Press Association Jesse Lingard curled home a brilliant effort to round off the win, ensuring he finished the tour’s top scorer on four. Adnan Januzaj also converted with a neat header whilst Wilfried Zaha again looked good, particularly in the first-half. “A couple of the young lads, Adnan and Jesse Lingard, who I didn’t know as much about, did well and Wilfried Zaha, who has just joined, he has shown what he is capable of in the games he has played,” said Moyes. “I think they will go away from the trip feeling they have contributed to it.” Manchester United manager David Moyes singled out three of the youngest players in his squad for special praise after watching his side conclude their tour of the Far East and Australia with a 5-2 defeat of Kitchee FC in Hong Kong. Lingard and Januzaj have certainly put forward a forceful case for remaining at Old Trafford, rather than heading out on loan as almost certainly would have happened if Sir Alex Ferguson had remained in charge. Yet Moyes’ squad is still to take shape given he has not even met Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia yet, whilst skipper Nemanja Vidic and winger Nani are amongst those who missed the tour through injury. The near three-week trip has been an eye-opening experience for Moyes, who now understands the global appeal of the club he has joined from Everton. “I am taking away the great experience of my first trip with Manchester United in general and what the football club means around the world,” he said. “I have also had a chance to get to know the players and try to settle into my new environment and for the players to get to know me as well. “They have been working with a great manager for a long time a lot of them, so it is going to take time. But I have really enjoyed working with them. They have been incredibly professional. “I can see why they are champions because of the way they conduct themselves and go about their business. I have been very impressed.” Moyes paid tribute to his players for the way they performed on what Paolo Di Canio described as a “killer” pitch just six days ago. He even felt confident enough to introduce Robin van Persie near the end, although his star man could not add to earlier goals from Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Fabio before the youngsters entered the fray. Yet Moyes is also aware United go back with no new arrivals and the issue of Wayne Rooney, who is expected to be fit for the club’s next friendly against AIK Solna in Stockholm on August 6, lingering. “I couldn’t give you any more update than I have said before,” said Moyes.
Arsenal are hopeful that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s verdict on his knee injury proves to be on the pessimistic side. The England midfielder has claimed he faces a three-month lay-off, while manager Arsene Wenger is reckoning on being without the 20-year-old for “at least six weeks”. Oxlade-Chamberlain has become a regular feature in Roy Hodgson’s national team, but the blow that forced him to limp out of the Gunners’ 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday could now rule him out of the remaining World Cup qualifying group games. Wenger attempted to quell fears over a long-term absence when he spoke ahead of the Champions League play-off first leg against Fenerbahce, but hours later Oxlade-Chamberlain detailed on his Twitter page that he was facing three months out of the game. Oxlade-Chamberlain wrote: “Gutted i’m injured so early in the season, But I’m going to be working hard to hopefully be back playing in 3 months. Thanks 4 all ur support.” It was a different take on his situation to Wenger’s own appraisal, after the Frenchman said: “He will be out for at least six weeks, he has a posterior cruciate problem, a ligament which is stretched.” Press Association Sport understands Arsenal will carefully manage the player’s rehabilitation following expert medical reports and look to bring Oxlade-Chamberlain back to full match fitness at the earliest possible opportunity. Nevertheless, on top of the club games he will miss, Oxlade-Chamberlain can expect to be absent from the crunch Group H World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month. And barring a dramatic recovery, the midfielder is also unlikely to be available in time for the October dates against Montenegro and then Poland as Hodgson’s team attempt to reach next summer’s finals in Brazil. Oxlade-Chamberlain has stayed behind in London while Wenger has taken his battle-ready Gunners to Istanbul for the match against Fenerbahce. Press Association
Press Association The 25-year-old Denmark forward has found himself slipping out of the first-team picture over recent campaigns, resulting in him being loaned out to Sunderland and then Juventus, where he suffered a thigh injury and failed to score a goal. Bendtner had been lined up to join first Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this summer, but could not agree personal terms with the German club – with his current Arsenal deal worth a reported £52,000-a-week. Both newly promoted Hull – managed by Steve Bruce, who had the striker on loan at Birmingham as a raw talent in 2006-07 – and Crystal Palace were also keen to try to broker a deal. Arsenal looked to bring in some attacking cover on deadline day, when they broke the club record transfer with a £42million deal for Mesut Ozil, but they could not push though a loan deal for Demba Ba with Chelsea, which led manager Arsene Wenger to decide against letting Bendtner leave. While clearly disappointed he could not get a “fresh start” somewhere else, Bendtner, who is currently recovering full match fitness, maintains if called upon he would be ready to throw himself back into action in an Arsenal shirt for the first time August 20, 2011. In a statement released by the player’s representatives, International Football Management, Bendtner said: “It is no secret that Arsenal and myself had agreed that I could leave the club during the 2013 summer transfer window, subject to an agreement between all parties. “An agreement had been reached with more than one club this week, but as Arsenal were unable to secure the services of another striker, they reserved their right to not sanction any deal to be concluded. “Naturally, I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to a new challenge, with a new club and a fresh start in English football. “Many things have been said about where my future lies after many years at Arsenal; the truth is I just want to play football which is when I am happiest and Arsenal is a fantastic environment for any professional to apply their trade. “I still feel very strongly about Arsenal Football Club and following positive talks with the manager, I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help the team and the manager fulfil our objectives and ambitions this season. “I have learnt a lot from my loan experiences at Sunderland and Juventus, and I want to assure all Arsenal fans that I will give everything I have to contribute to what I believe will be a successful season for the club.” Nicklas Bendtner has vowed to “give everything” to Arsenal this season after failing to secure a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
The Chelsea manager admitted a charge of improper conduct after he was sent to the stands by referee Anthony Taylor during the Blues’ controversial 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge. A statement from the FA read: “Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been fined £8,000 after he admitted a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his behaviour in or around the 69th minute of his side’s game against Cardiff City on 19 October 2013 amounted to improper conduct. “The fine is the standard penalty for the offence.” Mourinho sat with surprised supporters after being ordered from the touchline midway through the second half after repeatedly voicing his frustration to Taylor and fourth official Trevor Kettle. Mourinho accused Cardiff of employing time-wasting tactics from early in the match. He had already revealed he would accept his punishment, always expected to be a fine, having read the referee’s report. Speaking following the 3-0 Champions League win at Schalke on Tuesday, he said: “What the referee wrote is true. I was not aggressive, I was not offensive. I just had a disagreement. “That in the game is resolved with, ‘Shut up and sit down’, (you) don’t need to go to the stands. “I accept the fine and against Manchester City (on Sunday) I can work.” The Blues will got into that match at Stamford Bridge a point clear of their opponents. Press Association Jose Mourinho has been fine £8,000 following his sending off against Cardiff on Saturday, the Football Association has announced.
Villas-Boas has preferred to use £26million man Roberto Soldado ahead of Defoe, with the 31-year-old being used primarily for the domestic and European cup competitions. Despite this, Villas-Boas still values Defoe highly and does not want to let the diminutive hitman leave. “I have seen in the press that there is reported interest (from Toronto), but we want the player to stay on and hold on to those last years of his contract,” the Spurs boss said. “In the end the player is committed to the club and the club is committed to the player.” Defoe recently spoke of his frustration at a lack of first-team opportunities at Spurs – something which could cost him dear in the fight for a place in England’s World Cup squad. But Villas-Boas believes the player is determined to win back his place in the side after becoming joint-record scorer for the club in Europe this season. “The player at the moment is our top goal scorer and he is chasing the European record for the club as well which is important for his individual motivation,” Villas-Boas said. “I think he is extremely happy, not only because of what he has achieved, but also because of the smile on his face. Press Association “He has had a better start than he had last year. That is an impressive goals tally and he is a player that everyone cherishes.” Nelsen, who played for Spurs in Harry Redknapp’s final six months at the helm, lavished praise on Defoe during an interview this week, admitting he would be an “unbelievable” signing for the Canadian club. Villas-Boas says he is not concerned at Nelsen’s revelation that he regularly speaks to his former Tottenham team-mate. “I’m fine with this,” the Portuguese said. “I have no problem (with it). In the end situations like this can happen.” Defoe will be pushing for a place in Tottenham’s starting XI on Sunday when the London club travel to Everton. Tottenham were in the midst of a strong run last season when they visited Goodison Park and all looked to be going well when the Londoners took the lead halfway through the second half. Everton hit back with two late goals to steal the victory, however. Those three points would have been enough to edge Tottenham in to the Champions League last season, so Villas-Boas knows his team cannot afford to throw points away again this season. “We’ve spoken about (last year’s) result as the deciding factor for us not making it into the Champions League because everything changed quite dramatically,” Villas-Boas said. “It serves us as a lesson to be kept aware of and it’s not something we want to see again.” Villas-Boas’ side will have to stop Romelu Lukaku if they are to come away with something from Goodison Park this time around. Lukaku has scored five goals in seven games since joining on loan from Chelsea, where he used to work under Villas-Boas. The Belgian was furious with his treatment by Villas-Boas during his time at Chelsea, but the two have since buried the hatchet. Villas-Boas has been impressed with how he has developed since his successful loan spell at West Brom last term. “The player did extremely well last season and has continued to do well for Everton. The potential is there,” Villas-Boas added. “We all recognise he can become an influential striker in the future. “Chelsea’s standards are very, very high so the jump will be very difficult for him, but he has shown he can cope with the Premier League and it’s another step up for him at Everton.” Andre Villas-Boas insists Jermain Defoe will snub a move to the MLS and stay with Tottenham. Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen, who played with Defoe at Spurs two years ago, this week declared his interest in signing the striker. Defoe has 18 months left to run on his current deal and is second choice at Tottenham despite finding the target eight times this season.
Manager Arsene Wenger knows Arsenal must be patient with Aaron Ramsey’s recovery and not risk rushing the Wales midfielder back into action too soon. Saturday’s visit of Barclays Premier League title challengers Manchester City had been pencilled in for a return, but Wenger confirmed to the club’s official website on Thursday there would be no quick recovery for the dynamic Welshman. “Compared to Tuesday night, we have no new injuries and no-one coming back as well,” said Wenger, who is also without the likes of Jack Wilshere and club-record signing Mesut Ozil. “(Nacho) Monreal should be the first one back in training because he is just starting to run in the next few days. After him, Ramsey is progressing well, but we need to be patient for a few more weeks.” Arsenal tackle a rampant City side in need of a performance following the disappointing ending to Tuesday night’s match, which for a spell had seemed set to draw a line under the 6-0 humiliation at Chelsea which ruined Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge. The Gunners boss, however, accepts there is little option other than to look to regroup once more in spite of all the questions which have again been left unanswered. “We have to do that (restore belief) as well as we can and accept our position at the end of the season, but at the moment [our focus] is to recover from a high disappointment and recover for the next game. It is a huge game,” said Wenger. Arsenal have yet to announce any firm decision on Wenger’s own future, or indeed that of full-back Bacary Sagna, who is out of contract in the summer and is reportedly attracting interest from both Manchester City and Inter Milan after the veteran France international was said to have rejected a two-year extension. Wenger, though, appears to be already laying plans for next season, with the announcement of a friendly in New York during July. Arsenal will take on Major League Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls at the Red Bull Arena, where they will face off against former captain and club record goalscorer Thierry Henry. Wenger said: “This will be a great chance to play in front of supporters who have not seen the team play before. “The New York Red Bulls will be midway through their season, so they will provide a good test. “Obviously it will be good to play against Thierry. He is a very special player in our club’s history and I know the players and the supporters will enjoy this very much.” Henry added in a statement on Arsenal’s website: “It goes without saying that hosting Arsenal at Red Bull Arena will be a special moment for me both on a professional and personal level. “As I have said before, the club is in my heart and this will be another terrific chapter in my relationship with Arsenal Football Club. “Along with my team-mates, I am excited to host Arsenal in New York – one of the greatest cities in the world – and hope that Red Bulls and Arsenal fans will be able to enjoy the match.” Press Association Ramsey enjoyed a superb first half of the campaign, scoring 13 goals, but has not featured since coming off at West Ham on Boxing Day because of a thigh problem. Wenger confirmed after Tuesday night’s frustrating 2-2 home draw against Swansea, where the Gunners conceded a last-minute own goal from Mathieu Flamini, Ramsey had suffered a “little setback” in his rehabilitation.
Press Association Hendrick, 22, was also quick to back 27-year-old Keogh to shake off his personal disappointment. He said: “Obviously, he was sad after the game, but we have helped pick him back up and he’s all right now. He got out there and trained and it takes his mind off it. “He will be all right. He has been great for us all year and we need him to do the same next year. “I’m sure he will get it out of his mind and be looking forward to next year.” The arrival of the three Derby men came as keeper Rob Elliot, and Stoke trio Marc Wilson, Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters all departed temporarily bound for weddings – in Elliot’s case, his own – while 19-year-old Manchester City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor has also been drafted in. QPR frontman Kevin Doyle will meet up on Thursday and Scunthorpe keeper Joe Murphy will join the party briefly in London the following day. Only Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark did not train as he nursed a back problem, but he is expected to be fit to face Italy, if selected. O’Neill is determined to test the depth of his squad in the remaining three summer games – Ireland will play Costa Rica in Philadelphia and Portugal in New Jersey early next month – as he looks towards September’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia. He said: “Eventually these players are playing for their country, and a lot of them have decent experience. “There are one or two younger players here who haven’t done that much, and it’s a combination of all of this. “It’s just a matter of trying to get ready for the game in September.” Meanwhile, O’Neill confirmed that decisions will be taken over the continued presence of long-time associates Steve Walford and Steve Guppy, who have been added to his staff for the current get-together, after the summer. He said: “Steve Walford has been with me for quite some considerable time and Steve Guppy is an up-and-coming coach, so we will see what happens after the summer break.” Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon joined up with their international team-mates at their Portmarnock base on Monday evening a little more than 48 hours after Saturday’s heartbreaking Sky Bet Championship play-off defeat by QPR. Central defender Keogh was particularly devastated after his error handed Bobby Zamora the chance to fire the 10-man Londoners into the top flight in a dramatic conclusion to the game at Wembley. Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has urged his Derby trio to make Italy pay for their shattered Barclays Premier League dreams. However, O’Neill and his staff made a point of sitting down with the Rams contingent following their arrival in an attempt to lift their spirits ahead of Saturday’s friendly clash with the Italians at Craven Cottage. The manager said: “They came in last night and we did have a chat with all three. Richard in particular, obviously, is devastated because he feels as if his mistake at the end led to Queen’s Park Rangers scoring the goal. “Sometimes you have to remind him – I know it’s desperately disappointing at this minute, but with the sort of season that he and the Derby team have had… “That will be no consolation whatsoever to him at the moment, but in time you are hoping that time will be a bit of a healer. “They came in last night and of course they are very, very disappointed. But the next couple of days, hopefully – and weather like this here – might start to improve his demeanour.” The three men all trained with their Ireland colleagues under glorious sunshine in Malahide on Tuesday morning, and midfielder Hendrick later admitted pulling on his boots once again had proved cathartic. He said: “When you have a defeat in football, you want to get out and play another game, and coming away here will take our minds off what happened on Saturday. “It’s good for us just to get out and play and be back involved with the squad.”
Press Association “At the moment we are still talking with Monaco,” he told evertonfc.com. “With Lacina, it is a three-way conversation and it will go a bit further down the line before we take a final decision. “But we always wanted Lacina to be with us and to play his football with us, and that hasn’t changed at all.” Martinez is even more keen to secure the services of Lukaku, who may be available on a permanent deal if Chelsea decide to cash in on the Belgium international. “Romelu had an incredible season. He is a young man who matured immensely,” added the Spaniard. “We know the potential of Rom and Chelsea have been very good with the player and we have been really close with our relationship. “We need to find out where we are and there is nothing more to comment. “Every time we spoke about Rom’s situation it was very clear that he wanted to go to the World Cup and then make a decision. Everton manager Roberto Martinez is keen to bring Monaco forward Lacina Traore back on loan after a fruitless initial spell. “Obviously it is not going to take too long from now on.” Martinez’s squad will be strengthened, however, by the return to fitness of a number of squad members who missed most of last season through injury. “Darron Gibson (knee) is in a very strong way and is ready to join the group straight away,” he added. “Arouna Kone (knee) needs a little bit more one-to-one work for a couple of weeks, then he will be able to join the group. “Bryan Oviedo (broken leg) will need a bit more individual work before he gets fully fit and probably the end of September is when we expect him to be ready. “Realistically, from a medical point of view, it was never a possibility (of playing in the World Cup). “What made it a possibility was the way he pushed himself and the way he was working so hard – so at one stage we thought he would make it. “Once everything settled and we were getting closer to the World Cup we realised he was a little bit behind so we slowed down a bit more to make sure we don’t get any problems in the recovery. “We never had a setback or anything other than the need for time to heal such an injury that Bryan had.” The Ivory Coast striker arrived in January carrying an injury and managed just one hour-long goalscoring appearance in the FA Cup against Swansea before a hamstring problem ruled him out until the final game of the season where he came on for the last minute against Hull. But with Martinez’s striking options for the new season not yet finalised as he awaits an update on the availability of Romelu Lukaku, who scored 16 times on loan from Chelsea, he is exploring the possibility of a return for Traore.
Speaking to Belgian TV station RTBF he said: “All is well. Before the game I informed the coach of a few glitches. He decided to spare me and bring me off.” If there was a night to take a player off with nothing to worry about, this was it. Minnows Andorra offered no resistance as Marc Wilmots’ side ran out 6-0 winners. Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens scored twice each, with Nacer Chadli and on-loan Liverpool striker Divock Origi getting the others. Belgium next face Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kompany added: “We did everything we needed to. “In a game like this we must not underestimate the opponent. I am hoping the win will have a good impact on the goal difference. “I am very positive and satisfied with the result and the performance of the team.” The defender limped out of Belgium’s win over Andorra on Friday in the 56th minute and had strapping on his leg. The fitness of Kompany is seen as imperative to City’s success at home and abroad, but he insists all is fine ahead of important clashes in the Premier and Champions League. Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has calmed worries about his fitness. Press Association
“From personal experience and that of club directors that I speak with, there is no surer way of jeopardising a Saturday afternoon’s enjoyment than being responsible for it on a Monday morning.” Giving its reaction to Labour’s proposals, the Premier League welcomed the chance to discuss the ideas, while also emphasising its own work towards the good of the game. A Premier League statement said: “We welcome the invitation to discuss with the Labour Party their ideas on football governance. “The Premier League has a strong track record on meeting governance challenges that have the potential to damage the long-term good health of English football. “Banning third party ownership and influence of players, introducing financial sustainability measures to ensure investment in clubs is handled responsibly, and placing into Premier League rules requirements for Supporter Liaison Officers and mandatory fan consultation are amongst the numerous substantial and practical measures introduced over recent years. “Both we and our clubs work hard to keep in touch with fans, seek their views and respond, one of the many reasons why we currently enjoy the highest stadium occupancy in Europe. “The Premier League has a significant fan research programme to that effect, and continues to fund the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct, with whom we have regular, open and constructive dialogue.” Meanwhile, former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamman has questioned the concept of fans being on club boards mandatorily and feels what really needs looking at is the rising cost of match tickets. Ex-Germany international Hamman told Sky Sports News: “If you make it mandatory that two fans are on the board, I don’t see any reason to do that. “You don’t want to see fans on the board just for the sake of it – if a club decides it’s right to have one or two fans on the board then they should do it, but I don’t think you can make them do it. “I think the whole discussion has come about now because of the ticket prices situation. I think (it would be better) if the clubs had a closer relationship with the fans and talked and sorted that out. I think it is getting out of hand. “It is unreasonable and something should be done about that rather than artificially putting people on the board, where they might not have much influence.” Although the plan would not give fans the power to block takeovers or change corporate strategy, Labour insists clubs would be made more accountable. But the Football League’s chief executive Shaun Harvey has stressed care needs to be taken to ensure potential owners – who may well be fans themselves – are not put off, and also pointed out the financial risk supporters becoming shareholders through the scheme could be exposed to. He said in a statement: “As ever, we welcome dialogue with the political parties regarding football, as our clubs represent communities across England and Wales. “Many of the individuals that choose to invest in football do so without expecting any financial return on their investment, as they too are supporters of their club. “Instead, they do so for a variety of different reasons and we have to be careful not to create barriers that act as a disincentive to the next generation of owners and directors, as the game will only suffer as a consequence. “It is also important to understand any proposal for supporters to have a legal right to purchase a stake in a club within the context of the obligations that come with it. “For example, the average annual loss of a Championship club in 2012-13 was more than £13million with that shortfall having to be met by the club’s shareholders to enable it to continue playing football. “Improved communications with supporters shouldn’t come at the cost of exposing those same supporters to unacceptable levels of financial risk. The Football League has sounded a note of caution over Labour’s proposals for fans to have a new right to representation on their club’s board and the chance to buy up to 10 per cent of the shares. Under the proposed new laws, which will be in Labour’s election manifesto, football supporters’ trusts would be able to appoint and remove at least two members and up to a quarter of their club’s board in an effort to ensure their voices are heard by owners. Fans will also be given a right to purchase up to 10 per cent of the shares whenever a stake of at least 30 per cent is put up for sale, capped at a maximum of 10 per cent of the total shareholding of the club. Press Association