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Baffled: Demba Ba is a little lamb who’s lost his way at Newcastle claims agent

The agent of Newcastle striker Demba Ba has claimed the player does not understand why his role has changed. Senegal international Ba headed for the African Nations Cup at the turn of the year having established himself as a star on Tyneside with 15 goals in his first half-season. However, the 27-year-old returned to find the arrival of compatriot Papiss Cisse, a January signing from Freiburg, meant a shift to a wide left position and he started on the bench. Ba's agent, Alex Gontran, told BBC Sport: "Since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, Demba doesn't understand the management. "If he continues to be a substitute all season, we'll look at other solutions." However, Gontran went on to insist that Ba respects manager Alan Pardew's decisions even if he does not necessarily agree with them, and remains happy at the Magpies. He said: "Demba is happy at Newcastle. He is playing in the Premier League with a lot of fellow French speakers and he loves the club's supporters. "He would like to start every game but he respects the choice of the coach, even if he does not always understand or agree." Ba was introduced as a half-time substitute at Goodison Park and scored twice to cancel out Everton's lead and ultimately to claim a point. But he managed only one more goal last season following his return from the African Nations Cup, while Cisse plundered 13, although his contribution as Newcastle finished fifth drew equal praise from his manager. The former Hoffenheim frontman remained on Tyneside at the end of the summer transfer despite months of speculation that a £7.5million release-clause in his contract would be activated. However, neither he nor Cisse have started this season particularly well, that is until last night's point-winning heroics by the former. Pards unrepenta Ndombele this summer.Mourinho publicly lambasted Ndombele after last week’s draw at Burnley and is willing to see him sold.And the Portuguese already has a replacement lined up in Geoffrey Kondogbia.The dual international is in his third season withnt Ba provided the perfect riposte to boss Alan Pardew having been left out in favour of Senegal team-mate Papiss Cisse. The Magpies manager was pleased with the response and hoped other players in the same situation would do likewise. "The fact Cisse got the goal for Senegal in the week gave him the nod because I was only going to go for one striker," he said. "He (Ba) was aggrieved by that but he channelled it in the right way "I have one or two others who are upset as well and I hope they channel it as well as they are going to get a game on Thursday (against Everton boss Marco Silva admits James McCarthy is likely to leave this week.The midfielder is a target for Crystal Palace.Silva told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s one possibility of course. “Let’s see what the decision will be for the next few days.”For this match I went with other players, they worked better during the week and they are more ready to play and to help the team.”Maritimo in the content_imgEuropa League). "Gabriel Obertan has been absolutely brilliant in training but he didn't yet a start and he was angry. "I hope he comes on and gets two goals as well. "It is hard having to leave good players on the bench but it gives everyone an opportunity to play in the first team."

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Steven Gerrard will have no problem recovering mentally from slip, says England boss Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson is not worried about the mentality of Steven Gerrard following the Liverpool midfielder's error in the defeat to Chelsea. mis-controlled a pass before slipping as Demba Ba ran through to give the Blues the vital opening goal in at Anfield last Sunday. fought in vain to even the scores up before Willian added a stoppage-time second to halt their opponents' 11-game winning streak. Chelsea's victory has blown the title race wide open, and despite leading the Premier League, the Reds' destiny is no longer in their own hands. However, Hodgson has said that the England captain will bounce back from the mistake that could cost the club their first league title since 1990. said: "I'm not [worried about Gerrard], because he's very strong mentally. "It was unusual for Steven to let the ball run past him in the first place but had he not slipped he'd have won it back anyway. "Gerrard has turned out to be such a superb captain. He really has been a very, very good catalyst for the others, someone they all look up to as a player but also as a person." The stumble was a bcontent_imglip in what has otended his contract to 2021.Inzaghi has delivered two fifth-place finishes in Serie A and a Coppa Italia in his three years at the helm.He had been linked with the vacancies at AC Milan and Juventus.“S.S. Lazio announce they have renewed and extendt Mourinho was asked following the Champions League final what Mohamed Salah must do in order to get his hands on the Ballon d’Or. His answer was straight the point.He told beIN Sports of the Liverpool striker: “Salah has to win the African Cup of Natherwise been a fine season for the Liverpool skipper. Gerrard has scored 13 goals, and was part of the PFA Team of the Year. Will Liverpool win the league?500+ VOTES SO FAR

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Hazard warns Prem League clubs ahead of summer move

Lille star Eden Hazard expects to see out the seass announced that Benitez will leave the club.The Daily Mail says with Benitez out of a job this week, reports have emerged that he is now seriously considering a lucrative offer on the table from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.The club are oon with his current club before a summer move to England. Sign up for our transfer deadline day LIVE blog NOW! The Belgium forward, 21, has become ium coach Roberto Martinez has declared Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne the best in the world for his role.Asked whether there are better midfielders than De Bruyne in the world, Martinez was adamant. “No, no, no, definitely not,” he told one of the most sought-after talents in Europe and has previously been linked with Chelsea, home to young compatriots Romelu Lukaku and Thibault Courtois, and Arsenal, where he could resume last season's successful partnership with Gervinho. He has most recently been linked with a January move to big-spending Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain, but moved to dismiss those reports this evening. "No, it's impossible," he told Canal+. "I still have lots of things to do with Lille, we could win one or two trophies. "I want to concentrate on my game and enjoy life with my public and my team. I am not leaving." Lille lie third in the domestic league and are into the last 16 of the Coupe de France, though they exited the Champions League at the group stage and the Coupe de la Ligcontent_imgue in the quarter-finals. Hazard could depart at the conclusion of the campaign, though, and made his preference clear. "I think I'm heading to England, the style of play suits me," he said. "It is clear there are a lot of clubs interested in me. Paris? I have already said I would prefer to go abroad. I have [played in] over 100 Ligue 1 matches. "Paris is tempting with the players there now but it's a considered decision." Who's in and who's out at YOUR club? Every Premier League deal of the January transfer window

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England 1-1 Republic of Ireland: Wembley cheers drowned out the bitter hatred of the past

English football's landscape has changed, almost beyond recognition, in the last 18 years. In 1995, the only people wearing Chelsea shirts outside Stamford Bridge were ex-cabinet ministers who had allegedly been knocking off actresses in their replica kit. The last time Our Boys showered the Irish with tokens of their esteem, it was ripped-up benches and wooden stakes from the top deck of a stand at Lansdowne Road. But under slate-grey skies along Wembley Way before , they were only handing out sample sachets of moisturiser. And, including three caretakers who held the fort – Peter Taylor, Howard Wilkinson and Stuart Pearce – England have gone through 10 managers since the 1st Battalion Pond Life rearranged the furniture in Dublin. That's almost as many as Blackburn Rovers – who won the Premier League title in 1995 – get through in a season these days. As England renewed acquaintances with the Republic of Ireland, this time the atmosphere was nearer carnival than carnage. Even Ashley Cole, captain for the night to in February, was warmly applauded in a venue where booing him was once considered a rite of passage. Cole claimed he had "lived a little boy's dream" – but in truth, the football wasn't much to write home about. It was probably better than the banal Anglo-Irish scuffle at the 1990 World Cup, which left one exasperated Italian scribe scolding: "No football, please – we're British." But if the Football Association had wished for a lively guest list to celebrate their 150th anniversary, they could not have wished for a more vocal bunch to get the party started than the Blarney Army. In the pre-match formalities, Cole introduced his team-mates to the "bunch of t***s" he had slated on Twitter when the FA cast doubt on the reliability of his evidence at the hearing which hastened the end of John Terry's reign as captain – but nobody seemed to mind the paradox. And five days after Wembley was colonised by 80,000 Germans at the Champions League Final, fussball was coming home again. England unveiled their new strip, which . But as fans heeded England boss , the national anthem of the far right, there was scope to reflect how far we have come as a nation since the days hooliganism was our most prolific export. Hodgson said: he played with.Torres has announced his retirement as he prepares for his final game in Japan with Sagan Tosun.Torres played with midfield masters such as Andres Iniesta and Xavi for a move for Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.Reports in the African country say football chiefs there hope the Chelsea striker will fill the international void left by Odion Ighalo.SportingLife claim Nigeria representatives were at Stamford Bridge on Sa the Spain national side, but it was Gerrard who made the biggest i"The crowd were magnificent – both sets of supporters. Every time I'm involved in a fixture, something is dragged up from the past which lends an aura of negativity to it. "But the only thing which stopped this evening being a good one for me was the fact we didn't win the game." Barking defiance at the IRA, who last bombed the British mainland in 1996, is no less outdated than howling 'No surrender to the Luftwaffe' when England play Germany. How would they like it if Pakistan supporters attending a Test match at Lord's struck up a chorus of 'No surrender to the BNP'? Keyboard warriors were out in force though, spouting their sectarian drivel, and there were reports of sporadic refrains of the chorus serenading bemused rush-hour commuters on the Tube up to Wembley Park. But in the stadium itself, both national anthems were respected impeccably. Only when Sunderland winger James McClean, who had received death threats for refusing to wear a poppy on his shirt to mark Remembrance Day six months ago, was introduced midway through the second half did the mood among home fans darken noticeably. For the most part, however, that infernal brass band who follow England home and away called the tune – and, mercifully, Hodgson would have approved of their playlist. Yes, much has changed since 1995 – and on this evidence, much of it has been for the better. David Beckham has come and gone, dispensing largesse, distributing passes across five countries and winning titles in four of them. Wembley Stadium itself has been tcontent_imgransformed from an ageing hovel where going to the toilet at half-time was like queuing half an hour for a paddle in the dark into a modern arena fit for heroes. The nation has recovered from the grief of Robbie Williams quitting Take That, and three English clubs have won the Champions League. Why did it take so long for England to rekindle their rivalry with our friends from across the Emerald isle? Since 1995, we have lost to them at a cricket World Cup and and on countless Six Nations battlefields. Finally, we can consign that awful night in Dublin, where the atrocious behaviour included Vinnie Jones biting a Mirror reporter on the nose, to the dustbin of history. "You'll never beat the Irish," sang the Jolly Green army amid the last rites of an undistinguished draw, and since 1985, since Gary Lineker's first goal for England, that much has been true. Lineker may have tweeted about E with Hodgson's reversion to a 4-4-2 formation. But while Saint Gary felt it was appropriate to crack the whip, 80,000 fans were content to enjoy the craic.

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Rio Ferdinand: I told Manchester United youngster who was dropped to ‘stop crying like a baby’

Young players at QPR take note: content_imgRio Ferdinand doesn&apoer their 3-2 defeat of Bournemouth.While Bournemouth mounted a late fightback, Alli’s two goals helped Spurs to their first back-to-back Premier League victories this season as they moved up to fifth in the table.The 23-year-old has now scored three s;t take signs of weakness lightly. The has claimed that he told a youngster at to stop being a "baby" after crying for not getting picked. Ferdinand spent 12 years at the Red Devils and revealed that when he joined younger players had to work their way into the team and earn the chance to spend time in the dressing room. But when he heard a younger player had burst into tears aakeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed.The League One club had been given until 17:00 BST on Tuesday to complete the deal, having been granted an extension to Friday’s initial deadline.Bury are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Mafter being told he wasn't going to play last season, Rio dished out his own dose of tough love. "Last season I was told that one of them had cried in front of the manager," Rio says in his book #2Sides – serialised in The Sun. "I asked what the matter was. 'I thought I was going to play today,' he explained. I reminded him he was 19 and told him to stop crying like a little baby." Ferdinand returned to Old Trafford on Saturday for the first time since leaving United, and saw his new QPR team-mates suffer . Will Manchester United make top three?11000+ VOTES SO FAR In pics: Manchester United 4-0 QPR *******************************

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Didier Drogba hails Jose Mourinho after receiving Football Writers’ Association award

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has paid tribute to after receiving a Football Writers' Associatioror says new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is considering a move to take Calhanoglu on loanTottenham fullback Danny Rose is trying to force through a move to Watford.Rose was spotted at Watford’s training ground earlier today.And it’s emerged a bid from Watford has been turned down by Spurs with an hour to go before the transfer deadline falls.Rose is eager to see the move happen before the window shuts.The England international had a spell at Watford on-loan earlier in his career. as he looks to bolster his squad.Milan are ready to offload the 25-year-old Germany-born Turkey midfielder as they remould their squad following a disappointing sn award. was recognised by the FWA on Sunday night for his outstanding contribution to football in the past 10 years. Prior to the ceremony and the Ivorian striker wasn't shy in firing some compliments back his manager's way. "I've known him for almost 10 years now," said Drogba. "From the day I spoke to him when I was with Marseille in the tunnel on the way to the pitch until now he's the same man. "The man who gave me his word and always respected me and did what he promised." Mourinho gcontent_imgave Drogba a starting berth as Chelsea's hopes of a quadruple , and he reckons the Blues must stay focused if they're to maintain a challenge on the remaining three fronts for the rest of the season. He said: "Everything is capable, but at the same time you can lose everything like yesterday (against Bradford). "I think we need to stay focused on what we want to achieve but also at the time we have to play game by game. In pictures: Chelsea 2-4 Bradford "Especially from now until the end of the season because that's the part of the season where everything matters more. The former Galatasaray man's contract expires in the summer, but he says he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge in some capacity, even if he's not playing. "I want to believe and the club makes me believe that I'm part of this big family, so we're going to find the best thing for both of us to promote the club in the best way." Should Drogba be offered a contract renewal at the end of the season?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

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Mario Balotelli can win the Champions League with Liverpool says Andriy Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko claims Mario Balotelli can dream of winning the Champions League with Liverpool. backs Balotelli's decision to quit the San Siro in an attempt to rekindle his career with Liverpool. The Ukrainian feels it is a good move for and says he has the chance to get his career back on track. "Balotelli deserves another chance and Liverpool will give it tocontent_img him," he said. he can aspire to also win the Champions League. "It's up to him to overcome the difficulties and take back control of his destiny. "If he was not happy and Milan weren't either, it was right to separate. "But I saw Mario at the European Championships two years ago in Ukraine and Poland. He was a fantastic player and I refuse to believe that this has been lost along the way." What will BalotelUnited were interested in Newcastle youngster Sean Longstaff in the summer but were quoted £50million for the 22-year-old andwill be a “nightmare” for supporters.The Gunners are expecting only a small contingent of fans to make the trip to Baku on Wednesday for the final against Chelsea.Wenger said: “It’s the fans who have the problem as Baku is as little bit of a nigh ended the window without a new midfielder.Solskjaer revealed today: “Long-term, we’re looking at different positions and mili be for Liverpool?24000+ VOTES SO FAR In pictures – Mario Balotelli's debut:

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Malaysian club deny that Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan demanded logo change

Malaysian second tier club Kedah have denied that they changed their logo from green and yellow to he has a “very clear idea” about who he wants to sign this summer.But the Spaniard admits qualification for European football will significantly impact his transfer business.He said: “It’s very difficult but I like everything planned. I have very clered because of a two million ringgit (£400,000) investment by Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan. The logo switch is similar to what Malaysian businessman Tan employed in his role at Cardiff, who now play in red of . The Bernama news agency said on Sunday the logo change had angered fans of the three-times Malaysian champions. But the club’s honorary secretary Aminuddin Omar rejected thhis toes every day.The Reds have run away with the Premier League this season, dropping just five points in 29 matches as they opened up a 25-point gap over defending champions content_imgManchester City before the suspension of all football due to the coronavie suggestion they had their hand forced. "We did not change the logo or colour according to our own taste or fancy but it was part of a transformation that KFA will be undergoing for the development of football in the state," Aminuddin was quoted as saying by Bernama. The old logo was the brainchild of former manager Ahmad Basri Mohd Akil, who led the club to a number of honours. Tan had not interfered in the running of the team since his investment on August 15 said the report, quoting Aminuddin. Rather the change of logo was approved by the Sultan of Kedah. Malaysia’s ninth-richest person – with a net worth of $1.3 billion -Tan left school at 16 to start a career as a bank clerk, before purchasing Malaysia’s first McDonald’s franchise and then buying the country’s main lottery agency. Tan has been since taking over at Cardiff, incensing fans last month by sacking popular manager Malky MacKay, who returned them to the top flight of English football this season for the first time since 1962. added to his football portfolio last month by agreeing a deal to take over the control and management of Bosnian club Sarajevo.

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Fifa 14 soundtrack announced: Featuring Miles Kane, Bloc Party and Vampire Weekend

The has been announced, and features the regular mix of internationally renowned bands, and people we've never heard of. We can all remember the classic Fifa songs that played in the background while we wasted away the hours of our free-time trying to take our team to the . But does the soundtrack look like it will be up to par? A quick browse through YouTube suggests it will be, here's our top picks for the songs you've never previously heard of but that you'll know all the words to by Christmas. Tcontent_imghis song has 'Fifa' written all over it, it's the type of song that will play in the background while you're reading your email inbox in Manager Mode. This was the first song announced for the soundtrack, and ever since that momentous day in May, we knew it was a keeper. It's loud, it's brash, it's the song that plays in the background while you tell your opponent how many goals you're going to score pas players return from injury.Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba were both absent as United lost 1-0 to Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Sunday.Speaking after the game, Solskjaer lamented about his lack of attacking options.He said: “[The lack of chat their shoddy back-four. The song that comes on after you lose an important match, conceding two goals in the dying minutes. This song gives you a small amount of bittersweet comfort, before you decide to put your keeper in the reserves until he stops letting in goals at the near post. This is definitely the song that plays when you leave the game on the start menu and go to make a cup of tea. Fifa and EA Sport have 100% nailed 'dreary/relaxing start menu music'. Every Fifa needs something funky, something with a little bit of that samba vibe to allow us to get the passes flowing. This is the funkyct with Inter Milan.Inter are still trying to bring in Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku but are keen to press on with other targets.The Daily Mail says new Inter boss Antonio Conte is keen on Llorente after managing the 34-year-old at Juventus.Llore song for Fifa 14. American Authors — Hit it Amplify Dot – Get Down Bloc Party – Ratchet Chvrches – We Sink Crystal Fighters – Love Natural Dan Croll – Compliment Your Soul David Dallas – Runnin De Staat – Down Town – (Released Soon) Disclosure – F For You Empire of The Sun – Alive Foals – My Number (Trophy Wife Remi) Grouplove – I’m With You Guards – I Know It’s You Illya Kuryaki & The Vaderramas – Funky Futurista Jamie N Commons – Marathon – (Released Soon) John Newman – Love Me Again Karol Conka — Boa Noite Los Rakas — Hot – (Released Soon) Marcelo D2 — Voce Diz Que O Amor Nao Doi Miles Kane — Don’t Forget Who You Are Nine Inch Nails — Copy of A OK Kid — Am Ende Oliver — Mechanical Olympic Ayres — Magic Portugal. The Man — Purple Yellow Red and Blue Robert Delong — Here Rock Mafia feat. Wyclef Jean & David Correy — I Am – (Released Soon) Smallpools — Dreaming The 1975 — The City The Chain Gang of 1974 — Miko The Colourist — Little Games (St. Lucia Remix) The Naked and Famous — Hearts Like Ours The Royal Concept — On Our Way Vampire Weekend — Worship You Wretch 32 — 24 Hours – (Released Soon) You Me At Six — Lived A Lie

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Fulham relegation could lead to years outside Premier League warns their annual report

Fulham have warned that massive cost-cutting will leave them struggling terpool fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold wants to sharpen his attacking game.Reds legend Jamie Carragher said recently that Alexander-Arnold has to contribute more goals to the team and that is something he accepts.”Scoring more goals is something I’d o win promotion back to the Premier League if they are relegated th return to fitness. Alisson has been out of action since the opening day of the season after suffering a calf injury against Norwich, with Adrian deputising in his absence. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp said: “We had lunch togetheis season. that manager Felix Magath and all players will take a 30 percent cut if the Cottagers drop into the Championship. Now, ’s latest annual report states 67 per cent of revenue comes from the Premier League – and going down will also cause a player exodus. Chief executive Alistair Mackintosh wrote in the report: “In the event of relegation from the Premier League, the company’s revenues would fall and the company would therefore have to take action to significantly reduce operating costs. “Such action could prevent the maintenance of a playing squad capable of gaining promotion back to the Premier League. "Therefore, the company’s main aim is to prevent this risk becoming a reality.” Fulham spent £66.5m on wages – a staggering 89.6 per cent of revenue – while making a £21.5m profit on player sales. The report is for the year ending June 30, 2013 – before US tycoon Shahid Khan bought the club from Mohamed Al-Fayed. How the bottom of the table stands   Played Won Drawn Lost Scored Conceded Goal diff. Points Aston Villa 31 9 7 15 34 46 -12 34 Swansea 32 8 9 15 45 48 -3 33 Hull 32 9 6 17 33 40 -7 33 Norwich 32 8 8 16 26 51 -25 32 Crystal Palace 31 9 4 18 20 39 -19 31 West Brom 31 5 14 12 36 48 -12 29 Cardiff 32 6 8 18 29 61 -32 26 Sunderland 30 6 7 17 28 48 -20 25 Fulham 32 7 3 22 31 73 -42 24 Saturday: Aston Villa (A).content_img Saturday, 12 April: Norwich (H). Saturday, 10 April: Tottenham (A). Saturday, 26 April: Hull (H). Saturday, 3 May: Stoke (A). Sunday, 11 May: Crystal Palace (H). Will Fulham stay up?1000+ VOTES SO FAR