Tuesday May 14


Last Updated: 14/05/13 at 22:40

Roberto Martinez is now the 13/8 favourite to be the next Everton boss after Wigan's relegation from the Premier League was confirmed.Manchester City have confirmed that David Platt has left the club following the sacking of Roberto Mancini last night.It has just been confirmed by Rafael Benitez that Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is out of tomorrow's Europa League final with Benfica due to a hamstring injury. The Blues will continue to assess John Terry's ankle injury prior to kick-off.Sampdoria have revealed that Inter Milan have won the race for Mauro Icardi, with a summer transfer put in place.Here are some quotes from Norwich manager Chris Hughton and Garrido himself on the move.Breaking News: On-loan defender Javier Garrido has agreed to join Norwich permanently on a two-year contract with an option for a further year, the club have confirmed. More to follow...Jamie B writes:"Aah, you'll never win anything with kids! Seriously though I have to say that's a squad that underwhelms me. I can't remember the names of Sordell or Wickham appearing on any PL manager's 'must buy' list and for good reason I have to say. I guess this squad underlines the lack of decent (and reliable) attacking talent in this age group in the PL these days." As Brad mentioned earlier though, once a player in this age group does prove their ability, their off to the first team, so it is difficult to pick the most eye-catching of squads. If you were to build one that included every possible U21 player, it wouldn't look too bad at all.Rich Lynn gets involved, writing: "Yes, thanks for Gibbs (never plays - at least 3rd in the queue), Walcott (can't remember exactly what he has done for England?), Ox (the next Walcott), Wilshere (let you know when he's not injured), and Jenkinson - LLLLLOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL (getting funny looks in the office). Blimey, with players like these being mentioned, tho in a completely biased manner of course, in the same book let alone sentence as the England football team I think it's safe to say that's another generation of failure on the way."Brad Smith writes: "Please tell me you dont mean that about Jenkinson? you are judging him off match of the day. Like many. He's going to a fine player, and exceptional athlete who is slowly learning. Mark my words. Similar to those who think that Koscielny is average, based off almost nothing as they dont watch Arsenal every week. When in fact hes an exceptional player. Absolutely no coincidence that Arsenal have been on a great run since he was put back in the team ahead of Vermaelen." There's no doubt that Jenkinson has improved, but for me he is a long, long way off ever becoming England's first or even second choice right-back. Just my opinion. As for Koscielny - no arguments. He has had a brilliant season and has formed an impressive partnership with Mertesacker at the back. Motherwell have confirmed that goalkeeper Darren Randolph has agreed a move to npower Championship side Birmingham City.Ken Livermore writes: "Maybe if more of the "top" teams concentrated more resources on developing talent from within the country they operate in, then there would be more people about to challenge Shelvey for an England spot !!!" Can we please give Jonjo a break!!St Johnstone defender Frazer Wright has been offered a two-match ban for an alleged elbow on Celtic's Mikael Lustig.Brad Smith writes: "Er, any really good players who are over 19 will be in the full england Squad. so im not sure what you mean about massive well done Ken? Hardly any of those in the U-21 squad will make it to the full squad. How about a massive well done to Arsenal who provide Gibbs, Oxlade, Walcott, Wilshere and soon Jenkinson, to the full team? A fair point, although I desperately hope Carl Jenkinson is never seen close to an England shirt!John Parry writes: "Please tell me Shelvey isn't playing, struggle to get a game at San Marino U5's that lad,,,, poor poor player!!" He is in the squad, yes. My opinion may be biased, but I disagree. Think he is an important part of our (Liverpool's) future.Ken Livermore writes: "Interesting to see that only 7 of the England under 21 squad come from teams in the top six of the PL, (and that includes Zaha who has not actually joined Man United yet). Of the 7, 4 actually come from Spurs, which means 5 of the top 6 teams have provided just 3 players !!! Proof, if it were needed , that our top teams are buying succes, rather than developing it. Massive well done to Spurs, and also to Liverpool who provide a further 3 players, (which would have been 4 if Stering was fit)." Now time for these players to perform and prove that developing young English talent is the way forward.Mark Gower and Swansea have agreed to terminate the midfielder's contract a month early.Good afternoon, Olly Bell here to look after you for the rest of the day. Emails to ollybell_2@msn.comDetails here of the England Under-21 squad for the Euros.Borussia Dortmund refuse to confirm or deny reports linking them with Chelsea's Kevin De Bruyne.Michu has no plans to leave Swansea this summer. "I'm happy on the pitch and in this team. Swansea fans do not need to worry."Tim Howard insists "the table is set" for the next Everton manager to continue the good work done by David Moyes.Roberto Mancini had nothing to say as he left Manchester City's London hotel. The players, who stayed in London after the FA Cup final in readiness for tonight's clash with Reading, were also tight-lipped.Ipswich Town have agreed a three-year deal to sign Bristol City midfielder Cole Skuse on July 1.Gareth Miller: "My father is a Portsmouth fan and Liverpool is the closest club to me but I'm an Everton supporter - does that make me a mediocrity hunter?"Robert Carter: "I'm always confused by self-righteous comments from people who support/follow unsuccessful teams who consider anyone who supports/follows a successful one to be a glory hunter- and is there a hierarchy of glory-hunting? i.e. are you a first-grade glory hunter if your team wins the CL, a second-grade if they win the prem, a third-grade for the FA Cup etc etc. By definition it would also mean that these so-called glory hunters move from team to team every year. I imagine you could argue that there were no glory-hunters/pot-hunters/plastic mancs - whatever you want to call them at United this season as they won nothing last year!" I suppose in its purest form a 'glory-hunter' would indeed change allegiance every year, but that's not really it. A glory hunter, as I see it, is anyone who chose to support a football team with which they have no other association based purely on the success of that team rather than more traditional geographical or dad-based criteria. A worse but rarer kind of glory-hunter - the 'Lovejoy' as it's known - is the football supporter who stops supporting one club in favour of another, more successful one. They can loyally and passionately follow this new club for decades yet never truly shake off the shameful stain of how their fandom began, something you can see behind their dead eyes as they, say, host a dreadful Sunday morning magazine/cookery show on BBC2.Rich: "Totally agree Kumar .... He definitely didn't have 'the dressing room'. Seemed a very 'spiky' character."Kumar Amritesh: "I personally dont think that it is the results that have forced the board's hand into sacking him. I agree that their failure to make any sort of a positive impact in the CL could have been one of the reasons. But more importantly I feel its the man mangaement that has ultimately cost him his job. Mancini seemed to have lost complete control of his team. Much similar to what happened with Jose at Real. This is the biggest problem that you come across when you manage a team of superstars. Somebody mentioned a few weeks ago on the TC that United were not a team of superstars, but a team of hardworking individuals who, even though weren't the best players around, put their heart and soul into getting a result for the team. Now, for me, its easier to handle such a team than a team of superstars on bloated salaries and confidence over their heads after just winning one title. We have heard consistently that it was SAF's desire to win again and again that really drove him on. I might be wrong, but, I feel that in this season, City players were happy at having won the title last season and didn't care if they won it again this season or not. Now this is where the manager has to step in and build the confidence and desire in players to win it again. We saw it in SAF reguarly, and we saw it in Arsene in the past. Mancini may have wanted to win it again (ofcourse he did, his job was on the line), but he was unable to instill this in his players that ultimately led to the drop in performances of almost everyone in the team. Not to mention what the players might have felt when he let Tevez back in last season after the whole Munich fiasco. I'm sure Mancini lost the respect of a lot of his team after that incident. Once you say that a player is not gonna play for you, you have to stand firm on your decision, whether you win the title or not. And standing firm would not only have earned him respect, but also command over his team. I haven't heard a single word of praise from any of the City players about Mancini. We hear it on a regular basis about almost every manager. But Mancini, for me, didn't have the respect of his squad which led to him getting the boot. Its a shame that he's gone. I would really have wanted for hin to be given more time cuz I feel that he had realized that he had to trim his squad and get rid of players who were only there for the money. But football is a cruel result oriented sport. I don't think Pellegrini is the right choice for City. And I see them finishing outside the top two, maybe fourth, maybe fifth given that Arsenal and Spurs are really gonna buck up next season. One bad season should never determine anyone's fate. I feel City are going down the Roman lane.Rich: "Sorry but I disagree .... It's called the Champions League! Why on earth should teams finishing 4th, or 6th be seeded 1 and Champions seeded 4? Why should Arsenal for example, with 1 final and 1 semi-final in FOURTEEN attempts be seeded 1? Is that a good return? It's a completely closed shop and unless you have a cataclysmic fall from grace a la Liverpool you are set for life." Well now you've hit the heart of the matter. If it's the Champions League, why is a team that finished fourth even in it? But they are, that's not about to change, and a seeding system based on previous performances in the relevant competition doesn't strike me as particularly unfair. Arsenal have qualified from the group stages in the CL every year forever, and are rewarded for that in the seedings. Not a problem for me. And Borussia Dortmund (fourth seeds) have done all right.Sometimes, it's almost like this place has some planning. Just as Sandesh is quite rightly pointing out that it would be understandable for Manchester City fans to be upset about Mancini's axing, along comes this story about Manchester City fans upset about Mancini's axing.Sandesh: "You could imagine City's owners were fed up with his constant whinging. I mean how many times did he bring up "We should have signed RVP" in public? He had 4 strikers at the beginning of the season who cost as much/more than RVP and he failed to make the most of them. He has shown really poor man management skills criticizing his players in public so many times. And as you mention City's performances in the Champions league we appalling. That said, as a fan, if the manager of my club had achieved as much as Mancini did over the last 3 seasons I would be really angry if the club sacked him. But that's modern football I guess with billionaires turning football clubs into "projects" and demanding instant success. My biggest concern as a United fan is we don't go down the same road from now on. The owners did not sack Fergie when we did not win the league from 2004-06(and did not look like winning it in the near future) so it gives me hope that Moyes will be given time to turn things around if he finds the going tough in the beginning. And with Mancini gone that is one more Rival Fergie has outlasted..."Rich: "Jay, yes, AVB is safe as houses - from the sack anyway. Bit harsh on the CL there, Tickers. Thanks to the utterly ridiculous old boy's club that is the CL and its mental seeding system they did end up in a group full of Champions whilst the sides that finished behind them ended up playing Kazakhstan reserves and co. Whichever side out of them, Madrid and Dortmund that didn't progress could feel well and truly stitched up. They should have finished third mind you." Don't think it's mental at all to seed teams based on previous Champions League exploits. And when you're in City's artificially elevated position, you can't then complain too loud even if you do feel you've then been artificially held back.Tough groups or not, they've made no mark on the event in two successive years. Not good enough.Brad: "In my opinion, Mancini deserved to be sacked. He spent an awful lot of money and his team had quite clearly started going backwards. He's had a disastrous season compared to what he's spent. You make big money mistakes like that in the corporate world, and you dont get 12 months to fix it. And please nobody bother with the "Wenger, 8 years no trophy" thing. Two entirely different circumstances. Obviously." Yeah, think I agree with you, Brad. I don't think he's been sacked because they finished second, or because they lost the FA Cup final, or because of any other single reason. They have fallen away dramatically from last year. If they'd competed for the title and lost at the last while having a decent run at the Champions League, he'd probably have kept his job. It's not the failure to win but the failure to compete that must surely have set alarm bells ringing among top brass.Jay Dowman: "Mancini. Erm, undecided, he came in, won trophies including the league and the year after couldn't defend it and finished second as well as losing a cup final (ok should have won but didn't) so it all seems very harsh. You then look at what has been spent and should they be 20 points clear and at least in the final of most cups they enter? You have to have a bit of sympathy for him but he does seem to blame everyone but himself most of the time. Fergie, Bobby and Rafa gone/going, the top 3 clubs all changing plus the team in 6th, who's next, are AVB and Arsene safe? There were a few Rodgers to City rumours, would he leave us if they did (big if) approach him?" Think Mancini is a fascinating case really, as it's quite easy to create a pretty compelling case either way. They have undoubtedly - by their new, loftier standards - been poor this season, though. Their two pathetic Champions League campaigns are big black marks against him.Brad Smith: "Not everyone's life revovles around football. People have jobs, families and lives, and to call someone a glory hunter just because they didn't realise there was a game tonight is playground in the extreme. You can easily be a casual supporter of a team without knowing every single thing about them." I'd suggest there's a wide area of knowledge between 'knowing every single thing about them' and 'knowing about a crucial match being played tonight'. It's not a dig at Arsenal fans, Brad.Obviously over the next couple of weeks any and all words uttered by David Moyes on the subject of Wayne Rooney will be newsworthy. Here are some such words. I actually genuinely like these ones, though, and his description of young Wazza. The Last of the Street Footballers sounds like it could be a magnificently awful film.Noel: "The most unbelievable thing about Rich Lynn's work story is that normally those type of fans are glory hunters so with that in mind why on earth is he an Arsenal 'fan'?"Rich Lynn: "In the office kitchen just then in the company of a very well grounded Arsenal fan, a Chelsea/Watford fan and a Man U/Cardiff fan. Chatting away about work until the Arsenal fan starts saying Alan Pardew is [EXPLETIVE DELETED] and how he's a dead man walking. We all quickly agree and go to go back to desk. As we are just walking out some guy from another department walked in and said to the Arsenal fan, 'Who have we got tonight then?'. Reply, 'you mean who are Arsenal playing?' ... 'yes, I know it's quite important but don't know who we're playing'. 'How can you not know?'. 'I've been moving about a bit lately'. 'Where from, Mars to Jupiter?'"John Parry: "Interesting to see a couple of facts last night being: All Managers who won the top trophies last season have ALL been sacked: RDM, King Kenny & RM crazy, and Pellegrini spent about 200m on players at Real Madrid and won Less than our very own KK!! I can't personally see the hype, and wonder if they are basing their decision on ONE decent season in the Champions League." Yep, last season's Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup, Champions League and Championship-winning managers all lost their jobs before this season was out. It's a brutal business!Brad Smith's Stat of the Day: "Brendan Rogers is the 7th longest serving manager in the Premier League." And Arsene Wenger is the longest-serving manager in English league football by 10 days short of a decade.Ken Livermore: "Here we go Dave, how about this for a nice variation on a theme? ARSENAL REFUSE TO RULE OUT MANCINI SWOOP; ARSENAL REFUSE TO RULE OUT BENITEZ SWOOP."Love stories that go WENGER REFUSES TO RULE OUT WAYNE ROONEY SWOOP! that contain quotes in which Arsene Wenger refuses to discuss transfers or identify any potential targets, potato-faced or otherwise, until the end of the season. Alternative headlines for these quotes include: WENGER REFUSES TO RULE OUT DIEGO MARADONA SWOOP!; WENGER REFUSES TO RULE OUT LIONEL MESSI SWOOP!; WENGER REFUSES TO RULE OUT EVERY-PLAYER-IN-THE-WORLD SWOOP!Gus Poyet fears he may have taken Brighton as far as he can after their promotion dream died last night.Mails to Dave.Tickner@bskyb.comAnd how about a lovely video interview with Gareth Bale?Check out Paper Talk for some news on which jobs Roberto Mancini could find himself in next season. PSG, Monaco, Napoli among the guesses from the fourth estate.Not a shock to see Manuel Pellegrini a short price at the head of the betting to replace Roberto Mancini.And so, Sir Alex Ferguson just manages to see off Manchester City boss No. 17 before calling it a day.

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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea


f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls


ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

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