bad news is, for the amount of money spent, we should be better than we are and no one knows that more than me.“Has the money been spent effectively? No – that much is clear and ultimately that is my fault. But it is not a result of a lack of ambition or commitment.“To date this summer, we have committed £21.5m in transfer fees and remain hopeful that there is still more business to be done before the window closes on September 1.“Finally, Michael Gray made quite a serious accusation claiming that I have lied to supporters. I have not. Michael Gray should admit that he was wrong.”last_img read more

Coral Daily Download – Everton defender John Stones WILL join Chelsea this summer

first_imgJohn Hill joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman talks to Alan Brazil and Charlie Adam about Stoke’s League Cup progression and the latest transfer reports.He brings us new that John Stones is highly likely to leave Everton and join Chelsea before next week’s transfer deadline.The 21-year-old defender, who handed in a transfer request on Tuesday, 1/6 to make the move.He also gives us the latest odds for Manchester United’s trip to Belgium to face Brugge, with the Red Devils – 3-1 up from the first leg – 16/1 on to qualify for the Champions League proper, with the draw 13/5 and a Brugge comeback at 16/5.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

‘Chelsea will beat Arsenal 4-0 and Wenger will attack Mourinho’

first_img1 Chelsea v Arsenal Chelsea are six points behind Arsenal in the Premier League after the Blues’ worst start to a season since 1986, but the Stamford Bridge faithful have more reason to be optimistic than they did earlier in the week.With the Gunners due to visit West London this coming Saturday, Chelsea and Arsenal experienced differing fortunes in their opening Champions League group games.Jose Mourinho’s defending Premier League champions won 4-0 at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv, while Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup holders lost 2-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb.With memories of Arsenal’s 1-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea in August still fresh in the memory, and Petr Cech returning to the Bridge as a Gunner for the first time, it promises to be an explosive showdown.And that’s before we even mention the obvious needle between both managers.Following the midweek European games, some Chelsea fans took to social media to give their views on the upcoming London derby.Check them out below and let us know what you think the score will be by leaving a comment below.Don’t forget you can win big prizes by predicting Premier League scores with our free Predictor game – click here to give it a go!last_img read more

Mourinho to drop big name stars – but who are the Chelsea players to replace them?

first_img 5 Bertrand Traore for Eden Hazard – Hazard was put in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi but after his performances this season those suggestions seem laughable. The Belgian is yet to score this season and began the Porto clash on the bench, but if Mourinho is to turn to his kids then he has an exciting replacement waiting in the wings. Traore has spent the last two seasons at Chelsea’s feeder club Vitesse Arnhem and last term he bagged an impressive 17 goals in 36 appearances. Mourinho opted against sending him on loan again and it may be time to show Blues fans why. Papy Djilobodji for Gary Cahill – Chelsea’s defence is in complete disarray with only Sunderland conceding more goals than them in the Premier League this season. Kurt Zouma and Cahill appear to be Mourinho’s first choice at the moment but neither have been particularly convincing. Djilobodji has only made one appearance for the Blues but if the manager is considering overhauling the first team to give it a more youthful feel, then the Senegalese centre-back will be first in line to come in. Kenedy for Oscar – Chelsea invested a lot of time in securing Kenedy’s services this summer and while his compatriot Nathan went on loan, the 19-year-old remained in West London. He has found himself on the bench regularly but has so far been unable to make an impression. However, with Mourinho hinting at dropping his big name stars, the Brazilian could be in line for a starting berth in place of Oscar, who has disappointed since his return to the team. Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Cesc Fabregas – Loftus-Cheek could easily come in and replace either Fabregas or Nemanja Matic in central midfield, but given the fragility of the Blues’ back four at the moment, dropping Matic could make things worse. Fabregas has been a shadow of the player that contributed 18 assists last season. Loftus-Cheek is energetic, hard-tackling and eager to make an impression and would add some much needed passion into a side that, against Porto, looked like they didn’t care. It is a pity his fellow youth teammate Isaiah Brown was one of the 33 players carted out on loan otherwise he would certainly be involved too. 5 5 Baba Rahman for Branislav Ivanovic – Ivanovic has had a torrid start to this season and Tuesday night’s Champions League clash against Porto was no different. The Serbian’s game by numbers read as 10 misplaced passes, 10 tackles attempted, one tackle won (in the 90th minute), no aerial duels won and no crosses completed. Mourinho has made Ivanovic his captain in the absence of John Terry but perhaps it is time to find someone else. Cesar Azpilicueta is a more than capable right back, allowing £17m summer signing Baba Rahman to start at left back. After another poor showing from Chelsea, this time in the Champions League against Porto, Jose Mourinho could be set to follow through on his threat to drop his big name stars.The Blues boss said he would be willing to play the younger members of his squad if the current crop continued to underperform, and while Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic suffered that fate on Tuesday night, there may be more to come.So who could Mourinho pick from his young guns to turn around Chelsea’s season and end this terrible run of form?talkSPORT looks at five potential replacements for the Blues’ current line-up of stars – click the arrow above, right, to see who is in and who is out.  5 5last_img read more

Poland 2-1 Republic of Ireland: Robert Lewandowski sends Martin O’Neill’s men into Euro 2016 play-offs

first_img Robert Lewandowski 1 Robert Lewandowski continued his incredible goalscoring form to send the Republic of Ireland into the play-offs as Poland won in Warsaw.Grzegorz Krychowiak opened the scoring for Poland but the home side were immediately pegged back through a Jon Walters penalty.The Bayern Munich man got the winner just before half time before John O’Shea saw red late on as Poland went through as Group D runners-up.Martin O’Neill’s side will however have to face the perils of the play-offs if they are to join England, Wales and Northern Ireland in France next summer.It was an even start with so much at stake for both teams but it was Poland who sent the national stadium into lift-off as Krychowiak scored with a 22-yard shot after dropping deep from the corner and firing through a crowd of bodies.But 90 seconds later Ireland were level when Shane Long won a penalty after a wild high-foot.Walters stepped up and fired the ball home to silence the Warsaw crowd.A minute later Poland had the ball in the net again as Pawel Olkowski fired in after some drastic Irish defending – but this time it was ruled offside.However, on the stroke of half time the hosts were in front, and unsurprisingly it was Robert Lewandowski who got the goal.Krzysztof Maczynski crossed in from the right before the Bayern Munich forward exploded with a thunderbolt of a header to put his side in pole position with his 15th goal in six games.Long was stretchered off only 10 minutes into half time with a nasty looking ankle injury which allowed Robbie Keane to enter the fray.Poland had a great opportunity to extend their lead but backup goalkeeper Darren Randolph spread himself brilliantly to deny Kamil Grosicki one-on-one.At the other end Richard Keogh had a golden chance to send Ireland to France with 10 minutes left as he found himself unmarked eight yards out, but his header was straight at Lukasz Fabianski.And it got worse in injury time when Lewandowski broke away as Ireland piled forward, meaning O’Shea needed to bring the forward down and in doing-so picked up his marching orders for a second yellow card.last_img read more

Hartson: “Managers are criticised for playing youngsters, when else do you get to play them?

first_imgFormer Arsenal striker John Hartson believes Arsene Wenger was right to field a number of youngsters in the League Cup, despite suffering an embarrassing exit at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.Wenger mixed a number of senior stars with Gunners academy graduates for Tuesday’s encounter at Hillsborough.Glen Kamara, 20, striker Alex Iwobi and 17-year-old Ismael Bennacer were among those making their debuts, alongside the likes of Per Mertesacker, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Flamini, but the youngsters failed to shine as they fell to a miserable 3-0 defeat.Managers Wenger was critical of the rookies after the game, telling press: “The occasion was too much for the young players. They were not ready to play at this level, none of them.”But ex-Wales international Hartson insists the ‘gamble’ of playing the kids is a risk worth taking, to have to opportunity to see how they cope at a competitive level.“Arsene Wenger played a load of youngsters in the League Cup and it’s a great opportunity for them,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“You can’t really afford to play them in the league and the FA Cup is too big.“Managers are criticised for playing weaker sides, but when else do you get to play these young fringe players?“Clubs tend to use the Capital One Cup like a littler reserve league, they gamble in the less experience of the youngsters in the early rounds, but it’s the only time you can actually get a really good look at them in competitive football.”last_img read more

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink feels ‘no responsibility’ to represent black managers after taking QPR reins

first_imgNewly-appointed QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink doesn’t feel he is shouldering added responsibility as one of the few black managers currently employed in the English professional game.Hasselbaink succeeded fellow black coach Chris Ramsey last week after Rangers agreed a compensation package with the Dutchman’s previous club Burton Albion.Hasselbaink is one of just three black managers, including Brighton’s Chris Hughton and Carlisle United’s Keith Curle, employed in the top four tiers but doesn’t feel an extra incentive to deliver given the paucity of representation.When asked by talkSPORT’s Warren Haughton whether he feels extra responsibility as a black manager, Hasselbaink said: “No responsibility whatsoever.“I’m a big believer that I got this job because I did well at my previous club and that I am the right man for it – that’s why the club has given me the opportunity.“I am black, that’s not going to change. I am proud to be black and that’s also not going to change. That’s how it is.”Hasselbaink also dismissed the importance of the January transfer window, with QPR facing a fight to keep hold of Charlie Austin as Premier League clubs lurk.He added: “It’s important to keep the whole squad, not just individuals.“January is coming – you can’t control that. Our goal is to get everybody ready and together.”last_img read more

Poll: Kane, Vardy or Lukaku – which striker should Man United buy in January?

first_img Louis van Gaal 1 Manchester United drew a blank again on Saturday – the sixth time they have done so this season – and Louis van Gaal is being tipped to launch a big-money move for a striker in the January transfer window.Tottenham’s Harry Kane is reportedly United’s top target but Drivetime want to know which of the Premier League’s form hitmen you would like to see at Old Trafford…last_img

Highly-rated youngsters commit futures to Liverpool

first_img Connor Randall made his senior debut this season in the Capital One Cup Liverpool youngsters Ryan Fulton and Connor Randall have both signed new contracts with the club.Right-back Randall made his senior debut this season in the League Cup win over Bournemouth, while Fulton is the first-choice goalkeeper for the under-21s.The pair are highly thought of by Liverpool and they have now committed their futures by both signing new contracts.“I’m obviously made up to sign a new deal, giving me the chance to stay here for longer, keep working, looking to improve under the manager,” Randall told liverpoolfc.com.“I’m delighted and very grateful.“Since the first day you come in, that’s the goal.“You want to get into the first team, be involved and around it.“It’s a dream come true to be in the situation I am.“To sign a contract today, I’m very pleased and grateful for the chance.”Fulton added: “I’m absolutely buzzing and it’s great to have a bit more security and stay at a club like this and I will try to kick on from here now.” 1last_img read more

Luton Town appoint new manager

first_img Nathan Jones was previously among the coaching staff at Brighton 1 Luton Town have appointed Nathan Jones as their new manager. The 42-year-old, who left his position as first-team coach of Championship side Brighton, has penned a two-and-a-half year deal at Kenilworth Road. He replaces John Still, who was sacked last month, and takes over Luton 15th in Sky Bet League Two. The Welshman had a short spell at Luton as a player before going on to the likes of Southend, Exeter, Brighton and Yeovil. After hanging up his boots, Jones eventually became assistant manager at Yeovil before taking charge of Charlton’s under 21s. He joined Brighton to link up with new boss Oscar Garcia and he was among the coaching staff under various managers before taking charge as interim last year, prior to Chris Hughton’s appointment. He opted to leave the Amex to fulfil his ambitions as a first-team manager.“On behalf of the board I am thrilled and excited to welcome Nathan Jones to Luton Town,” the Hatters’ chief executive Gary Sweet told the club’s official website. “After a lengthy and thorough process, in which we received numerous excellent candidates for the position, we believe that have found the best man to lead the Club’s footballing aspirations forward.“Nathan is a professional, disciplined, strong and open-minded character who is going to install a hard-working team ethic and, importantly, the prospect of fast-flowing football to Kenilworth Road.“The Board believe Nathan will modernise our Club’s football culture, blending the elements of our footballing heritage with a modern, forward-thinking philosophy.“As a Club we realise a change of thinking will not happen overnight, but we are already excited at the prospect of Nathan’s ideas and vision for Luton Town.”Jones will be unveiled to the press later this week.last_img read more

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