Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Capello: Andy Carroll's Future Is Up To Him

Fabio Capello has handed Andy Carroll a stark ultimatum and told him to take responsibility for his career to make the most of his talent.

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, was overlooked for the double header with Spain and Sweden and will see Fulham’s Bobby Zamora handed his first start for his country tonight.

Asked about Carroll supposedly having a pivotal role to play for his team, Capello delivered an acerbic response, saying: “Yes, but that depends on him. Not on me. Zamora I’ve had around the team for a long time. I want to see him at Wembley.”

Liverpool Face Real Betis In Battle For Sochaux Midfielder

Liverpool are facing stiff competition in their pursuit of Ryad Boudebouz with reports emerging claiming Spanish side Real Betis have made the Sochaux midfielder their top priority.

The Algeria international revealed recently that Liverpool have been monitoring him with director of football Damien Comolli in France to watch him in action on numerous occasions and to talk with the Sochaux president.

The 21-year-old has a number of admirers across Europe, but the Reds have long been considered the favourites for his signature.

However, according to Insidefutbol.com, Betis are big fans of Boudebouz and are prepared to get ahead of the competition by moving for him in January.

Betis regained promotion to La Liga this season and have made a solid start to their time back in the top-flight. However, they are looking to cement their place in the Primera Division and have targeted Boudebouz as a player to help do just that.

The midfielder has 18 months left on his current contract and Sochaux are willing to sell if their asking price of £14.5m is met.

Prem Eyes On Teenage Ace

Skysports.com understands a host of Premier League clubs are battling it out for teenage sensation Josiah Chukwudi.

The 15-year-old central midfielder was spotted playing Sunday League football.

QPR recently invited the teenager on trial and he is believed to have impressed at Loftus Road.

News of Chukwudi's talent has alerted most of the Premier League big guns with Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Everton all thought to be weighing up moves for the youngster.

As Chukwudi is without a club at present there would be no compensation to be paid by any of his Premier League suitors if they try to sign the starlet.

Liverpool Set To Raid Aston Villa In The Winter Transfer Window

Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan as they look to strengthen their team in order to pursue European football.

Fellow Scot Kenny Dalglish is thought to hold the 21-year-old in high regard and sees him as the future of the national side, and a bid could be made in January however Dalglish will need reassurances over Bannan’s off field situation as he was recently arrested for drink driving.

Bannan has been one of the Premier League’s stand out performer this term and has been an integral part of Alex McGleish who recently suspended him following his arrest on suspicion of drink driving however that has now been lifted and he has returned to training with squad after being omitted from the Scotland national side for their win against Cyprus.

Suarez Ruled Out Of Italy Friendly

Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez has said Luis Suarez will play no part in today's friendly against Italy after he suffered a knock during his four goal starring role in the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying 4-0 win over Chile on Saturday.

"Suarez took a knock against Chile and is not in the best shape," Tabarez said on the eve of the game. "He is getting better, but for the player, and for his club (Liverpool), it would make no sense to risk an injury, that is the way we see things."

With Inter Milan's Diego Forlan already out until mid-December, Tabarez confirmed that the Copa America holders will line up in a 4-3-3 formation with a frontline consisting of Porto's Cristian Rodriguez, Seba Fernandez of Malaga and Napoli's Edinson Cavani.

Tabarez, 64, also spoke of his pride at leading Uruguay into the meeting with one of the world's leading footballing nations at the Stadio Olimpico. "Prior to 2006 (when Tabarez returned for a second spell in charge) we rarely played such prestigious opponents," he said.

"Since the 2010 World Cup, everything has changed. This match is part of a new strategy of playing against major sides. We have already played Germany and the Netherlands, and this invitation to play in this magnificent stadium is an honour."

"We have worked hard, we are a small country, but that must not serve as an excuse," Tabarez added of his team, who reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup before winning their continental crown in Argentina in July.

Tabarez is making his return to Italy, where he spent several months in charge of an aging Milan side before being sacked by Silvio Berlusconi in December 1996.

Liverpool Snub From Non-League Striker Target

Portsmouth are understood to be closing in on non-league starlet Dan Thompson, who has also attracted interest from Liverpool and Newcastle according to skysports.com.

The 17-year-old striker, who currently plies his trade for Hampton & Richmond has been tipped for a bright future, as a host of Barclays Premier League clubs continue to monitor the situation.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been alerted to Thompson's potential, as he considers an attempt to bring him to Anfield, and Magpies boss Alan Pardew has also been credited with an interest in taking him to St James' Park.

However, as prospective talks over a move to either Liverpool or Newcastle have stalled, Championship side Portsmouth is now the favourites to secure his signature.

Thompson is believed to have arrived at Fratton Park this morning to link-up with Pompey for talks and training, with a view to sealing a permanent deal on the south coast before the end of the week.

Whilst the lure of a move to Liverpool or Newcastle would have been tempting for Thompson, his decision to sign for Portsmouth is based around the opportunity of a realistic chance of first-team football.

Boro Star Rebuffs Move Talk

Middlesbrough star Rhys Williams insists that he has no intention of leaving the club in January.

Williams stated earlier this week that he was not ready to sign a new deal at Boro - unless they improved their offer.

This led to renewed speculation about his future with Bolton and Liverpool linked again, with Aston Villa also previously linked.

Speaking from Australia where he is on international duty, he insisted that whilst he wants to play in the Premier League - he wants that to be with Boro.

He told The World Game: "While I am determined to play in the Premier League I want to make that happen with Middlesbrough. We are third at the moment and we're going to be very close this season.

"Of course I'd love to play in the top flight, what player wouldn't?

"But I am happy where I am and have never said that I want to go elsewhere. I don't know where all this has come from about Bolton and Liverpool. I don't know anything about it.

"My main aim is to do what I can for Boro. It's a great club and I am really happy to be a part of the squad.

"I know there has been talk about Bolton being interested in the past, and while that's complimentary, it's not on my mind now at all.

"I'm enjoying my club football and also trying to cement a starting place for my country. That's another challenge and I don't want there to be any distractions."

Speed Had Bellamy Doubts

Wales coach Gary Speed has admitted that he had doubts on the availability on striker Craig Bellamy for his team.

Bellamy had been struggling on a number of fronts with Manchester City offloading him to Cardiff City for the 2010/11 campaign, then Wales coach John Toshack reluctant to pick him and his knees causing him problems.

However, the 32-year-old's fortunes have taken a turn towards the better as he joined his old club Liverpool at the start of the current season and has been made an integral part of the national team once more.

Bellamy was on target for the Dragons on Saturday in their 4-1 victory over Norway in a friendly international at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Speed is understandably glad with Bellamy's progress but concedes that at one point he was unsure about his compatriot's future.

"I did have doubts about whether Craig would carry on playing for us," he said in The Daily Star.

"I know what he's like as a professional and that he wants to play at the top level for as long as possible.

"We know his injury history and that he needs to be looked after. He looks after himself better than any player I know, and his club are looking after him too.

"I wouldn't call it a new lease of life at Liverpool because he's never lost his drive and enthusiasm for the game.

"It probably is helping us that he's making a different sort of contribution - although knowing him I'm sure it won't be long before he's forced his way into getting 90 minutes all the time."

Anglophile Dirk Joins Campaign

Dirk Kuyt is involved with a campaign to bring more tourists to Britain and increase the number of foreign football fans who travel to Barclays Premier League games.

VisitBritain stats show that 750,000 overseas visitors came to see a Premier League match last year, spending nearly £600m in the process.

That's why they have just launched a new Premier League channel on their website - including videos on Liverpool and every other top flight club.

As well as a two-and-a-half minute guide to why foreign fans should go along to Anfield and how they would get there, there is also an interview with Kuyt in which he talks about his adopted country.

The Dutchman reveals his love for the Lake District and explains why Britain has some of the best golf courses around.