Lee Clark Appointed Manager of Blackpool FC

Championship side Blackpool have announced the appointment of Lee Clark as their new manager. Clark, 42, succeeds Jose Riga who left the club earlier this week.

Clark was, until the beginning of last week, manager of fellow-strugglers Birmingham City where he had been for over two seasons. Prior to that he was at Huddersfield Town with whom he set a record of 42 games unbeaten in regular-season football.

“I am absolutely delighted,” Clark told the official Blackpool FC website. “The main objective is to try and keep the club in The Championship and build from there. It is a big challenge because of our position in the league but it’s a challenge that can be overcome.

“It’s one that if we achieve what we set out to achieve, which is to stay in the league, it will be a tremendous feat by the whole group. I’m very confident with the players I’ve got here, in what we can do going forward, that we can achieve those goals.”

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston added: “We needed someone with experience of The Championship and that’s what Lee brings to the club. Lee’s done remarkably well in a difficult background at Birmingham.

“We needed someone to come in and organise us properly and bring in the structure, approach and positivity that we’ve been lacking. Results have demonstrated that.

“Lee is bright and positive and we’re happy to support his plans for the squad moving forward.”

Blackpool are currently bottom of the Championship with just six points from their opening 14 games.

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Watch As Jose Callejon Blazes Over From 1 Yard Out [Vine]

Napoli striker Jose Callejon has just about wrapped up the ‘Miss Of The Season’ competition.

The former Real Madrid front-man scored 15 goals in 37 games in Serie A last season and he is currently the top scorer in this campaign with seven goals so far.

But it should have been eight.

Callejon missed this absolute sitter in last night’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta. Ghoulam’s cross met him just three feet from goal but somehow he got underneath the ball and blazed it over the bar.

Had it gone in and Napoli gone on to win then the side would have been up to third in the Serie A table. As it is they remain in seventh place with the pressure still on coach Rafa Benitez.

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Falcao Set For £44m Manchester United Transfer

Falcao Terms ‘Agreed’ – Report

Radamel Falcao Manchester UnitedRadamel Falcao’s move to Manchester United will be made permanent next summer, according to a report this morning.

Goal.com claims today that the Red Devils have agreed to pay French side Monaco a fee of £44million next summer and have already agreed personal terms with Falcao.

The news will come as no surprise. Rumours have abounded over a permanent deal for Falcao ever since he moved on loan to Old Trafford at the beginning of September. Previous quotes suggested he would cost United £43million but it is likely that the fee has been agreed in euro so there will be some fluctuation in the exchange rate between now and next summer.

United currently pay Falcao £240,000 a week in wages under the terms of his loan deal and that will also apply under the new deal. There is no indication from Goal.com as to the length of the contract though it should be borne in mind that the striker will be 29 by the time the deal is done.

Falcao has scored one goal in five games for United so far this season. He was apparently on the verge of a move to Real Madrid before the United deal popped up although there have been reports that United were in talks with Monaco for some time before the deal was agreed.

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Premier League Transfer News Thursday 30 October


Premier League transfer news
Talks between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United transfer target Marco Reus have been put on hold as the German side try and drag themselves from the Bundesliga relegation zone. Manchester United are eyeing up Bayer Leverkusen defender Omer Toprak. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be keen.

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The agent of Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has met with representatives of Serie A side Napoli over a possible January move.

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Arsenal are said to be preparing a bid for Spartak Moscow midfielder Romulo. The Brazilian could be the subject of a bid worth £9.5million with the loan of striker Yaya Sanogo thrown into the deal. The Gunners are being linked again with Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner.

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Sporting Lisbon right-back Cedric Soares is also being touted as an Arsenal transfer target.

Tottenham Hotspur could make a £20m move for Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez in the January transfer window. Earlier this week that figure stood at £15m.

Manchester City have joined the race for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.

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Arsenal Transfer News Thursday 30 October

Brazilian Midfielder In Arsenal Transfer Link

Romulo  Arsenal transferSpartak Moscow midfielder Romulo is an Arsenal transfer target, according to reports. The Daily Express claims that a bid worth £9.5million plus the loan of striker Yaya Sanogo could be lodged for the 24-year-old Romulo.

The Brazilian moved to Spartak from Vasco da Gama in his homeland for a fee of €8million (£6.4million). That was immediately after an impressive series of performances for the Brazilian Olympic team at the 2012 London games. Romulo played in all six of his side’s games as they lost out to Mexico for the gold medal.

He has been capped eight times for Brazil but those appearances have come in the three-year period since 2011. As such he won’t qualify for a UK work permit unless he has an EU passport. That isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

But any move may come as a surprise. Romulo has made only 18 league appearances for Spartak since he arrived at the club having missed a season-and-a-half through injury. But the Express claims Arsene Wenger is keen to snap him up and sees him as an alternative to Sami Khedira who is also being linked with Liverpool and Chelsea.

Manchester City are the latest side to be linked with Khedira with reports suggesting he could be recruited to replace Yaya Toure who could be on his way out of the club next summer.

Arsenal Linked With Swiss Full-Back

Arsenal are still being linked with Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Switzerland international is out of contract next summer and has been linked previously with Arsenal transfer interest.

Lichtsteiner looks set to quit Juve and reports from Italy claim he could be on his way to the Emirates. However, he turns 31 in January and it would be a surprise if Arsene Wenger breaks his long-standing rule over offering only one-year deals to players over the age of 30.

Lichtsteiner was linked with Arsenal as a possible replacement for Bacary Sagna when it became apparent he would be leaving the club this summer. However, Arsene Wenger elected instead to go for Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy with Calum Chambers of Southampton as a back-up for the right-back position.

Lichtsteiner is known for his versatility and can play anywhere across the back four.

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Manchester United Transfer News Thursday 30 October

Reus Contract Talks Deferred

Marco Reus Manchester United transferBorussia Dortmund have put talks on hold with Manchester United transfer target Marco Reus. Club supremo Michael Zorc says all efforts are instead being put into ending the club’s slide in fortunes which has seen them lose six of their opening nine Bundesliga games.

“Our intention is to continue our journey with Marco. Nothing has changed in that regard,” Zorc told Sport Bild.

“The current situation requires the full concentration of everybody concerned. The highest priority is that we get out of it as quickly as possible. Everything else is on hold.”

Dortmund currently lie just above the relegation places in the Bundesliga. Failure to qualify for the Champions League next season is likely to lead to an exodus of players. Defender Mats Hummels has already been linked with Manchester United but the Red Devils are one of a number of clubs keen on Reus.

The 25-year-old has a release clause in his contract. His current deal runs to 2016 and the German club are keen for him to sign an extension. But his release clause kicks in next summer and he can leave for a fixed fee, believed to be €35million (£28million).

Reus was a Manchester United transfer target during the summer but Dortmund dug in their heels over a move. Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have also been linked with some outlets claiming he is closer to a move to Anfield.

United Watching Bayer Defender

Manchester United are one of a number of Premier League clubs eyeing up Bayer Leverkusen defender Omer Toprak.

Scouts from Old Trafford joined representatives from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Bayer’s Champions League clash with Zenit St Petersburg last week. According to the Daily Star, the £12million-rated Turkey international was under scrutiny and he could be a Manchester United transfer target next summer.

Toprak, 25, has been with Bayer since 2011. This is his fourth season with the Bundesliga side and he has a total of 116 appearances under his belt for the club, 86 of which have come in the league. He is a two-footed player noted in Germany for his reading of the game.

Toprak is under contract with Bayer until 2018. The German side are looking to hold on to him at least for the rest of the season as they push for another top four finish in the Bundesliga.

The centre-back has been involved in crisis and controversy during his career.

The crisis came in 2009 when he was involved in a go-kart crash that threatened his career and saw him ruled out of action for four months.

The controversy came last year when he was involved in an altercation with a team-mate while on international duty.

The incident involved Toprak, former Hamburg striker Gokhan Tore – now with Besiktas – and Bayer team-mate Hakan Calhanoglu.

Tore got into an argument with the other two players over a woman they had met in a nightclub. According to the police report, which was only leaked to the German press this week, Tore got hold of Tore’s room key and attacked him inside the room. Calhanoglu, meanwhile, was threatened with a gun. Toprak was warned against going to the police over the incident.

More: Fellaini agent meets with Napoli.

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Capital One Cup Quarter-Final Draw


Capital One Cup drawNewcastle United face another tricky tie when they travel to Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. The Magpies defeated holders Manchester City, 2-0, in their fourth-round tie on Wednesday night. Spurs defeated Brighton by the same scoreline.

Championship side Bournemouth have drawn a plum tie and will host Liverpool. Chelsea – the new favourites for the competition following City’s exit – travel to Derby County.

Sheffield United, the only side outside the top two divisions to make it to the quarter-finals, face Premier League high-fliers Southampton.

The full draw is as follows:

Derby v Chelsea
Tottenham v Newcastle
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Sheffield United v Southampton

Posted in Chelsea, Football League, League One, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Premier League, Southampton, Spurs Tagged with: , ,

Arsenal Top Premier League Of English-Only Goalscorers


Premier League  English-Only Goalscorers

Arsenal would top the Premier League and Chelsea would be batting against relegation. That’s according to stat boffins Opta who have calculated that the Gunners would be heading the division if the only goals that counted were those scored by English players.

Opta have analysed all 90 games played in the first ten rounds of matches so far this season and discounted any goals scored by non-English players. The result shows Arsenal topping the league with four wins, five draws and no defeats to lead the table on 17 points – one point ahead of both Swansea City and Liverpool. However, the Gunners have scored just four goals and conceded none to Englishmen in their nine games played.

At the bottom, Chelsea – unbeaten with seven wins and two draws out of their nine games in the real Premier League – are 18th out of 20 with no wins, six draws and three defeats with none of their 24 goals scored by an English player. Hull City and Newcastle would be below them in the table.

Perhaps the most damning statistic is that only 74 of the 258 goals – little more than a quarter – have been scored by Englishmen.

Opta have also done past studies based on full seasons. Liverpool would have won the Premier League title had only English goals counted in 2013-14. Southampton would have carried off the 2012-13 title.

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Could David Moyes Be Heading For La Liga?


David Moyes Real SociedadFormer Manchester United boss David Moyes is being linked with a job at one of La Liga’s strugglers.

The Scot, who has been out of work since he was sacked by United in April, is being linked with the post of head coach at Real Sociedad as current boss Jagoba Arrasate appears to be floundering.

Arrasate stepped up to the first team from the club’s youth set-up in the summer of 2013 and almost guided the side to a second successive Champions League appearance. But the season has started badly for Real with just one win from their opening nine league games and the side lie in 17th place just one place and one point above the relegation places.

Rumours in the Basque country claim Moyes is one of the favourites to succeed Arrasate who is likely to be axed if the side fail to get a result in their clash with Malaga this weekend. Basque broadcaster Euskadi Irratia claims Moyes has even been offered a contract by Real Sociedad.

Two other former Premier League managers are also being linked with the job at the San Sebastian-based club. Former West Brom boss Pepe Mel and former Spurs manager Juande Ramos are also being touted as possibilities in the Spanish media.

Moyes was linked this summer with the coach’s job at Galatasaray. He travelled to Istanbul for an interview but the post was eventually filled by former Italy boss Cesare Prandelli.

Posted in La Liga, Premier League Tagged with: , , ,

Arsenal Transfer News: Higuain Denial, Laporte Interest

Higuain Agent Denies Arsenal Transfer Rumour

Gonzalo Higuain Arsenal transferThe brother of Arsenal transfer target Gonzalo Higuain has denied that the Argentina international will quit Napoli in January.

Arsenal have been linked with Higuain, who has endured a disappointing start to the Serie A season. He failed to find the net in his opening six appearances of the campaign before getting off the mark with a hat-trick in the 6-2 victory over Verona on Sunday.

However, Nicolas Higuain, who is also Gonzalo’s agent, told Radio Crc in Naples that there has been no contact from either Arsenal or from Liverpool, who are also said to be interested in signing the striker. He did acknowledge Arsenal’s interest prior to Higuain’s move to Napoli in the summer of 2013.

“Gonzalo would be happy to have a good season with Napoli. He has a contract with Napoli for five seasons so he is a blue player. But I must say that no representatives of the two clubs have contacted me.

“Just before he arrived in Naples I did have contact with Arsenal.”

Higuain’s £145,000-a-week wages would cause a problem for Arsenal. The Argentine is far and away the highest-paid player at Napoli and is one of the best-paid in Serie A.

Arsenal Keen On Bilbao Centre-Back

Arsenal are being linked once again with Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.

The France Under-21 international has been linked in the past with interest from Arsenal. We reported in June that Arsene Wenger had been keeping tabs on the France Under-21 international but that they would face competition from both Barcelona and Bayern Munich for a player rated at over £30million.

The Daily Star resurrects Arsenal’s interest. The paper claims Laporte could be heading for a way out of the Basque side after a disappointing start to the season. Athletic finished in fourth place last season but are currently in 15th place in La Liga some 12 points behind a Champions League spot after only nine games.

The Star suggests Laporte will leave for the right price. Unfortunately for Arsenal, that price is his €40million (£32million) release fee and Bilbao have a reputation for insisting on every last penny.

More: Arsenal transfer target Guedes in Bayern link.

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