Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen took time out from helping to prepare the squad for the new season to join the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on Thursday morning.Bowen hailed the signing of Bojan from Barcelona, claiming the young forward can get his career back on track at the Britannia Stadium, and also revealed his hopes for the new season.Listen to the interview with Mark Bowen in full by clicking on the link above
Viv Anderson signed for Man United from Arsenal in 1987 1 With Thomas Vermaelen reportedly set to swap Arsenal for Man United, talkSPORT recalls how Viv Anderson became the last defender to make the switch from the red half of North London to the red side of Manchester…Anderson departed Arsenal for Manchester United shortly after he’d helped the Gunners beat Liverpool in the 1987 League Cup final. Initially, he left a gaping hole in the Gunners’ right-back position, but his successors at Arsenal and United would go on to enjoy more glory in both red shirts.Anderson was notably Sir Alex Ferguson’s first signing as manager of Man United, as the legendary Scot began rebuilding his squad with the aim of winning the club’s first title since 1967. In Anderson he had a player who was used to success.The right-back was a two-time European Cup winner with Nottingham Forest in 1979 and 1980, and cost United £250,000 when he moved from Highbury. He boasted pace, power and was comfortable with the ball at his feet. It seemed like the Red Devils had stolen a prized possession from the Gunners’ grasp.Within 12 months, however, Lee Dixon had arrived at Arsenal and George Graham’s famous back four – also including Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn – was in place and set to collect trophies galore.Anderson, meanwhile, was tasked with delivering the same to Old Trafford.“There weren’t many better sights in the game than seeing Viv gliding forward from his right-back position,” his Forest manager Brian Clough said. Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, a right-back during his playing days, claimed “it would have been nice to be as good as Anderson.”Nicknamed ‘Spider’ thanks to his lanky legs, Anderson was 31 and with hindsight probably past his best when he made the move, although he did spend three years at Old Trafford.Unfortunately for him, those years were largely a struggle for the club as Ferguson fought to turn things around amid trophyless seasons and mid-table finishes – a far cry from the glory that would follow over the next two decades.Anderson wasn’t selected for United’s 1990 FA Cup final triumph – their first silverware under Ferguson – and his days at Old Trafford were numbered when Ferguson signed Denis Irwin from Oldham later that year to play right-back.The first black player to selected for England’s senior side when he won his first cap in 1978, Anderson achieved more than most footballers could ever dream of, but his best days were in the red of Forest.
Andrea Pirlo is not easily impressed, as this brilliant video posted by Juventus shows.
Listen back to the highlights of Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. Alan Brazil was joined by Brian Moore, along with guests including Stuart Pearce, Mark Bosnich, Patrick Kluivert, Tony Fernandes, Piers Morgan and Ray Wilkins.
Loic Remy 1 Chelsea striker Loic Remy is refusing to rule himself out of contention for this weekend’s trip to Manchester United.The Frenchman limped out of Tuesday night’s 6-0 Champions League Group G win over Maribor with a groin injury shortly after opening the scoring.Jose Mourinho, who is already without top goalscorer Diego Costa for Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford, said after the match that he did not expect Remy to be fit to face United.But Remy is hoping the injury is not too bad and is determined to be available against Louis van Gaal’s side.“We will see with the scan,” he said. “I really hope it is not too bad. Fortunately I stopped playing because I felt something.“I don’t think it is too bad but I felt something. My groin.“Yes, it’s frustrating of course because I had a chance to play because Costa is injured but I am not afraid.“I don’t think it is really bad. We will check and I really hope to play again this weekend.“It is a huge game but every game is tough. Especially this one because it is a big game against a good opponent but I will try to recover as quickly as possible.”Remy grimaced after scoring 13 minutes into the rout of Maribor, but says he had already felt something was wrong.He added: “It was a bit stiff, even my run and I didn’t feel very comfortable.“That’s why I prefer to come off but for me I have to care about myself and if I’m not feeling very good it’s better to leave for another player who is 100 per cent.”
Do they know it’s Christmas at Anfield?The Liverpool defence seem to think Christmas began months ago, judging by the amount of gifts they’ve been giving away this season.But while the defending wasn’t exactly up to scratch last season, it’s up front where the Reds problems are mounting.Liverpool have gone from scoring 101 Premier League goals in the 2013/14 season, to just 14 in 11 this time round.With Daniel Sturridge out injured and Luis Suarez’s replacements floundering, manager Brendan Rodgers needs to find goals from somewhere.So come on John W Henry, let Bren know it’s Christmas time and sign a worldie.On a much more serious note, to donate to Band Aid 30 and help provide relief against Ebola, buy the official Band Aid 30 song, or donate here: http://www.bandaid30.com/donate. You can also donate to the charity by text: To donate £3 text AID to 70123, to donate £5 text AID to 70600, to donate £10 text AID to 70707
Dean Ashton claims Mario Balotelli’s attitude at Liverpool has been ‘wrong’ and expects the club to try to offload him in January.Ahead of the Boxing Day clash at Burnley, Brendan Rodgers has spoken about how the Italian is struggling to fit into his system, and former Premier League strike star Ashton feels the writing is on the Anfield wall.The ex-West Ham and Norwich forward told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I was all for it when they [Liverpool] signed Balotelli in the summer. I watched him for AC Milan a lot last year and thought he was superb and I thought he would come back and really relish the challenge of playing for Liverpool, but it just hasn’t worked.“His attitude has been wrong and with the way Brendan Rodgers has talked about how he fits into their style of play, it just doesn’t sound like it’s fitting right and it wouldn’t surprise me if something happens in January with him going out and maybe somebody coming in, perhaps as a swap deal.”
“We first want to focus on the grass root grounds which have been in deplorable condition so that they can be able to host the Kenyan Premier League matches,” she said.Besides Dandora, Other stadia like Ziwani Grounds in Starehe, Woodley in Kibra, Riruta in Kawangware and Kiumbuini will also be upgraded.Upon completion, Woodley will have highest capacity of 8,000, Dandora will be able to accommodate 5,000 while Ziwani will be a 4,000 seater-facility.Nairobi County Executive Committee for Education, Youth, Gender and Sports, Janet Ouko. Photo/MOSES MUOKIOuko has committed to oversee a smooth upgrading of the grounds and ensure that they are completed within five months.This comes even after the Nyayo National Stadium is yet to be completed after the Government pledged to build stadia in seven counties.The Nairobi City Stadium, one of the oldest facilities in the country, has been closed down since 2015 after the Kenyan Premier League deemed it unfit to host the matches, and Ouko reiterated that they also have plans on face-lifting it.“We have also seen that it’s not okay to leave City Stadium as it is now, so in a short while some works will commence at the stadium,” She said.In December, 2016, the then Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero had announced that Sh200 million was set aside to fund renovation works at City Stadium.However, two years down the line works at the Stadium that was home for Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia is yet to begin.-By Jemimah Mueni-0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Dandora Stadium is under renovation. Photo/MOSES MUOKINAIROBI, Kenya, May 22- The Nairobi County Government has set aside Sh1 billion for the upgrading of five stadia that have been in deplorable conditions, excluding the City Stadium.Speaking while launching the uplifting of Dandora Stadium on Tuesday, Nairobi County Executive Committee for Education, Youth, Gender and Sports, Janet Ouko said the stadia will be renovated to meet the required FIFA and CAF standards.
0Shares0000Neymar hasn’t played since breaking a bone in his foot on February 25 © AFP/File / Ben STANSALLLIV ERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jun 2 – Brazil will keep a close eye on the fitness of star striker Neymar when the World Cup contenders face Croatia in a friendly at Anfield on Sunday.Neymar, who scored four goals in the 2014 World Cup, has not played any form of football since February after breaking his foot. The 26-year-old Paris Saint Germain ace sat out training on Thursday as a precaution.But his Brazil team-mate Fernandinho has given a positive assessment of Neymar’s condition just two weeks before the start of the World Cup on June 14.“By the movements and dribbles he has been doing in training, he has shown he is well,” said the Manchester City midfielder.“He is confident which is important, he shows that he isn’t scared of our defenders as he takes them on without fear.“This is the first steps to getting his confidence back to 100 per cent for the World Cup.“We also support his recovery because without a doubt he will be the difference for our team.“I’ve been in his position when I was younger, being injured isn’t easy even when getting back from injury doing daily workouts even when the bone is still hurting is still difficult.“Neymar is ready. He is fit. He’s not had a good injury and it takes time to recover. But he’s training well, he’s feeling well.”Neymar could play some part as a substitute at Anfield, but Selecao boss Tite is unlikely to take any unnecessary risks, with their opening World Cup fixture against Switzerland looming on June 17.That said Neymar must surely have some game-time, with a friendly against Austria in Vienna on June 10 serving as Brazil’s other warm-up fixture.– Coutinho returns –Brazil, five-time world champions, have spent the week training at Tottenham ahead of their opening World Cup warm-up fixture.The match with Croatia gives the Liverpool crowd the opportunity to see former Reds star Philippe Coutinho.Brazil forward Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January, while his international colleague Roberto Firmino will also be hoping to feature on his home club ground.It is uncertain what kind of reception Coutinho will receive, with Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish this week requesting the “boo boys” to stay away from the match.“We haven’t had that conversation about Philippe returning to Anfield,” Fernandinho said.“But I believe he’s happy because he spent a couple years at Liverpool, had some fantastic games where his performances managed to take him to Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.“I believe it will be an honour for him to return to a city and home he knows well.”Brazil have an injury doubt over Renato Augusto and he is likely to miss Sunday’s fixture due to a right knee issue.But Brazil’s squad has had a relaxed feel to it this week ahead of the more serious work.There is a sense of wishing to right wrongs of the past, with the 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany at their home World Cup four years ago still weighing heavily on their minds.Yet Brazil have always been regarded as the most watchable team in world football and intend to carry on their role as great entertainers, win, lose or draw in Russia.“We cannot promise the title, but we can promise great matches,” said captain Thiago Silva this week.“By the time of the World Cup you will see great football.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Speculation that one of the game’s greatest players could be up for grabs began when he hinted he was considering leaving the Santiago Bernabeu following May’s Champions League final victory.Then the transfer rumour mill went into overdrive after Italian media said Juventus had put in a bid and Spanish sports daily Marca cited reports of Ronaldo looking for a home in Turin.There was little left for Ronaldo, Real’s all-time record goalscorer with 450, to prove in Madrid.He said he had spent nine fantastic years at the Spanish giants.“But I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that’s why I asked the club to accept to transfer me,” he said in a statement.Real has topped the La Liga twice and won the Champions League four times during his time there — Ronaldo is the first player to have five, including one with former club Manchester United.He is also a five-time world player of the year, a record he shares with his eternal rival, Argentine talisman Lionel Messi.But in 2016 Ronaldo managed what Messi could not — winning a major international title for his country — when he led Portugal to victory in the European Championships.And with both Portugal and Argentina being bundled out of the World Cup in the second round on June 30, it seems likely that the sport’s crowning achievement will elude both partners in football’s greatest player rivalry.– Destined for greatness –Ronaldo, picture in 2005 when he was starring for Manchester United, was destined special from an early age © AFP/File / CARL DE SOUZACristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was special from an early age.In the year of his 16th birthday, he played for Sporting Lisbon’s under-16, under-17, under-18, reserve and first teams, and two years later he so impressed Alex Ferguson in a 2003 pre-season friendly that the then-Manchester United boss snapped him up.Six years, three Premier League titles and a Champions League later and he was on his way to Real Madrid, having joined George Best and Eric Cantona among the greatest players to wear United’s prized number 7 shirt.Bought for a then-world record 94 million euros, Ronaldo more than paid back his fee, and while Barcelona continued to mostly dominate La Liga, he has become the king of European competition.He was the first player to score 100 Champions League goals, and topped the competition’s scoring charts six times. The 17 goals he scored as Real beat local rivals Atletico to the 2014 title remains a single-season record.He finally got the international monkey off his back with the 2016 Euros win after a lifetime of near misses and flattering to deceive on the world stage.In beating the heavily-favoured hosts France in the final, he broke yet another record — his three goals made him the first player to ever score in four European Championships.– Last World Cup? –Ronaldo celebrates after scoring one of his three goals against Spain to become only the fourth player to score in four World Cups © AFP/File / Jewel SAMADRonaldo also became only the fourth player to score in four World Cups when he started this year’s campaign with a hat-trick against Spain that culminated in a stunning free kick.But he only bagged one more goal before Portugal fell to Uruguay, and will be 37 by the time the next global showpiece rolls around — meaning it is unlikely he will improve on a run to the semi-finals in 2006.On the same day Messi, with whom Ronald has long competed for the title of the world’s best, was sent home empty-handed by a French side inspired by a breathtaking performance from 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe.The World Cup in Russia may serve as a changing of the guard at the highest echelons of the sport, with Real Madrid forced this week to deny it made bids for both Mbappe and his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar.But whoever replaces Ronaldo may find it tough going filling his shoes.And Ronaldo will be looming at Juventus in European competitions as he continues to rack up records and build his case for being considered the greatest of all time.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest of all time © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVPARIS, France, Jul 10 – Cristiano Ronaldo has opted to leave Spanish giants Real Madrid for Italian champions Juventus for the next — and possibly final — chapter of one of the greatest careers the game has seen.The shock move by the 33-year-old superstar comes shortly after losing what is likely his last chance to collect the only honour missing from his glittering resume — a World Cup for Portugal.