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Spoilt by success? Man City face chorus of boos… as they beat Swansea

Spoilt by success used to be the charge levelled at Manchester United fans. But it seems some Manchester City supporters, having won the FA Cup and Premier League in successive seasons after a 35-year wait for silverware, have developed the same sense of­ entitlement. How else to explain the boos that rang round the Etihad Stadium at half-time, with the scoreline at 0-0? *** *** Perhaps it was a hangover from the crushing 3-1 Champions League defeat at Ajax in midweek, which virtually ended any hope they have of making the knockout stage. Whatever the motives behind the public show of dismay, City boss Roberto Mancini remained unimpressed with the half-time dissent from the stands. Having been forced to confront such unrest from within his squad over his perceived tactical failings in Amsterdam, the last thing Mancini needed was similar disquiet from the City faithful. “They must understand it was a difficult occasion,” said Mancini. “When you’re tired and have just had a defeat in the Champions League, maybe you can be ­disappointing. All teams need their supporters for 90 minutes. This was a good win. After a defeat in the Champions League it was important to win quickly again. “After all that’s been said in the last few days, I thought we were bottom of the Premier League. But I’ve just looked at the table and we’re in second position.” Mancini’s last comments were delivered with a heavy dose of sarcasm and it was easy to see why the City boss felt sufficiently emboldened to be so bullish in the face of criticism. Despite claiming just one point from three Champions League games, City remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season and have not lost at home in the league for 34 games. Against the backdrop of such a ­formidable record, their status of ­champions and their wealth, ­expectations are understandably high. “Yes this is normal,” said Mancini. “But we are a good team. This is only the second time in the Champions League for us. “For Chelsea to win the Champions League took them 10 or 11 years. But for those 10 years they were still a fantastic team. “But if we want to say to our supporters, ‘OK now we are ready to win the Champions League’, then it’s not true. “We can play better but there are other teams who have always played in the Champions League and sometimes they don’t play well too. “In two years we’ve won three trophies, so we’ve done well. Everyone that works with us knows we need time. “We won the title last season but we need to work, we need to improvoan from West Brom, became the first striker to win the award since record-breaking goalscorer Alan Shearer in 2003.He has scored 11 goals this term – his best-ever tally in English football but is due to return to parent club West Brom following Ne, to learn other things.” City skipper Vincent Kompany, whose own form has been questioned this season, admitted Mancini’s players had become victims of their own success. “We set a very high standard last season,” said Kompany. “We want it for ourselves, to achieve the same ­performances as last season. “It’s a matter of time. Sometimes when statistics arecontent_imgn’t going your way, there is no way of fighting it by talking about it. “Whatever criticism we’re getting now, we’re unbeaten in the league and up in second position. It just means we set the standard very high last season, I guess.” Mancini copped flak for changing his formation three times against Ajax, which prompted criticism from some of his players, but here his tactical switch paid off. After a flat first-half, City played with greater purpose and penetration after the break, inspired by the guile and industry of Carlos Tevez. Bringing Mario Balotelli on at half-time allowed Tevez to drop deeper, a move which succeeded with the Argentina striker scoring the 61st-minute winner with a dipping long-range shot. Swansea keeper Michel Vorm suffered a groin strain in diving to stop the  shot, with manager Michael Laudrup confirming hPremier League team has managed to beat Jurgen Klopp’s troops so far this season.Kane, 26, urged his team-mates to make history today, saying: “Momentum-wise, a victory would give us a huge lift.“Probably not many people will expect us to win awae will be out for six to  eight weeks. There was also injury misery for City defender Micah Richards, who was taken off on a stretcher after collapsing in agony when his right knee gave way as he tracked back. Richards had only just returned after two-and-a-half months out with ankle trouble, but he looks likely to be ­sidelined for even longer this time. Mancini admitted the prognosis was “probably bad”. Wining ugly is the hallmark of all championship-winning sides, a skill City would appear to be adding to their armoury as they chase a second straight title.

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Dave Kidd on Hodgson’s critics: Why England boss Roy deserves the last laugh over Redknapp and co

We must have missed the bit where Harry Redknapp showed belief in the emerging Andros Townsend during their four years together at Tottenham, . Redknapp, . The gambler. The great entertainer. The lost hope. The latter-day Brian Clough, without the European Cups. All week they’d sent in the clowns to sling custard pies at Hodgson, and FA bosses. In the build-up to Friday’s critical clash with Montenegro, they lined up to deride the England manager. first, , and . All those after-dinner turns who had made QPR’s Premier League years such marvellous cabaret. Even our greatest sporting mercenary , lecturing us all about Englishness. Hodgson ignored it all, smiled through it and refused to be caricatured as a ­negative, ­conservative coach. He fancied Townsend to scare the wits out of Montenegro, so he picked him. He wanted to play all three of the forwards – Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck – and so he selected them all. He heard the ‘long-ball’ jibes, but ­encouraged Joe Hart to roll it out to his full-backs at every opportunity and saw England build up patiently from the back. He had concerns over the form of Jack Wilshere, the ‘saviour of English football’, so he dropped the Arsenal man – knowing he’d have been pilloried for his folly had England not won. When my colleague Dean Jones that Hodgson would start with Townsend, no one seemed to believe it. They’d all ­swallowed the ­hokum that Hodgson was an inherently boring coach who’d never take such a risk on a red-letter night. It was the sort of thing Redknapp would do, not Hodgson. Townsend was a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday when Redknapp was sacked by Spurs – yet the talented young winger was never trusted to play a single Premier League match under him. Sure, Redknapp took him on loan to QPR last term, but that was a desperate late grab from a drowning man. He had been close to selling Townsend to Millwall three years ago, without ever selecting him for a Spurs start. The serialisation of Redknapp’s bo Inter Milan’s hands.Inter would prefer to sell to Napoli ahead of Juve, though the player favours the Bianconeri.TMW says Napoli are willing to pay €60m for Icardi, with a five-year deal worth €8m-a-season also drawn up.However, for some months,ok was royal-command entertainment. There was the one about the bloke who fooled Harry into believing he was a jockey, the one about having 30 grand of Paul Merson’s gambling cash stuffed down his tracksuit on the touchline, the one about his mates having a flutter on him returnCrystal Palace have a deal in place for Real Betis midfielder Victor Camarasa.The Daily Mail says Palace have agreed a loan deal for Camarasa.The Spaniard, 25, impressed in south Wales last season despite Cardiff’s relegation, scoring five goals in 33 appearances.He now seems set to be heading back to the Premier League in a deal which could become permanent if Palace stay up this season.ing as Portsmouth boss. At least the FA’s official betting ­partner (yes they really do have one) would have felt more cherished with Redknapp in office. The few of us who wanted Hodgson, and not Redknapp, to succeed Fabio Capello were told we were backing the wrong horse. By supporters of a bloke who can’t tell a top-class jockey from a bar-room potman. Warnock chipped in that he’d rather watch Downton Abbey than an England match and claimed dear old Roy could only set up a team not to lose, rather than to win. Barton, that eminent philosopher and wordsmith, labelled England ‘s**t’. Hodgson is a pragmatic coach, ­certainly. At times, he’d rather earn a cautious draw than suffer a gung-ho defeat – as we saw when he was shorn of ­forwards in Kiev. But England have lost only once in 21 games under him, so they didn’t warrant Barton’s gutter slur. The England manager knows theycontent_img must bottle and ­guzzle it down against Poland on Tuesday, to secure the win that would book a place in Brazil as unbeaten group winners. Hodgson is now in a ­positive, ­attacking frame of mind. In his post-match press ­briefings, he ­referred to his ­previous international successes, most notably with Switzerland. He is proud of his work over 37 years in management and tired of being ­patronised by the Redknapp camp. He was also that England players couldn’t match their opponents for desire. Before taking this job, Hodgson had heard all the talk of millionaire ­footballers no longer committed to the Three Lions. Even this week, Redknapp suggested players don’t enjoy England call-ups. Yet the dodgy ‘injury’ pull-outs and international retirements have dried up on Hodgson’s watch. It’s almost as if players enjoy working with him. As if they didn’t want a manager who’d tell them amusing anecdotes and pass on horse-racing tips. As if they wanted an experienced and intelligent football coach.

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Comedy gold: PFA want money back from N-bomb comic Reginald D Hunter

The Professional Footballers Association want their money back from comedian ­Reginald D Hunter over the ‘n’ word jokes that wrecked last Sunday night’s awards bash. The Players’ Union have consulted lawyers in a bid to recover the fee they paid thvincing Achraf Hakimi to return from his loan at Borussia Dortmund.Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc wants to keep the Madrid born defender in Germany.”We have expressed our interest several times in extending Achraf’s deal after next summer,e American comic, who sprinklibar.It seems to have become a recurring theme for Los Rojiblancos this campaign, something that the long-serving midfield recognised after the 2-0 defeat at Ipurua.”The start [to the match] was bad again, and this has happened many times.”It is a pred his 30-minute act with racially offensive language. PFA chief executive Bobcontent_imgby Barnes said last night: “We’ve spoken to our lawyer who in turn has spoken to the London Speaker Bureau. “Whatever he was paid it was obviously way too much. The whole thing was inappropriate.” Meanwhile, Gareth as the Spurs winger was named both Player and Young Player of the Year.

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Former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas guides Zenit St Petersburg to Russian title

have won the Russian Premier League under the management of . The former Chelsea coach's new side clinched the title with a 1-1 draw at FC Ufa. Sunday's result put them eight points clear of CSKA Moscow and Krasnodar with just two matches left to play. The title represents the Portuguese manager's first piece of silverware since he won the treble with Porto in 2011. "Zenit still hav club RB Leipzig.The Bundesliga outfit are interested in the Norway striker, though face competition from the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus.Marsch says: “Leipzig is a greited boss Sir Alex Ferguson feels Jose Mourinho should go with the young players at Tottenam.Mourinho has come in for criticism in the past – including at United – for failing to successfully bring through young players into the first-team.Hcontent_imge praisedat club for every player, especially for young and explosive e room to improve and become stronger," Villas-Boas said. "There will be changes and by this, I mean within the squad. "We need to try and grow in order to win and improve in European competitions. To achieve this, there will be some changes and there will be investment." Villas-Boas, 37, moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2011 but struggled at Stamford Bridge and was sacked in March the following year. He was offered a second chance in the Premier League by Tottenham in July 2012 but before he was replaced by Tim Sherwood. In pictures – AVB's Tottenham career: Will Andre Villas-Boas return to the Premier League?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Tom Cleverley “happy” to leave Manchester United for Aston Villa after becoming fans’ whipping boy

Tom Cleverley quit Manchestecontent_imgr United after becoming a target for the Old Trafford boo-boys. Cleverley was unveiled at Aston Villa on Thursday after . And the midfielder revealed he was HAPPY to leave and predicted there is no way back for him at United after the fans turned against him last season as the defending champions toiled under first-year manager David Moyes. Cleverley said: “If any footballer gets a bit of stick off their own fans they are going to be hurt. Football is a game of opinions and you can’t please everyone. “I am happy to get away from some of the negativity. Whenever you are not winning trophies at Man United the players are going to get some stick.” Despite doing well in pre-season, Cleverley says the Red Devils' new boss Louis van Gaal made it clear he could go on deadline day. He said: “I wasn’t emotional or anything like that. I didn’t get a chance to say many goodbyes. It is something I had prepared myself for. “Louis van Gaal was always straight with me. I had a fairly good pre-season where we won every game, but he has his own players. The manager made it fairly clear it wasn’t going to happen for me there.” Cleverley admits he suffered from a loss of confidence last term, but says so did everyone at United as they came seventh and Moyes was axed. He said: “If you looked at the games the areas I was playing were a little bit deeper and different systems. It prarcelona coach Quique Setien cannot guarantee Arturo Vidal staying beyond Friday’s transfer deadline.Vidal has been linked with Inter Milan for much of this month’s winter market.And Setien admitted yesterday: “I usually speak with the players, but iobably didn’t suit my game perfectly but if all the players can say they were high in confidence they would be lying. “It wasn’t just me, the rest of the squad too and that rubs off on most of the players and the fans. It was a tough season for us last year. But we’ve got away from the negativity of that and this is a brand new challenge.” Academy board should heed the words of Lionel Messi.Messi has stated this week some frustration seeing Barca fail to re-sign Neymar from PSG.Gaspert told El Larguero: “The end of season clause was also used by players like (Andres) Iniesta and Xavi at the tgraduate Cleverley now cannot ever see himself playing for United again. have an option to buy the midfielder in January as his contract expires next summer. . He added: “With me being out of contract at the end of the year if I am being honest I don’t think I would play for the club again. In modern football it is rare that one player, like Giggsy or Scholesy, plays for one club for their career.” Did you know we have a Manchester United Facebook page? Who will have the biggest debut for their new club?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Picture: Indian school nicks Liverpool FC badge

If Oscar Wilde's famous saying "talent borrows, genius steals" is accurate, then pupils at one Indian public school can expect top grades in their exams. The Gurukul Public School appears to have taken inspiration from Liverpool FC for their official crest and motto. As several web jokial media hint.Schubert, 21, is wanted by Arsenal to provide back-up to Bernd Leno after stalwart Petr Cech retired at the end of the season.Reports from the Daily Mail sn says the Irons have demanded £10million for Obiang amid interest from Italy in a summer transfer.Obiang, 27, is being chased by Serie A sides Bologna and Sassuolo with his place in Manuel Pellegrini’s plans under threat.The Spanish midfieldercontent_img was uggested the move was dead with the Germany U21 international opting to head to ers have pointed out, it's probably not a finishing school but is bound to have an excellent woodwork department. Anyone late for the bell is told "we've rung it five times". And it might just be twinned with this Hong Kong kindergarten. Just don't ask for an interview with the headmaster.

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The best pictures from Liverpool’s 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Olympiakos in Chicago

Liverpool bounced back from by beating Olympiakos 1-0 been to central London despite signingane Dembele can fulfill his potential at the Nou Camp.Dembele has been mentioned as part of a potential deal for PSG star Neymar.Ortega told Catalunya Radio: “Dembele has incredible potential, he’s young and he can still add a lot.” Urbano continued: this summer.The full-back moved from boyhood club Celtic to join the Gunners and since then, has had to cope with the transition with moving from Glasgow to London.The defender said: “Coming to London has been in the latest game of their US tour. Englandcontent_img winger Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game within the first five minutes, capitalising on a lucky deflection to fire home. The Reds were put under pressure by their Greek opponents in the remainder of the game, but held out to record their first clean sheet of the summer. The game also saw a return to action for England players Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge and a debut for , all of whom played in the World Cup in Brazil. Another of the Reds' new signings, midfielder Emre Can, also had some playing time at Soldier Field. See the best pics in the gallery above.

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Arsenal players take time out to pull silly poses ahead of key Manchester United clash

You would think that after their Arsenal's players would be getting down to the hard work in training this week. Certainly Gunners fans still peeved at their Anfield no-show will want much better when they look to put their title challenge back on track when they return to league action on Wednesday night. But then again, are ONLY playing Manchester United – and let's face it, ! So rather than push themselves too much in training in the build up to their clash with the beleaguered champions, Arsenal's playersd Gilberto Silva.The 20-year-old has solidified his place in Unai Emery’s midfield this season, drawing praise ovecontent_imgr the maturity and tenacious of his performances.A strong midfielder in his heyday, Silva has been impressed by the emerging Frenchman.H have been looking to lighten the mood and have a bit of fun. Whether it's LPogba is owed a head-spinning loyalty bonus by Manchester United.The Sun says he is in line for a £3.78million “loyalty” bonus from Manchester United just three days after declaring he needs a new challenge.The France World Cup winner, 26, made it caurent Koscielny hiding in a bush, Bacary Sagna dancing like he's auditioning for Swan Lake (maybe he's still tied up after Raheem Sterling turned him to knots), or Mikel Arteta standing still (which is kind of what he did at Anfield anyway) the Gunners have been bringing back the smiles at their London Colney training ground. Woe betide them if they lack the mental steel (blue or otherwise) to see off United. Can't imagine the boisterous Emirates crowd being too pleased if they don't take three points. PS. Mesut Ozil, like at Anfield, went unseen.

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Forest boss waiting for go-ahead to keep McCleary

Steve Cotterill is hopinteta is using information from previous club Manchester City to move for Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko.That’s according to Matviyenko’s agent Yuriy Danchenko, who claims he has been in talks with Arsenal all week in regards to selling tg for the all-clear to make a late bid to keep Garath McCleary at Nottingham Forest. Forest chiefs are in negotiations with the executors of deceased former owner Nigel Doughty’s will and boss Cotterill is likely to get the go-ahead towith Rennes and signed for Valladolid yesterday to the end of this season.A France international, the midfielder has played 388 official mcontent_imgatches and scored 73 goals for Lyon, Olympique Marseille, Newcastle, Hull City, Nice, Paris Saint-Germain and Re offer the winger an £8,000-a-week deal.

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Roy Keane admits in autobiography feeling glad when one of his Sunderland players had a HEART ATTACK

Roy Keane has admitted to secretly feeling glad one of his Sunderland players suffered a heart attack – because it shifted the focus from his team's poor form. Sunderland were beaten 3-0 by Luton in the Carling Cup in August 2007 and Clive Clarke, who was on loan at Leicester, sule United chief Luke Charnley has spent the week in talks with managerial candidates.The Evening Chronicle says Charnley has returned to the UK after spending time in Europe this week.With the Magpies searching for a new manager and summer signings, ffered a heart attack that night during a tie at Nottingham Forest. , writing in , said: “The news came through to us afcontent_imgter the game. "The madness of football: we'd been beaten 3-0 by Luton, a shocking result, but at the press conference after the game I said that football results really didn't matter and I mentioned that Clive Clark had had a heart attack. “And I had the evil 34-year-old will call time on his City career at the end of the season following 10 trophy-laden years at the Etihad Stadium.”I moved to Eibar a very short time before the beginning of the 2004-05 season and it was the only one available,” he told ththought 'I'm glad he had it tonight'. Because it would deflect from our woeful performance. "That was the world I was in.”

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Band of brothers: Hodgson makes team unity a priority for England

Roy Hodgson will make unity a priority when he takes his England squad to the Euro 2012. A lack of harmony was pinpointed as a major ­factor behind England’s flop in the World Cup finals in South Africa two years ago. And former Switzerland manager Hodgson said: “With Switzerland, only Stephane Chapuisat played abroad. If you talk about a coach of England’s stature, it is hard to find that unity. “But we haveonsistency or risk missing out on the top-four.Arsenal handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s a deserved 2-0 defeacontent_imgt at the Emirates.The Red Devils missed a chance to close the gap on Chelsea, who lost to Brighton earlier in the day.“Everyone around the club to find it. The only way we are going to win anything is as a team. We have to accept that.” Also high on the agenda for Hodgson is to ensure the environment is right within the squad base. Players complained about the total isolation in South Africa. “It is not an easy situation to manage,” he admitted. “It is like a six-week period together with just the odd training session. You can’t fill the day with training sessions or the players won’t have anythin Saturday.Chelsea are still recovering from their 3-0 Champions League home defeat to Bayern Munich.Lampard said, “The response will be what we see tomorrow. The lads have been fine in training, they looked determined this morning. Things like this ng to take on the pitch. It is a constant headache. The FA have gone down a different route this time.” Hodgson is ready for the flak that will inevitably come his way if England disappoint. “Do I have a thick skin?” he asked. “No. Maybe I should develop one! But I am a football coach. If I am vulnerable in any area, or lacking, it might be that I don’t have a thick enough skin.”

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Spoiling the broth? Shamed Cook will be in the stands to watch City’s final game

Shamed former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook will be back to watch the club’s expected Premier League title triumph tomorrow. Cook was forced to resign from his position last September after sending an offensive e-mail to the mother of former City defender Nedum Onuoha, mocking her battle against cancer. But the former City chief executive, who spent three years in the role and who was instrumental in changing the culture and approach of the club, will be among the guests at Etihad Stadium for the QPR game. Gaffe-prone Cook’s downfall came when he initially denied sending the email, which was supposed to go to City’s director of football, Brian Marwood. Onuoha’s mother, who acts as his agent, had previously sent a message to Marwood and Cook, explaining that while she was “ravaged with caSunday.Pogba had a back spasm before United’s friendly against Kristiansund in Oslo last week and that was given as the official reason for his absence against AC Milan in Cardiff at the weekend, even though the Frenchman was fit to play in a behind-ncer” it would not prevent her negotiating on behalf of her son. She then received an e-mail from Cook, intended for Marwood, which apparently ridiculed her use of language in describing her illness. The email is said to have read: “Ravaged with itValencia have named Skoda as a premium sponsor until the 2020/21 season, reports, /.Skoda will be replacing Alfa Romeo.!!…I don’t know how you sleep at night. You used to be such a nice man when I worked with youcontent_img at Nike. G”. Claiming his e-mail account had been hacked into and that the culprit had been dealt with, Cook was forced to quit when an internal investigation found there was “foundation to the allegations” made by Onuoha’s mother. Cook admitted to an “error of judgment” and left his post with immediate effect. But City recognise the role he played in taking the club to the brink of their first title in 44 years and have invited him back to share in the club’s expected glory.

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Man maker: Pampered Taarabt is better now he’s toughened up, says Hughes

Mark Hughes believes QPR are only seeing the best of Adel Taarabt now because he was pampered and given an easy ride is a very clever signing for Bournemouth.The youngster has sealed a move to the Premier League club for a fee that is supposedly in the £13 million range.And his former boss, for whom Kelly played 48 games this season, says that he is a great signi by the previous regime. Nine days short of their futile search for an away win reaching its first anniversary, Taarabt joins Rangers' crusade at Stoke today with Hughes raving about his Moroccan playmaker's improved form. But the Hoops manager may incur the wrath of his predecessor Neil Warnock – always worth the risk, given the pantomime value – by claiming Taarabt was "indulged" to the detriment of his impact in the Premier League. Taarabt's record of four goals in 36 appearances since the Rs returned to the top flight is a poor return for a player of his exotic gifts. Arsenal have noted the former Tottenham midfielder's increased influence and are . And as Rangers return to the scene of their last awayday success on November 10 last year, which was Warnock's last win before the axe fell at Loftus Road, Hughes said: "It doesn't surprise me if other clubs are looking at Adel, but I know for a fact he is happy here and this is the best place for him. "In terms of ability, he  is one of the best players I've ever worked with as a player or manager, but he now understands that ability is not the whole package required at this level. "The thing about Adel is that his talent has never been in question, but at times he did not understand how to use that talent in the right areas at the right time. "I think he will tell you he was indulged a little bit too much, and that certainly went on, but you could understand why because at Championship level he could win games on his own. "In the Premier League, it's a different standard and he couldn't be allowed to do the same amount of work leading into games because he wouldn't have the same impact. "Even though he seems to have been around for ages, he is still only 23 and we are working to maximise his ability and give him the career he deserves. "He is a one-off in the sense there aren't any pcritical clash with Atletico Madrid.Relegation-threatened Espanyol go to Molineux trailing 4-0 on aggregate for the second-leg of their round 32 tie.Wu Lei said, “Tomorrow we will seek to win, because we are not satisfied with the last two games. We layers who spring to mind to compare with Adel's range and vision when he is on top of his game. "Occasionally he still makes wrong decisions, and tries to play eye-of-the-needle passes when they are not on, but that's only because he wants to be positive with every ball he plays. "In the Premier League, you need players who can unpick the lock and produce something different in tight games, and he gives us that option. "At places like Stoke, we don't expect him to be flying into challenges, going up for headers in our box or covering round the back at set pieces, but there will be certain aspects of defensive work where it's vital that he helps to keep the shape of the team. "To be fair, he has that discipline now, and it's going to be a key element for him if he is going to progress." Ten matches into the campaign, Rangers are sticontent_imgll without a win this season, and only goal difference separates them from bottom club Southampton. The two sides meet at Loftus Road next weekend, when defeat could have serious repercussions for the losing manager.

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Quashed: High Court overturns Hillsborough ‘accidental death’ verdicts

The campaign for justice for the 96 innocent victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster scored another landmark victory today, as the High Court quashed the original inquest verdicts. The decision comes as The Press association reports that the High Court has quashed the original accidental death inquest verdicts returned after 96 Liverpool football fans died in the crush at Hillsborough 23 years ago. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and two other judges in London ordered fresh inquests following an application by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve. The PA report continues: The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said there were "good grounds" for the application made by Mr Grieve. Lord Judge described what happened in 1989 as "catastrophic". Respect for campaigning families Referring to the families, Lord Judge said there had been a "profound, almost palpable belief that justice has not been done and that it cannot be done without andcontent_img until the full truth is revealed". He said: "We must record our admiration and respect for their determined search for the truth about the circumstances of the disaster and why and how it had occurred, which – despite disappointments and setbacks – has continued for nearly quarter of a century." After Lord Judge announced the decision of the court, families in the packed courtroom greeted it with a loud round of applause. More than 40 families had made the journey to London for the hearing, while others watched by videolink from Liverpool. When giving the ruling, Lord Judge expressed regret that the process the families had gone through over the years since the disaster had been "so unbearingly dispiriting and prolonged". "We have known the truth for 23 years" Responding to the decision to quash the original Hillsborough inquest verdicts and the announcement that a fresh police investigation is to be held into the disaster, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "This is a watershed moment on the road to justice for the families of the 96, and I share their overwhelming relief that, after 23 very painful years, the inquest verdicts have been quashed. "It is the only right and proper decision that the High Court could make in the wake of the overwhelming and compelling evidence uncovered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel. "We must all keep up the pressure that has driven the momentum over the last few months to make sure that the families get the justice they deserve. "I also welcome the new police investigation, which we all hope will result in those that played a role in causing the disaster and the monumental cover-up are brought to account." Lord Judge said each of those who died in the tragedy was a "helpless victim of this terrible event". He ruled that it was in the interests of justice to hold a fresh inquest. He said the "interests of justice must be served" – "however distressing the truth will be brought to light". Michelle Carlile, 44, clutching a photograph of her brother Paul, 19, who died at Hillsborough, said of today's decision: "It is bitter-sweet. We have known the truth for 23 years." "After truth there must be justice" James Saunders, managing director of Saunders Law Ltd, the solicitor who represents the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: "After truth there must be justice, and the High Court's order for fresh inquests on the 96 who died opens the path to justice for the Hillsborough families. "Those who caused the deaths, concealed what happ wants to top off his debut season with a trophy.The Uruguay international has reinvigorated the Gunners midfield this season with his combative and aggressive style.And he hopes his impact can result in the club’s first European trophy since 1994 whened, lied to the press and denigrated the victims toight’s draw at Napoli.Griezmann struck the equaliser as Barca drew 1-1 at Napoli in the first-leg of their Champions League round 16 tie.Asked about his combination with Messi, he later remarked: “It was complicated to find eachother this evening, he hide their own culpability may expect to be brought to account in court." Trevor Hicks, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, spoke of his delight at the decision to quash the inquest verdicts. Speaking outside London's Royal Courts of Justice, he said: "Justice is on its way. "Everything we've said has been proven to be correct." Mr Hicks went on: "We're obviously delighted. "Now I think it's important to say as well, the actual text of the judgment, we couldn't have written it better if we'd written it ourselves. "The Lord Chief Justice, I think he used the term 'vindicated' yet again, so I think it is clear that justice is on its way. "We could come out with something like a small step for mankind, but it's a huge step for the families of the loved ones, so it's a happier Christmas." New inquests to be "established quickly" The Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, said: "The victims' families and survivors of the Hillsborough tragedy have seen their cause take another important step forward today. "I will now do everything I can to help to get new inquests established quickly. "I have received a request from the Doncaster and Bradford Coroners for a judge to be appointed to conduct these inquests and I am today asking the Lord Chief Justice to make a recommendation to me on suitable candidates as soon as possible."

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Van Basten Exclusive: Arsenal need to buy FOUR to keep RvP

Marco Van Basten believes Arsenal can persuade Robin van Persie to stay – if they launch a £65million summer spending spree. Van Basten, once the worldr injury.The French winger has been in good form with the Magpies this season.But he limped off during their 2-1 win at home against Southampton at the weekend.When reporters asked Saint-Maximin about his condition, he responded by saying: “It’s a ba’s greatest player and more recently Van Persie’s international coach, remains close to the Arsenal skipper and the club’s hierarchy. He prepared for his UEFA coaching badges by spending time with the Gunners. There are four major signings on manager Arsene Wenger’s shopping list – Ajax defender Jan Vertongen, Germany internationals Lukas Podolski and Mario Goetze, and Athletico Bilbao’s powerful midfielder Javier Martinez. Arsenal are also ­looking for an experienced keeper to back up their outstanding youngster Wojciech Szczesny. Van Basten said: ­“Arsenal have a few guys behind the scenes who really do want to spend big money on players. “So far the club have not wanted to give in to these guys. But there comes a point when a player like Robin can say if that remains the philosophy of the clubnited .Although City have no chance of catching runaway leaders Liverpool , their top-four status is assured, with Guardiola’s side holding a 15-point lead over fifth-placed United.”When we believe it’s more important for them, we’re going to lose,” , then he’ll have to move on. “I really do know that a few guys have loads of money. How do I know this? I meet people in football. “There is a logical reason for Robin to leave if he wants to win trophies. But he can turn round to the board and the manager and say: ‘Look, I enjoy life here at Arsenal. Why would I leave? But you have to make new signings.’ “If I was Robin, I’d tell the club he wants to win things with Arsenal. And he can also say, ‘If you – the board and the management – cannot fulfil my ambitions, I will have to go.” Arsenal boss Wenger knows he has to improve both the quality acontent_imgnd depth of his squad. Van Persie, who has 15 months to run on his contract, has shelved talks until the summer. The Gunners’ talisman has scored 32 goals in all competitions this ­season to emphasise his value. He wants to see some quality additions to share the burden of making Arsenal trophy winners after a seven-year drought. Arsenal are close to sealing a £12m deal with Cologne for striker Podolski, who is out of contract in June 2013. Goetze, an attacking midfielder at Borussia Dortmund, will cost around £20m, while a similar fee will land 23-year-old Martinez from Bilbao. Martinez is a 6ft 3in ­defensive midfielder, who also plays centre-back. He was outstanding in ­Bilbao’s 3-2 ­Europa League win over Manchester ­United last week. Arsenal have been accused of ­dithering in the transfer market, but Wenger will move quickly to land his prime targets this summer. Van Basten added: “The Arsenal squad has to be bigger and stronger. That will never guarantee ­trophies, but it will increase the chances. “Robin must get the feeling Arsenal will have a squad this summer which can compete with the best teams in England and Europe. They cannot turn around and tell him they are selling the best players, like last summer. “They have a gem like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but at the top of ­European football you also need ­experience. “So they need a few players of more maturity – and then you can get Robin to stay.” The powerfully-built Basque is still only 23 but could prove to be the long term successor to Patrick Vieira as Arsenal’s midfield hard man. A tough, quick defender who can play across the defence and as a midfield holding man. Belgium international team-mate, and close friend, of Arsenal’s best centre-back Thomas Vermaelen. Quick, stylish attacking midfielder who has been a key part in the new, resurgent Germany team. Could provide the creative touch from the flanks previously supplied by Samir Nasri. The 26 year-old Cologne striker has been a long-standing target for Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal boss sees Podolski as an ideal partner for Robin van Persie. Arsenal set to snatch Ajax defender from under Spurs noses  Van Bommel: I'm not a dirty player…Scholes is worse  Vermaelen warns Spurs: We're gunning for third place Wilshere return boosts England's hopes at Euro 2012