Sports

Naismith to have Norwich medical

 Posted by at 5:35 PM
Jan 182016
 

Everton forward Steven Naismith is set to have a medical on Monday before an £8.5m move to Norwich City.

There had been contact between the clubs at the start of the transfer window and the deal made significant progress over the weekend.

The 29-year-old joined
Everton from Rangers in 2012 and has scored 25 goals in 123 appearances for the club.

The Scotland international has started four Premier League games this season and has not played since 28 December.

In August, Everton rejected a £7m bid from Norwich for Naismith, who they signed on a free transfer.

Norwich are 16th in the Premier League, four points above the relegation zone, while Everton are 11th in the table.

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Stoke game was a battle – Wenger

 Posted by at 5:43 AM
Jan 182016
 
Stoke game was a battle - Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised his side for overcoming a “battle” at Stoke to earn the point that took them back to the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners have struggled at the Britannia Stadium in recent years, with their last win coming six years ago.


Game deserved goals – Hughes

On Sunday, goalkeepers Jack Butland and Petr Cech stood out in
the 0-0 draw.

“It was an old-fashioned Stoke battle. They made the game very physical, the crowd were up for it, the players were up for it,” said Wenger

“They went for a very direct game and we had to show physical response, solidarity, fighting spirit, togetherness – which is what we did.”

Under previous boss Tony Pulis, Stoke drew criticism for their style of football from Wenger,
who accused them of playing like a rugby team.


Wenger praises ‘outstanding’ Cech

However Hughes, who replaced Pulis in 2013, disputed the suggestion that his team was physical.

He said: “I don’t think there was a yellow card, was there?

“I don’t know why the physical aspect of the game needs to be mentioned.

“I thought it was a good football game, with both teams trying to win a key Premier League game. That’s certainly what we were doing.”

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More empathy for Zidane – Ronaldo

 Posted by at 5:10 AM
Jan 182016
 

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo says the players have a better relationship with new coach Zinedine Zidane than predecessor Rafael Benitez.

Real have won both games – scoring five in each – since Zidane replaced sacked Benitez, who only lasted six months.

Ronaldo, who scored twice in the
5-1 win over Sporting Gijon, said: “Zidane has been a boost for the team.

“Truthfully, with some coaches you have more empathy than others. The players feel more empathy for Zidane.”

Benitez, who was appointed in the summer, was replaced by Zidane, a club legend as a player, who had been managing the club’s B team.

Ronaldo added: “I did my job naturally under Benitez. I was serious and did the best for the club, independent of the person who is in charge of the team.

“I have never had a bad opinion of Rafa. He always did the best for Madrid, but he sees football in a different way from Zizou.”


‘Bale injury is complicated’

Real’s win over Sporting was not without its problems. Gareth Bale, who scored their opener, came off at half-time with a calf injury.

And Karim Benzema, who scored their other two goals, also came off after being accidentally kicked by team-mate James Rodriguez.

Zidane said: “Karim’s is just a knock but Gareth’s injury is a bit more complicated.

“It’s in the soleus (calf), and in the left one too. It’s another problem but we will wait and see what the scans say tomorrow. I hope it is nothing serious.”

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Man Utd can win title – Van Gaal

 Posted by at 2:16 AM
Jan 182016
 
Man Utd can win title - Van Gaal

Manchester United are still in the Premier League title race, says manager Louis van Gaal.

The Red Devils
won 1-0 at Liverpool on Sunday to move back into fifth place, seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal and second-placed Leicester City.

“We have a lot of matches still to go,” said Van Gaal when asked if his side could mount a late charge.

“We have to continue, which is not so easy. But we can do it because we show every week we can do it.”

United closed the gap on Arsenal and Leicester after both sides could only draw at the weekend, although third-placed Manchester City and fourth-placed Tottenham picked up maximum points.

“Today is very important because our competitors have lost points,” said the 64-year-old Dutchman.

“The gap is seven points. We can overcome that so that’s what I’m thinking about. ”

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney’s winner means United have won three of their past four matches in all competitions

Van Gaal has faced criticism from some United supporters for his team’s playing style, with former midfielder Paul Scholes saying
they play “negative football”.

But former Netherlands coach Van Gaal watched his side extend their unbeaten run in 2016 after Wayne Rooney’s strike at Anfield.

“We have started the year very good with a lot of wins and I think this game will give a big boost to the players and the fans, and everyone in the environment of Manchester United,” he said.

“I hope we can continue winning – that’s why we are here.”


Big gap to top four – Klopp

Defeat leaves Liverpool in ninth position in the top-flight table, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs after just two wins in their past eight league matches.

“The space is big between us and the top four. If we want to get there then we have to win games,” said Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

“I said a few weeks ago that I’m not interested in thinking about the top four because it doesn’t help.

“We have ambitions in each game, we want to collect points and to take everything we can.”

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