Monthly Archives: March 2017

Arsene Wenger: Sanchez and Ozil wants to remain at Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that his team’s star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil desires to remain with the London club.

As Arsenal struggled for positive results in recent months, speculation arose regarding the future of the pair at the club. Both has also put talks over fresh terms on a new deal on hold until summer.

Wenger, 67, claimed that the current situation at the club was “not an immediate concern” and that there was no need to sell key players — unlike in past seasons when the club did so based on their financial position.

“I personally believe both of them want to stay and I hope the club will find an agreement with them,” said Wenger.

There was further ground to back up Wenger’s claims; in an interview in Chile, Sanchez said on his future: “I’m happy in London and I want to finish my contract. That’s what I want. I like to stay in one place, one city, where the team fights for titles.”

Wenger took Sanchez’s words in “a very positive way.”

“Alexis said he wants to win the championship, that’s what everybody wants,” he said.

However, Wenger, who promised clarity on his future with the club “soon” less than two weeks ago, said yesterday: “It’s a subject that at the moment it is not sorted completely out.”

“I’m very clear in my mind. Do I stay two months or two years? My commitment will be exactly the same all the time. It does not influence my attitude.”

Pochettino will not manage Barca thanks to Espanyol roots

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has asserted that his roots and allegiance to Espanyol will prevent him from taking the manager job at FC Barcelona.

Current Barca coach Luis Enrique had announced his departure from Nou Camp in the coming summer, with Pochettino being linked as one of the potential candidates to replace him at the helm of FC Barcelona.

The links was ignited this week as when he was spotted in a Barcelona bar with the Barca club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

However, the 45-year-old Argentine insisted that it was a chance meeting and that his Espanyol origins — having both played for and managed the club — would prevent him from going to Barca due to the cross-town rivalry between the two clubs, and by the same token, he could never imagine himself working at Arsenal, Tottenham’s own neighbouring rivals.

“It was a coincidence in a bar in Barcelona last Tuesday,” Pochettino said. “I know him [Bartomeu] for a long time – before he became chairman of Barcelona. Our children went to the same school in Barcelona. We spent five minutes together. That was the reality. After that you know the rumour is impossible to stop.”

“But I am an Espanyol supporter. I don’t think I need to speak too much. It’s like if one day [the Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy sacked me – in a few years it would be impossible for me to manage Arsenal. In football I know it is so difficult to keep your values and to be loyal – with your heart and emotion.”

“For me before being a manager, before being a player, being loyal is more important. I am an Espanyol fan. I love Espanyol. It’s like Tottenham for me now. It will be impossible, one day, to move to Arsenal. It will be impossible.”

FIFA opens investigation on Neil Taylor leg-breaking tackle

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FIFA has opened formal investigations against Welsh defender Neil Taylor after his brutal leg-breaking tackle on the Republic of Ireland’s Seamus Coleman.

The Football Association of Wales has been informed of FIFA opening proceedings against Taylor, with a hearing likely to be held within the next fortnight and the player’s ban may be increased to three games after FIFA examined the report of the match referee Nicola Rizzoli.

Coleman, 28, had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher after the tackle, while Taylor was sent off, during Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

Coleman was taken to hospital and required surgery on a double bone break.

Taylor, 28, will be suspended for Wales’s next qualifier in Serbia in June, but, depending on FIFA’s inquiry, could have his one-game ban extended to three.

Wales captain Ashley Williams, a teammate of Coleman’s at Everton F.C., said Taylor wanted to visit Coleman in hospital, and sent him a text message from the Aviva Stadium.

“Neil was gutted. He was sitting on the floor virtually in tears,” he told the Everton website. “Even people who don’t know Seamus like I do were gutted.”

“He asked me to check if it would be OK to go to see Seamus in hospital. He got his number off me and sent him a text straight away. When I found out it was a broken leg it made me feel sick inside because it’s someone who I like so much and is one of my mates.”

Video refereeing technology denies France twice against Spain

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Video technology denied France two advantages as Les Blues lost 2-0 against Spain in a friendly in Paris.

French forward Antoine Griezmann had a headed goal ruled out when referee Felix Zwayer reversed his initial decision after receiving a message in his earpiece from the video assistant referee, who was sat in a truck outside the Stade de France.

Replays showed Layvin Kurzawa was narrowly offside when he headed the ball to Griezmann, with the decision to overturn the goal made in about 30 seconds.

Spain’s second goal, scored by Gerard Deulofeu from a cross by Jordi Alba, was awarded by the video official after an assistant referee wrongly flagged for offside and a minute of conversation between the referee and the video assistant.

David Silva had opened the scoring for Spain with a penalty after Laurent Koscielny fouled Deulofeu.

Video assistant technology was tested before the match kick-off. It was first used in September, in France’s 3-1 friendly win in Italy, and was subsequently used at the FIFA Club World Cup, and the Football Association wants to use it in next season’s FA Cup from the third round onwards.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino would like the system to be used at the World Cup in Russia next year.