Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski says he will consider his options in the winter if he does not get more playing time at Arsenal. “Of course I’m not happy when I’m not playing,” Podolski said at a press conference in Berlin, where he is preparing with Germany for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar on Friday night and friendly in Spain next Tuesday. “I want to be playing and enjoying my football. We’ll have to see what happens this winter. “I’m going to seek talks with my club then, but there’s no pressure.” The 29-year-old, who has only played one 90 minute game for his club this season – in the League Cup – despite still being a relatively key member of the Germany squad, has several admirers around Europe, although a return to the Bundesliga does not seem likely. The Germany international has yet to start a game for the Gunners in the Premier League this season, making just four substitute appearances. His only goal of the season came in the Champions League win over Anderlecht, where he was also only a substitute, playing the final six minutes in Brussels. Press Association
Un Beau Roman jumped well in front and soon held a clear advantage, but his stablemate Alelchi Inois, the 11-8 favourite to defend his unbeaten record over fences, made a bad error seven out and though Ruby Walsh did remarkably well to stay in the saddle, he had to be pulled up. At the business end only Chancol (3-1) and Paul Carberry had a real chance of catching Mikey Fogarty’s mount approaching three out, but he too looked to tire coming to the second-last, only to dig deep from the final fence to get up in the last 50 yards. Winning trainer Noel Meade said: “I think he’ll improve because he’s so big. He’s still light and when he fills out he could be anything. Because of that I don’t want to run him too often. Fences are a big help to him, as he jumps so well. “Mags O’Toole spotted him at the sales and said I had to buy him. I’d never heard of his sire, but she said ‘don’t mind that, just look at the horse’ and she was right. He’s very clean winded and doesn’t take a lot (of getting ready).” RaceBets gave Chancol a 20-1 quote for the Arkle at Cheltenham. Liz Doyle’s Pairofbrowneyes (7-1) returned from a lay-off since early March with a gutsy victory in the Go Racing In Kildare 2015 Membership Handicap Hurdle, leading on the run to the last under Mikey Fogarty and holding Pivot Bridge by a length and a quarter. The trainer said: “I thought he’d win and I felt he was my best chance of the weekend. He was on the bridle the last day, but just didn’t get home. He just wanted to be dropped back in trip. “He was spot on today and off a mark of 114 I thought he had to win. He’ll go for something nice after Christmas. It just took the trainer a while to work out his trip.” Davy Russell travelled best on Lite Duties in the closing stages of the Flynn & Lynch Life And Pensions Supporting Longford GAA Handicap Hurdle and when he popped the question, Charles Byrnes’ charge (11-4) went four and a half lengths clear. Byrnes said: “A horse fell in front of him at the second-last the last day at Cork, and only for that he would have been closer. He’ll tip away in those handicaps.” Chancol denied long-time leader Un Beau Roman to take a dramatic Madigans Bars Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown. Press Association
“Last week we had the chance to create history by doing the double over United, now we can get to 40 points. That’s worth fighting for. “Then the goal after that will be 47 points [Swansea’s best in the Premier League] and it’s a question of how much you are willing to sacrifice to try to achieve that. “But I have no doubts about the players having seen their faces in training this week, and now we have to make sure we transfer that into the game.” Monk changed his customary 4-3-3 system last week to match United’s midfield diamond and admits it is a formation he might use again in the future. “We will see what we do at the weekend but it is great to have something to turn to,” Monk said. “We did it in short spells last season, but you have to understand it before you can use it. “You have to train it before you use it but some teams will just change in games having not trained it. “It might work but it will be more effective if the players understand it and maybe the diamond is something we can use again in the future.” Monk’s men completed Swansea’s first-ever league double over United last weekend with a 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium but the rookie boss insists there has been no basking in that achievement on the training ground. “I have been quite hard on the players this week to make sure we maintain our standards and our focus,” Monk said. “The biggest reason we did so well last week was because the whole group were so focused through the week, we pushed each other all week and you saw the outcome of that on the Saturday. “We have to try to do the same every week and that’s difficult – but that’s why I have been hard on the players this week. “I have pushed them and demanded a lot from them and that gives us a better chance of reproducing last week’s performance. “All good teams produce it consistently and that’s what we have to aim for, it’s about trying to back up a fantastic win with another performance.” Swansea know victory at Turf Moor on Saturday will take them to the treasured 40-point mark – the tally usually considered to guarantee another season in the Barclays Premier League. It would also represent the quickest time that Swansea have reached 40 points in their Premier League history, beating the mark set by Michael Laudrup’s side two seasons ago by one game. “The motivation comes from within sometimes and I constantly talk about standards and what we need to try to do in every game,” Monk said. “We have the chance to get to 40 points quicker than the club have ever done before. Swansea manager Garry Monk admits he has pushed his players hard for Burnley this week after their historic victory over Manchester United. Press Association
Manuel Pellegrini’s side lost their title to Chelsea last season but Toure is confident, with a few new signings, they will be back to their best when the campaign kicks off in August. “The club has been built to top this league and when we finish in second it is quite disappointing,” he told CityTV. Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure insists the club has been built to win the Premier League and anything other than top spot is a disappointment. Press Association Similarly their interest in Juventus’ former Manchester United academy graduate Paul Pogba has cooled because of his £70million price tag and reported wage demands of £250,000-a-week. It is understood they have not yet ruled out moves for Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph or Wolfsburg’s Kevin de Bruyne. Irrespective of who they bring in City will hope Toure rediscovers his top form again after a busy 12 months saw him play in the World Cup and African Nations Cup. The 32-year-old admits he is not a fan of pre-season training but hopes his summer break will have given him the lift he needs. Asked how his summer has been he said: “Not bad but I think most of all [it has been about] relaxing, trying to de-stress, to forget, to be focused for the next year and recharge all the batteries because after two or three years full of competition I needed this break. “I don’t like pre-season to be honest but we need it. The season is going to be long. “I am very happy to be back and working. I am looking forward, the manager is looking forward and the club is looking forward.” “We want to bounce back. This club don’t have to be second or third. We always have to finish first. “We know it will be difficult because we have opponents like Chelsea, Arsenal, even Liverpool can do it, United will do it. “We have a lot of targets this year. The target this year is to make this club proud because last year was quite disappointing. “For us the main key is to try to regain the title this year. It will be difficult but we know we can do it. “We are looking forward to the new players coming to try to help the club and do something big for this club. “We want to do something big this year. I hope maybe in a couple of days new players come and make this club a top team next year.” City have yet to make any additions to their squad as despite their best efforts to recruit Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling two bids, the last amounting to £40million, were rejected. The Reds are holding out for £50million but that is a price City are unwilling to go to.
United boss Louis van Gaal is understood to be keen on signing the Germany captain this summer and Rummenigge says the rumours have pricked Schweinsteiger’s ears. “I spoke to Bastian Schweinsteiger on the phone while on holiday and we’re going to meet again when he’s back,” Rummenigge said at a press conference on Thursday. “I’m not going to hide the fact that I discerned from these talks that he is flattered by the interest from England.” The 30-year-old has only a year left to run on his current contract with Bayern while talks over a new deal do not appear to be on the agenda. Schweinsteiger played under Van Gaal at Bayern, winning a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double, part of his collection of eight Bundesliga titles and seven domestic cup triumphs for the Bavarian club. Press Association Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed that Bastian Schweinsteiger is “flattered” by reported interest from Manchester United, and says he plans to hold talks with the Germany midfielder soon.
“Those three points, we will gain a lot of confidence from that and hopefully go into the game next week and hope to replicate how we have been playing.” Asked about the Canaries’ success on the road since his arrival, he said: “I’m not quite sure, it’s not something I’ve really thought about. “We set out to win every game. Some teams go away from home and will be happy to take a point; we go away from home and we want to win the game, and we have done that more often than not since January.” “I have an idea about it, but tomorrow we will have a meeting and they can talk and I will talk. “What was so wrong was I saw players playing – and I don’t want to mention names, it was the whole team with the exception of one or two players – and they did things that I don’t expect from a player at this level. “I have to know why that can happen because it’s really strange for me. You can play badly and badly, but not knowing what to do is even worse.” The visitors assumed control, if in slightly fortuitous circumstances, with 26 minutes gone when Costel Pantilimon parried Robbie Brady’s shot against the shins of Russell Martin and saw the ball roll into his net, and full-back Steven Whittaker doubled their advantage eight minutes before the break after playing a neat one-two with the excellent Wes Hoolahan. Victory was all but assured within 12 minutes of the restart when Hoolahan was once again the pivot for Nathan Redmond to make it 3-0 with substitute Duncan Watmore’s late strike providing scant consolation. Asked about Watmore’s late cameo, Advocaat said: “He did in 10 minutes more attacking-wise than some others, but again, if you start as a regular, it’s a different way of playing. But he did well.” Opposite number Alex Neil was delighted with the efforts of his players as they extended their remarkable record of never having lost an away game since his appointment in January. He said: “Last week because we played well, if you go and back that up with another good performance but no points, then you start to question are we good enough? But the performance and the result today showed that we are more than capable of holding our own at this level. Press Association The Black Cats were beaten 3-1 by Barclays Premier League newcomers Norwich at the Stadium of Light to leave Advocaat scratching his head and disgruntled supporters urging chairman Ellis Short to invest heavily in the remaining weeks of the summer transfer window. Advocaat, who will hold a grisly post-mortem on Sunday, said: “Even this squad must be good enough to get a better result against Norwich with five new players, but there is something wrong, that’s quite simple. Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat admitted there was “something wrong” with his team after seeing them slip to a second comprehensive defeat in as many weeks.
Klopp made his humble declaration in response to a question that referred to Mourinho’s first press conference as Chelsea boss in 2004, where the Portuguese famously said: “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.” He did indeed have a Champions League title on his CV at that point with Porto, and has subsequently proved pretty special by securing various pieces of silverware, including three Premier League crowns with Chelsea and the European trophy another time with Inter Milan. BRIAN CLOUGH – OLD BIG ‘ED Another man you could say had some confidence in his own ability. We’ll let Clough explain himself: “I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.” CLAUDIO RANIERI – THE TINKERMAN Mourinho’s predecessor as Blues boss has a somewhat less-glamorous sobriquet, relating to his habit of rotating the Chelsea team. The Italian seems almost determined to fight against it in his current role as Leicester manager, notably making very few adjustments to his line-up so far. New Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has swiftly ensured he will be referred to by a certain nickname during his time in the job after the German declared himself the “Normal One” at his official unveiling at Anfield on Friday morning. TERRY VENABLES – EL TEL Venables became known as ‘El Tel’ during a three-year spell in charge of Barcelona in the 1980s, but the nickname followed him home when he returned to these shores to manage Tottenham and later while leading England to the semi-finals of Euro ’96. LOUIS VAN GAAL – THE IRON TULIP A quite dignified-sounding nickname, although not one the Manchester United boss thinks is accurate any more it seems. The Dutchman said shortly after taking the United job: “I do not like (the nickname) because I am not like that. A tulip is beautiful but iron is saying something about my personality that is wrong – I am fair to everyone. I have now more patience because that is not my best virtue.” BIG RON (ATKINSON)/SAM (ALLARDYCE)/PHIL (SCOLARI)/JACK (CHARLTON)/ECK (ALEX McLEISH) All men, like Van Gaal, with large personalities and considerable physical presence who are generally not to be messed with are bestowed this handle. Although Scolari does look quite cuddly at times. JIM SMITH – THE BALD EAGLE Along similar lines. A stern-looking figure. With very little hair. ARSENE WENGER – THE PROFESSOR Many would argue the Frenchman has the look of an academic – he has always come across as a studious character – and he has certainly taught the English game a thing or two about quality football since becoming Arsenal boss in 1996. MANUEL PELLEGRINI – THE ENGINEER This one has a literal context – Manchester City’s Chilean manager does have an actual engineering qualification. But he is also regarded as someone who knows how to build at a football club. And while he has had plenty of tools and resources available to in his current post, it is hard to argue he has done anything other than a fine job of constructing a title-winning side. Here, Press Association Sport looks at other football managers who have become forever associated with an alternative moniker. JOSE MOURINHO – THE SPECIAL ONE Press Association
England international Jagielka, 33, picked up the injury in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday and although Martinez was pleased his knee cartilage and cruciate ligament remain unaffected, the Spaniard could be without his centre-back for the next two months. “I wouldn’t expect anything longer than eight to nine weeks,” Martinez said when asked about the defender’s recovery timetable. Everton defender Phil Jagielka could miss up to nine weeks with medial knee ligament damage, Toffees manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed. The injury will ensure England manager Roy Hodgson is unable to select Jagielka for the November friendlies with Spain and France while the defender’s club side could be without their skipper for the remainder of the calendar year. However, Martinez was upbeat about the severity of the problem amid initial concerns Jagielka could have been out for an even longer period of time following the challenge from his international colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. “After the game we expected the worse, especially in the way that the injury happened and rotating that knee – it could have been anything,” Martinez added. “We had the scan and his medial ligament is affected, it’s an injury that is quite straightforward from that point of view, but there is no other damage in the knee. The meniscus, the cartilage and the cruciates are very, very strong. It’s the least (damage) that it could be.” Jagielka and striker Romelu Lukaku are the only players to have started every game in all competitions this season, but the former will need to replaced in the line-up for Norwich’s visit to Goodison Park in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Martinez confirmed Joel Robles will start in goal in place of Tim Howard, as he did in the last round, while Gareth Barry’s late dismissal against the Gunners rules him out through suspension – meaning three of the squad’s most experienced members will not play on Tuesday. “It’s a huge miss,” Martinez said of Jagielka’s absence. “This campaign we’ve had to cope with many injuries already, especially in the back four. You rely on certain leaders to allow young players to come in and be able to perform. Phil Jagielka’s role in that has been immense and probably that’s what will be missed. Press Association “You don’t want to lose your captain, you don’t want to lose an influential player, but that happens in a season – you get injuries, you get suspensions and you have to cope with that. “As a team we’ve got other senior players who can take over that role and that influence and that’s what we need to show on Tuesday.” Jagielka’s injury will likely open the door for Ramiro Funes Mori to partner John Stones at the heart of defence for an extended period, with the Argentinian having made just two starts since joining from River Plate this summer. Martinez is confident the 24-year-old can grasp the opportunity Jagielka’s injury has presented him. “He’s had a good period now to settle in, to understand the team-mates, the way we want to play and the league itself,” Martinez said. “I thought he was so impressive in all the roles he had to take from playing in the League Cup, from having to perform in a Merseyside derby, from having to come on in a difficult moment against the league leaders. I’ve been very, very impressed with him. “I think he’s ready. He’s someone with an incredible, brave attitude – very commanding.”
“When you get new players, especially strikers, it is the job of all of the team to give them the service they need,” he told the official Liverpool magazine. “I have to learn whether it is right to play a fast ball or a pass along the ground, depending on who I am playing the ball to. “I have to adapt to them, but it’s not only me who must do this. “The training sessions are very, very important for this adaptation process to happen. “We work on this every day in training and the sessions are very intense. “If we’re not doing it right, or something isn’t working, we do it again and again until we get it right. “The more you train with your team-mates, the more you learn about each other and this is important for the team to do well.” An international break means Klopp has a reduced number to work with over the next 10 days and his difficulties have increased by a growing injury list. Defender Mamadou Sakho is the latest to be added to that number – there are currently nine first-team players out – after a consultant confirmed damage to medial ligaments in his right knee after he fell awkwardly in Sunday’s defeat to Crystal Palace. Press Association Sport understands the Frenchman is likely to be sidelined for up to two months, which leaves Klopp with just three centre-backs in Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure until the new year. Press Association Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho admits the players are still learning their individual roles in manager Jurgen Klopp’s way of playing. The German has had little time to fully implement his methods because since taking over from Brendan Rodgers the team have played seven matches in 23 days with no spare time in midweek. There have been signs of progress and despite Coutinho being somewhat rejuvenated with three goals in as many games, the Brazil international accepts there is plenty of work still to do both on an individual and collective level.
Press Association Quoted on Wednesday by The Sentinel, Diouf said of what he has been through: “It was long, long, long, long days, but now I am getting back and trying to stay together with the family. “Now I am really fully focused. It’s been a long time being away, not away, but away in the head. But now I am focused on football.” The 28-year-old Senegal international added: “All the team has been really supporting and helping me a lot and the gaffer (Mark Hughes), everyone. “They were there when it was needed and I want to say thank you to all the fans too.” Stoke striker Mame Diouf has expressed his thanks for the support he has received following the death of his mother and emphasised he now feels able to focus on football again. Diouf’s mother died in September after being caught up in a human stampede during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. He was granted compassionate leave by Stoke when the news emerged and has started only one game since.