Archive for October, 2012

Falcao not thinking about Atletico exit

 

The Colombian forward has dismissed speculation that he could leave the club as soon as January, and insists that he is enjoying life in the Spanish capital. Radamel Falcao has dampened speculation about his potential move away from Atletico Madrid by promising that he will honour his contract at the Vicente Calderon.

The Colombian has scored 10 goals in just eight Liga games this season, and speculation about a transfer is rife, with Real Madrid and Chelsea reportedly ready for a battle to secure his signature.

“I am happy and enjoying myself at my club,” he told Spanish television show Punta Pelota.

“I am not thinking about leaving at the moment. I never think about it. That idea is not in my head but we will see what happens in the future.”

Falcao has been named on the 23-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or, but refused to talk about his chances of winning the award.

“Others are responsible for choosing, I just really appreciate being on the list alongside [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, who are both great players.”

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Begiristain ‘honoured’ to be handed Manchester City director of football role

 

The former Barcelona technical director will be responsible for overseeing player recruitment at the Etihad Stadium after taking over the position previously held by Brian Marwood.

New Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain says he is “honoured” to be handed the opportunity to play a major part in the club’s future success.

Begiristain, formerly a technical director at Barcelona for seven years, will replace Brian Marwood in superintending player recruitment at the Etihad Stadium after he took up a new post as managing director of the club’s football academy.

The 48-year-old was responsible for the signings of Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry and David Villa during his time at the Camp Nou, while he also maintained the club’s youth setup that saw players such as Sergio Busquets break into the first team.

And the remit for Begiristain will be to provide a similar level of success in the transfer market, following complaints from manager Roberto Mancini during the summer window, and the Spaniard is relishing the prospect of building an exciting long-term philosophy at City and working alongside former Barca colleague and new chief executive Ferran Soriano.

“I’m satisfied with this exciting chance I have been given,” Begiristain told Sport. “Manchester City’s development and their successes in the pitch are obvious. I feel honoured I can be a part of the future successes.

“I’m excited about the possibility of working with Marwood, Mancini and Soriano. We just want to build a team and a philosophy which can succeed not only at a short-term, but also at a long-term.”

Pato: El Shaarawy can do very well at AC Milan

 

The Brazilian attacker is confident his team-mate will be successful with the Rossoneri, and is determined to get back on track after a poor start to the season. Alexandre Pato has taken the time to praise Stephan El Shaarawy and believes the Italy international has what it takes to become an AC Milan great.

The 20-year-old has been in sublime form for the Rossoneri in the opening months of the 2012-13 campaign, netting six goals in nine Serie A appearances, and Pato hopes his team-mate can keep up his fine form.

“El Shaarawy is still growing and he is a great player. He is on the right track and I hope he can do very well at Milan,” Pato told Sportmediaset.

The Brazilian attacker then reflected on this weekend’s win over Genoa, and admitted that Milan did not have an easy game.

“We struggled against Genoa, but the most important thing was to bag the full three points after some disappointing results,” he added.

“We must forget about our previous results and focus on the future. We have to keep working hard in training, and try and get a good result against Palermo [on Tuesday].”

Milan currently sit 11th in the Serie A table with 10 points from nine games.

It was a good comeback, says AC Milan boss Allegri

 

The under-fire trainer was pleased that the Rossoneri were able to salvage a point after his team fell behind in the first half of their Serie A fixture on Tuesday evening. AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri bemoaned his side’s congested fixture list after they recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw away at Palermo.
Goals from Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy cancelled out strikes from Fabrizio Miccolli and Franco Brienza as the away his side came back from two goals down to grab a 2-2 draw against Palermo in Sicily.

“It was a good comeback and we could have won,” Allegri told a press conference.

“I really wasn’t expecting to be 2-0 down after 47 minutes,” he continued. “We could have done better in the second half… The substitutes changed the game for us.

“El Shaarawy was not in great shape physically and I wanted to give [Urby] Emanuelson a rest as I can’t burn them out, and that’s why I decided to play with this system.”

“The players are very good at understanding exactly what’s asked of them,” he added. “We can’t play with the same players every three days, so that’s why we needed to change the formation, to give them time to get their breath back.”

Allegri also reserved praise for some of his ‘quality’ players, who have suffered from a tough spell of games, and conceded that given the circumstances, a point was not a bad result.

“With Montolivo, El Shaarawy, Bojan and Emanuelson, you can see on the pitch that they have quality. When you play every three days, changes are necessary.

“I’m sorry for the players that they didn’t win but a draw is acceptable tonight,” he concluded.

Football Highlights 10/30/2012

Berliner AK 07 0-3 Munich 1860… Stoppelkamp 2, Blanco

Worms 0-0 Koln

 

Palermo 2-2 AC Milan… Miccoli, Brienza // Montilivo, El Shaarawy

Reading 5-7 Arsenal… Walcott 3, Giroud, Chamakh 2, Koscielny

Aalen 1-4 Dortmund… Hummels, Schmelzer, GOtze, Scheiber

Llagostera 0-2 Valencia… Jonas, Valdez

Gerrard: Sterling will be Premier League star

 

The Liverpool and England captain has heaped praise upon his young team-mate in the wake of the winger’s “outstanding” performance in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he has no doubts about Raheem Sterling’s future as one of the Premier League’s finest talents, following his display in the 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.

Gerrard applauded the attitude as much as as the ability of the 17-year-old, who was appearing in the fixture for the first time, and indeed only making his 11th league appearance as a senior player.

“He will be one of the top players in the league, there’s no doubt about it. The way he stands up and wants the ball, he doesn’t hide,” Gerrard told reporters. “He’s a credit to himself. He’s got some bottle. That’s what you look for in young lads.”

Sterling was unable to take a good opportunity to put his side in front just after half-time, but his captain insists that the winger should not be losing any sleep over the miss, and that it did not detract from a fine all-round performance.

“There was the chance early in the second half when he was through on goal, when he matures a little bit and gets that bit of composure into his game that will come. We have all been there,” Gerrard added.

“I thought Sterling was fantastic. At 17 years of age, playing away in a derby, in a cauldron and an atmosphere like that, he was outstanding.

“You wonder whether they have got the bottle to play away from home against top teams in tough situations. He handled it superbly and he has been a revelation for us.

“I don’t think the Everton players would have known much about Raheem Sterling before Sunday. But I think they will be seeing an awful lot of him in the future.

“He will be playing in many Merseyside derbies and he will have a major impact on them.”

Walcott wants Arsenal to repeat Capital One Cup spirit in Premier League

 

With a trip to Manchester United on the horizon, the 23-year-old wants the Gunners to show the same belief in the league, while Carl Jenkinson also hails the team’s mentality. Theo Walcott hopes that Arsenal can use their breathtaking 7-5 Capital One Cup victory over Reading as inspiration in their Premier League campaign.

The Gunners found themselves 4-0 down after just 47 minutes but staged a magnificent fightback as Carl Jenkinson levelled the scores deep into injury time.

With the tie then sent into extra time at the Madejski Stadium, a stunning finale saw Arsene Wenger’s men secure progression with another four goals being struck, including two from Marouane Chamakh.

“It was an unbelievable game,” Walcott told Sky Sports. “We started very sloppily, we just had to wake up. The boss told us that we just had to go at it, that it was not good enough and that it was not Arsenal.

“We showed everyone what we can do. We never gave up and we’re absolutely knackered at the moment.

“We didn’t want the [first] half to end [after Walcott’s goal] to be honest. We had a good 10-minute spell. We just had to go at them, that’s all we had to do.

“We showed our character. There’s a lot of young players in that dressing room and it’s a great experience for them.

“Hopefully we can take that into the Premier League now.

“We scored seven goals away from home. We looked great going forward, perhaps we weren’t great defensively at times, but the most important thing was getting the win and staying in the competition and being in the hat for the next round.”

Jenkinson was awarded the Gunners’ equaliser in normal time, although Walcott’s earlier strike appeared to have crossed the line in the build-up. The defender was ecstatic to have helped his side secure a famous win with his first goal in an Arsenal shirt.

“It means everything,” he enthused. “I’ve wanted to get on that scoresheet for a long time. I’m just delighted it’s come in a good win.”

The 20-year-old mirrors his team-mate’s view that the Gunners’ performance was uncharacteristically poor in the first half but insists that the nature of the group of players is to never give up.

“We just didn’t start,” the defender admitted. “It was a poor start from us. Like Theo said, it wasn’t Arsenal and it wasn’t good enough from all of us.

“No-one ever gives up when you’re playing for Arsenal and we showed what we’re all about. To come back from four goals down shows a slot of strength and a good mentality. We’re delighted.”