Saturday, 11 May 2013

'I almost cried I was so upset with myself' – Samir Nasri hard on himself this season

Samir Nasri has admitted some of his performances for Manchester City have not been good enough, with certain moments making him want to cry.
The French midfielder has often struggled for the form he showed at Arsenal since moving to City nearly two years ago, and was heavily criticised by manager Roberto Mancini earlier this year.

It was initially suggested Nasri had disagreed with the Italian's assessment of him, but in the build-up to todays FA Cup Final - which a now-on-song Nasri is expected to be involved in - the 25-year-old claims he understood Mancinis comments.

Speaking to The Times he said: "I didn't take it the wrong way. I agreed with him. I knew. Sometimes I don't need him to tell me because I'm professional. When I go home, I watch the games again.

"I know if I've played well or if I've played s*** and for eight months I wasn't good. I understand what the manager was saying, because it must be frustrating when you have a quality player and he doesn't perform and you don't know why because you try to play him there, play him there, but he still doesn't perform.

"So at some point you have no choice but to put him on the bench and you go to the press to try to get a reaction. And it worked.

"Before, I wasn't very good at accepting public criticism. But he (Mancini) just wants the best from his players on the pitch because he has to win. If he doesn't, he gets fired."

One particular incident which drew criticism was Nasri`s decision to turn his back on a Robin van Persie free-kick during December's Manchester derby.

City had recovered from 2-0 to be level but, as Nasri turned away, the ball went where he would have been and on into the goal.

"I don't know what went through my head," Nasri said of that moment. "I don't know how many times I was thinking about it afterwards. Eventually I had to turn off the TV. My dad said, 'Why are you scared of the ball, do you think it's going to burn you or something?'

"At the time I almost cried I was so upset with myself. How could you do that? It was a derby and with a draw we'd have stayed a few points behind them but they won it and it was a big moment in the title race."

Man United's Scholes to follow Ferguson into retirement

Man United will bid farewell not only to their iconic manager next week, but also one of their most iconic modern day footballers as Paul Scholes is expected to retire for the second time, reports The Mirror.

Jose Mourinho rejected Manchester United offer

Portuguese press say Jose Mourinho rejected Manchester United five-year deal due to family reasons

According to Portuguese newspaper Record, David Moyes was only the Old Trafford club’s second choice after the Real Madrid manager declined an offer.

It claims Manchester United officials had a five-year contract ready to offer to Mourinho but he declined for family reasons, so the Premier League champions then turned to their next choice in David Moyes.

Mourinho has been heavily linked with a return to his old club Chelsea this summer and the report claims his desire to relocate his family to London was behind turning down the offer from Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson announced he would be retiring from his post after 26 years on Wednesday, with both Mourinho and Moyes cited as possible candidates to succeed him in the immediate aftermath.

The Everton boss was eventually announced as the next Manchester United manager on Thursday afternoon, with the club and Ferguson claiming he was their number one choice.

Chelsea Closest to Signing Wayne Rooney

With the appointment of Everton boss David Moyes at Manchester United, Red Devils are in danger of losing one of their stars in Wayne Rooney. Numerous clubs are interested in signing the ex Evertonian forward and it seems that Chelsea are perhaps the closest to sign the England International.

Tensions between Rooney and his former boss are inevitable and Abramovich is ready to pounce on the opportunity of signing one of the best players in the league. Rumors suggest that Arsenal have shown interest as well but Rooney will most likely prefer a move to Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho is expected to leave Real Madrid and take over at Chelsea once the season ends. The Portuguese tactician is a long term admirer of Wayne Rooney and will be granted funds to lure the United forward much to the delight of Chelsea faithful if the deal goes through.

The only dilemma for Chelsea which is not a bad one is that they have so many play makers around such as the likes of Mata, Oscar, Hazard etc. and what they actually need is an out and out striker. Adding to that, the blues are also close to signing Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle.

Having so many stars at disposal, Abramovich may still be ready to sanction a deal for Rooney as the owner and fans are desperate to snatch the premier league title from the grabs of Manchester clubs.

Rooney has enjoyed his best days in the red shirt of Manchester United having won it all. United must do all to persuade him to stay but working with his ex-manager after the controversial remarks he made about him plus the different proposals in front of him are likely to weigh more.

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly keen on signing the England forward but staying in his homeland may as well be Rooney’s priority and thus Chelsea appear as leading the race to sign him.

Mourinho and Rooney at Chelsea will be an exciting prospect for the club and its supporters and it might just be the combination that will help the blues win the title next season.

For Manchester United, they will have to sign a world class replacement if Rooney does depart. A potential return for Cristiano Ronaldo seems unlikely for now. Nevertheless, they will have enough funds from Rooney’s sale to sign a top quality forward.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Benzema's anthem snub riles National Front

France’s far-right National Front party have demanded French international striker Karim Benzema be barred from playing for the national team after he insisted he would not sing the French national anthem before matches.

 The far right National Front party has demanded that Benzema, 25, who plays for Real Madrid in Spain, be sacked from the French national team for declaring he had never sung the French national anthem - the Marseillaise before an international game, and would continue not to.

Eric  Domard – sporting advisor to National Front leader Marine LePen – said in a statement on Tuesday that “[Benzema] shows an inconceivable and unacceptable contempt for the jersey he has the fortune to be able to wear.”

Labeling him a “footballing mercenary paid €1484 an hour,” Domard further declared that “since Karim Benzema sees no problem with not singing the Marseillaise, the French people should have no problem with him not playing for France anymore.”


Hero or Villain: Greg Dyke

Ex-BBC TV DG to FA. Lovers of acronyms across the country will no doubt be cheering the news that Greg Dyke is to be the next chairman of the Football Association.

As for the rest of us? Surely Joseph Barton, that great sage of the modern game, summed up popular opinion when he offered via Twitter, "What the fuck does Greg Dyke know about football? Yet, another bureaucrat, placed in a position way to [sic] large for his domain expertise ... Football needs football people right now." Well, quite.


Mourinho hints at stunning Chelsea return as Madrid boss ponders next move

Jose Mourinho has hinted he may return to one of his former clubs, claiming his next move could be to "somewhere I've already been".

The Portuguese's future has been the subject of speculation despite leading Real Madrid to the Primera Division title last term and the fact they are still going strong in the Champions League this season.

Mourinho won two Premier League crowns in three years with Chelsea before leaving in 2007 and has often been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, where there will be a vacancy in the summer when interim boss Rafael Benitez departs.

And, speaking at the opening of an exhibition in Setubal, Mourinho did little to dampen such talk.

The former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan coach was quoted by Football Italia as saying: "I have an adventurous spirit and do not know what will happen next season.