FA probes Rooney coin throwers

first_img Press Association Palace are unlikely to be charged unless the investigation decides the club was negligent – the main aim of the probe is to see if any of the people who threw coins or other items at the England striker can be identified from CCTV footage. Any fan throwing coins faces a potentially lengthy banning order from magistrates. United defender Rio Ferdinand suffered a cut above the eye after being struck by a coin during a derby match at Manchester City in December 2012. Police are still looking into Theo Walcott being targeted by missiles during the Arsenal’s FA Cup third round victory against Tottenham last month. The Football Association has launched an investigation into the coin-throwing at Wayne Rooney at the weekend with the aim of identifying the culprits.center_img Rooney was targeted during Manchester United’s match at Crystal Palace and drew the referee’s attention to missiles being thrown at him. The FA had a crowd control adviser at the game and is waiting for a report into the incidents. It is also contacting Crystal Place to ask for their observations and speaking to the police in charge of security inside the ground. last_img read more

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Lyons defends Irish Derby

first_img “That is where have all the ‘big’ pedigree horses from Tatts Book 1 and Goffs Orby Sales gone? “These sales are very hard to buy at as all the powerhouse outfits dominate proceedings. But what have they done with their purchases? They give it loads about what nice horses they are and how they justify their huge price tags. But where do they disappear to? “So don’t blame those that turned up last Saturday but question those that didn’t.” Australia only faced four runners in the Classic and two of those were stable companions, but Lyons has questioned where all the big-money purchases from the sales two years ago have ended up. Writing on his Facebook page, Lyons said: “A lot of negative stuff has been written about the Irish Derby since Australia won on Saturday but no one has asked the one pertinent question in my opinion. Ger Lyons has defended the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and feels rather than criticise the horses that turn up, the attention should be placed on those who were not there.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Reds complete Can capture

first_img Press Association “I am proud to be a part of the family and I am looking forward to playing here. I will give it my best,” the 20-year-old told liverpoolfc.com. “LFC is a great club and the fans are amongst the best in the world. “I am looking forward to the first game and can’t wait to step on the pitch for the first time at Anfield.” Manager Brendan Rodgers revealed he had been tracking the former Bayern Munich midfielder for some time before making his move a few weeks ago. “Emre is an exciting young talent and I’m delighted he’s chosen Liverpool for the next phase of his development and growth as a player,” he said. “He has recognised that we are a club that improves and nurtures exciting, ambitious players and I’m looking forward to seeing him take those next steps forward for us. “We have tracked his progress for some time and I have been impressed with his attitude and qualities when I have seen him play both in the German Bundesliga and the Champions League. “He has many of the attributes we look for – charisma on the football pitch and courage to want the ball and make things happen.” The Reds had to wait until the summer transfer window officially opened on July 1 in order to register the necessary paperwork and international clearance on the £10million move, but that has now all been done. Can is the third player through the doors at Anfield this summer with Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana the other two. center_img Liverpool have completed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can after a deal to bring the Germany Under-21 international was agreed last month.last_img read more

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Saints land Long

first_imgSouthampton have announced the signing of striker Shane Long from Hull. The 27-year-old moves for an undisclosed fee after scoring four goals in 15 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side last season. Long will provide some much-needed attacking impetus for Southampton boss Ronald Koeman alongside fellow new recruit Graziano Pelle after the departures of striker Rickie Lambert and midfield talisman Adam Lallana. “Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he’s different to Graziano Pelle, which is something we needed,” Koeman told the club’s official website. “He brings ambition and a great mentality. He’s always running and always working, and he’s very down-to-earth. He’s a great person, and we need that type of player. “He brings a lot of experience to our squad because he’s already played at Premier League level for a few years. He knows what we need at this level, and he can show that to our younger players as well. “Shane will be an important player for us and our future.” It has been a summer of upheaval on the south coast with defender Dejan Lovren joining Lambert and Lallana in moving to Liverpool, Luke Shaw departing for Manchester United, Calum Chambers exiting to Arsenal and former boss Mauricio Pochettino heading for Tottenham. Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin have also been tipped to leave the club before the end of the transfer window but the additions of Long and Pelle, alongside FC Twente winger Dusan Tadic, will quell the fears of some of the Saints faithful. Long first moved to England with Reading and spent six years at the Madejski Stadium before moving to West Brom in the summer of 2011. He spent two-and-a-half years with the Baggies before his short stint in East Yorkshire and cannot wait to get started with his third club in seven months. “I’m delighted,” he said. “This came out of the blue for me but, once I’d come and had a look at the training facilities and met the manager, it seemed like the right decision for me and my family. “It was a hard decision for me to make, but when you come down to Southampton you see how big a club it is and how well set up it is. “You look at how well they did last season and they are developing a new squad for this year to try and achieve those accomplishments again, and hopefully I can be a big part of that. “Southampton play a brand of football that’s enjoyable to watch, and I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable to play in as well. I think the formation they play will suit me, and the manager has a lot of knowledge about football and I’m looking to learn off him. “In theory it’s a very good move for me, but all the hard work starts tomorrow when I get on the training pitch because I have to prove my worth.” Press Association Sport understands the Long signing will see Southampton pay short of the reported £12million fee, but it could reach that level if clauses are met. Long may not be the only signing completed on Thursday, with Steaua Bucharest centre-back Florin Gardos close to moving to St Mary’s. The Romania international is expected to arrive in a £6million deal, replacing Lovren in the heart of Southampton’s’ back four and joining goalkeeper Fraser Forster and full-back Ryan Bertrand as defensive reinforcements. The Republic of Ireland international only joined the Tigers from West Brom in January but now moves to St Mary’s on a four-year deal. Southampton stated on their Twitter feed: “OFFICIAL: #SaintsFC has completed the signing of @HullCity striker @Shanelong009 on a four-year contract. #SaintShane.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Houghton: McGeady can handle boos

first_img “I had great memories of Hampden and it was a bit surreal going there and meeting family and friends who I had grown up with. “But I was very focused. I knew what was required and I was determined to go out there and put on a performance and try to win the match.” Houghton, who later netted famous winners against England and Italy at major finals, was not put off his stride by the type of reception Paisley-born McGeady is likely to face on Friday night with the focus now all on him after his Everton team-mate James McCarthy pulled out with a hamstring injury. “It didn’t hurt at all,” he said. “Goodness, you have got to be more grown up than that. It’s not that bad at all. “So many great players in the past have been booed to put them off their games, I was just a lad who played for Ireland instead of Scotland. “It didn’t bother me at all and if anything it inspired me to do better. “I know Aiden has played in Celtic-Rangers (fixtures) and it doesn’t get much bigger than that. If he can handle that, he can handle playing at Celtic Park against Scotland.” Houghton also dismissed suggestions that the visitors could be put off their stride by an incident at the team hotel that saw police and an ambulance called. Republic boss Martin O’Neill and the Football Association of Ireland have both given assistant manager Roy Keane their full support following the subsequent publicity. “It’s not nice to see and I’m sure no-one wanted to see it, particularly Roy and the players,” said Houghton, who was brought back to Glasgow by William Hill to talk about the game. “But players are very resilient. Their focus will be on the game itself, not something that happened a couple of days beforehand. “It’s hard to talk about it because we don’t know what has happened. “I spoke to Roy and I’ve seen a different side to him. He’s very focused. He has two jobs now, one with Aston Villa and one with the Republic, and I’m sure in the not-too-distant future he will want to become a manager.” Glasgow-born Republic of Ireland hero Ray Houghton has warned that Scottish jeers for Aiden McGeady could inspire the former Celtic winger against the land of his birth. Press Association Houghton helped Ireland to a crucial 1-0 European Championship qualifying victory over Scotland at Hampden in 1987 after being overlooked by his native land. The former Liverpool midfielder admitted it was strange playing against Scotland but he was driven on by the jeers from the terraces that he used to frequent as a boy watching the national team and Celtic. The win, courtesy of a Mark Lawrenson goal, sent the Irish well on their way to the 1988 European Championship finals and helped launch a golden era for Irish football. Houghton, who left Glasgow as a teenager for Fulham, said: “I did have a trial when I was 17-18 for the youth set-up and Andy Roxburgh was the manager. “I’ve had a laugh about it with Andy since. He would know all the Scottish-based players but didn’t really know a great deal about the lads who came up from England. It didn’t work out and it wasn’t a particularly good time. “After that, nothing happened. I played for Fulham and Oxford, still hadn’t heard anything from Scotland, and really thought my chance had gone. “Someone could have even given me some encouragement that I was heading in the right direction but I didn’t hear anything whatsoever. “Even when it was in the newspapers that I was going to play for the Republic of Ireland, there was still some time that someone could have had a chat with me, and no-one did.” Soon Houghton was lining up against Scotland in a goalless draw in Dublin in October 1986 before going back to his home city to put a fatal blow in Scotland’s Euro 88 qualifying hopes. “It was a bit surreal,” he said. “I was born three miles from Hampden Park and used to walk it from Castlemilk to cup finals. last_img read more

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Home form worries return for Spurs

first_imgTottenham’s poor home form made a worrying return as they stumbled to a 0-0 draw against relegation-threatened Crystal Palace. This was the fifth time in eight Premier League matches that Spurs have failed to win on home turf and the locals let their dissatisfaction known. Neil Warnock’s side came into this match with just one win from eight league games, but their performance belied that run and Tuesday’s deflating 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa. Yannick Bolasie proved a nuisance from the outset and Jason Puncheon’s second-half introduction almost proved decisive as he hit the woodwork and had a goal disallowed on an afternoon in which the only thing Tottenham fans had to cheer about was the big screen showing Arsenal were losing at Stoke. This was an important match for both sides given their midweek struggles, yet Spurs appeared to be suffering a hangover from their 3-0 loss at Chelsea. Christian Eriksen followed a fine nutmeg with an early strike into the side-netting but, other than that, Palace were in control. James McArthur and Mile Jedinak had efforts of differing quality as Warnock’s men began brightly, with diminutive midfielder Ryan Mason forced into impressive headed clearances at successive corners. The pressure was mounting on Spurs and, if anyone was to force the breakthrough, it looked likely to come from Bolasie. Starting on the left wing, the 25-year-old gave Eric Dier a torrid time and produced an extraordinary skill in the corner to flick past Eriksen and send in a cross Joe Ledley was just unable to direct on target. Press Association Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked to have turned a corner when they overcame Everton last weekend, yet that was followed by a heavy defeat to rivals Chelsea and things did not get much better against the Eagles. Only wayward finishing and saves from the ever-impressive Hugo Lloris thwarted Palace in their bid to win at White Hart Lane for the first time since 1997. Bolasie was soon back at the heart of things, all too easily dispossessing Erik Lamela before flashing an effort over – an opportunity which at last appeared to kick Spurs into action. Harry Kane fired wide before Roberto Soldado struck over, with the Spaniard not doing much better with a header and half-volley in the minutes which followed. Spurs ended the half on top but it was far from one-way traffic, with Lloris having to produce an exquisite stop to thwart a goalbound Scott Dann header. There was also a chance for Wilfried Zaha, producing a wonderful flick to cut past two men and curl just wide, before half-time was called, from which Spurs returned with Nacer Chadli on for the ineffective Lamela. It did little to improve the quality of the game, though. The home faithful were becoming audibly frustrated as play swung from end to end without either side taking control. It took 18 minutes of the second half for the first chance of note, when Eriksen played through Soldado, only for the striker to fire wide. A Kane effort flew over as the game became more stretched, with a fizzing, if wayward, Bolasie strike followed by Puncheon seeing a drive blocked. The substitute was proving a handful for the Spurs backline and cracked a shot off the underside of the bar, with Jan Vertonghen hacking clear. Puncheon did find the net soon after, only for the offside flag to see that goal chalked off, and then set-up Bolasie, whose fine strike was heading home until Lloris’ intervention. Ledley missed the target as boos rung around White Hart Lane, where sarcastic cheers met what many felt was Aaron Lennon’s belated 83rd-minute introduction. Paulinho saw a hooked effort blocked by Joel Ward as Spurs searched for what would have been a fortuitous winner. last_img read more

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Eriksen hails Tottenham fitness

first_imgChristian Eriksen believes Tottenham’s new fitness levels are responsible for their dramatic late shows in the Barclays Premier League. “We’re getting there and I can see progress in the home games as well. “We had to fight in the second half at Swansea, we came back and we showed our character.” Eriksen has now scored 12 league goals in the calendar year and that is more than any other midfielder in the country when you remove penalties from the equation. And he s aid Spurs will be used to the congested festive fixture list after already playing eight games in the Europa League to reach the last 32 of the competition. “It is the same number of games without the travel,” he said. ” It’s an exciting programme for us now as it’s so close (in the Premier League table) if you get a win you’re up there and if you lose you’re down there. “At the moment we’re in between and we need to be more consistent, but we showed we are on the right way.” “You see the last few games and we’re still 100 per cent ready to go at the end of the game,” Eriksen said. “Before we wouldn’t have been fit enough to go the whole game. “There were periods when they had the ball and we had to play different but we had the confidence and the power to keep going for 90 minutes. “I think everybody would rather win a little bit earlier but it does give us an extra feeling.” Spurs have often struggled at home this season – losing half of their eight league games – but it has been a different story away from north London where they have won four of their eight matches and lost only twice. But Spurs have collected four points from their last two home games, beating Everton and drawing with Crystal Palace, and Eriksen believes those results will provide the launchpad for greater satisfaction at White Hart Lane over the busy holiday programme. “You should feel more relaxed at home but at the moment we are getting our points away,” Eriksen said. “Luckily we played all right at home in the last two games and picked up some points. Eriksen came up with an 89th-minute winner in Spurs’ 2-1 victory at Swansea on Sunday to maintain their recent fine away form and take Mauricio Pochettino’s side up to seventh in the table. The Danish midfielder scored an even later winner at Hull last month in another 2-1 win and Spurs also scored twice in the final six minutes to overturn a 1-0 deficit at Aston Villa at the start of November. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Allardyce laments West Ham lapse

first_img Allardyce added: “If we had concentrated better in those (last) minutes, we would be sitting on our greatest total and finish ever in the (Premier) League. “Instead we are scratching our heads on when are we going to finish a game out again. I thought we were going to do it today, but finished miserably in the end over just a few seconds.” Allardyce is out of contract in the summer, with the club’s owners yet to decide in which direction they want to take West Ham ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium. The 60-year-old, though, intends to remain professional in his approach over the final matches of a campaign which had earlier promised so much. “It depends on what you say. Do you say what is the overall season like? It should be 50 points, it should be very, very good. It is small margins of victories to draws and draws to defeat,” Allardyce added. “In the judgement at the end of the season, or if not what happens before that, then we talk about what we are doing going forwards. “We are still on course to beat the best points record we have had, but we are making it hugely difficult for ourselves now when we really should be coasting instead of looking forward to every game we are playing.” Senegal forward Sakho limped off in the second half, and if the problem proves serious, he might not recover before the end of the campaign. Allardyce said: “If it is a grade one off the scan, then it could be two to three weeks, if it is more, then you would be lucky to see him again this season, which is a massive blow but we have to deal with it.” Stoke boss Mark Hughes felt his side had done more than enough to end a run of three straight defeats. “We are thankful for small mercies, because we did not think we were going to get what we deserved,” he said. “I thought we totally dominated the game and should have won it by a country mile. “We had the setback from the great free-kick early in the game, and it is difficult when you are the away side to come back. “We showed great resilience and stuck at it, trying to create things, but just lacked that bit of quality at the top end. “If one of our disallowed goals had counted, I think we would still have had time to go on and win the game. “We want to better last season’s total and are determined now to get something out of all of the matches we have left.” The Irons looked to have done enough to battle to victory after taking an early lead through a superb free-kick by full-back Aaron Creswell. However, after seeing two efforts from Marko Arnautovic ruled out for offside and a header by substitute Mame Diouf hit the post, the visitors snatched a deserved point five minutes into stoppage time when the Austrian forward crashed the ball into the far corner. West Ham remain in the top 10, but Allardyce knows their position should have been much more comfortable after witnessing yet another late capitulation from a positive position. “You have to give Stoke a bit of credit, but from our point of view, we did not play as well as we can,” said Allardyce, who revealed striker Diafra Sakho is set for a spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury. “It was not about us playing well or not, it was about winning and we had got ourselves into a fantastic position “When you are less than 30 seconds away from winning the game and you don’t, that is the ultimate blow. “We are very nervous on that stage based on what happened before. “We should be on 50 points now, we have thrown away seven points in two minutes or less over four games. “We cant find the right key elements to see the game out and leave ourselves on a nervous edge by having a little bit of panic in what we are trying to do which is coping with the opposition when they have to take more risks, playing more direct. “While it was a very good goal, we should have dealt with it and kept possession better, using your intelligence to make sure you are doing it.” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce lamented his side’s ‘nerves and panic’ which saw Stoke snatch a dramatic equaliser deep into stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw at the Boleyn Ground. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Pearson seeks Wilkinson advice

first_img The Foxes boss has taken advice from Wilkinson, who he played under at Sheffield Wednesday, as Leicester battle the drop. They host Swansea on Saturday looking for a third straight win and will escape the drop zone for the first time since November if Burnley fail to win at Everton and they beat Swansea by three goals. Pearson has come under the spotlight this season after a foul-mouthed spat with a fan and a bizarre touchline altercation with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur. Wilkinson, who won the First Division title with Leeds in 1992, had been a mentor for Pearson before this season and he has spoken to the ex-England caretaker manager for advice. Pearson said: “On a professional level I have one or two people I speak to if there’s something I need a bit of feedback on. Howard Wilkinson is one. “I have a lot of respect for people I have worked with. I have friends and family I speak to, my wife remains a very important person for me in terms of getting a balanced view on life. “I have a lot of very good friends and colleagues at Leicester and the good thing about how we work is we’re all doing a job in preparing the players but the coaches do stretch themselves as well.” The Foxes have beaten West Ham and West Brom in their last two games and still have to play relegation rivals Sunderland, Burnley and QPR. But Pearson, who has a fully fit squad, wants complete focus on the Swans as they bid to become only the third team to survive in the Barclays Premier League after being bottom at Christmas. He said: “It is important for us now that the players, and everyone else at the club, stay very much focused on now what is a seven-game season. “Yes, there are lots of positives, especially getting six points, but we have still got an awful lot to do, and that is why there is no room for us to take any other stance than that. “I know we have had our critics, but I have been very proud of how the players have coped with the setbacks they have had.” Nigel Pearson has revealed he has turned to former manager Howard Wilkinson to help Leicester’s survival bid.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Freed Gutierrez upset by Ashley

first_img The 31-year-old started the season battling his way back from testicular cancer and ended it by inspiring the Magpies to a vital 2-0 win over West Ham. Gutierrez provided one goal and scored the other in what has proved to be his last match for United, with the club announcing on Friday that he will leave when his contract expires on June 30. That exit was widely expected and the Argentina international took to Twitter shortly afterwards to let his feelings known about his treatment during his battle with cancer. Posting through his account, @elgalgojonas, Gutierrez said: “Two things I learn from my illness how you can support a player (newcastle fans) and how you leAve a player alone (newcastle owner)” The popular midfielder’s tweet follows comments made in March about the way Newcastle treated him. “I returned mid-November and at the beginning to mid-December the manager said I should find myself another club, that it was best… er, I understand a lot of things about football that, well, that for the directors it is a business, no?” he told Canal+. “It is clear that they look after the club’s interests, but I think in a situation like that, you need to save (consider) other things, even more if you see I had been playing for five years before having this problem, I was always playing.” Gutierrez’s anger with the club was as clear as his desire to thanks the supporters for their support in the seven seasons he spent on Tyneside. “Thanks to all football fans and Newcastle fans for supporting me and trust in me,” he posted on Facebook. “This is a way to demonstrate I always hear you. You are very important to me, football wouldn’t be the same without you. All my effort and affection is for you!” Gutierrez is not the only player leaving St James’ Park as Jak Alnwick, Adam Campbell and Remie Streete have all been released, while Facundo Ferreyra has returned to Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of his loan. Sammy Ameobi has been offered a new deal but there is no new contract for Ryan Taylor. The defender arrived from Wigan in 2009 and made 110 appearances for Newcastle – a figure which would have been much higher but for wretched luck with injuries. Taylor overcame two knee ligament injuries in recent years, making his return after a 26-month absence in Newcastle’s Capital One Cup win at Manchester City last October. Press Association Jonas Gutierrez fired a parting shot at Mike Ashley after being released by Newcastle, claiming the club’s owner disregarded him following his cancer diagnosis.last_img read more

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