Monday, November 5, 2012

Luis Suarez is Liverpool's Lionel Messi, says Brendan Rodgers

Luis Suarez is Liverpool's Lionel Messi, says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers described Luis Suarez as his side's equivalent of Lionel Messi after the striker's display against Newcastle.
Suarez scored a delightful equaliser against the Magpies and was a constant threat during the 1-1 draw at Anfield.
"He plays the false nine role like Messi does for Barcelona where he moves freely and others have to get in behind him to penetrate," Rodgers told Sky.
"Suarez's goal was brilliant. He is a world-class striker."

Suarez was his side's main threat as he played in the hole between Newcastle's defence and midfield, with his movement and penetrating forward runs causing the visitors plenty of trouble.
Magpies centre-back Fabricio Coloccini was given a torrid time by the Reds striker and was red-carded for an 84th-minute challenge on Suarez, who has scored seven goals in his last nine league matches.
Rodgers told BBC Sport: "Seeing it again I think it was a [red card]. The intent, it was a naughty challenge.

"I don't think there was a great deal of contact there, if I am being honest, but the ball had gone.
"Once you see the replays, he deserves to go for that. People talk about diving but I have seen a lot worse going on in the game this season going unpunished.

"It was probably frustration from Fabricio Coloccini because Luis Suarez was unplayable. I thought he was outstanding."

Liverpool had gone behind to a Yohan Cabaye strike against the run of play before Suarez levelled for the Reds after the break.

"We are disappointed we couldn't get the win because it was the very least we deserved," added Rodgers.
"We had enough chances in the game to have won it but I have no complaints.

"Once we get a number of other players that can fit the profile and the model of our game, when we dominate games like that and finish the chances it will be great for us."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Football: Fica intrétable, Victory tilts

After the seventh day of the national football championship D1, the Football Association inter club retains his seat as leader. In the second round of qualifying for the Champions League CONCACAF, the Victory made a misstep.

The park Julia Vilbon, the Football Association inter club (Fica), race leader, came to beat Cavaly Leogane on the narrow score of one goal to nil. The only goal of the game was scored by Antoine Sardouin. With the win, the club retains its Capois chair as leader with 14 points (4). In Levelt park of St. Mark, the America of Les Cayes had a good operation by defeating the Baltimore St. Mark's (2-1). With his Fourteen Points, the club Cayen shares first place with the leader.Mais America has a lower goal difference compared to Fica or (3).

In St. Louis Park, the Sports Association Mirebalais (ASM) beat Valencia on Léoâgane score a goal to nil. The Mirebalaisiens take fourth place with 10 points. The Sylvio Cator stadium, Don Bosco was beaten by the Black Eagle (2-1). The three goals were scored in the first period. Park at Saint-Victor, capoise Athletic Association (CSA) and the Storm of St. Mark could not do better than a draw (0-0). <br>

The meeting to oppose the Victory at Violette AC will be played on May 16 because the club of Lower Little Thing-in is currently in Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the May 6 to 10 the second round of CONCACAF qualifying in company W. Connections, Antigua and Barbuda, Inter Moengoatatoe.Pour his first outing, the Victory sports club was beaten by W. Connections (1-0).The 8, Victory will have on his way Antiguan team that had eliminated the senior national selection in the playoffs the World 2014. May 10, he played his last match against Inter Moengoatatoe. The Baltimore, he will visit the Cayman Islands at the end of May. <br>

Moreover, in a friendly match on Monday, 7th May, Sylvio Cator stadium, the women's team meets with Canadian Essentials of University of Moncton.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Examination of Chelsea muscled

Examination of Chelsea muscled

At Stamford Bridge, in the semi-final first leg Champions League in April 18, 2012, 1-0, strictly defensive as questions asked Chelsea to Barcelona, ​​Guardiola boys never formulated clear response. On the issue of attack against a logical consequence of the defensive corner of the interrogation, visitors bafouillèrent sometimes get out more often with honors,
but remained bec when Lampard, who ripped a ball of feet Messi to the 45 th minute, illico served, in the back of Alves, Ramires sped away, and when it centralized at ground towards Drogba timely to ask boring as a strike of left along the ground within 11 feet as dry as was fluid and intelligent race of his appeal which sowed not less than two defenders Catalan.

Of course, Peter had Ceh out all the stops to deflect a shot from the occiput Puyol free kick from Messi. Exactly, free kick in response to questions from a corner clearances and faults caused particularly by Messi, the Catalans were convinced they could never succeed. Puyol could not be on every ball, Piqué was absent. On free kicks axial, Messi, have two, Xavi and Alves, once each, were pitiful.

In this interview, the question of freedom, that of the maximum coefficient: how to pass through a curtain of five lads and one of four that intertwine, interweave, is roped, often forming a movable wall?

By acceleration and slalom meets Messi, enthusiastic. No, threaten heart Ramires, Lampard, Obi Mickel, Mereiles, and even Mata nice, it does not matter when we are three in front of you so that you continue with us. So continues the intrepid Argentinian, I'm off to Fabregas passes in your back. Terry replicate, we are always want to push to the precipitation, and we have a great goalkeeper and into the body by the talent, and when he seems beaten, or cross the left post in for him. Fortune favors the strong, took Ashley Cole, smart, asks Cahill to explain how his little ball Fabregas dive could not cross the line. By the grace of your insight, yes you, brave Ashley.

You were not prepared to overcome resistance as dense, brave and disciplined in the axis. You thought, Ivanovic continues, you can turn into noodles and introduce you in our midst as you do in the Premier League every week! No, it would have been too easy, coquerique Drogba. What would have served only to press my sacrifice, jump, make me walk on by Puyol and Busquets?The coach let you free the sides.

Well, yes, to counter your Wall of China, we go through the corridors by leveraging the speed and direction of penetration of Alves, Xavi argued. There is caviar for us all, contradicts Mata, who acknowledges that he was not told of important questions to ask, if not on one occasion, a good pass or a free kick. Our first curtain is composed of fellows of 1, 88 meter minimum, we were cushy to that side. Dare you, cries Messi. And my whim of the 26 th minute? Precisely, a godsend for Peter, ironically Mata.

So you have to shoot from distance, Messi tries again. Fuse the issue right away: how to get a ball through a body, many legs, thighs, which offer a burnt offering?

He had to get very, very far. But you do not have players for that, smiled Cahill.

Annoyed, Alves took out his partner's hand and told his opponents: Tuesday at 24, make sure no books or notebooks, our questions for us this time will be put on our lot, 70 meters wide, it will be 15 order to fill the spaces.

To take care of you, hailing di Matteo, lurking in the vicinity, and penalties to the sauce Milanese, he never will be.

So you, the English, who made the laws of football, Guardiola was surprised.

You do not know, says Lampard.

Patrice Dumont

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Football: Selection at Boston

Selection at Boston
In preparation for the Cup playoff Caribbean nations, the national selection plays friendly matches. 
National Football Selection, eliminated from the World Cup FIFA (Brazil 2014), had gone back to the stage of training Sylvio Cator with twenty-three players from the National Championship on Tuesday, April 3, led by the national technical director (DTN), Wilner Etienne, to prepare two friendly games that are played for charity on 20 and 22 months course in Boston. Haitians face teams from Harvard University and of Dartmouth as part of the campaign fundraising of Fanmi Lasante (Partners in Health), a nonprofit organization based in Boston, to collect funds for the completion of the hospital Mirebalais.

Apart from the two friendly games in Boston, the senior national selection has a busy schedule before playing the playoffs. "The 15 and 17 May in Guatemala City, the grenadiers meet Peru and Guatemala. They will play a friendly in June, but we are negotiating. I will not disclose the names of this selection. "

Note that these two games are also within the framework of the preparation of the national selection for the first round of qualifiers for the Caribbean Cup of Nations Group B which includes the Cayman Islands (host country), Bahamas and Bermuda, and that held from August 25 to 29 next.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Man Utd will win title before Man City game, says Phil Neville

Man Utd will win title before Man City game, says Phil Neville

Phil Neville expects his former club Manchester United to clinch the Premier League title before the derby with Manchester City on 30 April.

Neville told BBC Radio Manchester's Red Wednesday: "I think the title will be over before that game at the Etihad.

"It's not the [derby] games that are going to win you the title, it's the games against the likes of Blackburn, Swansea and Sunderland.

Continue reading the main story

I always think it's at this stage of the season you see the true spirit and true quality in title-winning teams

Phil Neville

"At the moment, Manchester United are doing that better than City."

He continued: "City go to Arsenal next, which is such a difficult game. It's all going in Manchester United's favour at the moment, and they've got the experience."

City won the first Manchester derby of the season 6-1 at Old Trafford, but Neville believes focusing on the return fixture may have proved a distraction.

"About a month ago, everyone looked at the game at the Etihad and thought that's the game where the title will be won, and I think even [City boss] Roberto Mancini said it," said Neville.

"I looked at the fixture list and thought the title could be over, because you start dropping points in between."

But while the Everton captain - who won six league titles in his 10 years at United - believes the title race has swung decisively in his old club's favour, he also acknowledges that they have been forced to improve by the challenge from their local rivals. 

via: bbc

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AC Milan 0-0 Barcelona

AC Milan 0-0 Barcelona

AC Milan 0-0 Barcelona

By Mike Henson
BBC Sport

Barcelona will need to beat AC Milan at the Nou Camp to ensure their place in the Champions League semi-finals after being held to a goalless draw in Italy.
The defending champions' claims for a penalty were turned down when Alexis Sanchez fell under Christian Abbiati's challenge in a dominant first half.

But Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had clear openings at the other end as AC Milan threatened on the break.

Cristian Tello was denied by a last-ditch block as Barca ran out of ideas.

The sides played out two pulsating games in Group H earlier in the tournament and AC Milan once again provided a fascinating counter to Barcelona's staccato passing style.

The last time Barcelona did not score in a Champions League match was on 4 November 2009 in a draw away to Rubin Kazan. They last time they were shut out in an away match in the knockout phase was when they lost 1-0 to Manchester United in the semi-final in 2008.

 With the winners set to play the winners of Chelsea and Benfica's quarter-final, the Serie A leaders maintained their record of never having lost a home quarter-final tie in the competition.

The visitors created a raft of excellent chances in the opening half as they weaved passing patterns around Milan's defensive veterans Alessandro Nesta and Massimo Ambrosini.

But their finishing could not match the precision of their build-up play.

Xavi's toe-poke was clawed away by Christian Abbiati after a sharp one-two with Lionel Messi, before Sanchez could not quite burn off the pursuing Luca Antonini, allowing the left-back to get in a last-ditch block.

The Catalan side also had a strong claim for a penalty turned down by the officials after Sanchez was up-ended after he had peeled off the end of the Milan wall as part of a clever free-kick routine.

But in an absorbing contest, Milan also headed to the dressing rooms ruing what might have been.

Their pressing game frequently unsettled Barcelona and twice they carved through the remnants of the defending champions' rearguard after winning possession high up the pitch.

Robinho's awkward side-foot volley cleared the bar from six yards early on before Zlatan Ibrahimovic, playing against his former club, scuffed a shot into the grateful arms of Victor Valdes after holding Carles Puyol at bay.

The hosts continued to disrupt Barcelona's usually reliable supply lines after the break and Pep Guardiola's side could not muster the same sustained level of threat.

The more attack-minded Tello was introduced in place of Andres Iniesta and the 20-year-old wriggled away from Daniele Bonera before rippling the wrong side of the side-netting.

But it was rare opening as the ageing legs in the AC Milan side chased gamely and Barcelona's stream of attacking invention dried up.

Ambrosini, 34, slid in to block Messi's shot as the Argentine shaped to pull the trigger just inside the box, before Antonini stretched every sinew to get to a loose ball first with Abbiati out of position.

Their efforts were rewarded as Milan became the first side to keep a Champions League clean sheet against Barcelona for more than two years.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Coventry's boy from Burundi

Coventry's boy from Burundi

Gael Bigirimana (left) is a popular member of the squad at Coventry.

Gael Bigirimana was walking to the supermarket with his brother to buy some milk when he spotted Coventry City's academy training facility.

The following day he went there and asked for a trial. Slightly bemused, the coaching staff looked at the smiling yet determined 11-year-old with the broken English and explained that the club did not just take on young players who turned up unannounced. He would have to be scouted like everybody else.

Running home afterwards, having left details of the school he attended and buoyed by the promise that somebody from Coventry would come to watch him play, Bigirimana was surprised when a member of the coaching staff stopped him.

"They asked if I had all the equipment, boots, shin pads and stuff like that," Bigirimana told BBC Sport. "I said 'yes' but I did not. They said they saw me running fast but to tell you the truth I was jogging.

"The next day they gave me a trial. It was near the end of the season but they took me on for the following campaign. It must have been a miracle."

Miracle or not, seven years later the 18-year-old has just been named the Football League Championship Apprentice of the Year for a season in which he has made a significant impact at the struggling second-tier club.

He has so far played 21 times for the first team after making his debut against Leicester in August and quickly became a cult figure among the club's supporters with a series of skilful and wholehearted performances in the centre of midfield.

"He has a good touch and has shown a maturity beyond his years," said Sky Blues manager Andy Thorn. "He has acquitted himself well."

Performing in such a pivotal position in a struggling side is a big responsibility for somebody in their debut season and Thorn is candid enough to admit that the youngster's form started to tail off. Bigirimana has not played for the first team since their match against Southampton in January. Even so, he had made enough of an impression to reportedly be the subject of a recent approach from Championship rivals Burnley, who wanted to sign the youngster on loan.

Bigirimana himself sounded philosophical when asked about his return to the youth side after a prolonged taste of first-team action.

"Football is full of disappointments," he explained. "Each one must make you a better player. Besides, the youth team are pushing for the league title and it is great to be able to help my friends there."

This upbeat, selfless attitude is part of the reason why players in the younger age groups look up to him. He told me that one of the things he needed to work on is developing a selfish streak in front of goal. He has infuriated his coaches at times this season by passing to a team-mate when he should have gone for goal himself. When I asked him about his ambitions he talked more about wanting his team-mates to succeed than listing any particular aspirations for himself.

He has regularly volunteered to visit schools in the area to talk to the younger pupils about his story and I imagine it must make for gripping listening because Bigirimana's journey in life sounds like the plot for a Hollywood script.

He is a refugee from the war-torn African country of Burundi who came to England in 2004. His mother arrived first before Gael followed with his father, two brothers and a sister.

Back in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, he played football at every opportunity, barefooted, on the streets. Prior to his arrival in England he lived briefly in Uganda and had his first experience of wearing boots and playing in a structured competition.

He had not been at Coventry City for more than a handful of training sessions before he approached the coach and asked to be moved to a higher age group. He explained that he was not finding his own group challenging enough.

It quickly became obvious that the boy from Burundi was a gifted footballer who loved to entertain and played with a freedom that endeared him to those around him. However, it was equally apparent that he understood the value of hard work.

"His determination to achieve manifests itself in his being the first at training and the last to leave," said Coventry academy manager Gregor Rioch.

Bigirimana is a deeply religious man who believes that everything that has happened to him is part of God's plan. The setbacks have been designed to make him stronger. He clearly has a huge determination to overcome any obstacles in his way.

This season he has attended extra sessions with the club's education officer on a Thursday afternoon to catch up on the studies he has missed as a consequence of his involvement with the first team. It is the sort of application that helped earn him his Apprentice of the Year award and should stand him in good stead for a successful career.

Thorn told me Bigirimana can have a "massive, massive future in the game" and added: "Gael's is an amazing story and just shows with the right dedication, work ethic and commitment what you can actually achieve."

As Bigirimana walked off the stage in London on Sunday evening clutching his award he had a huge grin on his face; don't bet against it being the last.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Joe Mason expresses sympathy for out of favour Rob Earnshaw

Joe Mason expresses sympathy for out of favour Rob Earnshaw

Joe Mason says he has sympathy for Rob Earnshaw as the striker continues to struggle for a place at Cardiff City.
Earnshaw has not featured in the Championship since October as Mason, Kenny Miller and Rudy Gestede have been the favoured attacking options.

"He's a top bloke and he helps me out in training every day," said Mason.

"I feel bad for him because he's a very good player. I look up to him. He's a top finisher and I can still go and ask him for advice any time I want."

Earnshaw failed to make the substitutes bench for Saturday's match at Bristol City, having also been omitted from the squad for the two previous Championship games.

The 30-year-old started the season as Miller's regular strike partner after rejoining the club on a free transfer in the summer, scoring three goals in his first six games, but the Wales striker has not started in the league since the 4-3 defeat at Peterborough in October.

"My squad was my squad and I picked who I wanted to pick," said manager Malky Mackay when asked about Earnshaw's continued absence.

"I wouldn't expect any player who's not in the 16 to be happy. It's a squad thing and it's about a group of players together. Some are called upon, some aren't called upon but you've got to make sure you're fit, ready and available.

"But it's not about an individual. To make a story or anything like that at the moment is ridiculous."
Mason justified his starting place against Bristol City as he played a crucial role in helping Cardiff win for the first time in four games.

Two attempted crosses resulted in goals, with the second arriving two minutes from time after the home side had twice gone close to grabbing a late winner of their own.

"Both of them were probably own goals but it's still nice to get the assists," said the 20-year-old, who scored his ninth goal in the midweek draw at Brighton.

"The main thing is we got three points. I did claim the goals - I'm a striker so naturally I am going to claim them but I think they were own goals."
Mason has now made 33 appearances in his debut season with Cardiff since a £250,000 summer move from Plymouth Argyle.

He admits to be surprised by how often he has played, but adding he has much to learn from experienced international such as Earnshaw and Miller.

"It's a big step up to what I was used to last season [in League One]," he said.
Mason's form, and his goal in the Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool in particular, has led Robbie Keane to suggest he is ready to break into the Republic of Ireland squad.

"That's not really something I've thought about," said Mason, and Under-21 Republic of Ireland international. "I'm more focused on doing well for Cardiff and what happens will happen I suppose."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Liverpool win cup after penalties

Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties to see off Cardiff and win a thrilling Carling Cup final at Wembley.

Joe Mason put Cardiff ahead in the first half but the Premier League side were level when Martin Skrtel fired in.

Dirk Kuyt looked to have won the trophy in extra time when he slammed a low shot past goalkeeper Tom Heaton but Ben Turner stabbed in from a corner.

Steven Gerrard missed his spot-kick for Liverpool but the Reds won the trophy when his cousin Anthony shot wide.

Liverpool had not played at Wembley since the 1996 FA Cup final and, despite hitting the crossbar in the opening minutes through Glen Johnson, were deservedly behind at the break as Cardiff easily dealt with their limited attacks.

Kenny Dalglish's men improved after the break and equalised from a corner.
Andy Carroll won a header, Luis Suarez flicked it on to the post and Skrtel showed the reactions of a striker to deftly take control before shooting through Heaton's legs.

The game went to extra-time and substitute Kuyt scored when he stormed through the middle, saw his first effort blocked by Anthony Gerrard but collected the loose ball to shoot home at the near post.

However, the Championship side refused to lie down and forced penalties when defender Turner was on hand to bundle in from close range after a corner was not dealt with.

Heaton brilliantly saved from Steven Gerrard's first spot-kick but Kenny Miller then hit the post with his effort.

Charlie Adam fired over, before Don Cowie converted to put Cardiff ahead.
Kuyt slotted home and Rudy Gestede hit the post, before Stewart Downing and Peter Whittingham both scored.

Glen Johnson netted and Anthony Gerrard missed the final kick when he shot wide.

Read full article here

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ten-man Stoke knock out Crawley

By Jefferson Lake
BBC Sport

Crawley Town's FA Cup run came to an end against top-flight opposition for the second year running as 10-man Stoke advanced to the last eight.
Last year's finalists overcame Rory Delap's controversial sending-off to go ahead through Jon Walters's confident penalty for a foul on Ryan Shawcross.
A Peter Crouch header shortly after half-time sealed the result.
Stoke's Danny Collins handballed Tyrone Barnett's shot on the line in injury time but no penalty was given.
Crawley went out of the competition to Manchester United last season at the fifth round stage.


  • First round: won 5-0 at Guiseley

  • Second round: drew 1-1 with Swindon

  • Second round replay: won 3-2 at Swindon

  • Third round: beat Derby County 2-1

  • Fourth round: won 1-0 at Torquay

  • Fifth round: lost 1-0 at Manchester United

  • 2011/12:
  • First round: won 2-0 at Bury

  • Second round: beat Redbridge 5-0

  • Third round: beat Bristol City 1-0

  • Fourth round: won 1-0 at Hull City
  • Fifth round: lost 2-0 to Stoke City
And they attempted to give Stoke a taste of their own set-piece medicine throughout the tie but the top-flight side's extra quality in that department - both in defence and attack - proved critical.
Despite losing Delap, the visitors displayed professionalism and efficiency to see off a side that were a genuine threat to their progress, having already beaten Championship sides Hull and Bristol City on their route to the fifth round.
Tony Pulis was furious at the decision to dismiss Delap for a tackle on David Hunt, which his opposite number Steve Evans had ventured onto the pitch to protest against, although his team were in no way affected by the setback.
Pulis had taken no chances with his team selection, fielding a powerful line-up that included England international Crouch in attack but it was Crawley who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges.
Crouch almost gave the League Two underdogs the lead when Asmir Begovic missed one of a flurry of early Crawley corners, the ball rebounding off the striker's thigh and onto the crossbar.
During those formative stages the game was being played at a frantic pace and it exploded on the 16-minute mark with Delap's sending-off.
The midfielder's challenge on Hunt was slightly high and hard but there was - to the visible frustration of Stoke boss Pulis - some contact on the ball.

  • Steve Claridge
  • BBC Football Analyst
  • "The sending off worked in Stoke's favour, it sorted out what they needed to do. After 10 minutes they were all over the shop and it looked like we might have a shock but it was a very comfortable afternoon in the end."
There were strong claims for a penalty from the resulting free-kick when Shawcross appeared to block Barnett as the ball was played into the box but the appeals were waved away.
A spot-kick was awarded at the other end, though, when Shawcross went to ground under a challenge from Kyle McFadzean, with Walters hammering home from 12 yards.
It was the first goal Crawley had conceded in this season's competition but was swiftly followed by another soon after the interval.
Crouch outjumped Claude Davis to head home Glenn Whelan's free-kick just seven minutes into the second half.
Crawley were restricted mainly to long-range efforts after that, but should have had a penalty in injury time when Barnett's overhead kick struck Collins's elbow on the goal-line.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis: "You can see why they (Crawley) have been successful. They played to their strengths and were a very, very tough side.
"We had to show them the utmost respect, which we did in our preparation. We are very, very pleased to get past them.

Read full article here

Three own goals helped Liverpool overcome Brighton to coast into the FA Cup sixth round.

Three own goals helped Liverpool overcome Brighton to coast into the FA Cup sixth round.

The Carling Cup finalists were stunned when Kazenga LuaLua's 25-yard effort cancelled out Martin Skrtel's opener.
But Liverpool, who now host Stoke, did not look back after Liam Bridcutt's own goal before Andy Carroll scored.
Further own goals by Bridcutt and Lewis Dunk made it 5-1, Luis Suarez completing the rout just minutes after missing a late penalty.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba says he wants to stay with club

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba says he wants to stay with club

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba says he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge despite rumours of a move to China.
The 33-year-old, who joined Chelsea in 2004, has been linked with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, where former Blues team-mate Nicolas Anelka now plays.
But Drogba told Football Focus: "I'm really happy where I am. I belong to Chelsea. For me, that's what matters.

If I'm playing, if I'm not playing, it's the manager who decides and I have to respect that
Didier Drogba
"Everyone knows I want to stay in blue and everybody knows I love the club and the fans."
Anelka signed a two-year deal to play in the Chinese Super League in December. In his first news conference with his new club, the Frenchman said: "I hope Drogba will come. I'm in contact with him very often and if all goes well, we could see him in Shanghai."
Drogba, who is 34 next month, arrived at Stamford Bridge from Marseille for a reported £24m and in his first season helped the team win the Premier League and League Cup.
The Ivory Coast international collected another Premier League winner's medal the following season and has also won three FA Cups, another League Cup and a third league title with the Blues.
However, the club are without a trophy since their Premier League success in 2010 and have struggled to make headway in the league in Andre Villas-Boas's first season at the helm.
Asked how he would improve the team's fortunes, Drogba said: "I don't know, I'm not the manager but I think all together we can find a solution."

Leon Mann
BBC Sport
Through his charity - the Didier Drogba Foundation - the Chelsea striker is building a hospital in the Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan, and also plans to open clinics across the country. When a wall collapsed at the national football stadium in 2009, killing 19 people, he wanted to improve medical care in his country after he visited those who were injured. The hospital will cost £3m. The money, thus far, has come from his own pocket, the player donating all of his commercial endorsements.
Villas-Boas is the sixth manager Drogba has played under during his time at Stamford Bridge, with Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti preceding him.

"You cannot compare Ancelotti with Jose Mourinho and you cannot compare Ancelotti with Villas-Boas," Drogba said. "They all have their specific things and their qualities."

Drogba, who was speaking in the Ivory Coast to promote the work his Didier Drogba Foundation is doing in the country, also said it was down to Villas-Boas to decide who played up front, rejecting suggestions he could never make his partnership with Fernando Torres work.

"The manager takes the decisions and we respect those decisions," said Drogba, who helped Ivory Coast reach the final of the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

"If I'm playing, if I'm not playing, it's the manager who decides and I have to respect that. That's what we do in this team and that's why we are always together.

"We respect managers' decisions. We are going to keep doing that because that's our strength."
Watch the full interview with Drogba in Football Focus on BBC One this Saturday at 1215 GMT


The vitamin tycoon who boosted Javier Hernandez's career

The vitamin tycoon who boosted Javier Hernandez's career

By Will Grant
BBC Spanish service, Mexico City
"It was me who gave 'El Chicharito' his debut," says Jorge Vergara belligerently.
Clearly the multi-millionaire owner of Mexico's most popular football team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara - or Chivas to give them their nickname, is not a man who hides in the shadows of the boardroom.

We want this to become the best team in the world... El Chicharito is an example of what we want to create. We want 11 like him

Jorge Vergara
Club Deportivo Guadalajara owner
In an era when directors and owners of football clubs are becoming as well-known as their managers, Vergara has no qualms about meddling in on-pitch matters.

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez's senior bow for Chivas, as a teenager in 2006, was a case in point. Now 23, Hernandez, who is widely known by his nickname Chicharito - which translated into Spanish means 'little pea', established himself quickly at Old Trafford, helping United to their 19th League title last May.

"The then-coach didn't want him to debut. It is amazing how some coaches think," Vergara recalls with a headshake of derision. "So I kind of threatened him and said 'If you don't want him, I'll take him to the United States'."

It was no hollow threat. Since Vergara took over Chivas in 2002, he has expanded the brand to launch teams in the United States and China.

The original club is based in Mexico's second city, Guadalajara, where Vergara is from. He made his fortune through vitamin supplements and moved into football by buying his local club when it was at its lowest ebb, on and off the pitch.

"It was financially broke. Sports-wise it was a complete failure and it was in really deep trouble," Vergara, who is also a film producer, adds.

"So we launched new marketing strategies, we cleaned up the shirt which had 30 different sponsors on it, to dignify the brand. We started to recruit youngsters to build for the medium to long-term rather than just from one season to the next."

See full article here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Terry will not quit playing for England

John Terry is not considering England retirement

John Terry will not retire from international football despite losing the England captaincy, BBC Sport understands.

The Football Association informed the Chelsea defender, 31, he was losing the armband on Friday.

Terry is due to stand trial in July over racial abuse allegations after an incident with QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

But sources close to Terry have told the BBC he is not considering his international future.

England coach Fabio Capello has revealed his disappointment at the decision to remove Terry from his role ahead of the European Championships in the summer.

Terry maintains his innocence over the allegations regarding the incident during Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road in October.

It is the second time Terry has had the position taken from him.

Did you know?

John Terry played seven of England's 12 internationals between losing the captaincy in 2010 and regaining the armband in 2011
Two years ago he suffered the same fate following allegations he had an affair with an England team-mate's ex-girlfriend.

At the time he claimed he "fully respected" Capello's decision and would "continue to give everything for England".

He subsequently played all four of England's matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and was then reinstated as England captain in March last year due to Capello's concerns about Rio Ferdinand's fitness.

After returning to Terry 11 months ago, Capello said: "John, when he played without the armband, was everytime a leader on the pitch, a leader in the dressing room.

"Always he is the same. He is a player that is himself a leader. This is really important. He is the biggest personality in the dressing room."

Terry, who was first appointed captain by Steve McClaren in 2006, has won 72 England caps.
Euro 2012 would be his fourth major tournament with the international team.


Report shows match-fixing scale

By Dan Roan
BBC sports news correspondent

Report shows match-fixing rife in Southern and Eastern Europe

The true scale of match-fixing, racism and violence in European football has been revealed in new statistical research due to be released on Tuesday.

FIFPro, the worldwide union for professional footballers, conducted a survey of thousands of players in Eastern and Southern Europe.

Almost a quarter of players (23.6%) are aware of match-fixing in their league.
The stats may cause particular concern for 2018 World Cup hosts Russia, where that figure is as high as 43.5%.

The Black Book, a copy of which has been seen by the BBC, shows that 11.9% of footballers have been approached to consider fixing the result of a game, with that figure reaching 30.3% in Greece.

The research found a clear link between non-payment of player salaries and match-fixing.

As many as 41.1% of players have not had their salary paid on time, of which more than half were approached to consider fixing a match.

FIFPro findings

One in nine players involved in the study has been the victim of a violent act, with 8.3% of those incidents caused by his coach.
"These are very worrying results," said FIFPro Director Anthony Higgins. "A massive wake-up call for football, including in Western Europe.

"In the east, players regularly discover they are not paid by their clubs and then find themselves being targeted by corrupt influences. They are vulnerable."

Turkey is currently embroiled in a match-fixing scandal that has ensnared some of the country's top clubs.

Last year, the Uefa lawyer charged with fighting corruption in football, Pierre Cornu, admitted that match-fixing cannot be wiped out.

Despite that, Fifa have set up an early warning system to detect suspicious betting patterns, and Uefa have just announced a link-up with Interpol to clamp down on match-fixing.

Meanwhile, 9.6% of respondents in the Black Book survey reported examples of racism or other forms of discrimination, mainly caused by supporters (65.3%).

Every ninth player had been a victim of a violent act (11.7%). This was caused by fans (55.8%), club management (13.3%) or even the club's coach (8.3%).

FIFPro say their research proves that Fifa's current club licensing system is failing.

Designed to improve the way clubs are run, the licensing system is administered by national associations.

It defines the standards that clubs must adhere to in order to be allowed to gain a license and participate in international competitions.

One hundred European clubs were denied licenses last season.