Midfielder praises Reds captain

steven gerrard
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has jumped to the defense of club captain Steven Gerrard following another disappointing result for the Reds. Gerrard’s influence on the pitch has been questioned this season following the departure of talisman Luis Suarez during the summer transfer window, but Henderson is convinced that the 34 year old remains one of the most influential players in the Premier League. Gerrard found himself on the scoresheet yet again during this weekend’s Merseyside derby, but the Reds saw a late Phil Jagielka stunner rob the hosts of two points. The result means that Brendan Rodgers’ side have now dropped eight Premier League points during the month of September following back to back defeats against Aston Villa and West Ham United prior to the draw with Everton. Henderson, meanwhile, is convinced that Gerrard can help lift Liverpool back up the table. “Stevie’s still one of the best players in the Premier League,” Henderson said of the club captain, according to Sky Sports. ”There’s no doubting his quality. A lot of teams have been putting someone to man-mark him, which shows just how good he is. I don’t think he deserves any criticism. He’s been the best player this league’s probably seen in a long time and still is.” The Reds are now in 13th place in the league, with just seven points from their opening six matches. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been struggling in front of net this season, finding the back of the net just eight times this season, while conceding nine times. Despite their domestic troubles, the Reds will be looking forward to reigniting their Champions League record on Wednesday night when they travel to FC Basel before welcoming West Brom to Anfield on Saturday. The post Midfielder praises Reds captain appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Rodgers praises Brazilian midfielder

coutinho
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, hailing the creative player’s value to a Liverpool squad that is making its return to the UEFA Champions League this season. Coutinho missed out on Brazil’s World Cup squad this past summer, so will be benefiting from a full summer of rest as the Premier League season fast approaches. “He’s certainly a valuable player and a great asset to the club,” Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com. ”He’s come in here and shown his quality, and really developed as a young player. Now he’s moving into the best years of his life as a footballer. “He came back with a great level of fitness – right on the limit of his weight. He’s in great condition, he clearly worked hard in the off season and since he’s come back we’ve seen in the games how strong and aggressive he is. “He’s 22 and hopefully by the time the next World Cup comes around he will be an important part of the Brazil team. I’m sure his best years will be at Liverpool.” Coutinho is in Liverpool’s starting eleven for tonight’s friendly against Manchester United in the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup. The creative midfielder will be battling with the likes of Ander Herrera and Darren Fletcher, who are starting for the Red Devils. Coutinho will be hoping to get the new season off to a flying start on the 17th of August when the Reds play host to Southampton, who have lost Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, and Rickie Lambert all summer, with the latter three joining Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers and his side also play champions Manchester City and Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur before the end of the month. Stay tuned to Premiership Talk for coverage of the International Champions Cup final from Miami, Florida. The post Rodgers praises Brazilian midfielder appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Rodgers praises Brazilian midfielder

coutinho

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, hailing the creative player’s value to a Liverpool squad that is making its return to the UEFA Champions League this season. Coutinho missed out on Brazil’s World Cup squad this past summer, so will be benefiting from a full summer of rest as the Premier League season fast approaches.

“He’s certainly a valuable player and a great asset to the club,” Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com. ”He’s come in here and shown his quality, and really developed as a young player. Now he’s moving into the best years of his life as a footballer.

“He came back with a great level of fitness – right on the limit of his weight. He’s in great condition, he clearly worked hard in the off season and since he’s come back we’ve seen in the games how strong and aggressive he is.

“He’s 22 and hopefully by the time the next World Cup comes around he will be an important part of the Brazil team. I’m sure his best years will be at Liverpool.”

Coutinho is in Liverpool’s starting eleven for tonight’s friendly against Manchester United in the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup. The creative midfielder will be battling with the likes of Ander Herrera and Darren Fletcher, who are starting for the Red Devils.

Coutinho will be hoping to get the new season off to a flying start on the 17th of August when the Reds play host to Southampton, who have lost Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, and Rickie Lambert all summer, with the latter three joining Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers and his side also play champions Manchester City and Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur before the end of the month. Continue reading “Rodgers praises Brazilian midfielder”

Mata, Rooney start for United

wayne rooney
Manchester United stars Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney have both been named in today’s starting eleven against Real Madrid in Ann Arbor, Michigan in front of over 100,000 fans. The pair have been in great form during this summer’s tour of the States, and will now be vying for a spot in Monday’s final of the International Champions Cup in Miami. A win or draw will guarantee the Red Devils a spot in Monday’s final, where they could be playing Premier League rivals Manchester City or Liverpool. Real Madrid, meanwhile, will be without Cristiano Ronaldo when the match kicks off as the Portuguese international is still struggling for fitness. Iker Casillas will be captaining a side that lost to Inter Milan earlier in the friendly tournament. Goalkeeper David De Gea and defenders Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, and Michael Keane will be tasked with stopping the La Liga giants today, while Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young will provide width as full-backs. Darren Fletcher captains the side from the center of midfield, with Ander Herrera and Danny Welbeck rounding out the eleven alongside Rooney and Mata. Stay tuned to Premiership Talk as we provide coverage of today’s friendly match from Michigan Stadium! The post Mata, Rooney start for United appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple”

yaya-toure
Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has branded Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure a “bad apple” following the Ivory Coast international’s tantrum over his recent treatment at the Etihad. According to Parker, City don’t need to deal with Toure’s antics following his outburst, and praised United’s cross-town rivals for being a solid squad following their recent title victory. “The big question mark for them though has to be Yaya Toure,” Parker wrote in his column for Eurosport. ”At the end of the day, they don’t need a sour apple in the barrel. City have reached a level where they have to be bigger than any one individual and it is one player who is causing problems – he has to go.” City have bolstered their midfield ranks in recent years with the additions of the combative Fernandinho and Javi Garcia, with Jack Rodwell a capable youthful alternative. The likes Continue reading "Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple”"

Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple”

yaya-toure
Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has branded Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure a “bad apple” following the Ivory Coast international’s tantrum over his recent treatment at the Etihad. According to Parker, City don’t need to deal with Toure’s antics following his outburst, and praised United’s cross-town rivals for being a solid squad following their recent title victory. “The big question mark for them though has to be Yaya Toure,” Parker wrote in his column for Eurosport. ”At the end of the day, they don’t need a sour apple in the barrel. City have reached a level where they have to be bigger than any one individual and it is one player who is causing problems – he has to go.” City have bolstered their midfield ranks in recent years with the additions of the combative Fernandinho and Javi Garcia, with Jack Rodwell a capable youthful alternative. The likes of David Silva and French international Samir Nasri also give boss Manuel Pellegrini an wealth of attacking riches in midfield, suggesting that the club could afford to offload Yaya if conditions do not improve.

Parker on team chemistry

Parker, who played for Manchester United in the mid 90s, states that team chemistry is imperative for the Citizens if they want to successfully defend their Premier League crown, hinting that Roberto Mancini’s controversial exit must show the importance of the atmosphere around the locker room. “City need to do something similar because they need a happy camp,” Parker continued. “The reason why they didn’t go back-to-back the last time is because the manager upset some of the players. “Again, City just have to look at what their neighbours did when they were successful. If Yaya Toure behaved as he did under Sir Alex he would have gone – simply as that.” City are set to embark on a tour of the United States this summer as they compete in the Guinness International Champions Cup, where they’ll take on AC Milan, Liverpool, and Olympiacos, with a potential final match in Miami before they head back to English shores for the Community Shield against FA Cup winners Arsenal. The post Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple” appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple”

yaya-toure
Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has branded Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure a “bad apple” following the Ivory Coast international’s tantrum over his recent treatment at the Etihad. According to Parker, City don’t need to deal with Toure’s antics following his outburst, and praised United’s cross-town rivals for being a solid squad following their recent title victory. “The big question mark for them though has to be Yaya Toure,” Parker wrote in his column for Eurosport. ”At the end of the day, they don’t need a sour apple in the barrel. City have reached a level where they have to be bigger than any one individual and it is one player who is causing problems – he has to go.” City have bolstered their midfield ranks in recent years with the additions of the combative Fernandinho and Javi Garcia, with Jack Rodwell a capable youthful alternative. The likes of David Silva and French international Samir Nasri also give boss Manuel Pellegrini an wealth of attacking riches in midfield, suggesting that the club could afford to offload Yaya if conditions do not improve.

Parker on team chemistry

Parker, who played for Manchester United in the mid 90s, states that team chemistry is imperative for the Citizens if they want to successfully defend their Premier League crown, hinting that Roberto Mancini’s controversial exit must show the importance of the atmosphere around the locker room. “City need to do something similar because they need a happy camp,” Parker continued. “The reason why they didn’t go back-to-back the last time is because the manager upset some of the players. “Again, City just have to look at what their neighbours did when they were successful. If Yaya Toure behaved as he did under Sir Alex he would have gone – simply as that.” City are set to embark on a tour of the United States this summer as they compete in the Guinness International Champions Cup, where they’ll take on AC Milan, Liverpool, and Olympiacos, with a potential final match in Miami before they head back to English shores for the Community Shield against FA Cup winners Arsenal. The post Ex-United defender brands City star as “bad apple” appeared first on Premiership Talk.

United striker plays down injury fears

robin van persie
Manchester United’s Dutch striker Robin van Persie has played down concerns over his fitness ahead of the start of the World Cup. The striker assisted Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben in the 32nd minute of yesterday’s 2-0 friendly win over Wales, but was subbed off at halftime. The former Arsenal man insisted that the early substitution was merely a precaution, which should give Oranje fans a boost ahead of their country’s opening match against defending champions Spain next Friday. “I wouldn’t call it an injury, I came off as a precaution,” van Persie told reporters after the match, according to Sky Sports. “It built up during the came so decided it was sensible to come off.” van Persie is one of the most integral pieces of the Holland squad once again, and as captain of the national side his manager Louis van Gaal will be hoping for some inspirational displays this summer. van Gaal will be seeing a lot of van Persie over the coming year as the two will reunite at Carrington for preseason training for Manchester United this summer following the tournament. After squaring off against Spain, the Dutch will be expected to beat both Chile and Australia in their remaining Group B matches, which should see them through to the Round of 16 in this summer’s showcase in Brazil. This World Cup is van Persie’s third after the striker featured in 2006 and 2010, scoring two goals in football’s most prestigious tournament. The post United striker plays down injury fears appeared first on Premiership Talk.

United striker plays down injury fears

robin van persie
Manchester United’s Dutch striker Robin van Persie has played down concerns over his fitness ahead of the start of the World Cup. The striker assisted Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben in the 32nd minute of yesterday’s 2-0 friendly win over Wales, but was subbed off at halftime. The former Arsenal man insisted that the early substitution was merely a precaution, which should give Oranje fans a boost ahead of their country’s opening match against defending champions Spain next Friday. “I wouldn’t call it an injury, I came off as a precaution,” van Persie told reporters after the match, according to Sky Sports. “It built up during the came so decided it was sensible to come off.” van Persie is one of the most integral pieces of the Holland squad once again, and as captain of the national side his manager Louis van Gaal will be hoping for some inspirational displays this summer. van Gaal will be seeing a lot of van Persie over the coming year as the two will reunite at Carrington for preseason training for Manchester United this summer following the tournament. After squaring off against Spain, the Dutch will be expected to beat both Chile and Australia in their remaining Group B matches, which should see them through to the Round of 16 in this summer’s showcase in Brazil. This World Cup is van Persie’s third after the striker featured in 2006 and 2010, scoring two goals in football’s most prestigious tournament. The post United striker plays down injury fears appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Premiership managerial casualties of 2013

paulo di canio sunderland training

It used to be said that managing the England national team was the ‘impossible job’ as there was no way you could ever succeed unless you were perennial winners of the World Cup. That term should now be reserved for the Barclays Premier League, though, as the guillotine fell on yet another manager, Cardiff City’s, Malky Mackay, who became the 6th victim of the season.

To date, Tottenham have canned Andre Villas-Boas, West Brom binned Steve Clarke, Palace turfed out Ian Holloway, Fulham snipped Martin Jol, and Sunderland frog-marched Paolo di Canio to the job center.

And trust me it won’t end there. Sam Allardyce, Chris Hougton, and Paul Lambert at West Ham, Norwich City, and Aston Villa, respectively, are all clinging to the precipice and could be gone before the New Year.

If that does come to pass, 45% of the league’s managers will have been fired before we’ve even played 20 matches, which in my book is pure madness.

Admittedly, you can’t fire the four to five players who are underperforming but this complete disregard for the man with the brains behind clubs is madness.

Let’s take a look at the victims this season and examine their records to see if their sackings were justified or not.

Malky Mackay & Cardiff City: G125, W54, D37, L34

Mackay got Cardiff to the Premiership for the first time in their history. Has the team in 17th place but also masterminded Manchester City and most importantly Swansea. There is no way this man should’ve been sacked and to be honest, the club’s owner, Vincent Tan is a disgrace. Didn’t deserve the sack!

Andre Villas-Boas & Tottenham: G80, W44, D20, L16

Villas-Boas has claimed that he was unlucky to get the bullet but looking at the money he’s spent, the backing he’s received, and the lack of humility he’s shown, I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. AVB’s problem is that he doesn’t have the experience to manage clubs the size of a Tottenham or Chelsea. He needs to go back to continental Europe and properly learn his craft. Had the sack coming!

Steve Clarke & West Brom: G60, W19, D15, L26

I’m gutted for Clarke who I rate as someone with a football brain. He learnt his trade under Jose Mourinho and with a little bit of luck would’ve had some huge victories this season including a win at Stamford Bridge to go along with turning over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Baggies board has acted rashly and the next five matches will truly decide whether they stay up or go down. Didn’t deserve the sack!

Ian Holloway & Crystal Palace: G47, W15, D14, L18

Ian Holloway was a legit sacking in the AVB mold. Although he produced miracles to get the Eagles to the promised land of the elite, his record in the Premiership is not one to hang your hat on. Had the sack coming!

Martin Jol & Fulham: G113, W38, D28, L47

A pure panic sacking by the Cottagers who are notoriously slow starters. Chairman Shahid Khan’s knowledge of football could fit onto a pinhead and without a steady hand beside him he’s looked at the table and made a decision based purely on that. Fulham under Jol have always been a solid unit. With a weak schedule coming up, Khan has been far too quick to pull the trigger. Didn’t deserve the sack!

Paolo di Canio & Sunderland: G13, W3, D3, L7

13 matches, 13 matches!!! How can that be enough time to let any manager develop a style, philosophy, let lone a cohesive united. Ellis Short, the Black Cats chairman, should really have a good look at himself and ask the question “why did I hire him in the first place” as the appointment of di Canio was controversial to say the least. I actually like the Italian and given some backing think his ideas of discipline and club commitment are traits that would’ve paid dividends further down the line. Didn’t deserve the sack!

As my old mentor once so profoundly said: “Nick, the day you get hired, you’re a day closer to the sack” and no truer word has ever been spoken about managing in the Premier League, truly the “impossible job.”

Nick Webster has covered the Premier League for over the past decade. He now has his own blog at www.realfootytalk.com that looks at the game with a sharper, less censored eye. Follow him daily for his View from the Terraces plus unique video hits that have a voice only true fans of the game understand.

The post Premiership managerial casualties of 2013 appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Brazilian reveals Gunners’ interest

diego
Brazilian midfielder Diego has revealed that Premier League giants Arsenal have expressed an interest in him. The talented playmaker was once one of the hottest properties in the world of football, making his name at Werder Bremen after impressing with Portuguese side Porto from 2004 to 2006. Now, the midfielder’s contract is set to run out at current club Wolfsburg, making him a free and enticing option for Arsene Wenger’s league leaders. “I know there is interest from Premier League clubs. I have heard Arsenal is one of them,” Diego admitted, according to Sky Sports. Diego went on to admit that he would jump at the opportunity to play at the Emirates Stadium considering their playing style, opening the door for a move by Arsene Wenger as soon as January, when the club would be allowed to discuss terms with the player under the Bosman ruling. “It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics perfectly. Of course I would say yes to Arsenal,” the 28 year old revealed, according to Sky Sports. Arsenal signed free agent Mathieu Flamini this past summer, but with Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta due to turn 32 years old in the spring the Gunners may be looking towards a younger pair of legs in the heart of their midfield. If Diego does make the switch, he will complement the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, and Santi Cazorla behind the strikers. Should the Gunners make a move for Diego? Have your say below! The post Brazilian reveals Gunners’ interest appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Spurs boss responds to rumors over Chelsea ace

andre villas-boas
After seeing Spanish midfielder Juan Mata fall out of favor at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has moved to dismiss speculation linking the player with a crosstown move to White Hart Lane. The former Valencia player has been linked with a move away from Chelsea since Jose Mourinho returned to the club, with Manchester United and Arsenal both heavily linked with him before the summer transfer window slammed shut. Now, the Spurs boss has refuted claims that he is considering signing his former Chelsea player. When asked by reporters if he’d move for him in January, Villas-Boas replied ”no, I don’t think so,” according to the Daily Star. While the Portuguese manager may not bring Mata to north London, he did move to praise Mata’s qualities, and insisted that his talents will earn him a place back in Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven. Villas-Boas knows Mata well from the pair’s time together at Stamford Bridge, when Mata was one of the manager’s key players. “It’s not my decision to pick or not pick Mata, it was before,” the former Chelsea manager stated, according to the Daily Star. ”He was always involved in my starting eleven, I have always enjoyed a great personal and professional relationship with Juan Mata but it’s not my decision anymore. “I suppose the time that he’s not being given now with the talent that he has he will overcome it and jump back into the team because he is that player, that special.” Mata’s place in the side has diminished following the emergence of young Brazilian sensation Oscar. The midfielder has been teaming up well with the likes of Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle this season, and along with new signing Willian, Mata will have to fight for a spot in the starting eleven. The post Spurs boss responds to rumors over Chelsea ace appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Kagawa, Rooney in United starting eleven

wayne rooney
Manchester United manager David Moyes has named a strong starting eleven for today’s Capital One Cup match against rivals Liverpool. Midfielder Shinji Kagawa has finally earned a domestic start under the Scot, with in-form Wayne Rooney once again leading the club’s attack. Portuguese winger Nani is also set to make his first start since signing a new contract at Old Trafford, while Chris Smalling retains his place in the United back four. Nani and Kagawa are joined by Phil Jones and the evergreen Ryan Giggs in the midfield, while Chris Smalling will deputize alongside Jonny Evans, with Rafael returning to his usual spot at right back. Alexander Buttner will have a chance to impress as he replaces Patrice Evra for the match, as goalkeeper David De Gea once again picks up another start. Mexican striker Javier Hernandez will make his first appearance under Moyes as he has returned to the starting eleven alongside Rooney, completing a strong eleven for the hosts. Tonight’s winner will advance in the Capital One Cup. The two sides have already met in the Premier League this season, with Liverpool running out as 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Daniel Sturridge. Manchester United starting eleven v Liverpool: David De Gea; Rafael, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Alexander Buttner; Nani, Phil Jones, Ryan Giggs, Shinji Kagawa; Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez The post Kagawa, Rooney in United starting eleven appeared first on Premiership Talk.

United owner ends dispute over Old Trafford

old trafford
Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer and his executive team have dropped the legal dispute over fans’ movement to get Old Trafford listed as an Asset of Community Value. The decision to turn Old Trafford into an Asset of Community Value was made in July by the Trafford council, and now gives supporters’ the power to protect the stadium if the Glazer family – or any group having financial ownership of United and/or Old Trafford – decided to list it for sale. Under the Asset of Community Value protection, Old Trafford can’t be sold for at least six months, giving supporters and the local community time to prevent the potential sale. The club has now confirmed that it has decided to cease its dispute over the stadium’s new status, confirming their intention of keeping the club at Old Trafford for many years to come. The club’s legal team decided that the status has no “meaningful impact” on the club’s operations. “This process was never about leaving Old Trafford,” said a statement from the club, according to the Manchester Evening News. “While we maintain it is a wholly inaccurate interpretation of the law, after further investigation, we do not believe the decision to name Old Trafford an Asset of Community Value has any meaningful impact on the Club. As a result, there seemed little point in engaging in a long, drawn-out legal process just to demonstrate a point. “The Club is proud to have called Old Trafford home for over 100 years. Its commitment is reflected in the £90m spent upgrading Old Trafford’s facilities over the last eight years and this investment will continue as we look to ensure that it remains our home for many years to come.” United most recently expanded the stadium to a capacity of 76,000 in 2006 by adding a second tier to the northeast and northwest quadrants of the stadium. It remains the largest stadium in the Premier League, with 16,000 more seats than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and 30,000 more than cross-town rivals Manchester City. The post United owner ends dispute over Old Trafford appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Magpies boss sympathizes with Italian

paulo di canio sunderland training
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed that he feels sympathy for Paolo Di Canio after the Italian was sacked by local rivals Sunderland. The two clubs enjoy a bitter local rivalry, but Pardew acknowledges that the Italian gave it his all after keeping the Black Cats in the Premier League last season. Pardew says goodbye to his closest rival after just 13 matches in charge for the controversial Italian, and made it clear that he wishes the former West Ham United favorite well. “With my LMA hat on I was disappointed,” Pardew told Chronicle Live of his managerial colleague. ”He’s attacked the job with his passion and enthusiasm and nobody can knock him for that. “It hasn’t worked out. There’s sympathy for him at the club. I wish him well.” Di Canio just lasted five matches into the new season, picking up one draw and no wins early in this campaign. The poor start leaves the Black Cats at the bottom of the Premier League table, but sympathy must be given for Di Canio considering his tough task of getting 13 new players assimilated into the squad after the club’s summer spending spree. Di Canio will also feel especially hard done by after seeing his side lose to league leaders Arsenal, as the Black Cats had a goal controversially – and incorrectly – ruled out, which could have given the home side the momentum in what would’ve been a 2-2 match in the second half. Nevertheless, Di Canio now finds himself out of a job as Sunderland looks to bring in a new manager to the Stadium of Light. The post Magpies boss sympathizes with Italian appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Defender tips Spurs for title challenge

andre villas boas
Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker has backed former club Tottenham for a title challenge after seeing the visiting Spurs grab a stoppage time winner in Wales on Sunday. Tottenham currently sit in second place in the Premier League table, tied on points with north London rivals Arsenal, and are still working to integrate new signings Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, and Vlad Chiriches into the squad. With all of the changes at White Hart Lane over the summer – including his own departure – Caulker believes that Andre Villas-Boas’ side can challenge for the title thanks to their seemingly endless supply of talent on the bench. Midfielders Eriksen and Paulinho appear to be blending into the squad seamlessly, with Roberto Soldado quickly finding his name among the goals this season. Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, and Erik Lamela have seen limited match time due to injuries and a lack of match fitness, while Vlad Chiriches has been awaiting a work permit, and Caulker believes those seven new players have compensated for the loss of Gareth Bale. “Yeah, with the players they have brought in and the squad they have got, they should be achieving things,” Caulker told the Mirror when asked if Spurs can challenge for this year’s title. “They have spent a lot of money and when teams spend that amount of money you expect big things from them. It’s slightly different there now. Without Bale they did not have that threat – but they have other players who came in and looked strong. I thought their movement upfront was great. “With the money they have spent they have got great players with a lot of movement. They have got Soldado and Eriksen running off and you have got to be focused. When you bring on a £27m-plus player in the last minute, like Lamela, it is going to be difficult. With the money they have spent they will all cause teams problems.” Tottenham take on Aston Villa this evening in the Capital One Cup as they aim to keep their good run of form going. They take on Chelsea this Saturday at White Hart Lane. The post Defender tips Spurs for title challenge appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Chelsea striker reveals obsession with watching matches

romelu lukaku
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed that he watches every single Premier League match in order to analyze the league’s strikers and defenders. The young Belgian superstar is currently on loan at Everton, and has already staked his claim as one of the league’s best goalscorers after an impressive 17 goal return with West Bromwich Albion last season. Now, the astute striker attributes a lot of that to his desire to become a Premier League great, and there’s no doubt that he’s investing the time to achieve that goal. Lukaku scored the game winning goal for the Toffees in his debut over the weekend, and will have another chance to impress later tonight if Roberto Martinez selects him for the Capital One Cup clash against Fulham. “It’s true that I watch every single game in the league – 90 minutes. I take my time to study and to learn other strikers’ movements and to learn about other defenders. I take my time,” Lukaku told Metro. “Really I want to be one of the best in this league so you can only learn from the best by watching the best. “After training I go home and record every game. I have a satellite and I just watch the games. My aim is to go down as one of the greatest. That’s why I’m at Everton. I’m here to help the team, the team is here to help me.” Lukaku leads a golden generation of young Belgian stars in the Premier League, including Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Adnan Januzaj, and Marouane Fellaini. The Premier League stars will be hoping to team up for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and need just one point to ensure qualification out of Group A in UEFA World Cup qualifying. They have upcoming matches against Croatia and Wales as they seek that final point. The post Chelsea striker reveals obsession with watching matches appeared first on Premiership Talk.

Reds midfielder harbors World Cup hope

coutinho
Liverpool midfielder Coutinho has revealed his frustration with his current injury and has told reporters that it’s his dream to be called up for the Brazilian national team ahead of next summer’s World Cup in his home country. The 21 year old has only been capped once for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Selecao, and now curses that timing of his injury. The midfielder has been sensational since joining Liverpool from Inter Milan in January, quickly becoming one of the club’s key players. The Brazilian picked up an untimely shoulder injury while playing for the Reds against Swansea City this month, and is scheduled to be out for at least another month. The injury means he will definitely miss Brazil’s next two friendlies against South Korea and Zambia, giving him limited opportunities to impress before Scolari names his final 23 for the World Cup. “I dream of getting called up again for the national team, but it’s only up to me,” Coutinho said when asked about his hopes for next summer’s World Cup, according to the Mirror. “Of course it’s bad when you get injured in a moment like this, but this is football. “I have had a set-back and my concern is being fully ready as soon as possible. If I play well, things will happen naturally.” Coutinho will also miss tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash against Manchester United, while striker Luis Suarez is set for a much anticipated return after his ten match ban. Coutinho has made four Premier League appearances for the Reds this season, but is without a goal or an assist after a string of 1-0 wins off goals from Daniel Sturridge. The post Reds midfielder harbors World Cup hope appeared first on Premiership Talk.