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Football News: Allardyce Thinks Spurs Will Bottle It, Real Madrid Claim English Clubs Set For Transfer Bans And More News

Allardyce Thinks Spurs Will Bottle It, Real Madrid Claim English Clubs Set For Transfer Bans And More News
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1. Allardyce expects Spurs to bottle it
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said that he does not believe Tottenham Hotspur lack the mental strength to win the Premier League. Allardyce (often known as Big Sam, which could be in reference to the size of his mouth judging by the way he always tells everyone else how to do their job) will face Mauricio Pochettino's young Spurs side later today, and has decided today would be a good time to give them a bit of extra motivation. "I'm not sure they can hold their nerve," he told reporters. "Brendan Rodgers couldn't hold his nerve with Liverpool to win the title a couple of years ago. Just when they needed to be resilient, they [Liverpool] couldn't quite do it. And that can be down to that lack of experience which you need in order to win it. Listening to my old mentor, Sir Alex Ferguson, the hardest one to win for your players is always the first one - particularly when they're as young as Tottenham's. It would be nice if they did do it but I think their main aim is to finish in the Champions League."

2. Transfer round up
Zoumana Bakayogo unattached to Crewe Alexandra
Mason Bennett Derby County to Burton Albion on loan
Will Buckley Sunderland to Birmingham City on loan
Anthony Caceres Central Coast Mariners to Manchester City undisclosed fee
Matt Dixon Hull City to York City free
Michael Doughty QPR to Swindon Town on loan
Ben Godfrey York City to Norwich City undisclosed fee
Oliver Hawkins Hemel Hempstead to Dagenham & Redbridge undisclosed fee
Stephen Hendrie West Ham United to Southend United on loan
Simeon Jackson unattached to Blackburn Rovers
Lee Martin Millwall to Northampton Town on loan
Aaron O'Connor Forest Green Rovers to Stevenage on loan
John O'Sullivan Blackburn Rovers to Bury on loan
Alie Sesay Leicester City to Barnet undisclosed fee
Brayden Shaw unattached to Accrington Stanley
Kike Sola Athletic Bilbao to Middlesbrough on loan
Ben Williamson Gillingham to Cambridge United undisclosed fee


3. Hatem Ben Arfa shows his skills
Now at Nice, Hatem Ben Arfa shows off the skills that originally led to Newcastle United buying him, despite his reputation. It just shows the difference between a fully fit and motivated player, as he dribbles past half of the Angers team, to the fat bloke that barely made it on to the pitch at Hull City last season!

4. FIFA presidential race turns nasty
FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has made accusations against one of his rivals for the position. Prince Ali claims that his rival, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa, is trying to break election rules with a "blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote" by signing a pact between the Asian Football Confederation and its counterpart in Africa, Confederation of African Football. Africa has the most votes in the election, which is set to take place on 26th February, with 54 in total. The agreement has been made between the AFC and Issa Hayatou, the head of CAF. "I am concerned that there has been an attempt to breach electoral rules in the FIFA presidential election," Prince Ali, who is also Jordanian Football Association president, said in a statement. "I have written to the FIFA ad-hoc electoral committee informing them of my concerns and asking them to examine the matter. I have always promoted cross-regional understanding, however the timing of this MoU between the AFC and the CAF looks like a blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote," Prince Ali said. "Africa's proud football associations are not for sale and development resources belonging to national football associations should not be used by presidential candidates and confederation presidents for political expediency. Questions must be asked: was this deal approved by the members of the executive committees of both the AFC and CAF and is the timing of the announcement, prior to a presidential election, acceptable? Now more than ever, this apparent exploitation of confederation resources shows the world that the actions of individuals must stop bringing FIFA into disrepute."


5. Nice bicycle kick finish
Nikos Karelis notches a lovely finish against Zulte Waregem

6. Real Madrid claim English clubs will be next to receive transfer bans
Real Madrid's general manager, Jose Angel Sanchez, has been discussing the transfer ban imposed on both his club and Atletico Madrid. As well as claiming they will clear their name and get the ban removed, he also claimed that English Premier League clubs are facing the same punishment as the Madrid pair. "I understand they have opened files on many European clubs," Sanchez told Spanish channel Cadena Ser. "The first was Barcelona but there are many more. I know they have initiated disciplinary proceedings against English teams but I imagine FIFA has limited resources and therefore cannot do it all at once. I get the feeling that over the coming years there will be one case after another. They ask for documentation so you are aware you are being investigated," Sanchez added. "But we have full confidence in how we did things and never thought we were going to be punished. We are convinced FIFA's argument is unusual. Our case clearly seems to be a mistake. We believe we'll be able to defend ourselves." It is interesting that Sanchez shows so little understanding, judging by these words, both by suggesting FIFA does not have the resources to do more and in his claims that it was just a mistake. Unless he means the mistake was them getting caught?


7. Pardew believes he can handle Adebayor
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew often gives the impression that, if he was chocolate, he would eat himself. It is hard to argue with the evidence of this season though that he is, currently at least, doing a good job with the London club, who are punching above their weight. Now he may well have bitten off more than he can chew with his attempt to sign Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor. Adebayor's Tottenham Hostpur contract was ended in September, too late for him to join anyone else before this January transfer window, and so the lanky striker has been sat on the sidelines for a few months with no club. Now Pardew's Palace are in negotiations to bring Adebayor in to Palace, despite his reputation for being a difficult character to deal with. "We had a couple of really close shaves bringing him to West Ham and I was very disappointed when ultimately Arsenal got him," Pardew said. "I wouldn't say it was them pipping us to him. It was kind of done. Then Arsenal heard it was getting done and decided he was for them. Now Adebayor is a player who is there for somebody and it is a question of ourselves wondering whether we are the right club for him is and he is the right player for us. You want to bring in a quality player and so therefore you can't dismiss anyone. Because 90 per cent of strikers are not available. It is a very, very small market for us so Adebayor is in that group. We still think another striker would pay dividends given the position we're in. Although we are in a little negative period of results, two or three wins and we would be really kicking ourselves if we didn't strengthen. Whenever he has played against me he has been totally committed and he's a dangerous world player," added Pardew. "You have only got to look at his clubs. For whatever reason there has been a fall-out at Spurs but he remains a player that can have great impact and would improve us. And I have had difficult players before, non-more difficult than Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle. If I can deal with him, I can deal with Adebayor for sure."

8. Kompany has injury worries
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that his captain Vincent Kompany is becoming worried by his constant struggles with injury. The Belgium international is instrumental to the City team, when fit, but he is finding it increasingly difficult to stay fit in recent years, despite being only 29 now. This season, Kompany picked up a calf injury in September, and that resulted in their form dipping badly, just as they were looking like running away with the title. Sadly for the skipper, his return lasted just nine minutes of his return on Boxing Day, as he once again succumbed to an injury. "He's the first one who is very worried about his situation," said Pellegrini. "That is why he is going everywhere to ask different specialists what is the reason. I think that is the professional way to work when you have problems that don't allow you to play in your normal way. I think you must find every way to see if you can find a solution. Maybe there's not a solution or maybe this can be his last injury but I think he has a very good attitude and he is doing everything he can to return as soon as he can."


9. De Jong feared blindness
Newcastle United's Netherlands forward Siem de Jong, the brother of former Newcastle loanee Luuk, genuinely feared that he would be left blinded by an eye injury suffered in training. Toon manager Steve McClaren admits that his player was very lucky, after being poked in the eye and having to be rushed to hospital with blood gushing from his eye on Wednesday. The club were seriously concerned for his sight for two to three hours afterwards. "It was just in training and he accidentally got poked in the eye," McClaren said. "I wasn't here, but he went down screaming. So they said 'Let us have a look at your eye' and there was blood pouring from it. He wears contact lenses, and one of the contacts had come out and gone in his eye. [There was] a massive danger, a big danger [of losing sight[. He was rushed to hospital. I was at Pav's memorial so I came back and saw him in a darkened room. It was the biggest black eye ever and headaches and everything," he added. "I've seen him this morning and it looks a lot better. Fortunately the doctor says probably a week or two to settle down. So very lucky. The exact words I said to him when I saw him was: 'You've had no luck, have you?' I would say frustration is probably not the word. I think certainly from what I've heard and seen looking at him it will just be a week or two." De Jong missed a large portion of last season after suffering a collapsed lung.

10. Scott Arfield hits a cracker last night
Burnley's Scott Arfield scores a lovely goal to open the scoring against Brentford:

Written by Tris Burke January 16 2016 05:41:54