Liverpool test for Mourinho

first_imgLONDON (AP): If things get any worse, Jose Mourinho might not last much longer in the Chelsea dugout. Chelsea, who host Liverpool tomorrow expressed their “full support” in their most successful manager at the start of October. The public vote of confidence didn’t initiate a change in fortune, however. The team has only one win in four games since and Mourinho’s behaviour has become increasingly erratic. He’s facing a stadium ban over his latest misconduct charge for confronting match officials. Until now, Mourinho seemed to be the byword for success. But this season the Portuguese coach has the London club in a scrap at the bottom of the standings rather than in a more familiar elevated position. Since cruising to the Premier League title in May, Chelsea have lost half of  their 10 games. Mourinho can’t even count on the cups. Stoke eliminated the Blues from the League Cup on Tuesday and they have only four points from a possible nine so far in the group stage of the Champions League. After taking on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, Chelsea host Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday. And the Blues might have to cope in both games without Diego Costa unless the striker can return from a rib injury. Although Chelsea are 15th in the standings, they would draw level on points with Liverpool, who are currently ninth, with a win tomorrow. Liverpool are hoping to have Christian Benteke fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge after the forward missed Wednesday’s League Cup win over Bournemouth with a hamstring problem. Although that game ended Juergen Klopp’s search for a first win as Liverpool manager, the German has still only two draws in the league. ARSENAL INJURIES Less than three months into the season, Arsene Wenger is already grappling with an injury-depleted Arsenal squad – after signing no outfield players in the transfer window. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this week joined an injury list which includes Danny Welbeck (knee), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Tomas Rosicky (knee), Mikel Arteta (ankle) and Aaron Ramsey (hamstring). In Tuesday’s League Cup loss at Sheffield Wednesday, Oxlade-Chamberlain was taken off after five minutes with a hamstring problem and his replacement, Walcott, soon went off with a calf complaint. “We hope they are light injuries, but they are out until after the international break,” Wenger said. That means they will be out for at least three weeks, missing tomorrow’s trip to Swansea, the Champions League game at Bayern Munich on Wednesday and the north London derby against Tottenham. Arsenal, though, are only being kept off the top of the standings on goal difference by Manchester City, who host Norwich tomorrow. SHOT-SHY UNITED After two games without scoring – including extra time of the League Cup loss to second-tier club Middlesbrough – Manchester United are in need of goals against Crystal Palace tomorrow. In the 10 league games so far, United has managed only 105 efforts on goal, which equates to 10.5 shots per match. By contrast, Arsenal are averaging 19.6 shots per game, according to the Press Association. “There’s a lack of creativity and risk,” former United midfielder Paul Scholes told the BBC. “It’s a team now you wouldn’t want to play against because they’re tightly organised. But it seems (United manager Louis van Gaal) doesn’t want players to beat men and it’s probably not a team I’d have enjoyed playing in.” United are fourth in the standings behind West Ham on goal difference.last_img read more

Sports Briefs

first_imgFonte hands in transfer request SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP): Southampton captain Jose Fonte wants to leave after handing in a transfer request, the English Premier League club said yesterday. The 33-year-old Portugal defender has rejected opportunities to extend his contract which runs for another 18 months, director of football Les Reed said. “He’s had several opportunities to improve the contract situation. He’s reserved his right not to do that,” Reed told the BBC. “He’s made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer.” Fonte, who won the European Championship with Portugal in July, has been at Southampton since 2010. German football chief speaks out against enlarging World Cup FRANKFURT, Germany (AP): Germany’s football president is against enlarging the World Cup. Reinhard Grindel says in an interview published on the federation’s website that FIFA proposals to enlarge the tournament from 32 teams to 40 or 48 “have considerable weaknesses that are also clearly shown in FIFA factsheets.” Grindel says, “At the DFB, we’re fundamentally convinced that the tried and tested model of 32 participating nations should be held. The world championships were always tournaments that inspired. Why should that change?” The DFB president warns that the quality of the tournament could suffer in football’s core markets if more participants are added, and that conflicts could emerge between national teams and clubs “if we overburden the players.” Chapecoense to play first game since crash RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Brazilian football club Chapecoense, which lost most of its team in an air crash in November, will make a return later this month for a friendly match against defending league champions Palmeiras. The match will be held on January 21 in Chapecoense’s 20,000-seat Arena Conda in Chapeco, a city of 200,000 about 800 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Chapecoense coach Vagner Mancini is still signing players to replace the 19 that died on a Colombian hillside on November 28. Chape, as the team is known, will play their first official match on January 26 against local rivals Joinville. Welbeck could return for Arsenal LONDON (AP): Arsenal face being without holding midfielder Francis Coquelin for up to a month because of a hamstring injury, and striker Danny Welbeck is close to a comeback. Coquelin was replaced 28 minutes into Arsenal’s 3-3 draw against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Tuesday. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Coquelin “is out for three or four weeks.” Wenger says Welbeck, who has not played this season because of a left knee injury, could return in the FA Cup match at Preston tomorrow. Wenger added: “Physically his fitness is at quite a good level, but of course the ideal way is to give him two or three games with the under-23s. But the situation is not always ideal. Sometimes you have to hurry up.”last_img read more

Catholic Hospital Re-opens with ‘8 Beds’ for ‘Stay-in Patients’

first_imgThe St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, which was rocked by the Ebola crisis, officially reopened yesterday after about three months of closure, restricting its health care delivery to pregnant women and children.The Acting Administrator of the Roman Catholic-run institution, Dr. Bernard I. Benda, told newsmen yesterday that the hospital opened its doors with only eight beds for inpatients in the maternity ward, amidst their assessment of the health crisis in the fight of the world’s deadliest virus, Ebola.Dr. Benda said the remaining 16-bed capacity and the pediatric ward will be opened to its full pre-Ebola capacity over a period of time, details of which will be subsequently announced, along with the relevant fees and procedures that may be required.“A skeletal staff has been put into place, and maybe after a while of assurance of support, the hospital may return to its status quo in continuous service to the Liberian people and all those who are need of health care,” Dr. Benda said.Pundits believed the reopening of the Catholic Hospital was because of an appeal from the Liberian Government to treat common illnesses and in exchange of logistical and financial support. It may be recalled that the St.  Joseph Catholic Hospital shut its doors in July when a total of nine staff, including four missionaries and five Liberians, died.They included Rev. Fr. Miguel Pajares, Rev. Bro. Patrick Nshamdze, Rev. Br. George Combey and Rev. Sr. Chantal Mutuameme.Others were Layson Wilson, Mrs. Tetee Dogba, Ms. Lanrene Togba, Mr. Dominic Wesseh and Mr. Richard Kellie.However, the reopening of the St. Joseph Hospital to treat  only pregnant women has made the hospital to join the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville and other health centers amidst fear of the lack of support from the government as it relates to Personal Protective Equipment and other logistics.In its official statement on the reopening of the hospital, the Catholic Archdiocese highlighted key points in the Hospital’s existence in Liberia:In 1956, President William V.S. Tubman solicited from Pope Pius XII that the Catholic Church establishes a hospital and medical school in Liberia.Mrs. M. Eva Hilton generously donated 33 and a half acre plot of land to the Church through Pro-Nuncio Francis Carroll for said purpose.On January 24, 1967, President Tubman inaugurated the Catholic Hospital.During the Liberian civil war, according to the Church, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital was the only functioning hospital in Monrovia, which at a given time was temporarily closed, although the hospital remained open in spite of many challenges.However, the Hospital experienced its worst tragedy in recent times and was forced to close its doors to the public in July this year. “We all know the raging impact of what is referred to as the Ebola virus,” the Church said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Alleged attack worries parents

first_imgAccording to school officials, the teacher allegedly assaulted the fifth-grade students when they interrupted a physical education activity she was conducting outside with her first-grade class. Several students showed cuts, scratches and bruises they said occurred when the teacher allegedly began hitting and kicking them. Since the alleged incident that took place Feb. 16, the special victims unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating. The unnamed teacher remains on paid administrative leave, school officials said Friday. Meanwhile, Puentes has become the unofficial spokesman for a group of parents whose children say they were attacked by the teacher. Today, the parents plan to meet at Traditions Park in Pico Rivera to discuss the incident and its fallout. PICO RIVERA – Larry Puentes taught his 10-year-old daughter Jazleen to always trust police officers, firefighters and teachers. But that changed earlier this month. Puentes says he felt at a loss when Jazleen asked why she and about a dozen fifth-graders at Meller Elementary School were hit and kicked on campus by a first-grade teacher. “I told her sometimes circumstances arise in life. That’s the world of sin we live in,” he said. “But I don’t want her to lose the trust and enthusiasm she has for school. I’ve asked her to go to school and just pray for the best.” Puentes said the parents are concerned that the teacher has not been arrested. El Rancho Unified School District officials say that is a matter for sheriff’s investigators to decide. Superintendent Norbert Genis said the district cannot move forward with any disciplinary action until the investigation is complete. “I know parents want to know what happens to the teacher, but that’s a personnel issue and I’m not at liberty to divulge that,” Genis said. “I don’t know what else we can do, given the pace of the investigation. We need to follow through with this process.” But the parents are angry, Puentes said. “Just because she’s a teacher she’s treated differently? There is a difference between myself and her – she’s a professional. She chose to take care of our children,” he said. “And with the testimonies of 12 to 13 students, possibly up to 20, I think that’s sufficient enough for her arrest, unless the sheriff’s investigators think the children are lying.” Sheriff’s officials have so far declined to comment on the investigation. Genis said parents have asked for a town hall-style meeting to discuss the incident, an idea he is open to, but only after the investigation is complete. In the meantime, Puentes said he and the other parents want to keep the incident at the forefront. Many of the affected parents are Spanish-speakers who feel somewhat intimidated about taking a strong stand, despite what happened to their children. “I’m not highly educated, but I’m not quiet. I’m outspoken. And I have a lot of love for my daughter and the other kids because a lot of them were her best friends,” Puentes said. “My daughter got slapped and slugged three times – and she still feels bad for the teacher,” he added. “But she also knows it wasn’t right for her to be hit by a teacher. And we do, too.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Matano not underrating Vihiga in Shield semis

first_img“We respect every team and we will handle Vihiga with the same seriousness we can handle a team from the KPL. We cannot afford to underrate anyone. They are in the semis because they are a good team,” Matano said.“We are going there to win and get to the final; nothing else. We cannot talk much about the game, we will talk on the pitch on Sunday,” the confident tactician further added.AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano gives instructions to his team at half time during their match against Thika United on September 20 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUMatano came inches close to winning the GOtv Shield title last season while with Ulinzi Stars. He however, was unable to coach the team between September and November due to illness, but gathered strength to make it to the pitch during the final against Tusker where they lost 1-0.“That is in the past and I cannot look back. Let us look at what is ahead of us now,” the tactician further said.Ingwe are looking to add color to an otherwise underwhelming season that has seen them almost crumble to the level of fighting relegation with Matano, the club’s third coach this season just but managing to save the sinking ship.Silverware in the GOtv Shield, a tournament they last won in 2013 would be a welcome gift to the AFC fraternity.“Every coach wants to win trophies. I am a winner and it is not different with me. We will fight,” Matano added.Charles Okwemba celebrates with teammates after scoring one of the two Vihiga United goals in a GOtv Shield Quarter final clash against defending champions Tusker FC on August 20, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAFC’s 2-0 win over Thika United on Wednesday pushed them to 11th in the Kenyan Premier League standings, a sure boost of confidence as they prepare to take on Vihiga on Sunday. The win also pushed their bid for a top eight finish but Matano has asked for consistency.“We are winning, playing well and that is good. We have to finish in the top eight and with nine games to go, we have to work harder. There are small things we need to work on but more so our consistency. We have to keep winning,” Matano added.AFC Leopards are six points away from a top eight slot with nine games to go and the tactician has asked his players not to drop any more points along the road.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano during their match against Thika United on September 20 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21- AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano has urged his charges to put in a performance worth their club’s stature on Sunday when they take on National Super League leaders Vihiga United in the semi-finals of the GOtv Shield in Nakuru.However, the experienced tactician has warned his players not to take Vihiga lightly with the side having beaten defending champions Tusker FC 2-0 in the quarter finals and enjoying a good run of form in the second tier.last_img read more

Hazard ready to make mark on World Cup, says Martinez

first_imgThe 27-year-old attacking midfielder is fresh from winning the FA Cup with Chelsea, scoring the only goal in the final against Manchester United.Hazard at his best could be the tournament’s standout player, and on Monday he will take to the field at Sochi’s Fisht Stadium, the same venue where Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning hat-trick for Portugal against Spain on Friday.“I think Eden is in a great moment of his career, look at his age, he is the captain, in terms of leadership — he never finds it difficult to show for the ball,” said Martinez on the eve of the game.“In his one v one situations he is as good as anyone in the world.”Hazard is surrounded by outstanding attacking talents, from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to Napoli’s Dries Mertens and Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku.Such a concentration of quality explains why they are so strongly fancied in a group also containing England.“You cannot compare one player to another, but I just feel now we have players in great moments of their careers and they are ready to make a real mark in the World Cup. Kevin De Bruyne is in exactly the same moment,” added Martinez.The Spaniard, whose press conferences are conducted entirely in English, is perhaps exactly what is required by a Belgian side who have in the past been handicapped by divisions between Flemish and French-speaking groups in the squad.Such is the quality at his disposal that he felt able to leave Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan out altogether, but Belgium need to improve on their underwhelming performances at the last World Cup and at Euro 2016, when they never really found their best form.“We are privileged to have this group of players, not just with their skills — it is more their attitude, and the way that they are ambassadors for Belgian football,” said Martinez.– Panama into the unknown –Panama training in Sochi on Sunday © AFP / Adrian DENNISGoalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is one of the many survivors from four years ago, and he admitted that past experience can be invaluable.Belgium now know what to expect, while Panama are entering the unknown.Their coach Hernan Dario Gomez described Belgium as having “the best players in the world, except for Messi and Cristiano.”He sees them as candidates to win the title, although perhaps Iceland’s achievement in holding Lionel Messi’s Argentina to a draw on Saturday signalled the way for their fellow World Cup debutants.“Iceland qualified ahead of Croatia and did well in the Euros as well, and they were coming up against an Argentina side who are not on the same level as Belgium just now.“There is a bigger gulf between Belgium and Panama. Nobody denies they are the favourites, but if we have a good day we can get something.”The heat and humidity here in southern Russia could help them, and Martinez is not underestimating the Central Americans.“We respect immensely Panama, they are one of the stories of the World Cup,” said Martinez, who is without injured defenders Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Will Eden Hazard deliver for Belgium? © AFP / Adrian DENNISSOCHI, Russian Federation, Jun 17 – Belgium coach Roberto Martinez believes Eden Hazard can be one of the stars of the World Cup as the Chelsea man prepares to lead his nation into their tournament opener against Panama.Hazard is the captain of a supremely talented Red Devils side who are determined to improve on runs to the quarter-finals at each of the last two major tournaments.last_img read more

Dortmund go top as Alcacer brace seals stunning fight-back

first_img0Shares0000Match-winner Paco Alcacer (R) is congratulated by Danish forward Jacob Bruun Larsen (L) as Borussia Dortmund came back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and knock Bayern Munich from top spot in the Bundesliga. © dpa/AFP / Federico GambariniBERLIN, Germany, Sep 29 – New signing Paco Alcacer came off the bench to score two late goals and seal Borussia Dortmund’s stunning 4-2 win as they fought back from two goals down at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday to knock Bayern Munich from top spot in the Bundesliga.Alcacer, on loan from Barcelona until June, came on after 63 minutes with his team 2-0 down, but tucked away goals on 85 and 94 minutes to cap the fight back after Dortmund had drawn level. “It was very emotional at the end. It’s nice to go top, it’s a good start to the season,” said relieved Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre,After Bayern crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin on Friday, Dortmund left it late to top the table in dramatic style.Hosts Leverkusen went ahead after just nine minutes when midfielder Mitchell Weiser hit the net with a spectacular shot from outside the area, then burly defender Jonathan Tah doubled the lead just before the break.“It was clear we had to show a response,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus said after his side drew level with two goals in four minutes.Danish midfielder Jacob Bruun Larsen, 20, drilled home the first on 64 minutes.England junior international Jadon Sancho came off the bench and a minute later provided the final pass for Reus to smash home a second on 68 minutes.– Zieler howler –Dortmund went ahead for the first time on 85 minutes when Alcacer lunged to guide a cross by defender Achraf Hakimi, on loan from Real Madrid, into the Leverkusen net.Alcacer completed the Roy of the Rovers-style finish on 94 minutes, tapping into an empty net after Dortmund counter-attacked from their own box with Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky well out of his own penalty area.Stuttgart’s Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler is left dumbfounded after his own goal in his side’s 2-1 win at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday. © dpa/AFP / Deniz CalaganDortmund are the only unbeaten team in Germany’s top flight after Werder Bremen earlier blew their chance to overtake Bayern by losing 2-1 at Stuttgart, even though the host’s goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler conceded a howler of an own goal.Bremen made a bad start when Greece striker Anastasios Donis dribbled through the visitors’ defence and chipped into an open net on 19 minutes.Then Bremen had key defender Milos Veljkovic sent off eight minutes from half time for pulling back Daniel Didavi, his second foul on the Stuttgart striker.But then Zieler’s blunder gave Werder an equaliser.The 29-year-old, a 2014 World Cup winner, took his eye off the ball when defender Borna Sosa aimed a throw-in his way and, after he got a faint touch, watched in horror as the ball rolled into his net on 68 minutes.“You can’t stop what you can’t see,” said Zieler, who insisted he saw the throw in too late, but Gonzalo Castro spared his blushed with the winning goal 15 minutes from time.Bremen had chances as midfielder Maximilian Eggestein and veteran striker Claudio Pizarro, who turns 40 on Wednesday and made his 450th Bundesliga appearance, hit the post.– Hoffenheim lose Man City warm-up –RB Leipzig’s Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen scored twice in their 2-1 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday as the hosts lost their final match before hosting Manchester City on Tuesday in the Champions League. © AFP / Daniel ROLANDElsewhere, Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim, who host Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, suffered a 2-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig, who Nagelsmann will coach next season.Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen scored both of Leipzig’s goals before Andrej Kramaric netted a late Hoffenheim penalty.Borussia Moenchengladbach went fourth despite being held to a 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg, where they have not won for 15 years, as goals by Gladbach’s Alassane Plea and Thorgan Hazard were cancelled out by Wolfsburg’s Renato Steffen and Wout Weghorst.Schalke, last season’s runners up, climbed off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win at Mainz when Austria midfielder Alessandro Schoepf headed the only goal after only 11 minutes.The home win eases the pressure on head coach Domenico Tedesco as Schalke ended their run of five straight defeats to lift them to 17th, but they can drop down again if Hanover win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.Nuremberg won the battle of the teams promoted last season when they romped to a 3-0 win over Fortuna Duesseldorf thanks to goals by Hanno Behrens, Mikael Ishak and Federico Palacios.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Pellegrini rues missed opportunity as Man City draw with Chelsea

first_imgManchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was left to rue a missed opportunity to reduce the gap in the Premier League title race, with the Blues still five points clear at the top following a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.Despite placing the hosts under siege for much of the contest, City were forced to come from behind to seal a points in west London, David Silva striking on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Loic Remy’s opener for the Blues.Chelsea were encamped in their own half for much of the match and will be more satisfied with a point, which leaves them in pole position for a first title in five years with 15 games to go.Though disappointed with the result, Pellegrini praised his side’s attacking attitude and also made a veiled criticism of Chelsea’s style.The City boss, the only manager to speak post-match as Mourinho continued his blank of the media, said: “From the first minute we came for the three points.“Both teams have a clear style of play. Everyone wants to play in the way they think is better. He has a style. You analyse the style of Chelsea. I analyse just the style of my team.“Our team tried to win the game from the first minute till the end. I’m very proud about that.“We create, especially in the first half, clear chances to deserve more than the point.”Maybe they [Chelsea] wanted to keep their five points. I don’t remember a save from Joe Hart and any real dangers around our box.“But if you leave here with more of the possession and more chances then maybe it’s a good point, but for me it’s not a good point, for me, I want the three points.“That’s why I’m not happy about the point but I’m happy about the performance of the team.”From the draw, City were the first team to emerge undefeated from Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this season, ending the Blues’ ten-match winning run.And Pellegrini maintains his side are capable of overcoming the deficit in the remaining months of the season.“Of course it was important to try to close the gap,” he said.“We tried, but we couldn’t. We still have 45 points more to play [for].“This was a very important game, it was not a final. We have time to try to recover those five points.“If we continue playing in the way we did today, I think will be more easy.”Mourinho, who cancelled his usual Friday pre-match media conference in apparent protest at Diego Costa’s three-match suspension for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can, again declined to speak publicly.last_img read more

Sarri blasts ‘unprofessional’ Bayern over Hudson-Odoi

first_img0Shares0000Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is a transfer target for Bayern Munich © AFP / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 11 – Maurizio Sarri has lashed out at Bayern Munich for their “unprofessional” behaviour after the Bundesliga club publicly expressed their interest in Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi.Chelsea boss Sarri is furious that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said this week that they “definitely” want to sign Hudson-Odoi during the January transfer window as he “has the qualities which would fit very well” with the German champions. Chelsea have reportedly turned down a £35 million ($45 million) bid from Bayern for the 18-year-old, who has less than 18 months to run on his current contract and has so far refused to sign a new five-year deal, and Sarri is unhappy with Bayern’s public approach.“I think that it’s not professional, because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea. So they didn’t respect our club, I think,” Sarri told reporters on Friday.Sarri has handed Hudson-Odoi a place in his starting line-up for Chelsea’s past two matches — Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final loss to Tottenham Hotspur and the 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest last weekend in which the teenager set up both of Alvaro Morata’s goals.But, having helped England win the Under-17 World Cup, Hudson-Odoi could follow the same path taken by his international teammate Jadon Sancho, who has impressed for Borussia Dortmund since leaving Manchester City for Germany.Regardless of Hudson-Odoi’s future, Sarri has recommended Chelsea sign two new players to bolster his squad.“As you know very well I am not involved in the market. I spoke with the club and the club knows very well my opinion. In my opinion we need two players,” he said.“Then it depends on the club decision. I don’t know anything about the market day by day or minute by minute.”Sarri refused to comment on talk of a Chelsea swoop for his former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at AC Milan from Italian champions Juventus.But he did admit Chelsea would need to find a replacement if out-of-form Spain striker Morata leaves, with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in signing him on loan.“Of course, if Morata will go to another club we need a replacement, it’s normal,” Sarri said.“At the moment Morata is here, so I think he has to think only to play.”Meanwhile Sarri also shot down rumours this week that winger Willian could move to Barcelona.“Willian for us is really very important. I think it’s impossible to lose him in January,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Ozil did not deserve place in Arsenal squad, says Emery

first_img0Shares0000Mesut Ozil is out of favour at Arsenal © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 4 – Unai Emery said Mesut Ozil did not deserve his place even in a squad packed with youngsters after Arsenal beat Standard Liege in the Europa League.Ozil, the highest-paid player in the history of the club, was once again left out of the matchday squad as Gabriel Martinelli hit a brace in a 4-0 Group F victory at home on Thursday. The 18-year-old scored twice in three first-half minutes before laying on Dani Ceballos to score his first goal for the club, Joe Willock having already added the third.Emery made 10 changes from the side that drew at Manchester United on Monday, with Ozil not making the matchday squad on either occasion.“I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us,” Emery replied when asked about Ozil’s omission.“When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.”The 30-year-old has had a difficult relationship with Emery since the manager’s appointment last year and his absence from the squad will lend weight to speculation that he does not have a long-term future at Arsenal.On a positive night for the Gunners, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin, who captained the side, all came through 90 minutes as they continued their comebacks from injury.Bellerin battled back from a long lay-off with a serious knee injury to skipper the side on his first start since January and was proud to lead out the team.“There’s not a better way to come back,” he said.“I feel very honoured to wear the Arsenal armband and lead the team out. It’s been a tough road for me over the past eight months but I feel very lucky to have had my players, family and friends around me.”0Shares0000(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more