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Football News: Austin May Leave QPR In January And Other News Of The Day

Austin May Leave QPR In January And Other News Of The Day
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1. Despite the money spent Man City are still reliant on just one player
Manchester City's owners, Abu Dhabi United Group, have spent untold amounts of money in their attempt to build a team to conquer Europe and yet the chances of success come down to one mans fitness. Big money has been spent on centre back after centre back, but Vincent Kompany is still the only man at the club able to defend. City quite simply look a different team with him at the back, on those increasingly rare occasions he is fit. While he is the rock the team is built around and continues to sit in the stands due to injury, the Citizens will face more nights like Monday night, where Arsenal cut them apart almost at will on their way to a 2-1 win. With Kompany's injury problems, maybe it is time the club considered moving the captaincy on to a different player, one they can rely on to be fit more often, make someone else the leader, someone that is there to lead. Then the team's focus will not be stuck on how their leader is out injured again, and the accompanying mental issues that are clearly becoming a major problem, with the team looking lost without him.

2. Are Arsenal genuine title contenders?
Despite the recent top quality signings Arsene Wenger have made, people are still surprised to see Arsenal pushing for the title this season, with the expectation being that they will end up capitulating just as it looks easier to win it than to not win it. Is this season really any different? Once again Arsenal are looking like a force before the busy Christmas period, but once again they are beset with injuries which are the usual excuse given for their later dip in form, just as the league is within their grasp. Has the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea in the summer really made that much difference? Right now it does seem he has, the team suddenly look confident defensively, with a belief they can do enough to keep the opposition out, added to their belief in their ability to score, that is the foundation of title winners. With Mesut Ozil in imperious form, Alexis Sanchez set to return from injury and fringe players such as Joel Campbell contributing meaningfully when called upon, this looks a completely different team from the Gooners of last season. Just one signing but Cech has clearly changed everything.


3. Scottish football is benefiting from the Glasgow giants struggles
With Rangers and Celtic in different divisions, it seemed almost a foregone conclusion at the start of the season that at least one of them would win their respective league, yet, right now, neither are clear favourites to lift the trophy. Aberdeen are breathing down the neck of Celtic, though admittedly having played a game more, and the pressure is beginning to show, with Motherwell getting a shock 2-1 win over the Hoops at Parkhead. There is actually a very real chance of Aberdeen becoming the first team to lift the Scottish Premier from outside of Glasgow since they last won it in 1985. It is even tighter in the Scottish Championship, as Rangers' form has slipped, Hibernian, in contrast, have hit form and are now level on points with the blue side of Glasgow. With the two set to face off on Monday, there could be a different leader going into the new year. All of this is making Scottish football more interesting, as the dominance of the Old Firm was, to be quite frank, boring. While Aberdeen are no Leicester City, and it would not quite be the same fairytale if they were to win the league, but it would still make for a much better story than the usual tale in Scotland.

4. Damien Duff retires
Former Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff has announced a shock retirement, well it was a shock to me as I had not realised he was only 36 and that he had not retired years ago! As well as earning over 100 caps for his country, Duff played for Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Fulham and Melbourne City, before returning home to join League of Ireland team Shamrock Rovers in the summer. After just 9 appearances for Shamrock, Duff has called time on a career that included two English Premier League titles and a League Cup win with Chelsea and another League Cup with Blackburn.


5. Will he, won't he?
Last week Charlie Austin was saying that he would see out the season at QPR, with no intention of leaving just as new manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink joins the club. Now the Hoops director of football, club legend Les Ferdinand, is saying that the club could well sell Austin in January. It does make you wonder what on earth is going on at the club, when no one seems to know what is going on. When your star striker comes out and says he will stay, you really do not need the club's director of football to then come out and publicly undermine that. This is a club that has been a shambles due to uncertainty at every level of the management structure, it is obvious that just changing the manager has not fixed all of those issues.

6. Corner kicks can be difficult
Even when you cost huge amounts of money, it does not mean you can take a corner kick, as Manchester City forward Kevin de Bruyne showed against Arsenal. The Belgian was left red-faced as he tripped over the corner flag while attempting to take a short corner.


7. Juventus rule out moves in January
Juventus director Beppe Marotta has ruled out big moves in the January transfer window, as the Turin side have moved ominously up the table in recent weeks. Marotta ruled out moves for Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan, Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi and Sevilla's Argentinian midfielder Ever Banega. He told Italian news outlet Sport Mediaset: "The January transfer window is one for reparation and we do not need to repair anything. In January the moves are not always advantageous for clubs, even if we remain vigilant for any interesting opportunities. Gundogan and Banega? I can rule out a move for them and the same goes for Lavezzi."

8. Burkina Faso coach quits
After seeing Burkina Faso through the first round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, coach Gernot Rohr has quit to take up a role within the German football association and to work as a TV analyst. With Burkina Faso having a difficult political situation and suffering from civil unrest, the 62 year old felt it was time to move on.


9. Murdoch scores a screamer
On loan Rangers youngster Andy Murdoch has scored a stunner from 35 yards out while playing for Cowdenbeath:

10. Sevilla keen on Fazio return
Tottenham Hotspur picked up Sevilla defender Federico Fazio in August 2014 but the 28 year old has never been able to establish himself in the Londoners' side. With the arrival of Kevin Wimmer and Toby Aldeiweireld this summer, Fazio has slipped even further down the pecking order at Spurs. Now Sevilla president Jose Castro has revealed that they are interested in re-signing Fazio in the January transfer window. With West Bromwich Albion having made a failed attempt to buy Fazio in the summer, it is clear any move for him would not be straightforward, especially as he left Seville under a cloud.

Written by Tris Burke December 22 2015 11:41:14