Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sami Khedira a doubt for World Cup after suffering horror knee injury

Germany's Sami Khedira reacts after injuring his knee during their international friendly soccer match against Italy at the San Siro last night

Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira's World Cup hopes hang in the balance after he was ruled out for around six months with a torn cruciate ligament suffered in Friday's 1-1 draw against Italy, team doctors said today.

Khedira, who tore another ligament in his right knee during the incident, will undergo surgery with the midfielder's World Cup participation now in the balance.
"He will need to be operated on but we are hopeful he could be fit in time for the World Cup," team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt said.
Germany take on England at Wembley in another friendly international on Tuesday.
"This is a bitter setback for Sami. But he always thinks positively and that is why I am optimistic he will be ready and fit when the World Cup starts," coach Joachim Loew said.
Irish Independent

Arsenal FC could sign Alexandre Pato in January - report

Arsenal will reportedly make a January move for Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato.

Alexandre Pato
Pato was linked with Chelsea before he left AC Milan in January 2013 and returned to South America, but Corinthians director Roberto de Andrade earlier this month opened the door for a potential move in the New Year.

And according to the Sunday Express, Wenger is ready to make a move for the 24-year-old when the transfer window reopens.

According to Sunday's report, Pato will be available for £10 million, or could join the Gunners on loan.

Pato, who has also been linked with Tottenham, has previously stated that a move to the Premier League is of interest to him, and earlier this month when discussing the Brazil international’s future, De Andrade told Radio Bandeirantes: "Considering his value, I think it's hard that he moves to another Brazilian club.

"If those two clubs [Arsenal and Tottenham] are interested in Pato, we don't rule out selling him in the winter transfer market."

Pato recently revealed that Spurs made an approach for him during the summer, telling Brazilian television: "Tottenham had called Corinthians to ask for my transfer.

"I sat at the table with the club and my agent and I decided I wanted to stay."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dzeko to Arsenal FC? Aogo to Liverpool FC? Aguero to FC Barcelona?

Edin Dzeko
- Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko is the latest player on Arsenal's January transfer hit-list, according to the Daily Mirror.

- Liverpool are lining up a bid for Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo after learning that the German international could be available for as little as £2.5m, according to the Daily Express.

- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he tried to sign Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa last year while he was in charge of Real Madrid.

Mourinho was quoted by Japanese publication Shukan Bunshun as saying about why the transfer didn't happen: "It was not being able to always play at Real Madrid. My first choice at the time was Mesut Ozil. I told him honestly without hiding it."

- Barcelona are ready to rekindle their interest in Manchester City's Sergio Aguero after being encouraged to pursue the striker by Argentina teammate Lionel Messi, according to the Daily Express.

- Jackson Martinez has revealed that he is prepared to leave Porto for a bigger club, and according to the Daily Star, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are interested in his services.

- Manchester United manager David Moyes is weighing up a sensational move for Andres Iniesta after being alerted to a rift between the star midfielder and his Barcelona bosses, according to the Daily Mail.


International friendly: England come unstuck against Chile at Wembley

England suffered defeat in their first preparatory game for the 2014 World Cup, with Alexis Sanchez earning Chile a 2-0 win at Wembley.
Alexis Sanchez
A Three Lions line-up which included debutants Fraser Forster, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez made a sluggish start and fell behind inside seven minutes on Friday night.
As the hosts failed to clear their lines, Eugenio Mena sent over a teasing delivery from the left and in-form Sanchez got across Leighton Baines to divert a stooping header into the bottom corner.
The Barcelona forward ended any hope England had of getting back into the game in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage-time as he was freed in space and delicately dinked the ball over the onrushing Forster.


James Milner drilled an early cross in to the Chile box that was cleared off the line, as England tried to get on the front foot, but the Wembley crowd were left scratching their heads moments later.
Chile surged forward on the counter, Gary Cahill put his body on the line to block a shot from Eduardo Vargas but the danger had not passed.
The visitors moved the ball out to Mena on the left, Cahill missed the full-back's cross and Sanchez sneaked in front of Baines to head beyond Forster.
Jorge Sampaoli rejoiced while Roy Hodgson sat despondent.
Phil Jones frayed the England manager's nerves further with a pass that Chile capitalised on. Jean Beausejour gained a yard on his marker but Forster saved well.
Frank Lampard raised spirits briefly with a fierce long-range free-kick.
Claudio Bravo's theatrical save made the shot look better than it was, however, and the momentary lift the crowd experienced soon made way for more groans.
England could not get Chile off the ball. Gary Medel in particular was having a superb game, passing the ball out of danger through his wing-backs whenever England applied pressure.
Wayne Rooney was the next person to yell at his own team-mates.
Defence remained England's weakest point. Cahill somehow managed to lose the 5ft 7in Medel, but he put his free header over.
Chile had one over on the break on the half hour, but Forster came out to usher Beausejour wide.
Rodriguez's limp shot trickled in to Bravo's arms, summing up England's first half.
England were all at sea just before the break, with Sanchez breaking through twice, although Lallana pierced the Chile defence only to be thwarted with a last-ditch tackle.
A few boos rang out at half-time.
England's issues continued after the restart. Baines failed to find James Milner with a simple 10-metre pass from a corner, which did not go down well with the home fans.
The biggest cheer of the night came when Andros Townsend came on for Rodriguez on the hour.
The Tottenham winger had an immediate impact, finding Jack Wilshere, who was fouled on the edge of the box by Medel.
The home crowd held their breath as Baines stepped up to take the free-kick, but he found the wall.
Jermain Defoe, Tom Cleverley, Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson came on, but they had little impact. Chile were still running the show. Even with 10 England players camped out in their half, they still passed the ball without fear as their fans chanted "Ole!".
And Sanchez hammered the final nail in to England's coffin in injury time when he lifted the ball over Forster after a mix-up at the back.

France v Ukraine: French papers ask if this team is 'the worst in history' after World Cup playoff first leg defeat

The French media and public are hugely critical of the national team, with 89.7% of readers of Le Parisien believing France will not qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Laurent Koscielny is shown the red card during France's 2-0 defeat to Ukraine
The French papers have attacked the "ineptitude" of the national football team after Les Bleus suffered a 2-0 defeat in Kiev against Ukraine in the first leg of their World Cup playoff.
There seemed to be little expectation going into the match against a team ranked, as Le Monde noted, "alongside France by Fifa", and the resignation among the media shows a lack of belief that the deficit can be turned around in Tuesday's return leg.
In a piece headline "Les Bleus in a nightmare", L'Equipe said there will always be hope, "but in terms of what we saw on riday night, reverse would be almost miraculous. The French would do well just to draw the second leg."
The article went on to ask if this performance was "the worst in history". "Most disturbing was that the influence of France Ribery was reduced to nothing. His teammates did not take advantage of the tight marking which he faced all match."
To make matters worse, France will have to do without Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny for the second leg, after he was sent off in the closing stages. "A real black evening to forget," concluded L'Equipe.
Le Monde seemed to place the blame on the Premier League players. "Didier Deschamps opted for no fewer than seven residents of the England 'elite' players. It was supposed to be a device to make the difference from the word go, with Samir Nasri as the playmaker." The team selection did not work, the article did not need to point out.
Le Monde saw little reason for optimism, with France due to host Euro 2016. "The task is very complicated at the Stade de France. Ukraine is a team that travel well, and France will have to blow up one of Europe's tightest defences to book their plane tickets to Brazil. Otherwise, they will prepare for two and a half years of friendly matches as the only prospect of Euro 2016. As host country, they are automatically qualified and therefore exempt from qualifiers."
The potentially disastrous defeat came two days before the 20th anniversary of one of France's most famous losses. "For France, present at the finals of international competitions since 1996, lurks the spectre of the famous elimination against Bulgaria [in 1993]," the night that sparked the reinvention of French football that would lead to triumph at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
The final word to the French public, who were posed the following question by Le Parisien: Do you believe France will qualify for the World Cup. 15,810 votes have been cast - 89.7% have said no.
The Telegraph