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Man U added another keeper Sergio Romero in case David de Gea hits the road. The Daily Mail- Amid the chaotic outpouring of joy that followed Argentina’s progression into the 2014 World Cup final – one that, sweetly, would be held in the Maracana, the sacred home of their great rivals Brazil – Sergio Romero found time to give thanks.

Not to his own coach, not to any of of his team-mates, not to some higher being – but to the man in charge of the vanquished opposition.


After all, Louis van Gaal was the man who apparently taught him to save penalties. And he had just applied those skills in a shoot-out to eliminate Van Gaal’s Holland at the semi-final stage, carrying Argentina to their moment of destiny.

‘I went to Louis to thank him because he helped me when I arrived in Holland,’ Romero later recalled. ‘I went to a country where I didn’t understand a word of the language. He helped me and I’m thankful for everything he did for me.


‘I know he said he taught me to save penalties. The truth is that he teaches the players a lot. From the first day in Holland, he said to me that the goalkeeper in one of the team, one of 11 players.’

That was back in 2007, when Van Gaal brought the Argentine from his homeland to play for AZ Alkmaar in Holland, teaching him the Dutch language and what to do in the pressure cooker of the penalty shoot-out.

Now the pair have been reunited, after Romero signed a three-year contract at Manchester United over the weekend and linked up with his new colleagues on their pre-season tour of the United States.


In classic Van Gaal style, he nurtured Romero at Alkmaar from an unknown 20-year-old to one of Europe’s finest goalkeepers and an established international.

Now, after Romero had become surplus to Sampdoria’s requirements at the aged of 28, he has given him a sense of purpose once again.

If David de Gea ultimately leaves for Real Madrid and Victor Valdes also departs Old Trafford as is expected, Romero will be United’s No 1 goalkeeper in the coming season.


And should they be forced to ‘go the distance’ and win a shoot-out in their Champions League or domestic cup engagements, Romero is certainly a handy man to have between the posts.

Romero was born in the town of Bernardo de Irigoyen, about as far north-east as you can go in Argentina before it becomes Brazil.


Spotted by scouts from Club Almirante Brown, Romero moved as a teenager to the suburbs of the capital Buenos Aires and was later snapped up by Racing Club, one of the country’s most famous teams.

Hilariously, the 6ft 3.5in Romero has the nickname ‘Chiquito’ (tiny, small) because he is dwarfed by his basketball-playing brother Diego, who stands at 6ft 9in.

His childhood idol was Ubaldo Fillol, the keeper who helped Argentina to glory in the 1978 World Cup.

Romero said of him: ‘When it comes to football, ‘El Pato’ is my father. Everything I’ve achieved is down to him. He’s the best Argentina ever had.’


Van Gaal brought Romero over to Alkmaar, the unheralded and long-slumbering Dutch club he was gradually restoring to power, at the end of the 2007 season.

After a slow start, Romero displaced Boy Waterman as the club’s No 1 and, as they upset the traditional giants of Dutch football to win the Eredivisie title in 2009, he didn’t concede for 950 minutes – 107 off the national record.

But when he made an error that led to Alkmaar being eliminated from the Dutch Cup by NAC Breda that season, Romero responded by punching the door and walls of the changing room so hard he broke bones in his hand and ruled himself out of the crucial run-in.


‘It wasn’t smart of Sergio to vent his frustrations like this,’ said Van Gaal at the time. ‘But that is his Argentine temperament.’

He remained in Alkmaar for four years, a time which also saw him marry the Argentine model and actress Eliano Guercio, who is nine years his senior.

She is best known for appearing fully nude in an episode of ‘Mas que diferente’, a show on Argentinean television.

Sampdoria paid £1.5m for Romero in 2011 and he helped them bounce back to Serie A at the first time of asking via the play-offs.

Strangely, although Romero was permanently Argentina’s No 1, he fell out of favour at his club and was loaned to Monaco for the 2013-14 season. Even here, he was second choice to Danijel Subasic and managed just three league matches.


Matters didn’t improve last season and he was released by Sampdoria having played just 20 matches in the last two seasons.

‘I can’t do this for much longer,’ he admitted back then, rubbishing suggestions that he had turned down a move to United last year.

Accordingly, his finest hours have come at international level, where he has 62 caps to his name.


He played alongside Lionel Messi in the team that won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Diego Maradona promoted him to first choice when in charge, meaning Romero played all five matches at the 2010 World Cup.

While that adventure ended in a miserable 4-0 loss to Germany, to come so close in Brazil last summer was a greater agony.

After Romero’s heroics in the semi-final shoot-out, they couldn’t complete the job as Mario Gotze’s extra time winner wrecked their dreams of lifting the World Cup in the Maracana.


Romero’s reputation was undoubtedly enhanced, however, with Rihanna revealing herself as an unlikely fan with a tweet that read ‘Romero is on point!’ as he made a vital save in the 1-0 win over Iran.

Now, once again, Van Gaal will have the opportunity to put Romero’s skills to good use for his benefit, rather than against him.


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Flamengo picked up a huge 1-0 road over Goias. The win moves Boo Mengao into eleventh place with 19 points. The match winner came for Rubro- Negro in the 72nd minute. Marcelo Cirino strike found nothing but the back of the net.

Globo Esporte- Quatro vitórias nos últimos quatro jogos fora de casa. O Flamengo se transformou num visitante indigesto. Após superar Joinville e Internacional, pelo Campeonato Brasileiro, e Náutico, pela Copa do Brasil, a vítima da vez foi o Goiás, na tarde deste domingo, num Serra Dourada rubro-negro na arquibancada. O placar de 1 a 0 foi construído por Marcelo Cirino, substituto do suspenso Emerson Sheik que desencantou na competição e fez as pazes com a rede depois de três meses. Guerrero pela primeira vez passou em branco pelo time, mas foi fundamental ao ser o garçom do jogo. O Esmeraldino, que parou em César e na trave, acumulou sua terceira derrota em três jogos sob comando do técnico Julinho Camargo e entrou na zona de rebaixamento.


Com o triunfo, o Flamengo deu um salto na tabela: subiu para 11º lugar com 19 pontos. Enquanto o Goiás segue estacionado nos 13 pontos e agora foi ultrapassado pelo Santos, caindo para 17º lugar, abrindo o Z-4. As duas equipes agora terão a semana livre para treinar e voltam a campo só no próximo domingo, novamente pelo Brasileirão. O Esmeraldino visitará o Coritiba às 11h (de Brasília), no Couto Pereira, enquanto o Rubro-Negro receberá o Santos, às 16h, no Maracanã.


Mais à vontade jogando fora de casa do que no Rio, o Flamengo foi quem imprimiu o ritmo de jogos nos primeiros minutos, chegando a ter 67% da posse de bola. Mas era um falso domínio, aquele que cerca, cerca e não consegue levar perigo. O Goiás, armado para o contra-ataque, era quem assustava aproveitando o desentrosamento e nervosismo da dupla de zaga adversária, formada por Marcelo e o estreante César Martins. Bruno Henrique, Felipe Menezes e Murilo tiveram chances na cara do gol, mas pararam no inspirado César. O Rubro-Negro só melhorou no segundo tempo, quando desmanchou o esquema com três volantes e colocou Alan Patrick no lugar de Canteros. O meia iniciou a jogada, Guerrero fez o papel de garçom, e Marcelo Cirino, frente a frente com Renan, fez as pazes com a rede. No abafa final dos anfitriões, Liniker conseguiu passar pelo goleiro, mas carimbou a trave na última tentativa.


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Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring a goal after making it 1-0

Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring a goal after making it 1-0


Arsenal defeated Wolfsburg 1-0 to win the preseason Emirates Cup. The match winner happened in the 50th minute off a strike by Theo Walcott. Up next for the guys is the Community Shield against Chelsea next Sunday at Wembley.

The Telegraph Jeremy Wilson-Arsenal supporters arrived at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday desperate to welcome a man who has already done it all in English football, but left talking about a summer signing whose career has only just started.

With Petr Cech barely having a shot to save, it was Jeff Reine-Adelaide, a 17-year-old arrival from the Lens academy, who unexpectedly shone against Wolfsburg in what was Arsenal’s fourth straight win and second minor trophy of the summer.


Arsene Wenger later confirmed that Reine-Adelaide would not be permitted to go out on loan this season and, as reported last week by Telegraph Sport, revealed positive progress with Theo Walcott in talks over a new contract.


Reine-Adelaide’s opportunities may realistically be limited to the domestic cup competitions once Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck are again available, but he was utterly unfazed by a crowd of almost 60,000 in his first senior start at Arsenal. His pace and willingness to run at opponents was quickly evident down the left but it was then his calmness on the ball and precise pass that opened the Wolfsburg defence for Walcott’s winning goal.


Reine-Adelaide can play across the attacking midfield positions and, asked if he planned to keep him with the first-team group this season, Wenger said: “Definitely. Reine-Adelaide is something special you know. He is 17 and he looks very promising. He needs to work with us for a year. He needs to be in and out, play with the Under-21s and to develop. There’s fantastic potential there and he will stay with us.


“We have had a good opportunity to watch him. In some situations he has the game of a 17-year-old but, on the other hand, he has shown great potential as well. Physically he is very advanced and I’m sure he has learned a lot from these two days.”


Walcott also continues to learn about his best position and, having started the match as a central striker, scored his goal after moving out to the right. As he did in the win against Everton last week, Walcott later also played on the left and Wenger confirmed that he is now close to agreeing a new three-year contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond his 30th birthday.


A new three-year deal has not yet been signed but both sides have talked positively about the situation over the past week, with Walcott saying during the club’s pre-season tour of Singapore that he wants to stay and that he was sure it would not be long.

Wenger has now echoed that message. “We are getting closer and closer and hopefully we can finalise it very soon,” he said. Walcott did also miss two good chances before scoring and, with Wenger still open to signing another centre-forward this summer and interested in Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, he still does not see the 26-year-old as a pure striker.


Asked what was Walcott’s best position, Wenger said: “That’s a good question. It’s a complicated answer. In all the three positions. If you ask him where he loves to play, even he is not certain. It depends a little bit on the periods. Sometimes he prefers left because when he makes a good run he can score goals as well. I think in his ideal he would love to play with a strong guy next to him. A player who is physically very strong, and him playing off him. But we have so many offensive players it is difficult to combine all this together.


“Theo has his own way. He’s not what you call the aggressive striker. He’s the mobile striker. The striker who lives from the speed and quality of his movement. But he turns up in the right space in the box. You can’t give that to players. He understands well, he anticipates quickly and linked with his speed of execution it makes him always very dangerous.”

With 14 goals in Arsenal’s four pre-season matches, Wenger must fancy his chances of registering a first win against Jose Mourinho in Sunday’s Community Shield but is adamant that the “real truth” will only arrive when the Premier League starts.


“The preparation has been good, physical and mentally, but that’s where we want to be efficient,” he said.


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Man U defeated Barcelona 3-1 in a preseason Internacional Champions match up. The Rooney man led the Red Devil attack with a quick strike in the eighth minute. Jessie Lingaard made it two nil in the 64th minute. Barcelona cut the gap to 2-1 in the 90th minute off a onetime strike by Rafinha. Budda bing budda boom Man U came right down the pitch to salt this puppy away. Red Devils Januzaj spilt the “D”. His left footed bomb ended the hopes of Barca come back in the 90th minute plus one.

This was a good win for Louis Van Gaal’s club. How will this win translate into a title? We will find out when the guys battle Tottenham on August 9th.


The Guardians Mark Ogden wrote that Man U may have solved their leaky defensive right side. “Manchester United have been unconvincing on the right side of defence ever since Gary Neville called time on his career in 2011, but Matteo Darmian is showing all the signs of being the solution to their problems in that department.

The Italian masters the basics of defending, but his pace and height give United further qualities and strengths that they have lacked for too long.


At 25, Darmian could become United’s right-back for the next five years and also restore the stability and certainty of the Neville era.

Antonio Valencia, naturally a right-winger, has filled in at full-back, but Darmian showed again against Barcelona that he will be upgrade on the Ecuadorean.”

Ogden added that Daley Blind may be the solution to the left centre back position. “ Louis van Gaal has made no secret of his preference for a left-sided centre-half at the heart of his defence and the summer tour of the United States has delivered a heavy hint that Daley Blind may be the surprise choice to fill that role at the start of the season.

With Marcos Rojo’s pre-season disrupted by his involvement in the Copa America, Blind has started every game so far on tour, forming a partnership with Phil Jones.


Jones and Chris Smalling looked to have formed a promising partnership towards the end of last season, but Blind’s versatility and ability on the ball are big pluses and it would be no surprise if the Dutchman lines up at centre-half against Tottenham on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The Daily Mail-Manchester United upped the ante with Real Madrid by making David de Gea face Barcelona for his first game of the club’s pre-season trip to America.


United claimed a morale-boosting victory over the Champions League winners with goals by Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingaard and Adnan Januzaj as Louis van Gaal’s younger players shone in the California sunshine.

But it was the identity of United’s stopper that may have greater longer-term significance.

De Gea, 24, has been courted all summer by Real and was mysteriously absent from United’s first two tour matches despite appearing to train as normal.

However, with United adamant they will let the Spaniard run down the final year of his contract unless Real significantly increase their £15million evaluation, van Gaal played his hand and picked him to play.


Whatever was in de Gea’s head – and it is believed he wants to return to Spain – he redeemed himself for failing to move when Luis Suarez’s free-kick hit the post by making a good save one-on-one from Sergi Roberto with the game still goalless.

It was more than a meaningless friendly for United who were keen to test themselves against top opposition after missing out on Europe last season.

Having survived the couple of early scares, they took the lead after eight minutes when Wayne Rooney nudged Adriano out the way to meet Ashley Young’s corner with a firm header. The celebrations from his team-mates were genuine.

Another sub-plot besides de Gea was the presence of Barcelona winger Pedro who could be a United player soon once the £46.5million deal for Angel Di Maria to move to Paris St Germain is completed.


Anxious to impress van Gaal, Pedro produced a blistering turn of pace to reach a flick from Andres Iniesta though the end product wasn’t perfect and United cleared his cross.

Suarez doesn’t do friendlies either. Having struck de Gea’s left-hand post, the Uruguayan then turned brilliantly before smashing a shot against the right upright.

In between, his full-blooded challenge on Matteo Darmian left the Italian on the turf complaining and he might have had a penalty when Daley Blind, manfully filling in as a left-sided centre-half, came perilously close to tripping him.


The Uruguayan also had a goal ruled out for marginal offside. He seemed to relish the fact he was the main man with Lionel Messi and Neymar after the Copa America.

Barcelona are hailed as the game’s great entertainers so it must have been galling for them to see the crowd inside The Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, doing the occasional Mexican wave.


Suarez apart, it seemed to matter more to United. Phil Jones became the game’s first booking after 49 minutes with Pedro and then Memphis Depay turned sharply to force Barcelona sub goalkeeper Jordi Masip into a save.

Van Gaal made his anticipated raft of substitutions by changing all 11 players in the 62nd minute, and it worked.


Two youngsters combined for United’s second goal three minues later. Tyler Blackett produced a pull-back for Lingaard to finish with a neat sidefoot.

They should have scored a third as well. Janujaj, tried in a central role, fired into the sidenetting from 18 yards. At the other end, Patrick McNair made a fantastic block to keep United’s clean sheet intact until the final minute when Rafinha volleyed past Sam Johnstone. Januzaj then instantly restored United’s two-goal advantage with a low finish from 12 yards.

Van Gaal had criticised his shadow players after their midweek win against San Jose Earthquakes. This time, he could have had no complaints


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The guy kicked ass and took names against  the French side Lyon. This sucker was over in the first thirty eight minutes. Arsenal grabbed a quick four nil lead. Can you say,” Turn out the lights the Party’s over.” This was dandy Don Meredith’s pet phrase on Monday Night Football. The rout was on. Arsenal wins in a cakewalk 6-0 over Lyons in the Emirates Cup.

Six different guys scored. Giroud 29th minute, Oxlade Chamberlain 34th minute, Iwobi 35th minute, Ramsey 38th minute, Ozil 58th minute and final nail in the Lyon coffin a bomb from Cazorla 84th minute led the powerful attack at our house Emirates.


This power surge is good. My Gunners now have the signs of great potential to score from just  about anywhere on the pitch. Having six different guys score means that the opponent cannot key on one guy and this will open the pitch up for everybody to create scoring chances.

We will see how this will translate once the regular season begins. This is only preseason. It is a chance to look at different cats to see how they will perform when the chips are on the line.


The signs are good. We will find out real quick when the season gets underway for real on August 8th.

The Guardian summed up the match this way “It was a nine-minute period towards the end of the first half that did for Lyon today: Arsenal’s ruthless finishing putting them into a 4-0 lead at the break. After Grenier went off injured in the 24th minute, Lyon didn’t look the same team and even after their collapse, never really showed any fight, which will be a worry to Fournier.

Arsenal were dominant, with Oxlade-Chamberlain particularly impressing, and that’s another pre-season match with no injuries. Wenger will be chuffed.


In the Emirates Cup, one point is awarded for every goal scored, as well as the customary three for a win, so Arsenal sit top of the table with nine points after one game, with Villarreal second on five after their 2-1 win over Wolfsburg earlier.

Arsenal will play the German side tomorrow, and Villarreal will play Lyon, so tune in for that.”

The Daily Mail- There will be plenty of debate and discussion this Saturday evening, in living rooms, on phone-ins and in 140-character bursts about whether Arsenal can genuinely challenge for the Premier League this season.

There will be those optimists who will point to this rampant performance as evidence that everything is finally falling into place and Arsene Wenger’s fourth great team will beat all-challengers over the next 10 months.

epa04860233 Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring during an Emirates Cup soccer match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at the Emirates Stadium in London, Britain, 25 July 2015.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

epa04860233 Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring during an Emirates Cup soccer match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at the Emirates Stadium in London, Britain, 25 July 2015. EPA/ANDY RAIN

And there will be an equal number of Gunners who will simply refuse to let themselves get carried away on the back of one, albeit outstanding, pre-season result.

Time will tell, but there can be no doubt that Arsenal are a very exciting proposition once more. Here, with six goals from six different goalscorers, they turned what should have been a well-matched encounter with Lyon into a training ground game of attack-vs-defence.


With a breath-taking burst of four goals in nine dizzying first-half minutes – from Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey – they had Lyon in retreat.

Mesut Ozil, who had set-up two of those four goals, claimed one of his own after the break, by which time Arsenal could be pretty much certain they will be lifting the Emirates Cup on Sunday afternoon.


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SINGAPORE - JULY 18:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal during the Barclays Asia Trophy final match between Arsenal and Everton at the National Stadium on July 18, 2015 in Singapore.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – JULY 18: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal during the Barclays Asia Trophy final match between Arsenal and Everton at the National Stadium on July 18, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Finally Stan Kroenke gets it. He has released the bucks to buy good players. Now it’s up to Wenger to spend the bucks wisely. Will he?

The Telegraphs Jeremy Wilson- “Arsenal director Lord Harris has claimed that Arsene Wenger wants to sign a “superstar” striker this summer and that the club are willing to shatter the £42 million transfer record that was paid for Mesut Ozil.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has long been prominent on Wenger’s list of desired signings and, although Lord Harris says there is more than £200 million in the bank, the club’s summer transfer budget is around £50 million.

“We get a list of the players that Wenger wants,” said Lord Harris.

Lord Harris of Peckham, chairman and CEO of Carpetright poses in his company's headquarters in Purfleet...Chairman and chief executive of Carpetright, Lord Harris of Peckham, poses for photos in his company's cutting, warehousing and distribution headquarters in Purfleet, southern England May 13, 2009. The head of Britain's biggest carpet seller, Carpetright Plc, thinks industry sales have probably dropped 30 percent year-on-year, but have reached the bottom.  "I think we've been at the bottom for three months and I think it's been bumping along at the bottom," Philip Harris, chairman and chief executive of the 692-store group and a 51-year veteran of carpet selling, told Reuters.  Picture taken May 13, 2009.     REUTERS/Andrew Winning     (BRITAIN BUSINESS)

Lord Harris of Peckham, chairman and CEO of Carpetright poses in his company’s headquarters in Purfleet…Chairman and chief executive of Carpetright, Lord Harris of Peckham, poses for photos in his company’s cutting, warehousing and distribution headquarters in Purfleet, southern England May 13, 2009. The head of Britain’s biggest carpet seller, Carpetright Plc, thinks industry sales have probably dropped 30 percent year-on-year, but have reached the bottom. “I think we’ve been at the bottom for three months and I think it’s been bumping along at the bottom,” Philip Harris, chairman and chief executive of the 692-store group and a 51-year veteran of carpet selling, told Reuters. Picture taken May 13, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN BUSINESS)

“‘On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is. I think he wants to come.

“It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him. We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid controls the ball during the International Champions Cup friendly match between Real Madrid and AS Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 18, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 18: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid controls the ball during the International Champions Cup friendly match between Real Madrid and AS Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 18, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

“At the moment there are no plans to sign anyone, unless he finds a real superstar like Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez. He’s looking for one of those but there aren’t many available.

“We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, he could have any player. We will probably have to break the club record to get the man he wants.”

Lord Harris also told the Daily Mail that Wenger was interested in Petr Cech last year.


“Chelsea couldn’t sell him because they didn’t know how Courtois was going to settle in,” he said.

“[Raheem] Sterling is a very, very good player but I’m very pleased Arsenal didn’t sign him. He’s got a lot to learn. They were looking at him and the way he treated Liverpool wasn’t good.”


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West Ham scored the late equalizer to save their butts. It was one all against Birkirkara. Enter the dreaded PK shootout. West Ham wins 5-3 to advance. The Daily Mail- This was supposed to be a saunter in the sun for West Ham. It proved anything but.


The Hammers clung onto their Europa League dream by their wilting fingers here in sweltering Malta as they narrowly defeated Birkirkana on penalties in the return leg of their second round qualifying tie.

Diego Poyet proved the hero for Slaven Bilic’s side as he coolly slotted past Justin Haber to give them a 5-3 spot-kick victory after the match was forced into extra-time with both sides a man down.


West Ham will now face Astra Giurgiu in the next round but the likelihood of a trip to Romania appeared slim after a first half which saw them down to 10 men and behind to a Fabrizio Miccoli goal.

James Tomkins, the hero from the first leg, soon turned villain here at the Ta’Qali National Stadium as he was sent off just before half-time for an off-the-ball incident with Nikola Vukanac.


Bilic and his players were worried about the sweltering conditions ahead of kick-off but it was the red-hot tempo set by their opponents that they should have really fretted about.

From the get-go Birkirkara set the agenda. Captain Paul Fenech, playing at top of their diamond midfield, gave the Hammers an early warning in the opening exchanges – one that wasn’t heeded as the half wore on.


It wasn’t until the 10th minute that the visitors ventured into the final third of the Birkirkana pitch. Their lethargic tone from the first leg seemingly carrying over here.

And four minutes later they were made to pay as Birkirkara took a deserved lead. Finding space just inside the West Ham half, Fenech clipped a ball down the left-hand side of their defence. James Collins, in for the injured Winston Reid, was left trailing in the wake of Liliu who sprinted clear. Birkirkara’s No 18 squared across the six-yard box for Miccoli to slide home.


The hosts were buoyed by their goal and got about their Premier League opponents – and Albanian referee Enea Jorgji too. Any foul was protested against as they created a siege mentality on the pitch – one that was joined in by their fans.


And with a minute before the interval their tactics worked as Tomkins was sent off. The centre back saw red after the pair grappled with each other ahead of a West Ham free-kick as Tomkins tried to free himself from the challenge of his opponent – who’s style of defending would have been more akin to WWE. Vukanac theatrics subsequently saw him fall to the ground amid a mass of ensuing Birkirkara players demanding a dismissal.

Their wish was granted – after much deliberation from Jorgji – leaving Bilic a headache come half-time.


The Croat responded by dropping midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate into defence after the interval as they tried to stem the Birkirkara waves of attack as the match headed towards extra time.

The travelling 400 West Ham supporters summed up their feelings midway through the second half with a ringing chant of ‘We’re s*** and we know we are’.


And their dismissive chant did little to spur on their side as the hosts continued to pour forward in search of a winner in normal time.

It didn’t materialise and like the score, the numerical deficit was levelled up in the second half of extra-time as Birkirkana centre back Matias Mazzetti earned a second yellow card for showing dissent.



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Man U won round two of their preseason campaign. The Red Devils defeated San Jose 3-1. The Guardians Jamie Jackson- Manchester United’s mission on this warm California evening was to reach for the game-fluidity they require come the opening day of the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur, a quest that had started in Friday’s 1-0 victory over Club America in Seattle. For San Jose Earthquakes, Louis van Gaal sent out the same XI that started then in an identical 4-2-3-1 shape despite the plan to operate a 4-3-3 in the fresh campaign.


In front of the watching Sir Alex Ferguson, United controlled the opening against a Major League Soccer outfit who had lost 5-2 a few days ago against Steven Gerrard’s Los Angeles Galaxy in a contest billed as the California Clasico.

Memphis Depay produced the first bright moment as the 21-year-old took the ball and dribbled at the home defence in a show of strength. The shot he hit at David Bingham was fierce enough for the goalkeeper to spill, though the Wayne Rooney could not make him pay on the follow-up.


As United asserted themselves more chances were created. Two of these had Van Gaal’s men ahead before half-time. In the first, Ashley Young passed to Juan Mata, who was hovering to the left of the area. The No8 hit a cross-shot towards Depay but with the Dutchman failing to get a touch on it despite his best efforts, Mata claimed the opening strike as the ball passed Bingham into the back of the net.


This was just after the half hour and within minutes United had doubled their advantage. This time, there were no doubts that Depay was the the scorer of this one. A dodgy back-pass from Jean Baptist Pierazzi aimed at Bingham left the keeper stranded. Depay nipped in and slotted a cool finish past the home No1. Two-nil to the visitors.

United were coasting so what happened next will have infuriated Van Gaal. As Shea Salinas approached Sam Johnstone’s goal, he ghosted past Morgan Schneiderlin too easily and from near the byline the midfielder found Fatai Alashe who beat the United goalkeeper from close range.


That was about it for the opening stanza, though Luke Shaw made one dashing run at the Earthquakes before the referee, Juan Guzman, blew for the break. As the teams wandered off against the panoramic backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the manager may have been preparing a few stern words for Schneiderlin. Whether this XI had made any progress in the search for that all-important rhythm was arguable. To have scored one more goal than in Seattle was the only clear and obvious improvement.


As expected Van Gaal sent out the same second half outfield side that took on America at the weekend. The big loser here was Marouane Fellaini. Van Gaal has said the Belgian’s three-match suspension means he wants to look at other players ahead of the new term. So Fellaini was reduced again to watching as United kicked off for their fourth half of the tour. This time they attacked the open end of the Avaya Stadium, which is graced by an outdoor bar thought to be the world’s longest.


The awful free-kick Andreas Pereira offered up suggested the Brazilian had been drinking there. The youngster tried a clever sideways pass but found only Mathieu Coutadeur. From here United were spun on their heels as the Earthquakes raced downfield but the threat fizzled out and Pereira escaped serious embarrassment.

Redemption, though, was soon his. From the right Jesse Lingard swept over a delivery and Pereira thumped a header home and that was 3-1 to United. Despite the clearly visible empty seats the attendance was given as a capacity 18,000. At the same time down in Pasadena 93,226 were crowding into the Rose Bowl to witness Barcelona take on LA Galaxy. The discrepancy would have been considerably less if Van Gaal had not switched this contest from Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium last month to cut down on the travel he dreads so much.


He will not care less. What should exercise him is the strategy for the next two matches. The outings against Barcelona in Santa Clara on Saturday and Paris Saint-Germain next week are the manager’s final 180 minutes before Tottenham visit Old Trafford on 8 August.


Van Gaal’s second stanza XI were no better than the first. Towards the end Bastian Schweinsteiger hit an aimless pass and then hung his head. The evening proved this kind of exercise: at the moment United are rather far away from the slick and quick football machine Van Gaal wants. To ensure they are not seriously under-cooked for the Spurs game the Dutchman should surely field his best XI as a unit in those last two matches in the hope it will click and convince.



De Futebol


I wonder how many people knew this little diddy. An American scored the first hat trick in World Cup history. His name is Bert Patenaude. This happened in 1930 against Paraguay. The Guardians Jack Williams wrote- Eighty-five years ago last week, a 20-year-old American stepped off the field in Uruguay’s Estadio Parque Central stadium, Montevideo, having scored what he thought was the first-ever World Cup hat-trick. His teammates agreed. His manager agreed. Even the local media – who could have been forgiven for struggling to identify goalscorers because of language barrier, lack of numbers on teams’ kits, or inexistence of the television replays – agreed.

But Bert Patenaude, who today features on Fifa records as the scorer of the World Cup’s first-ever hat-trick against Paraguay, on July 17, 1930, would never see his achievement officially recognized. Until his death, in 1974, and for decades after, Patenaude was credited with scoring in the 10th minute, the 50th minute – but not the 15th.


Patenaude was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, on November 4, 1909, and, according to reports from the time and his family, was as hard-working on the soccer field as the industrial city in which he grew up. Playing as a forward, the French-Canadian Patenaude was a prolific marksman: in the original American Soccer League, he would score 114 goals in 158 games, between 1928 and 1931. During his club career, Patenaude would have stints at Philadelphia Field Club, Newark Americans, St Louis Central Breweries, and Philadelphia Passon. But it was his hometown team, the Fall River Marksmen, that he would enjoy the most success.

Having helped The Marksmen to the US Open Cup, in 1930 – one of three Patenaude would go on to win – the swift forward was selected as part of the United States’ 16-man team to travel to that summer’s inaugural World Cup, in Uruguay. (Archie Stark, believed to be the United States’ best center-forward at the time, opted not to go. In an era of no substitutes, some say this paved the way for Patenaude, who may not have gone otherwise.) After an 18-day voyage, Patenaude and his teammates would arrive in Montevideo on July 1; their first game in the 13-nation tournament would come against Belgium, 12 days later.

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At the time, the United States national team was inspirited by the ASL, with some players declared to have skills on a par with those playing playing in the likes of Britain and Europe. With many of Europe’s elite teams not willing to travel to South America – England, Italy and Hungary did not participate, for example – the United States had favourable odds of progressing, despite a lack of interest back home.

It is believed that no American journalists were present when the United States defeated Belgium, 3-0, in its opening game; Patenaude, the youngest player on the team, aged 20, scored once. The youngster from Fall River would then go two better four days later, when, in front of a crowd of more than 18,000, he scored all three goals in the United States’ 3-0 win over the 1929 Copa America champions, Paraguay.


“He does seem to have been a streak scorer, one who got goals in bunches,” Roger Allaway, a National Soccer Hall of Fame historian, told the Guardian, pointing at the many four and five-goal hauls Patenaude scored in matches, “so the World Cup hat trick doesn’t seem all that surprising.”

That win saw the United State progress to the semifinals, where they would eventually eventually lose, 6-1, to Argentina.

Despite returning home to a country whose media had barely embraced the tournament (some acknowledged the three-month-long trip as a tour rather than the World Championships), Patenaude had his own story to tell: he had scored the first-ever World Cup hat-trick – two days before the tournament’s top scorer, Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile, had netted three in a group stage match, against Mexico.

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But despite what Patenaude knew – and what USSF records and its coach’s report showed – official records would not agree. Fida’s official match report would credit the second goal to Tom Florie, the United States captain, while Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation listed the goal as an own goal by Paraguay. According to those who knew him, Patenaude didn’t seem to mind.

“He probably would have just said, “Hey, I know I did it. But I’m not going to make a mountain out of a molehill,’” Patenaude’s son, Bert Patenaude Jr, said.

After his playing career was over, Patenaude held down a variety of different jobs, such painting and hanging wallpaper. Up until the day he died – on his birthday, on November 4, 1974, aged 65 – he did not actively push for Fifa records to be altered. His grandson, Bert Patenaude III, told the Guardian how he remembers Patenaude’s teammates talking about the hat-trick at grandfather’s wake is if it were fact. Patenaude Jr (and most likely Patenaude’s teammates) knew the record books said otherwise.

Things would change, however, when, in the early 1990s, a chance conversation was struck up between one of Patenaude’s teammates, Arnie Oliver, a reserve player in 1930 World Cup squad, and Colin Jose, a North American Soccer historian. Jose, a collector of World Cup annuals, knew that FIFA had credited Patenaude with two goals in the Paraguay match. Oliver, who he met at a National Soccer Hall of Fame ceremony, told him otherwise.

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“Later at the Hall, I also saw a recorded interview of Oliver along with Jim Brown, who played in 1930, and they were also talking about Patenaude’s three goals,” Jose said. “I didn’t give it another thought until [some time after chatting with Oliver] I found the official report on 1930 by the US manager, Wilfrid Cummings, who recorded that Patenaude hit the net three times against Paraguay. I began to wonder how I might find out if this was correct.”

Having spoken to Patenaude’s teammate, seen the interview, and read through Cummings’ match report, Jose began to look for further evidence of the hat-trick. He would visit the University of Massachusetts, which keeps microfilms of Latin American newspapers, where he would search for domestic match reports from the time.

Jose found a report in O Estádio de São Paulo, dated July 19, 1930, which stated that a Patenaude or Petenande had scored all of the goals in the Paraguay match. He would then discover a page from La Prensa, a Buenos Aires publication, which provided diagrams of the three goals – all accredited to Patenaude. (A copy was sent to the Guardian, which shows the controversial second goal being assisted by Florie from the left, before Patenaude scored inside the box.)

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With the South American findings, as well the likes of testimonies by teammates, Cummings’ report, and USSF records (the 1994 USSF Media Guide recognized all three of Patenaude’s goals), Jose decided to approach Fifa. He would send off his findings on April 12, 1995, and received a letter of acknowledgement from soccer’s governing body a little over a month later. It stated that though the goal was credited as either an own goal or to Florie, Fifa would commission an “external specialist” to look into the matter.

“When they said, ‘We will have our experts look into it,” I was thinking to myself, ‘Yeah, sure you will,’” Jose said. “But they did.”

Yet despite being pessimistic about Fifa’s investigation, Jose would eventually receive the news he was hoping for: confirmation that Patenaude had – officially – been credited with the hat-trick.

Although the matter was resolved, just how and when the change in Fifa’s came about is still a little up-in-the-air. Jose said he was never directly informed by FIFA that the goal was changed, and that he believes he found out while reading a copy of the organization’s official magazine at a later date, prior to 2000. In the magazine, he said, there was a “short announcement,” which stated that Patenaude’s hat-trick had been acknowledged.

“I didn’t get too excited,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, well, I’m glad that’s settled.’”

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But, for the majority of the soccer world, Patenaude’s achievements would not be cast into the limelight until 2006, when Fifa would make an announcement. (Some individuals spoken to for this piece suggested that, perhaps, soccer in the US was not as popular when the announcement Jose claims was made, and that a rejuvenation of the sport led to the topic being discussed again, in 2006. At press time, Fifa had not responded to a request to clear up the matter.)

The announcement read that “evidence from various historians and football fans, as well as lengthy research and confirmation from the US Soccer Federation” had helped in the decision-making process.

One individual who read a version of this announcement, on the New York Times’ website, was Bert Patenaude III, who, 32 years earlier, had heard the stories of his grandfather’s (then unofficial) hat-trick during a wake. He said that he had been aware of FIFA’s investigation, but not of the work of Colin Jose. He called his father.

“When I first called him, his first words were, ‘You’re kidding … you’re kidding,” he said. “In the family, this was a cold case. You couldn’t go back through and talk to people or go through videos like you would do today. To me, I thought the hat-trick had been lost forever.”

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De Futebol


Flamengo picked up a huge 1-0 win over Gremio. Boo Mengao is in 14th place with 16 points.

Globo Esporte- Vitória graças a um chute preciso e de raro oportunismo saído de um camisa 9 candidato a ídolo de um dos maiores clubes do Brasil. Sim, Guerrero, sim, Flamengo. Em sua estreia no Maracanã com a camisa rubro-negra, após 50 dias desde o anúncio da contratação, o centroavante foi o nome do 1 a 0 sobre o Grêmio, neste sábado, pelo Brasileirão. Resultado que fez o time carioca subir na tabela e colocou o G-4 do gaúcho em risco.

Com a vitória, a primeira em casa depois de três derrotas consecutivas, o Flamengo subiu para o 13º lugar, agora com 16 pontos. Pode perder posições no complemento da rodada, porém, sem risco de voltar ao Z-4. O Grêmio, por ora, se mantém em quarto, com 26 pontos. São Paulo e Sport se enfrentam e um deles pode tomar a posição.


O Flamengo volta a campo, domingo, às 16h, no Serra Dourada, diante do Goiás. Antes do Brasileirão, o Grêmio tem a Copa do Brasil: desafia o Criciúma, terça-feira, às 21h, no Heriberto Hülse, tendo de reverter o 1 a 0 da semana passada para chegar às oitavas de final. Só no sábado, às 19h30, na Arena, retoma o campeonato de pontos corridos, contra o Sport.


Empurrado pela torcida, o Flamengo começou melhor. O Grêmio não encaixou a marcação, foi envolvido. Sheik carregava a bola, tramava com competência. Canteros perdeu a primeira chance. Grohe fez boa defesa em chute de Guerrero. Só, então, o Tricolor equilibrou. Passou a ter mais posse de bola. Em boa tabela com Luan, Galhardo chutou no travessão. Aí, o peruano desequilibrou: aproveitou rebote do goleiro, após milagre em cabeçada de Marcelo, e abriu o placar. Eram 40 minutos da etapa inicial e o Maraca veio abaixo.


No segundo tempo, o Grêmio melhorou. Mas faltou efetividade. Pedro Rocha driblou o goleiro, mas chutou para fora. César ainda fez boas defesas, em chutes de falta e de escanteio. Grohe salvou o segundo gol de Guerrero, mas quase deu um a Sheik ao sair mal. Rhodolfo salvou em cima da linha. Wallace ainda cabeceou na trave.

O Dia A torcida do Flamengo que compareceu ao Maracanã para ver Guerrero, neste sábado, não se decepcionou. O peruano, que disputava o seu primeiro jogo no estádio, deu a vitória para o Rubro-Negro sobre o Grêmio por 1 a 0. Comandado pelo novo atacante, o clube da Gávea voltou a fazer uma boa atuação em casa, principalmente no segundo tempo. Esta foi apenas a segunda vitória da equipe carioca no Brasileiro atuando no Maracanã. A primeira havia sido contra a Chapecoense.


Na próxima rodada, o Flamengo vai até o Serra Dourada enfrentar o Goías. O confronto será no domingo, às 16 horas. Já o Grêmio terá um duelo bem importante contra outra equipe que briga pelo G-4. Os gaúchos recebem o Sport Recife, no sábado, ás 19h30.

Incentivados pela torcida que comparecia em grande número ao Maracanã, o Flamengo começou a partida fazendo uma verdadeira “blitz” sobre o Grêmio. Com seis minutos, Marcelo Cirino fez boa jogada e serviu Canteros, que bateu sem muita força, facilitando a defesa de Marcelo Grohe. Sete minutos depois, Guerrero participou pela primeira vez da partida, o peruano recebeu na esquerda e cortou para meio, porém, a finalização acabou sendo longe do gol.


Com o passar do tempo, o Grêmio conseguiu acertar a marcação e passou a controlar a partida. A melhor chance criada pelos gaúchos foi aos 21 minutos. Luan e Galhardo tabelaram, o lateral-direito ex-Flamengo recebeu em boas condições e soltou a bomba, que explodiu no travessão de Cesar, assustando os torcedores que estavam no Maracanã.


Quando o confronto parecia que iria terminar sem gols, antes do fim da primeira etapa, eis que novamente surgiu a estrela do novo ídolo rubro-negro. Após cobrança de falta, Ayrton cruzou, Marcelo subiu e cabeceou para grande defesa de Grohe, a bola ficou se oferecendo dentro da área para Guerrero, que apareceu e colocou a bola no fundo das redes

O Flamengo voltou para a segunda etapa com a marcação mais adiantada. Aos nove minutos, o Rubro-Negro quase conseguiu ampliar o placar. Everton recuperou a bola e tocou para Guerrero, o peruano arrancou com a bola e iniciou uma jogada de velocidade, que foi concluida pelo próprio apoiador, mas Marcelo Grohe fez uma grande defesa, salvando o Grêmio.


Aos 20 minutos, o goleiro Cesar, que vinha sendo contestado pela torcida do Flamengo, apareceu na partida. O arqueiro fez duas defesas em uma finalização de Fernadinho e em uma cobrança de escanteio fechada de Galhardo, que tentou o gol olímpico.

Se do lado do Flamengo, Cesar ia bem, pelo lado do Grêmio, Marcelo Grohe quase entregou o ouro. Após um chutão da zaga rubro-negra, Emerson Sheik aproveitou a bobeada do goleiro tricolor, recuperou a bola, driblou o arqueiro e finalizou, em cima da linha, Rodolfo conseguiu evitar o segundo gol do Flamengo.

Nos últimos minutos, a partida continuou aberta. O Flamengo conseguindo controlar mais a posse de bola, mas o Grêmio buscando o empate com o coração. Os cariocas tiveram outras oportunidades de ampliar, mas Marcelo Grohe se redimiu da falha no lance do Sheik e fez grandes defesas. Com uma atuação segura no meio-campo, o Rubro-Negro conseguiu segurar o resultado, voltando a fazer a alegria da torcida, que compareceu em grande número ao Maracanã.


De Futebol


It’s only preseason. Man U new signee Morgan Schneiderlin paid off huge dividends with a strike in the first five minutes to power the Red Devils to 1-0 win over Club America to kick off the preseason tour.

The Daily Mail- A year ago in America Manchester United won a raft of pre-season games and came home with a trophy. Ultimately, it all proved to be a portent of absolutely nothing.


As such Louis van Gaal will hesitate before reading too much in to what he sees over the course of the next eleven days back in the United States.


Despite that, the United manager will be pleased enough with what he saw from the 22 players used in front of 46,000 here at the Seattle Seahawks’ Centurylink Field on the banks of Puget Sound.

United managed to score just the one goal – an early header from new signing Morgan Schneiderlin – and may indeed have been embarrassed had a shot from Club America’s Alejandro Diaz not struck a post late in the game.


On the whole, though, this was decent enough from a group of players still looking for fitness,. Schneiderlin and other new signings Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmin featured in the eleven players used in the first period and all performed cohesively.

In the second half, meanwhile, Bastian Schweinsteiger enjoyed his first spell in a United shirt and contributed to a period that saw the Barclays Premier League play rather more on the front foot.


However with Schweinsteiger on the substitutes’ bench for the first half of the game, the stage was clear for United’s other recent midfield purchase – Schneiderlin – to make some kind of impact. The Frenchman certainly had a reasonable half but the highlight arrived early on when he scored the only goal of the first period.

In truth, there seemed to be little danger when Juan Mata lofted a chipped cross to the far post in the fifth minute. Schneiderlin, however, carries an imposing physical presence and as such he was able to rise above his marker and head the ball back across goal and in to the far corner.


The manner in which Schneiderlin celebrated – with a sharp fist pump – showed what the goal meant to him. Friendly or otherwise, a goal cant fail to help a new signing settle and it seemed as though the former Southampton player felt the benefit immediately.

With Van Gaal sending his team out to play 4-2-3-1, Schneiderlin lined up alongside Michael Carrick as the base of the midfield with Depay playing directly behind lone centre forward Wayne Rooney.


Against modest opposition, it wasn’t that hard for United to impress. Indeed they were comfortable for most of the half.

Depay in particular carried a persistent and consistent threat. One neat chipped pass he played through for Mata may have led to a second goal had the Spaniard not have mistimed his run and been flagged offside. Not long after that moment, Ashley Young pulled a ball back from the left and Mata drilled a shot straight at the goalkeeper with his right foot from 12 yards.


Against this background, chances for Club America to seriously trouble were relatively rare. However there were moments of self-inflicted discomfort for United such as two early moments when Carrick lost possession and another when Phil Jones failed to track a run from Carlos Quintero only for the Club America player to fail to make contact with a cross from the left.

Certainly the Mexicans should have been awarded a penalty midway through the first half when the referee somehow failed to spot Daley Blind’s agricultural hack at the heels of Miguel Samudio. Had that challenge taken place in the Barclays Premier League then United’s young goalkeeper Sam Johnstone would have been facing a spot kick.

Johnstone was only playing because of a slight injury to David de Gea. As such it was another reserve Anders Lindegaard who appeared as Van Gaal changed his whole team for the second period.


Despite the changes, United still carried a threat and the fact that the central midfield pairing was by now Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera was perhaps indicative of the club ‘s improved strength in depth. Indeed within moments of the second half starting United were almost two goals to the good.

Young Andreas Pereira sold the Club America a simply dummy down the left and when he cut back on to his left foot his shot flew across goal and only inches wide with the goalkeeper left flat-footed.


As time passed it actually became clear that United’s dominance was increasing. Whether this was due to Van Gaal’s team or the fact that Club America were beginning to tire after so much running was hard to determine but as we reached the final 20 minutes it was certainly rather peculiar that United were not further ahead.


Herrera was enjoying himself in the centre of the field, finding more space than he perhaps expected, but he was off target midway through the half when a deep free-kick found him at the back post. The Spaniard’s header passed across goal and wide.

Throughout the second half the threat from the Mexicans had been virtually non-existent. There was always the chance that United may pay for missed chances, though, and Club America’s big moment arrived in the 73rd minute.

Chris Smalling gave the ball away needlessly inside his own half and when Adrian Marin reached the byline he pulled the ball back and watched as the incoming Alejandro Diaz struck the foot of the near post.


A goal for the opposition may have embarrassed United a little. Certainly it would have irritated their manager, who can be devilishly difficult to please during pre-season.

As it was, United immediately sprang loose at the other end as Adnan Januzaj – remember him? – brought a sharp save from the Club America goalkeeper with a shot from an angle.


De Futebol


The guys defeated Everton 3-1 to win a preseason Asian trophy. The Daily Mail Little more than a glorified training session maybe, but here was a friendly game to enhance a few of Arsenal’s hopes and deepen some of Everton’s fears.

Arsene Wenger relaxed in his seat and enjoyed a fluent performance which suggested the Londoners were still in good rhythm and can extend a fine end to the last campaign into the next one.

Petr Cech made some wonderful saves and Santi Cazorla was irresistible as he scored one and created others for Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil as Arsenal won the Barclays Asia Trophy.


Everton, having failed to score against Stoke on Wednesday, misfired again in front of goal until substitute Ross Barkley pulled one back late in the game and Roberto Martinez paced around restlessly.

Perhaps of greater concern for the Everton boss would have be the impact of a game like this on the mind of talented young defender John Stones, who has become the object of Chelsea’s desire.

Stones and Phil Jagielka did not cope well with Arsenal’s blizzard of movement as Wenger’s players illustrated some of the class you are sure find in a squad set for the Champions League.


Whether it helps convince him that a future at Chelsea will accelerate his development remains to be seen.

There are sound arguments too for another season at Everton before stepping up a level. Some say his mind is made up and he is keen on a transfer to Stamford Bridge, despite saying he is content at Goodison Park.


At least Stones survived an injury scare in the first half when he twisted to intercept a pass and fell uncomfortably. He needed treatment and trudged off for a chat with Martinez before going back on to play 84 minutes.

What a strange feeling it must have been for Cech, playing for the first time in Arsenal colours. Not only does it look unfamiliar, but he found his every touch was greeted with shrieks of delirium from the crowd in Singapore.

There were more than 52,000 in the National Stadium and they rose to cheer when he trotted out to warm-up behind the goal, as Stoke were beating a Singapore XI 2-0 in the game between the losing semi-finalists.


Once the game had kicked-off, they applauded his every touch, even when he controlled a back-pass and moved it on from one full-back to the other.

Cech played for 11 years at Chelsea, defied a horrific injury to be the hero of their Champions League triumph and they rarely sang his name, not that they failed to appreciate his contribution.


The move across London, however, could make him a genuine celebrity among Arsenal fans, even those back in London, not quite as prone to hysteria as those in the Far East.

Five minutes before half-time and Cech showed them what he can do with a brilliant reflex save, turning a glancing header from Steven Naismith against the bar.


Aronua Kone fired the rebound at goal and Gareth Barry nudged it over the line but the goal was ruled out for offside, presumably against Barry which was certainly not a clear offence.

Everton were trailing by one at this point. Jagielka and Stones had been unable to deal with a long pass clipped over the defence by Cazorla.

Walcott, who was operating chiefly on the left, drifted behind the central defenders and finished smartly, hooking the bouncing ball with his right foot past Joel Robles.

Cech made another fine save, with a strong left hand to beat out a screamer from Luke Garbutt, as the game opened into a thrilling spectacle in the second-half.


It briefly pulsed from end to end until Arsenal seized control, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injecting more intensity and pace after he replaced Jack Wilshere on the right wing.

Robles saved low from Cazorla, Walcott rolled a good chance wide and Olivier Giroud was unable to connect at the near-posted with a flashed cross delivered by Hector Bellerin.

Full-back Bellerin, who has just signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium, forced Robles to turn another effort behind, and Arsenal went further ahead from the corner which followed.


Ozil played it short to Cazorla, who cut in from the right, twisted clear of James McCarthy and slammed the ball low into the net from the edge of the penalty box.

Ozil added the third, linking up with Cazorla, gliding through the defence rather too easily for Martinez’s liking and clipping in a cool finish.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was dispossessed deep in his own half by Barry, who slid a pass to Ross Barkley and the substitute spoiled Cech’s clean sheet with a fierce strike from 18 yards.


De Futebol


I found this little diddy in the Guardian. Nick Miller wrote this piece. “Probably the most frequent complaint about modern football is that it is concerned only with money, that it is less a game more a method of earning cash, ripped from its Corinthian roots and unrecognisable from what it once was. Of course that is true, but to suggest that football hasn’t always been full of those who can spot a quick buck is nonsense of the first water. What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In the mid-1950s Santos were a decent, if not especially big, side. They had one regional title to their name, won in 1935 in the days before the national Campeonato Brasileiro had been established, but a group of talented homegrown players helped them claim a pair of Paulista crowns in 1955 and 1956. So by the time Pelé made his first-team debut in 1957, they were already something of a force, but his genius helped push them further and further, to another ten state titles, six national championships and two Copa Libertadores, including the treble in 1961.

The problem was that Santos were a club of relatively modest means, with a small stadium that they had to abandon in favour of bigger grounds for more high-profile games, so making money was a problem. In order to keep and add to their star-studded squad, the club’s management attempted to raise funds through property deals, but when that failed they realised such a brilliant collection of players might do pretty well as a touring act, charging willing teams around the world for the privilege of playing their wondrous talents. So Santos hit the road.

“We were in demand,” wrote Pelé in his autobiography. “The suits were very keen to cash in.” And cash in they did, but at some points their schedule was absolutely preposterous. For example, between the end of May and beginning of July 1959, they played 22 matches in eight countries around Europe, including encounters with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Hamburg, Feyenoord and Sporting. “It was ridiculous,” wrote Pelé. “There was no time to relax; there was barely enough to travel from stadium to stadium.”

Pele 2

By 1962 the Santos circus reached England, and the obvious place to start was, of course, Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls were mid-table in the old First Division when Pelé and pals rocked up and there was, to say the least, a fair bit of excitement in the air. A crowd of 50,000 saw the Brazilians win 4-2, the brilliant forward Coutinho scoring a hat-trick and Pelé himself netting a penalty (he, incidentally, once described spot-kicks as a “cowardly” way to score and didn’t generally take them), a game described by the Times as “a physical challenge of the British against something of the mind”.

Pelé was, of course, the main attraction, this being probably the only way the English public could see him outside of grainy World Cup highlights every four years. Eric Todd in the Guardian wrote: “When one considers the number of superlatives that are squandered on some inside forwards in this country the futility of trying to find new ones to describe Pelé becomes all the more obvious.” The Times’s correspondent said trying to contain him was like trying to capture “a shaft of light in a matchbox. At one moment he looks as harmless as a sleeping cat. The next he has disappeared into open space with feline speed, sliding past man after man so that they are left in a maze looking for the ball”.

The tours continued, taking in all manner of locations around the globe, including the occasion when, so the story goes, civil war in Congo was put on hold so the people could watch Pelé in peace (“It is said that there really was a 48-hour ceasefire in the war, made just for us … I’m not sure that is completely true,” he wrote, spoiling the story slightly), but by 1969 they were back on English soil, this time to play Stoke City, the only club to stump up the supposed £12,000 appearance fee, a sum that came with it a guarantee Pelé would appear. He was again the star, scoring a goal that Michael Carey in the Guardian called “of quite outstanding individual brilliance”, weaving past three defenders before slotting past Gordon Banks, a year or so before their rather more famous encounter in Mexico. “The fame of the man was reflected at the final whistle,” wrote the great correspondent Geoffrey Green, “when his sturdy, almost squat frame disappeared under a wave of youthful spectators as they surged on to the pitch to engulf him in admiration.”

Pele 4

Three years later they returned, and were beaten for the first time on English soil, surprisingly enough by Third Division Aston Villa, who won 2-1 in a game delayed after the Santos goalkeeper Cejas refused to start the second half on the slightly flimsy basis that one of the floodlight pylons had gone out. Eventually the visitors were placated, but that perhaps displays the sort of weary attitude the Santos players had towards this incessant touring. There were no floodlights at all when they returned to Hillsborough, where a crowd of nearly 37,000 would see them beat the Owls 2-0, despite the game being played at 2.30pm on a Wednesday in February, energy restrictions brought about by the miners’ strike making illuminations and an evening kick-off impossible. The chance to see the greatest was obviously worth bunking off any previous responsibilities.

Those present were treated to the vaguely comic sight of the Wednesday midfielder Tommy Craig following Pelé around for the last 10 minutes of the game so that he could get his shirt on the final whistle. “I told the referee to give me a signal when he was about to blow for time so I could stand beside the great man,” Craig told the Daily Record a few years ago. “When time up came I grabbed Pelé round the waist until he had parted with the jersey.” After that game the great man (Pelé, not Craig – sorry Tommy) was also offered a neat £1,500 to represent Fulham in a friendly to celebrate the opening of a new stand at Craven Cottage the following week, but declined on the basis he would be required by Santos to face Anderlecht in Brussels, a match opportunistically squeezed into their already crowded schedule.

Other sides would play Santos overseas (notably West Ham in New York and Newcastle in Hong Kong), but their and Pelé’s final playing appearance came in 1973, when they arrived for a pair of games against Fulham and Plymouth Argyle, which is where the financial demands of the Santos hierarchy would become more crude. At Craven Cottage, Santos had agreed to split the gate receipts with the hosts, but there was a disagreement over the number of paying punters, the Brazilians accusing Fulham of fiddling the crowd figures. With this row fresh in the memory, a few days later they travelled to Plymouth where they had been promised a flat fee of £2,500, but when they saw the crowd of around 40,000 crammed into Home Park they realised they could be missing out.

“I was with our directors 15 minutes before kick-off when we were called down and they said, ‘We are not going to play unless you give us another £2,500,’” Graham Little, the Plymouth club secretary at the time, told the Daily Mail. “Well, we had no choice — there would have been a riot if we cancelled … [After the game] I had the money, £50 notes in cellophane packets and the chairman started telling the man from Santos: ‘This is crooked, we will report you. You will never play in this country again.’ He shrugged his shoulders and said: ‘Plenty more countries.’”

Pele 3


Plymouth won the game 3-2, during which Pelé struck up an understanding with John Hore, the man supposed to be marking him, that he should go easy on the tough tackling. “He had been kicked and chased his whole life and he just wanted a game of football,” said Hore. “At the end of the game he came up to me. We didn’t really understand each other, but he wanted to change shirts. I was glowing. I think it was because I didn’t kick him. People say I could sell it, but why would I? It’s worth more than money. I sometimes wonder what he did with my shirt. I’d sign it if he likes.” Footage from the game shows the crowd swarming onto the pitch at the final whistle, the Plymouth players having to help usher them to the safety of the dressing room, after which they headed to a post-game reception where Pelé toasted the assembled with what appears to be a goblet of some sort. Only the best for O Rei.

Of course all of this provided nice stories and solid little earners for the English clubs, but Pelé and his colleagues were basically being flogged silly by the Santos hierarchy, particularly when it became clear that he was going to leave when his contract expired in 1974. “The bird that laid the golden eggs was about to fly the coop,” wrote Pelé, “and they were really going to make him play, make him bank some money for the club … In an 18-month period we toured South America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia … Never in my life have I had my time so filled with airports, hotels and different countries. I had already played my 1,000th game for Santos, against Transvaal in Paramaribo, Surinam, and it seemed they were determined to get a few more hundred out of me before I went.”

Pele 5

Hugh McIlvanney, writing in the Observer when Santos visited England in 1972, agreed:

Now more than ever the justification for these profit-making excursions by Santos is the name of Pelé – his name rather than his prowess, because he has no chance of displaying that adequately when he is being asked to play three or four games in as many countries in the same week. Pelé is now as much an icon and an industry as he is a footballer … These tours have no more relevance to Pelé’s reality as a great player than a jaunt round the American lecture circuit has to the work of a serious writer …

He smiled and joked with those of us who had met him in Rio, Mexico and elsewhere and even when he spoke of the the impossible pressures of the tour his expression was wry rather than bitter. ‘Too many planes, too much football,’ he said. ‘How can we play well?’”

“In 1973 we began another year of travelling,” a passage in Pelé’s autobiography wearily begins. “We played in the countries of the Persian Gulf. We played in Egypt and Sudan, in Africa and Europe, we performed in Germany, France, Belgium and England … my farewell on English soil was a sad one. The ‘footballing machine’ was losing its shine.”

Less is more, particularly with genius. They may well have made a pretty penny (“well over $20m,” according to Pelé), but Santos turned the greatest player in the world into a footballing busker, passing a hat to anyone who would chuck in a few coins. What has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.


De Futebol


Boo Mengao advanced to the round of eight of the Copa do Brasil with a resounding 2-0 win over Nautico. Flamengo advanced on aggregate 3-1.

O Dia “Flamengo segue vivo na Copa do Brasil. Após o empate no Rio de Janeiro, o Rubro-Negro ia em busca de uma vitória para avançar na competição. Tentando amenizar a má fase no Campeonato Brasileiro, o Rubro-Negro foi com tudo para cima do Náutico e venceu por 2 a 0. Em um jogo fácil, a equipe carioca mostrou superioridade e se classificou para a próxima fase. Jorge marcou o seu primeiro gol no profissional e Guerrero marcou o segundo dele em dois jogos pela equipe carioca.


Com o resultado, o Flamengo respira mais aliviado e ameniza uma susposta crise vivida no Brasileirão. A vitória também deu mérito ao técnico Cristóvão Borges, que estava sendo bastante cobrado e já balançava na Gávea, e dá um gás ao jovem goleiro César, que seguia pressionado ao substituir Paulo Victor.


O Flamengo começou confuso na partida que valia a classificação na Copa do Brasil. Pressionado pela fase que atravessa no Campeonato Brasileiro, César e a zaga rubro-negra pareciam não se entender no início do jogo e o Naútico chegava com perigo.

A primeiro melhor chance da equipe carioca saiu dos pés de Guerrero. Everton mandou para o peruano, que dominou, girou, chutou, mas balançou a rede pelo lado de fora. Apesar das boas chances no confronto, faltava pontaria para o Rubro-Negro. E assim permaneceu ao longo da primeira etapa.


E o Flamengo voltou do intervalo mostrando que estava em busca da vitória. E não demorou para que o primeiro gol fosse marcado: Em jogada de Sheik e Everton, a bola sobra para o jovem Jorge, que não desperdiçou e abriu o placar na Arena Pernambuco. Após o primeiro gol do menino entre os profissionais, o Rubro Negro cresceu no jogo, que não deixava espaço para a equipe pernambucana criar.

A primeira grande chance do Náutico foi aos 28 minutos. Os pernambucanos quase não chegavam ao ataque carioca, porém, quando chegou, demonstrou bastante perigo. Bergson aparece dentro da área e finalizu bem, porém, César precisou ser acionado e mostrou serviço, mandando para escanteio.


Depois da bela chance, o Náutico bobeou e criou uma bela oportunidade de contra ataque para o rival carioca. Baseado no ditado popular “Quem não faz, leva”, Marcelo Cirino arrancou em velocidade e, ao ver Guerrero na área, fez belo cruzamento. O peruano com frieza fez o dele e correu para o abraço.

Ao abrir vantagem, o Flamengo seguiu perigoso na partida e ainda arriscou mais jogadas perigosas na etapa final. Por fim, a superioridade dos cariocas prevaleceram e a classificação na Copa do Brasil ficou para os visitantes.


De Futebol


The guys opened up the preseason with a 4-0 win over the Singapore All-stars. The Daily Mail- Chuba Akpom must have been listening when Arsene Wenger told the young fringe players this tour was their chance to impress.

Teenager Akpom started up front for Arsenal in the Barclays Asia Trophy and went home with the match ball having scored a hat-trick in a very comfortable win against a Singapore XI.


Wenger is mulling over the idea of keeping the 19-year-old striker from Canning Town with his first-team squad this season as cover for Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck.

This will have helped to convince the Arsenal boss he is ready for bigger challenges, after brief loan spells at Brentford, Coventry and Nottingham Forest, where he spent two months last season.


The quality of opposition was not the highest but Akpom, who has been in the Arsenal ranks since the age of six, impressed and booked his team’s place in Saturday’s final against Everton.

He opened the scoring in the first half, added a penalty after the break and completed his treble with a simple header from close range as the local team wilted.


There was a goal too for Jack Wilshere, who scored the second from the penalty spot.

It thrilled a crowd of nearly 30,000, who were made to wait for their first glimpse of Petr Cech – and went wild when he appeared on the big screen, relaxing in his seat in the stands, in the closing minutes.


Cech and the other players who played international football at the end of last season did not report for training until last Friday and were not involved in the first friendly of pre-season and trained instead.

The side selected to play against a Singapore XI was made up from players who were back at the start of last week from their summer holidays.

The exception was Wilshere who played in the end-of-season England games but returned early with the first group for pre-season training to work on his fitness, after missing so much of last season with injuries.


Wilshere started in the No 10 role, behind Akpom and the pair combined to open the scoring after an electric burst of acceleration through the centre of the pitch from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


Baihakki Khaizan made a terrific tackle to halt one of Wilshere’s but Akpom pounced on the loose ball and drove it past Izwan Mahbud.

Goalkeeper and captain Mahbud had already made strong saves early on to frustrate Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi, another 19-year-old academy graduate, who played wide on the left.

Iwobi missed two good chances in the second half, unable to keep down his efforts after being found in front of goal, first by the Ox and then Mathieu Debuchy.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, starting a game for the first time in more than four months and facing an important campaign, looked sharp, ripping through the Singapore defence and beating the keeper only to be denied by a goalline clearance from Madhu Mohana.

Arsenal went two up on the hour, when Debuchy was tripped and Wilshere converted from the spot.


That was the key for Wenger to replace Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Flamini with Dan Crowley, Chris Willock and Gedion Zelalem, and the Arsenal team contained five teenagers.

Goalkeeper Mahbud almost punch a Zelalem corner into his own net, before he was adjudged to have fouled Jon Toral, another young Arsenal substitute.


With Wilshere off the pitch Akpom stepped forward to score his second, then nodded in his third after fine work on the right by Hector Bellerin.

Mahbud denied him a fourth but he left the pitch with the ball tucked under his arm.


De Futebol


The schmucks Flamengo are coming off a 3-0 blow loss to Corinthians. Now Boo-Mengao has to get ready for Nautico in the Copa do Brasil later today.

Globo Esporte “Paolo Guerrero e Emerson Sheik fizeram falta ao Flamengo na derrota para o Corinthians no último domingo, por 3 a 0 no Maracanã – os dois não puderam atuar devido a um acordo entre os clubes durante a contratação. Mas a dupla está de volta para o próximo compromisso do Rubro-Negro. Nesta quarta-feira, a equipe vai à Arena Pernambuco enfrentar o Náutico, às 22h (de Brasília), valendo vaga nas oitavas de final da Copa do Brasil. E vai precisar de gols. Como empatou o jogo de ida por 1 a 1, será eliminado com um 0 a 0. O time de Cristóvão Borges se classifica com uma vitória simples ou em caso de igualdade no placar a partir de 2 a 2.


Os jogadores se reapresentaram na tarde desta segunda-feira no Ninho do Urubu. Com a exceção de César, quem foi titular contra o Corinthians fez apenas um trabalho regenerativo na academia, enquanto os demais treinaram com bola em campo reduzido. E Guerrero mostrou faro de gol logo cedo. No primeiro lance acompanhado pela imprensa, o atacante peruano driblou César e mandou para rede. Depois de duas tentativas para fora, fintou o goleiro Daniel e marcou de novo. Quem também se destacou foi Armero, que anotou um belo gol ao fingir um cruzamento e chutar direto.

Sheik vence Guerrero no um contra um

Na parte final da atividade, Cristóvão promoveu um treino mais descontraído de um contra um, com goleiros nas metas. Os jogadores tinham um tempo reduzido marcado pelo treinador para tentar marcar gols, cada um de um lado. O primeiro duelo teve Guerrero contra Emerson e foi vencido pelo segundo por 1 a 0. Sheik aproveitou a única chance que teve, enquanto o peruano desperdiçou duas. Na sequência, Pará venceu Frauches por 1 a 0 com direito a um lindo drible, Arthur Maia e Jajá empataram por 1 a 1, e Alan Patrick e Armero ficaram no 0 a 0.

No campo anexo, Paulo Victor seguiu sua recuperação e fez novamente treino leve com bola sob comando do preparador de goleiros Wagner Miranda. Ele deve voltar em algumas semanas.


De Futebol


Flamengo had their asses handed to them by Corinthians 3-0. Timao is third place with 26 points. The lost didn’t put Boo Mengao is the voice vai zone. The schmucks are somewhat safe sitting in 15th place with 13 points. Voice vai zone Santos has thirteen points. So what is saving our asses is Flamengo has four wins compared with Peixe’s three wins. Santos is a minus four while the schmucks are a minus seven.

Globo Esporte- Após a derrota por 3 a 0 para o Corinthians no Maracanã, com a presença de Zico, os jogadores do Flamengo reconheceram as falhas que levaram ao resultado. O zagueiro Wallace admitiu ter falhado no segundo gol do Corinthians, ao perder a bola que iniciou a jogada nos últimos segundos do primeiro tempo, mas não mencionou o lance do gol de Jádson, o terceiro dos rivais, no qual bateu cabeça com Jonas, permitindo que Elias ficasse com a bola para o cruzamento preciso para o camisa 10 do clube paulista. – No momento que a gente erra, eu errei em um gol, você dá oportunidade para equipe do Corinthians, que tem muita qualidade. Acho que foi muito mais pelos nossos erros do que pelas jogadas criadas pelo Corinthians – analisou o zagueiro, em entrevista à Rádio Globo. O volante Jonas também afirmou que a derrota aconteceu muito mais por falhas rubro-negras do que por uma superioridade do rival. – A gente chega lá e não faz, não conseguimos neutralizar o time deles e fomos surpreendidos.


Sobre gritos da torcida pedindo a saída do técnico Cristóvão Borges, ele disse: – A gente sabe que o Flamengo é cobrança, mas a gente vai dar a volta por cima. O jovem lateral Jorge confessou uma situação curiosa. Antes da partida, pensava que o colombiano Armero seria o titular: – Não fiquei na dúvida, pensava que ele jogaria. Mas quando fui chamado para ouvir as instruções, soube que seria eu. Para Jorge, o time tem de escutar a torcida. Ele não foge da cobrança e afirma, com autoridade de quem foi formado no clube, que assim é o Flamengo: – Estávamos bem, desconcentramos, levamos gols bobos, ali atrás, não pode levar gol dessa forma. Temos de escutar a torcida. Tem de haver cobrança, o Flamengo vive disso, não só da torcida, mas da diretoria e de todos os jogadores.


De Futebol


This is one of those feel good stories. The Guardians David Conn wrote – The new Hereford Football Club, founded by supporters after their beloved, historic Hereford United crumpled into liquidation last year, has been reborn with a pre-season friendly against FC United of Manchester, attended by a remarkable, emotional crowd of 4,000.

The club, registered to play in the Midland Football League for the forthcoming season, the ninth level of the English game’s pyramid where clubs generally attract gates of around 100, has sold more than 1,000 season tickets, such is the enthusiasm generated by the prospect of a fresh start

“There is absolutely huge goodwill and excitement that the club is being run by supporters and local people who care for it,” said Martin Watson, the vice-chair of the Hereford United Supporters Trust, now installed as the part-time secretary of the club while still running his computer repair business. “We have dozens of fans who have volunteered to do work on the ground and other jobs, and this one pre-season friendly has drawn a crowd about as big as the total attendances for every game last season.”

In the terminal, desperately unhappy season for Hereford United, after 90 distinguished years forever highlighted by the famous 1972 FA Cup third-round giant-killing of Newcastle United and Ronnie Radford’s 30-yard screamer, most fans reached the point of boycotting the club completely.


It had fallen into financial difficulties under a locally born owner, David Keyte, amassing debts of £1.2m and failing to pay its own players and former manager, Martin Foyle, who initially issued the winding-up petition. In May 2014 Keyte passed the club for £2 to an east London property developer, Tommy Agombar, whom fans discovered to be not “fit and proper” having been convicted of lorry theft and spent time in prison.

During a fractious and occasionally deeply unpleasant period the club was passed to a company, Alpha Finance, specialising in “distressed debt,” and the most public director became Andrew Lonsdale, a partner of Agombar’s with a patchy record himself. Bankrupt in 2007, disqualified in 2006 from acting as a company director for six years, convicted in 2008 of illegal waste dumping, Lonsdale as the owner of Feltham FC had moved the club out of its arena then dumped five times more than the permitted quantity of soil and rubble on it, and it fell derelict.


Although Lonsdale and his partners insisted they wanted to revive Hereford, supporters who had dug up all that baggage opposed them absolutely, foresaw that their club might collapse and that the future lay in a fresh start. After repeated adjournments of the winding-up petition, in December Hereford United’s time ran out when Lonsdale failed to produce a required £1m proof of funding, complaining he was stuck in traffic on the way to court.

Big guy

HUST, which had already prepared plans to form their own club, greeted the liquidation with a promise to rebuild, which they have eagerly fulfilled. The Edgar Street ground, site of Radford’s goal and the landmark scenes of delirious boys in parkas swarming on to the pitch, is owned by Herefordshire county council, which repossessed it after the club was liquidated.

In February, two months after the liquidation, the council agreed a lease with the new club, thereby fulfilling its own promise to ensure Edgar Street would remain a home for football. The fans, living their dream of owning and running their club after the years of indignity, found the ground itself a rackety distance from being a field of dreams. Decay, disrepair, dodgy electrics and asbestos meant around £200,000 was needed to restore it to safety and decency, so the trust did a deal with four local people, described as “benefactors”, who funded the works.

Watson says the trust willingly agreed to this dilution of the original plan for complete supporter ownership and that, although the benefactors want to remain unnamed publicly, he is confident they are long-term supporters who have financially assisted in the past. For their £200,000 the benefactors are currently majority owners. The trust has put in £25,000 so far, with fundraising amassing the best part of a further £25,000, and the supporters hope ultimately to raise £200,000 and own an equal 50% stake.


“We are comfortable with this because of the people the benefactors are,” Watson says. “To have them in a more formalised role is actually comforting. We haven’t run a club before and they have bucket loads of experience we can call on.”

The board will have three elected trust representatives on it, alongside four appointments by the benefactors, under the chairman, Jon Hale.

The match with supporter-owned FC United of Manchester, now of Conference North, was arranged after Hereford’s head of volunteering, Ken Kinnersley, inquired how FCUM organise their famed battalions of volunteers. Peter Beadle, Hereford’s newly appointed manager, used the FC United game and a friendly last week against Malvern to assess more local triallists to add to only seven signings at that point.

“The support has been amazing,” Beadle said. “It shows how passionate people are here and how important football is to people in Hereford. Our job is to aim to be successful but to run the club properly, sustainably, so they never again end up in the position they were last year – and ensure there will always be a Hereford football club.”

FC United


De Futebol


Here is interesting piece of what? I don’t know. Drivel maybe? During the heat of July it is hard to find stuff to write about. Beside the guys I follow Flamengo that’s about it that floats my boat. The Telegraphs Tom Edwards wrote ten reasons why Tottenham will never catch my guys Arsenal new stadium or not.

“Earlier this week I wrote a serious, intellectual article about why Tottenham’s new stadium will make them bigger and better than Arsenal.

It proved very popular and, despite my initial apprehension, went down incredibly well with Arsenal fans on Twitter:

So, because the above tweets raise some riveting and very valid points – and in the interests fairness – I’ve put together a return fixture.

Here are eight reasons Spurs will never catch Arsenal, regardless of how big their stadium is.

  1. Size isn’t everything

Ask any Arsenal fan and they’ll tell you that stadium size isn’t important – it’s what you do with it that counts. The Gunners have a 60,432 capacity ground that’s been there for years and feels like a proper home. Spurs haven’t even built theirs yet.

  1. Numbers, numbers, numbers

While it is true that Spurs were the first north London side to win the FA Cup, a trophy in Europe, and do the double, Arsenal actually have much more silverware in the trophy cabinet.


Back-to-back FA Cups in the last two years have added weight to that supremacy – it would take years for Spurs to make up the difference.

  1. They won’t want to

While Arsenal spend all their time worrying about trifling tournaments like the Champions League, Tottenham have their eyes on the real prize – the League Cup.

After coming agonisingly close by reaching the final last season, Spurs will want to drop out of the FA Cup and Europa League early, then dedicate as little resources as they possibly can to the Premiership.


These tactics should ensure them a clear run at the most coveted prize in world football, the Capital One Cup – a trophy Arsenal haven’t won since 1993.

All this will of course mean the Gunners retain supremacy in terms of money, trophies and high-profile competition. Just not The Big One.

  1. Free love on the free love freeway

Are they from north London? Are they from south London? Who knows. But does it really matter? Probably not if they keep winning. And with the financial fall-out from the last move over with, Arsenal now have more money to invest in the team.

  1. The Stars

Arsenal have a squad chock-full of incredible talent. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey would worry any opposition.

While their neighbours are focussing on youth, and do have an array of exciting youngsters, they’re not on the same level.


  1. The Goalies

The Gunners haven’t had a decent goalkeeper for years, but all that will change next season after the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea.

On the other side of north London, Spurs could be reluctantly waving goodbye to world-class keeper Hugo Lloris if the rumoured De Gea-Madrid-Manchester merry-go-round actually happens.

Michel Vorm is a solid keeper, but he’ll have his work cut out if he wants to mix it with the big boys – Cech has already been there, done that, and bought the (admittedly, Chelsea) T-shirt.

  1. The Spurs stadium looks like a toilet (…or does it?)

It can only have been 15 minutes between the release of the new Spurs stadium pictures and the appearance of photoshopped versions turning it into a toilet. And it does look a little bit like a toilet.

But then I got to thinking, wouldn’t any stadium look like a toilet if you photoshopped it to look like a toilet?

I immediately set about testing my theory, and here’s what I found:

So yes, they both look a bit like toilets. Although the Emirates does look like it would be a far more painful place to, er, relieve oneself in.

So, in this hypothetical world of incredible giants defecating all over north London, the Emirates would theoretically contain less you know what. So we can chalk that one up as a win for the Pooners, I mean, Gooners.


  1. Wenger

This may be a controversial point to some – particularly those firmly rooted in the #WengerOut camp – but no rational, sane-minded football fan can deny the quality of the man at the helm at Arsenal FC.

He may not have been able to beat Spurs under Poch last season, he may never have beaten Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, but he’s consistently delivered the goods for his club under a variety of trying circumstances.

In times of plenty he won the double, in times of hardship he brought regular Champions League football, and now he has money to spend again he’s set about building a team that’s genuinely capable of challenging for top honours.

It’s unlikely Spurs will win real supremacy in north London until Wenger retires.


De Futebol


Flamengo has a hot date with Corinthians tomorrow. Timao sits in fourth place with 23 points. Boo Mengao is in 13th place with thirteen points.

The Guys are getting ready for the match. This puppy is huge. Only three points separate us from the voce vai zone

Globo Esporte wrote-Cristóvão Borges guardou para revelar na última hora a escalação que vai enfrentar o Corinthians no domingo. O técnico optou por fechar o treino tático da manhã deste sábado e escondeu o time titular. O mais provável é que ele coloque Marcelo Cirino e Gabriel nas vagas de Guerrero e Emerson, que não entrarão em campo em função de um acordo do Flamengo com o ex-time deles, e mantenha Jorge na lateral esquerda mesmo com a volta de Armero.

Cristóvão Borges guardou para revelar na última hora a escalação que vai enfrentar o Corinthians no domingo. O técnico optou por fechar o treino tático da manhã deste sábado e escondeu o time titular. O mais provável é que ele coloque Marcelo Cirino e Gabriel nas vagas de Guerrero e Emerson, que não entrarão em campo em função de um acordo do Flamengo com o ex-time deles, e mantenha Jorge na lateral esquerda mesmo com a volta de Armero.