RODGERS SLAMS MIRALLAS

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has stated that the carrier of Luiz Suarez could have been brought to an end by the tackle of Everton’s Kevin Mirallas. The pair recently came up against each other in the 3-3 draw at Goodison Park. This was one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend, but it was overshadowed by the tackle of Mirallas. He went on with a high boot on Suarez and it earned him a yellow card. Rodgers, though, has said after the match that this tackle should have resulted in a red card since it could have easily ended his career.

He has said that going in with the studs behind the knees often results in a very serious injury. He felt that Suarez was lucky to escape this injury. Liverpool opened the scoring through Coutinho, but they were unable to hold on to the lead for much longer after Mirallas equalised for Everton. Suarez, though, put Liverpool back in front with a stunning freekick. Everton once again came back this time with Chelsea’s on loan striker Romelu Lukaku.

He scored two goals in the space of 10 minutes to put Everton in front. However, substitute Daniel Sturridge scored with just a minute remaining on the clock to get a point for the title challengers.

“I thought Mirallas should have been sent off. It would’ve been interesting if Luis made the challenge. I have seen Kevin for a few years and he looks a real honest player but if you look at it in every way, real time and slow motion, it is a bad challenge. He caught him on the back of his knee and that can end your career. It wouldn’t matter if it was on Luis or someone else it was a naughty challenge,” said Rodgers.

INTER HIT 7

Inter Milan have been one of the best teams in the start of the season in the Italian Serie A. They proved that once again with a thumping 7-0 scoreline against newly promoted Sassuolo during the weekend. It was a match that confirmed Inter Milan’s resurgence to the top of the table after a few years of struggle. Mazzarri was appointed as a replacement for Andrea Stramaccioni only in the summer. Even though the team had a poor pre-season, they have been looking brilliant since the start of the campaign. As a result of this stunning victory, they have gone to the third place in the table.

They are only behind Napoli and Roma, who have made a perfect starts to the season. After this enormous victory, Mazzarri said that his players will not get complacent as a result of this one match. He has also promised that Inter Milan will continue to work hard in the hope of improving even further. Mazzarri had a number of positives from the encounter with Argentine striker Diego Milito once again scoring being one of them. The striker has spent the last few months on the sidelines, but he returned to first team action in the most emphatic manner with two goals against Sassuolo.

“We started from scratch this summer and are doing very well. Aside from the result, what counts is the approach to the game. The team had the right attitude and it is reflected in our position in the table. Our spirit means we will never rest on our laurels and always want to improve. All the players are growing and with Milito fit we can think about adopting a 3-4-3 system,” said Mazzarri after the match. Since the club does not have any other distractions like European football, they can concentrate on the league.

ATLETICO BRING IN VILLA

Atletico Madrid recently managed to bring in Barcelona striker David Villa for just around £ 4.5 million after the striker was placed on the transfer list by the Catalan Giants. Barcelona signed Neymar for around £ 50 million, which immediately prompted speculation that Villa will be sold. The former Valencia star has been starved of first-team action ever since his £ 35 million move from Valencia a few years ago. Atletico Madrid were in the market for a new striker after the sale of Radamel Falcao to Monaco for £ 50 million.

Despite being cash rich at the moment, the club decided to go down the value route by bringing Villa. The 31-year-old cost the club just under £ 5 million, which has been hailed as the bargain of the century by the club president Enrique Cerezo. Villa is the record goalscorer for the Spanish national team and he has won every major trophy in the last decade. He is also incredibly experienced and is one of the best finishers in the game. After an extraordinary season last time around, there is a lot of pressure on Madrid to repeat the same.

Cerezo has said that the arrival of Villa will certainly help them match the achievements of last season.

“Many Spanish and foreign teams would have sacrificed a lot to have Villa in their squads and we have paid a very low price for him, so we’re very pleased about that. The most important factor in the deal was that we have wanted to sign Villa for a long time and that’s why we’re so happy. We wanted to sign him when he went to Valencia from Zaragoza, and now he belongs to us. Villa still has many seasons left in football. He is a natural goalscorer,” said Cerezo.

SELECTION HEADACHE

Chicago Fire manager Frank Klopas had a major selection headache ahead of the match with Montreal due to the absence of Wells Thompson. Thompson has been one of the first-team regulars for the club in the right back position over the last few months. Even though this is not his natural position, he has made it his own in the absence of several key players. Thompson has been one of the important players for the defence in the absence of Arne Friedrich.

Klopas recently stated that the team was suffering in the absence of Arne Friedrich. They have been extremely poor defensively, but Thompson has been one of the star players in an otherwise for defence. He will also not be available for the match against Montréal after picking up a suspension. Klopas will have to choose between the likes of Michael Videira and Logan Pause. In the end, the manager decided to go for the latter due to his significantly greater experience. The veteran has played for 11 clubs in an extraordinary career, and Klopas has said that this experience proved to be a significant factor in the selection process.

He said that the defence was especially weak and Pause’s experience could add some much needed strength.

“[Logan]’s played there before and we didn’t have any other options. Paladini was in good form and my other option was Mike Videira and he’s had enough concussions. We put a right back that is experienced and has played that position before,” said Klopas. “The game was unfortunate. I think, individually being involved in both goals, I feel like I could have done better. It was not good enough defending for me and I felt like I let the team down a little today,” said Pause after the match, which finished in a 2-0 defeat for Chicago.

POSITIVE FINISH

The Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni has said that he still believes that the club can turn around the season and have a positive finish. Inter Milan are currently struggling to get into the top three of the Italian Serie A table, which will provide them Champions League football next season. They are also in danger of being knocked out by the Premier league club Tottenham in the Europa league. The 3-0 defeat suffered at the hands of Tottenham in the first leg has almost ended any hopes of Inter progressing to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Yet, Stramaccioni, whose future has been under a cloud of doubt in recent weeks, has said that he is confident in his team’s ability to turn around this season. The defeat at White Hart Lane was followed by a 1-0 defeat against Bologna during the weekend. This further allowed their rivals for the third position like AC Milan to increase the advantage. Even though Inter have played a game less than Milan, they have to make up a seven-point gap in order to finish in the third place. Stramaccioni has said that there are still 10 matches remaining in the league season, which gives them time to turn things around.

“There are still 10 matches to play, we’re not quite performing as we’d like at the moment but there are still 10 games left. We were lucky not to concede in the first half when Bologna deserved to score. Yet their goal came in the second half when we were playing at a higher tempo. We’re obviously not having the best time of it but, as I’ve said, there are still 10 games to play. It’s a tight league where every side can cause you problems. There are still 10 matches to go, we can and we must do it,” said Stramaccioni.

SOTON NET DRAW

The Premier League match played between Arsenal and Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday has ended in a draw. Both the teams scored one goal each and walked away with one point each.

Despite getting one point from this match, Arsenal slipped down to no. 6 in the points table. Arsenal has played 20 matches in the league so far out of which it has won 9; lost 4 and the remaining 7 matches have finished in the form of draws.  The Gunners currently have 34 points.

On the other hand, this draw helped Southampton in maintaining its no. 17 position in the points table. Southampton has also played 20 Premier League matches so far in this season, but, has managed to win only 4 of them. Southampton has lost 10 matches, while, in the remaining 6 matches, the Saints shared points. Southampton currently has 18 points.

In their previous match, the Gunners had performed brilliantly and had thrashed Newcastle United by a huge margin of 7-3. But, in this match, they didn’t get a good start. They got trailed by 0-1 in the 35th minute of the match. It was Gaston Ramirez who opened the scoring for Southampton. Bacary Sagna tried to clear Schneiderlin’s shot, but, he didn’t succeed in that. All he could do was to hit the ball to Puncheon who passed the ball to Ramirez. Ramirez didn’t miss the chance and swept the ball home to take Southampton ahead in the match.

But, Southampton’s lead didn’t last long and they only had themselves to blame for that. Arsenal got a free kick in the 41st minute of the match and Theo Walcott took the free kick. Guilherme De Prado tried to clear his shot, but, instead of doing that, he tapped the ball into his own goal post and the scores got equalized. There were no more goals scored in the match after that and the match finished without any result.

Arsenal’s next match will be a FA Cup encounter against Swansea City on Sunday.

END ON A HIGH

The Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi has said that he wants his team Villarreal to finish the 2012 calendar year in winning fashion when they take on the Girona and the Xerez teams in the final two matches of the year. Even though many criticised the Argentine striker for not scoring a lot of goals during the start of the season, he has hit form at just the right stage in the season. He has scored four goals in his 15 appearances for Villarreal. After an indifferent form during the early part of the campaign, Villarreal have been good in recent weeks.

They showed their improved performance in the 4-0 win over Alcorcón during the weekend. It was a victory that helped them move closer to the automatic promotion spot. The striker has said that the 2-0 defeat suffered against Girona is a result that should not have happened because they created a lot of opportunities during the match enough to win it. However, he was surprised at the fact that they could not score even one goal with all the chances. However, he is very much looking forward to the final match of 2012 – against Xerez.

“The 2-0 was a result Girona liar. What I liked about the Sabbath was the winning attitude. Playing this way eventually reaching goals. The most important thing is to create chances, and we are doing. I think we’ve found a way to play and now we have to finish the year winning. The last two games have been good but with some rivals are hurting us a lot and this is something to improve. At the collective level we can not afford those mistakes,” said the Argentine striker after the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Girona during the weekend. This result leaves Villarreal in the fifth position.

SHEARER IS CONSIDERED

The Blackburn Rovers managing director Derek Shaw has suggested that the former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer could be considered for the role of being the permanent manager at Ewood Park. The former Blackburn Rovers striker is one of the recognised faces in English football. However, he has very little managerial experience, as he has been the manager of Newcastle United only for a few months. Even in this short managerial spell, he did not impress the critics because he was relegated with Newcastle United to the Championship. However, he could be considered as one of the numerous candidates in line to take the job from Steve Kean, who resigned from his position a few days ago.

The 42-year-old former England international is currently working as a football pundit. He managed to take just five points from the eight games he has managed a football club. Despite this, the Blackburn Rovers managing director Derek Shaw has suggested that it would be daft to not consider Alan Shearer for this job especially considering his status at the club. Alan Shearer was part of the Blackburn Rovers team that managed to dominate English football during the early years of the Premier league era.

“I’m sure it would (be a popular appointment), but even more than getting fans excited we need a good manager who’ll get us to the Premier League and keep us in the Premier League. Obviously someone with Alan’s football record, he’ll be on the list that we have a good look at. I wouldn’t confirm anything at this moment in time. There’s a number of names being put forward for our job, those names have been forwarded on to the owners with comments,” said the Blackburn Rovers managing director in a recent interview. The club are currently ninth in the Championship table.

REGULAR FOOTBALL WINS

The Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has said that he is extremely delighted to be playing regular first-team football for the Premier league club. He has also said that he is hoping that his achievements with the Premier league club will not go unnoticed and that he would be able to play for England at some point in his career. The 22-year-old goalkeeper has been taken regularly by the Reading manager following a number of poor performances by the regular number one Adam Federici. He has managed to sustain his position in the first team following a number of good performances.

Due to the fact that England have always been struggling in the goalkeeping department up until now, it is expected that the England manager Roy Hodgson will be prepared to give a few opportunities to newcomers enough to assess the quality at international level. The lack of a proper backup option for the Manchester city goalkeeper Joe Hart is a major cause of concern for the England manager ahead of the World Cup qualifying matches. McCarthy has said that he would be more than delighted to be part of the England setup in the future should he be called up for the national team duty.

“It was disappointing not to win, but I was pleased with the way things went for me. Obviously there are a lot of good English keepers out there. Joe Hart is an unbelievable keeper and he’s been doing it for years. I will just keep doing my thing and see what happens. Hopefully I will get there one day,” said the Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy after the match against Swansea. Despite taking a two-goal lead, Reading were pegged back to drawing the match 2-2. McCarthy said that he was extremely disappointed with the result against Swansea.

CUELLAR: NO SECOND THOUGHTS

The former Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar has said that he had no second thoughts about joining Sunderland when he knew that the manager Martin O’Neill was interested in bringing him to the north-east.

Carlos Cuellar was signed by the former Aston Villa manager when he was at Villa Park, and might yet be joined at Sunderland by Theo Walcott. Carlos Cuellar was a first team regular during the reign of Martin O’Neill, but the club decided not to extend his contract after their departure of the Irish manager. He was available on a free transfer summer and his former manager soon snapped him up.

The former Rangers defender is one of the major accusations at the club in the summer, as they look towards building the club’s reputation in the Premier league. Sunderland finished in the bottom half of the table last season, but will be looking to finish in the European places in the season. Their pre-season form, though, has not been that good after they have suffered three defeats in the four matches they have played. However, the 30-year-old Spaniard is confident that the former Aston Villa manager can turn things around before the start of the new season. Sunderland will be playing against Arsenal in the opening day of the season.

“Because he was a player, he knows what you’re thinking every moment, what you need every moment and he is very good at reading how you are feeling. He gives you everything you need to make sure you give him everything back. There is good communication and that makes it easy. He has always had a good season wherever he has been. The way he trains and the way you play with him,” said Carlos Cuellar on the official website of the club after signing for his new club on a free transfer only a few weeks ago.