Sports

Jan 082016
 
Swans back Curtis for rest of season

Swansea City have announced caretaker boss Alan Curtis will remain in charge of the Premier League club for the rest of the season.

The 61-year-old took charge after Garry Monk was
sacked on 9 December.

Former Swans player Curtis has since led the side to one win, two draws and two defeats in five games, including three clean sheets.

Swansea lie 17th in the table, two points above the relegation zone, after Saturday’s loss at Manchester United.


‘Players have responded to him’

In a
statement,  Swans chairman Huw Jenkins said: “We have all been impressed with the way he has improved performance levels over the last five games.

“The players have obviously responded to him because we have seen an uplift in performances.

“I know some people will query why we didn’t have a replacement lined up when we parted company with Garry Monk, but we didn’t expect to be in the situation we were in when you look at our position mid-September.”


Who is Alan Curtis?

Curtis has been associated with Swansea City since 1972, and played more than 400 games for the club in three spells.

He also played for Leeds United and Southampton, as well as Swansea’s rivals Cardiff City.


Alan Curtis remembers his favourite goal for Swansea against Leeds United in 1981

After making 35 appearances for Wales, he rejoined the Swans as a coach.

He was caretaker manager in 2004 and has since worked under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup.


‘We’ve spoken to a lot of potential managers’

Swansea 'contenders'

David Moyes (top left), Marcelo Bielsa, Roberto di Matteo, Gus Poyet, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan Giggs have all been linked with the Swansea vacancy

Jenkins said finding a long-term replacement for Monk “hasn’t been easy”.

“It’s a unique situation for us and I think we are only now appreciating what other Premier League clubs in our position have gone through in the last five years,” he added.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of potential managers. Some didn’t want to leave the clubs they were at this late stage in the season, while others didn’t want to put their reputation on the line by joining a club at the wrong end of the table.

“In the end, we felt the best decision was to keep things in-house and change as little as we can until taking stock in the summer.”

Jenkins
travelled to South America last month as he stepped up his search for Monk’s successor, with former Argentina and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa then the favourite for the job.







‘I believe we can get results’

Swansea were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 and, despite being only two points above the relegation zone, Curtis believes he can guide the club to safety.

“It’s an honour to be asked to manage this club until the end of the season,” he said.

“As the weeks have gone on I feel I have grown into the job and I’m a lot happier now taking it until the end of the season.

“I firmly believe we can get the results required between now and the end of the campaign to push us up the table.”


What next?

Swansea are at Oxford United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

They then return to league action with a crucial home match against Sunderland, who are second from bottom, on Wednesday, 13 January.

The Swans then host Watford on Monday, 18 January and visit Martinez’s Everton on Sunday, 24 January.


‘The stakes have never been higher’

BBC Wales football correspondent Rob Phillips:
“Alan Curtis has never undertaken a more important role for the club where he is – rightly – already a legend.

Rebuffed in their managerial search, the Swans have been forced to turn to the ultimate ‘one of their own.’

Curtis averages a point a game in his caretaker spell. Such a haul from the remaining games should ensure Premier League survival. The stakes have never been higher.

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Jan 082016
 
Platini will not run in Fifa election

Suspended Uefa president Michel Platini says he will not stand in the Fifa presidential election next month.

Platini, along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter, has been banned from football-related activities for eight years by world football’s governing body.

Both men were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.

They are appealing against their bans, but Platini says the timing of the 26 February election means he cannot run.

“I’m withdrawing from the race for the Fifa presidency,” the 60-year-old Frenchman told the Associated Press.

“The timing is not good for me. I don’t have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates.

“I have not been given the chance to play the game. Bye bye Fifa, bye bye Fifa presidency.”


‘Injustice is revolting me’

Platini, president of European football’s governing body since 2007, had submitted his candidacy for the Fifa presidential election but could not stand while suspended.

He and Blatter, 79, plan to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I’ve spent more time in hearing rooms than on football pitches speaking about 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or football news,” added Platini.

“I’m taking this philosophically. Let’s wait and see what happens. But injustice is revolting me and I’m trying to fight it.”

Platini and Blatter claimed the payment was honouring an agreement made in 1998 for work carried out between 1998 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical adviser for Blatter.

Fifa’s ethics committee said there was “not sufficient evidence” to establish the payment was a bribe, but both men demonstrated an “abusive execution” of their positions.

“I can’t have any regret in that story because things fell upon my head while I haven’t done anything wrong,” added Platini.

“I’m struggling to understand what happened, unless there was a will somewhere to prevent me from bidding.”


‘Maybe I’ll come back in 20 years’

The English Football Association had previously backed Platini for the Fifa presidency, but suspended its support in October pending the outcome of the ethics inquiry.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said recently the organisation had yet to decide who to now support.

“I had 150 associations thinking that I’m the right person to solve Fifa problems,” said Platini.

“It won’t happen. But there is no age limitation, so maybe I’ll come back in 20 years. Who knows?”


Who will be the next Fifa boss?

There are five candidates to succeed Blatter, who has been Fifa president since 1998:

  • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa –
    50, Bahrain, president of Asian Football Confederation;
  • Tokyo Sexwale
    – 62, South Africa, politician, businessman and former political prisoner;
  • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
    – 40, Jordan, a former Fifa vice-president and 2015 Fifa presidential candidate;
  • Gianni Infantino
    – 45, Switzerland, Uefa general secretary and a member of Fifa’s reform committee;
  • Jerome Champagne
    – 57, France, a former Fifa assistant general secretary and former French diplomat.

Voting will take place by secret ballot, with all Fifa’s 209 member states having a vote each.


Profile – Michel Platini

Michel Platini

Platini celebrates with France team-mates after scoring in the 1984 European Championship final

Platini rose to fame as one of France’s greatest players.

The son of a former footballer, he played for Nancy and St Etienne before joining Italian giants Juventus, with whom he was named European Footballer of the Year on three occasions.

A midfielder, Platini made 72 appearances for France, captaining them to victory at the 1984 European Championship and helping them reach the semi-finals of two World Cups, in 1982 and 1986.


Archive: Michel Platini – Euro 84

He retired as player at 32, turning to coaching and managed France’s national team, with mixed results, from 1988 to 1992.

After turning down an offer to coach Spanish giants Real Madrid, he was asked by French President Francois Mitterrand to organise the 1998 World Cup in France and, shortly after, was appointed vice-president of the French Football Federation.

Since 2002, Platini has been a member of the executive committee of Fifa and was elected president of Uefa in 2007. He was re-elected and also became Fifa vice-president.

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Jan 082016
 
Swans keep Curtis for rest of season

Swansea City have announced caretaker boss Alan Curtis will remain in charge of the Premier League club for the rest of the season.

The 61-year-old took charge after Garry Monk was
sacked on 9 December.

Former Swans player Curtis has since led the side to one win, two draws and two defeats in five games, including three clean sheets.

Swansea lie 17th in the table, two points above the relegation zone, after Saturday’s loss at Manchester United.


‘Players have responded to him’

In a
statement,  Swans chairman Huw Jenkins said: “We have all been impressed with the way he has improved performance levels over the last five games.

“The players have obviously responded to him because we have seen an uplift in performances.

“I know some people will query why we didn’t have a replacement lined up when we parted company with Garry Monk, but we didn’t expect to be in the situation we were in when you look at our position mid-September.”


Who is Alan Curtis?


Alan Curtis remembers his favourite goal for Swansea against Leeds United in 1981

Curtis has been associated with Swansea City since 1972, and played more than 400 games for the club in three spells.

He also played for Leeds United and Southampton, as well as Swansea’s rivals Cardiff City.

After making 35 appearances for Wales, he rejoined the Swans as a coach.

He was caretaker manager in 2004 and has since worked under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup.


‘We’ve spoken to a lot of potential managers’

Swansea 'contenders'

David Moyes (top left), Marcelo Bielsa, Roberto di Matteo, Gus Poyet, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan Giggs have all been linked with the Swansea vacancy

Jenkins said finding a long-term replacement for Monk “hasn’t been easy”.

“It’s a unique situation for us and I think we are only now appreciating what other Premier League clubs in our position have gone through in the last five years,” he added.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of potential managers. Some didn’t want to leave the clubs they were at this late stage in the season, while others didn’t want to put their reputation on the line by joining a club at the wrong end of the table.

“In the end, we felt the best decision was to keep things in-house and change as little as we can until taking stock in the summer.”

Jenkins
travelled to South America last month as he stepped up his search for Monk’s successor, with former Argentina and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa then the favourite for the job.







‘I believe we can get results’

Swansea were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 and, despite being only two points above the relegation zone, Curtis believes he can guide the club to safety.

“It’s an honour to be asked to manage this club until the end of the season,” he said.

“As the weeks have gone on I feel I have grown into the job and I’m a lot happier now taking it until the end of the season.

“I firmly believe we can get the results required between now and the end of the campaign to push us up the table.”


What next?

Swansea are at Oxford United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

They then return to league action with a crucial home match against Sunderland, who are second from bottom, on Wednesday, 13 January.

The Swans then host Watford on Monday, 18 January and visit Martinez’s Everton on Sunday, 24 January.


Mixed reaction

Ex-Swansea defender Andy Legg
is not surprised Swansea retained Curtis, who he says has “steadied the ship”.

But Legg added: “I don’t know whether it’s the right thing to do because Curt’s a legend down there and you’ve always got that thing of falling out if you get poor results.

“I just hope that Curt continues his recent form and he can keep them in the league.”

Former Swansea manager John Hollins
is confident Curtis can do that, saying: “I think he’ll do a blooming good job.

“I think he will keep them up and go through to the end of the season and have no problem at all.”

The club’s
supporters’ trust has called on fans to back Curtis and the players. 


‘The stakes have never been higher’

BBC Wales football correspondent Rob Phillips:
“Alan Curtis has never undertaken a more important role for the club where he is – rightly – already a legend.

Rebuffed in their managerial search, the Swans have been forced to turn to the ultimate ‘one of their own.’

Curtis averages a point a game in his caretaker spell. Such a haul from the remaining games should ensure Premier League survival. The stakes have never been higher.

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Everton sign Swiss striker Tarashaj

 Posted by at 8:57 PM
Jan 072016
 

Everton have signed Switzerland Under-21 striker Shani Tarashaj from Grasshoppers Zurich.

Tarashaj, 21, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal and will be loaned back for the rest of the season so that he can complete his national service.

He has scored eight goals in 18 games for Grasshoppers this season.

“Shani is an enormous young talent in Swiss football who, without a doubt, will have a great future,” said Toffees manager Roberto Martinez.

“We are delighted to have found a young player who believes that our club is the perfect step for him to enhance his quality and to grow his career.

“He fits in really well to our style and the way we want to play the game. He is a family boy, hungry and he is desperate to fight for his place in our talented young squad.”

Tarashaj is Everton’s second signing of the January transfer window
after bringing in defender Matthew Foulds from Bury.

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