Football News: Review Of The Day 3rd February 2018

 

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Review Of The Day 3rd February 2018
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Review of the Day


Struggling Macclesfield To Pay Wages On Monday

National League leaders Macclesfield Town were caught up in a row with their own players and coaching staff after the club failed to pay January's salaries. The coaching staff and players released a statement early on Friday about the issue and their disappointment in hearing nothing from club chairman Mark Blower or the owners regarding the issue. The club has since responded to apologise and to say the salaries will be paid on Monday 5th February.


Oyston Replaces Oyston At Blackpool

The ongoing battle over the ownership, and asset stripping by the Oyston family, of Blackpool FC has taken a new twist as the Oystons turn on each other as well. Karl Oyston has left his role as chairman and director of the League One club to be replaced by his sister, Natalie Christopher. Karl Oyston has also stood down from his involvement in any of the other Oyston Group companies. News also emerged of a new takeover bid for Blackpool after the Oystons were ordered to pay minority owner Valeri Belokon £31m after being found guilty of "illegitimate stripping" of the club. A stripping which included Owen Oyston, father to Karl and Natalie, paying himself a director's salary of £11m! With the Oystons failing to meet the court-imposed deadline for the second payment, the club could potentially be handed over to Belokon by the judge, but that would cause further complications as Belokon failed the Football League's fit and proper persons test due to a conviction in Kyrgyzstan for money laundering and tax evasion. With fans boycotting because of the Oystons and the simplest option of Belokon taking full control being currently impossible, the whole situation is a mess unless this new ownership bid can solve things by buying the Oystons out.


Eagles Hit By Sako Loss

Crystal Palace have been hit by another injury to the oft-injured Bakary Sako. The Malian international has started just 7 times this season due to injuries, though he has scored 6 goals in those games, and is now set to miss the end of the season. Sako suffered a fractured ankle and damaged ligaments in the 1-1 Premier League draw with West Ham United. "Baky's injury is a very serious one," said Roy Hodgson, the Palace manager. "He certainly won't play again this season and may be a doubt to be fit for the start of next." After joining on a free transfer from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2015, Sako has struggled with injuries which have seen him miss long periods of the season.




Newcastle Extend Beardsley Inquiry

The inquiry into allegations against former England international Peter Beardsley has been extended. Newcastle United launched the inquiry after an academy player, Yasin Ben Al-Mhanni, claimed he was the victim of bullying by Beardsley, who was working as an U23 coach with the Tyneside club at the time. While Al-Mhanni's claims made it clear the bullying was non-racial, there have since been reported claims that Beardsley had used racial language against African players in the academy. It is not known when Newcastle intend to publish the results of the inquiry.


Burnley Suffer Injury Blow

With manager Sean Dyche trying to identify if there are any hidden issues around the spate of injuries the Clarets have suffered recently, he has been hit by the loss of record signing Steven Defour to a long term injury. The Belgian had been an ever-present in the side, before being hit by a knee injury which will require surgery. It means the 29 year old will miss the rest of the season and any chance of a place in Belgium's World Cup squad for the summer has also gone.


Giroud Sale Was Not What Wenger Wanted

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he wanted to keep Olivier Giroud with the Gunners but chose to sell him so the French striker could keep his chances of a World Cup alive. The 31 year old Giroud joined London rivals Chelsea in part of a big transfer deadline day transfer roundabout, which allowed Wenger to clinch the signing of record-buy Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. "We owe him a lot," Wenger said. "It was linked with the Aubameyang deal and he has just had a third baby so it was difficult on the family side for him to leave London. It was difficult to turn down [Chelsea's offer] just because it is an opponent," he added. "He was massively popular in the dressing room and the club, for all the players that left it was sad to see them go, but Olivier wanted more playing time - he wants as well to go to the World Cup. That is why I opened the door." It does make you wonder about Wenger's transfer policy, which seems to base a lot on who is popular, rather than who is good. Emmanuel Eboue, for instance, was a favourite of Wenger's because he was 'good in the dressing room'.




Mahrez Skips Training Again

While Leicester City might well have thought they pulled off a masterstroke by holding on to Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, it is clear that his situation is going to take some managing from Claude Puel to sort it out. Since the deadline day bid from Manchester City for him was rejected he has not trained with the Foxes. The 26 year old had handed in an official transfer request the day before, but was still not allowed to leave. Puel has now confirmed he will not consider him for selection against Swansea City after also missing the midweek defeat against Everton.


Money Destroying Competition In Football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that the big league's in Europe are losing their competitiveness due to the huge financial power of a small number of clubs. "When you look at the five big leagues in Europe, in December we already knew four champions. That means something is not right in our game. The huge financial power of some clubs is basically destroying the competition," Wenger said. However that is not really any different from the usual and fails to take into account that, of those four, only PSG and Bayern Munich have a significant financial advantage over the other teams in their league. In Spain, where Barcelona have an 11 point lead over second placed Atletico Madrid, the club with the biggest financial muscle is actually 19 points behind Barca, Real Madrid. In England, Manchester City are 15 points clear but they face a club with more financial might than any other, in Manchester United, and a club, in Wenger's own Arsenal, that has hoarded money away for years and could potentially match their spending, if they spent their money on players rather than concentrated on making profits for the boardroom.


Conte Wants Chelsea Stay

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that he intends to stay with the West London club, despite the speculation suggesting he will leave. "From the start of this season there have been a lot of speculation and rumours around me," he said. "The only thing I can tell you now is I still have 18 months of contract with Chelsea. My intention, my will, is to respect the contract. We signed a three-year contract. I think our desire is to continue our work. This season, the situation has always been the same, with a lot of pressure, and I don't understand why, always around me. Maybe it is because this is Chelsea. This is the only answer I'm having. But the pressure is normal. When the situation is too calm, you risk being relaxed and losing the anger, the fire. I like to live with this pressure."


Henry Sacked By Hammers Over African Players Comments

West Ham have sacked their director of player recruitment (most fans of the club would say it was not before time) over his comments regarding the club not signing any more African players as they "cause mayhem" when not in the team. With the club's recruitment policy being so flawed in his time, it was very unlikely that this situation would end any other way.


City Being Butchered Says Sterling

England winger Raheem Sterling has said, while conveniently overlooking the number of wild lunges his teammates Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi make on a weekly basis, that his Manchester City teammates are being "butchered" by opponent's bad tackles. Sterling said: "Some tackles have been awful. It's not what I expect in a top-flight match, especially when teams are losing and go out to kick players. There are going to be challenges that are badly timed and probably not all of them are intentional. But at the same time if it's a dangerous tackle, it's a dangerous tackle and I think the referees and officials need to cut these tackles out because some of the players are getting butchered, butchered out there and it's sad to see." City's conduct in recent weeks just screams of petulance. Yes they have been given a rough ride with some horrible fouls that should have been punished more harshly, but they have been giving out the same treatment to opponents all season.




Bruce Hoping To Keep Johnstone

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is hoping to keep loan star keeper Sam Johnstone beyond his loan deal. "I hope he's our goalkeeper for the next five years." said Bruce of the 24 year old who is on loan at Villa Park from Man Utd. "Sam is a big tick as far as we are concerned. Whether we can do a deal, we will have to wait until the end of the season." Bruce added his delight at the player's development while on loan: "Certainly you can see the difference in Sam from a year ago," continued Bruce. "From the moment he walked in the door, you could see him physically develop and grow more confident and get used to playing week-in, week-out. He looks a very good goalkeeper at the minute. We are delighted for him - after a difficult start for him. He wasn't everyone's cup of tea to start with. But the more he has played the more he has matured and developed. He looks the real deal at the moment and that's the benefit of playing. He has learned more here playing this year than he has in the last five. There is no doubt training and working with great players helps but nothing beats playing the game in front of 35,000."


Pardew To Protect Sturridge

West Brom boss Alan Pardew has admitted that on-loan Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will get special treatment to protect him while with the Baggies. Pardew will excuse him from training sessions to help him manage his fitness: "I think senior players will accept that only if there are special circumstances and this boy has missed training for a long period. Daniel is a top player, if I can keep him fit for every league game I cannot imagine that is not going to be significant. We will be managing him maybe a bit more carefully in terms of everything. He has the World Cup and he is fresh and he hasn't had a lot of game time. So he could be a rare player who [England boss] Gareth [Southgate] has who is fresh for the World Cup. That is not in Daniel's thoughts, it is in my thoughts because I want England to do well. In the short term here he won't be pushed in training, we will protect him and make sure he gets to the games. He will slowly build his stamina over the games."


Napoli Confirm Bid For Icardi

Serie A leaders Napoli made a 60m euros bid for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi after Juventus bought Gonzalo Higuain from them for 90m euros in the summer of 2016. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has now confirmed the speculation from the time and talked about his meeting with Icardi's representative (and wife) Wanda Nara: "I met with his wife one afternoon in their office, she was very nice. I offered €55-60m. We also negotiated for a possible contract. Icardi is a world class striker and he would score 40 goals under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri. He could become like Ronaldo." De Laurentiis also refused to rule out a fresh offer for the Argentinian striker.


Paletta Exploring Boca Option

Free agent defender Gabriel Paletta is now hoping for a move to Boca Juniors after his move to Fenerbahce broke down. The Italian international centre back reached an agreement to terminate his contract with AC Milan in the January window.


Written by Tris Burke



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