AVB urges Adam to apologise to Bale

Andre Villas-Boas is relieved that Gareth Bale escaped serious injury in the heavy tackle from Charlie Adam.

The Welsh winger was left stricken after the Reds midfielder appeared to tread on his ankle in Tottenham’s pre-season friendly with Liverpool in the United States.

Bale was in such a bad way that he was immediately substituted – throwing his availability for the start of the season into doubt.

A similar challenge from Adam, then playing for Blackpool, had also prematurely ended the 23-year-old’s 2010-11 campaign.

“Needless to say, we are extremely relieved Gareth has not been seriously injured,” Villas-Boas told The Daily Mail.

“There is previous history between the two players on the challenge that was done I think three years ago.”

The Portuguese would not condemn Bale’s accusation that the Adam was a ‘coward’ and said he hoped that the Scotland international would apologise for the incident.

“Adam being called a coward? It’s Gareth speaking and he felt strongly after the match bearing in mind the player didn’t go to him to apologise for what was considered a difficult and nasty challenge,” Villas-Boas said.

“The words came out of his mouth and I’m sure he said it in full consciousness. Will we take it any further? We are discussing it within the club but in my opinion, the matter is dealt.

“But it would be extremely human for Charlie to come out with an apology. But you can’t force people to say anything and we will have to wait and see.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Lucas backs Shelvey to impress

Lucas Leiva has tipped Liverpool youngster Jonjo Shelvey to become a key member of the Reds’ squad next season.

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Kompany talks up van Persie

Vincent Kompany has hailed Manchester City target Robin van Persie, claiming he would be an ‘incredible addition’ to the squad.

The want-away Arsenal captain has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium after revealing he would not extend his contract and then refusing to take part in the Gunners’ pre-season tour of Asia.

And the 26-year-old praised van Persie’s improvement in recent seasons, including a stunning campaign last term which saw him top the Premier League scoring charts.

“He’s a player who has improved so much,” Kompany told reporters.

“I started playing against him five or six years ago, but his performances last season were unbelievable.

“A player like this would be an incredible addition to any team that he joined, his movement is near perfection and the stats show his finishing.

“He has led by example at Arsenal so, yes, he is a great player.”

Van Persie has several other interested parties, including Manchester United and Juventus, making his signing with the champions far from a formality.

But, even if the Dutchman is not secured by Roberto Mancini, Kompany insists that City will still develop into an even better side.

“I think we will improve anyway,” the Belgian said.

“Whether we need new players is up to the manager. I only know that, even if we don’t, we will improve naturally anyway.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Hazard brothers eager for time together

Eden Hazard is hoping to play alongside his brother Thorgen sooner rather than later at Stamford Bridge.

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Thiago Silva defends weakened Serie A

Thiago Silva says Serie A remains an important competition, despite the departure of star players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and himself.

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Schalke´s Howedes states captaincy case

Benedikt Howedes wants to remain Schalke captain for 2012/13, despite being plagued by injuries throughout the previous campaign.

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Coyne´s Sriwijaya future in limbo

Jamie Coyne is waiting to hear from Indonesian Super League champions Sriwijaya if he has a long-term future at the club.

Coyne, 31, joined the South Sumatra club after his release from A-League side Sydney in April, and featured 14 times for Sriwijaya as they romped to the title with four matches to spare.

Having returned to Australia on Saturday, former Perth Glory man Coyne is keen to rejoin Sriwijaya for the 2012/13 campaign, but is sweating on an offer from the club’s hierarchy.

“Sriwijaya FC is a magnificent team,” Coyne told Goal.com.

“With this team, I’ve experienced what it feels to be a champion, so it’s clear Sriwijaya is becoming my priority for next season.

“Hopefully Sriwijaya still need me and are willing to extend my contract so I can stay for next season.

“I’ve already talked about new contract with the club, but until now they haven’t given me any decision yet. They’re going to have evaluation meeting first.

“I’ll wait for the news from Australia. Obviously, I’m really expecting the club to call me so I can win title again with Sriwijaya next season. If not, I will look for another club.”

Sriwijaya technical and human resources director Hendri Zainuddin confirmed the situation concerning Coyne.

“We’d like to ask Jamie Coyne to be patient. We understand his situation, he needs clarity about his future, but please wait for a few weeks,” he said.

“After evaluation meeting, we will decide whether Jamie Coyne stay with us or not.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Richards praises UAE starlet

Manchester City’s Micah Richards has tipped UAE midfielder Omar Abdulrahman for a big future in the game.

Richards witnessed Abdulrahman first hand in Sunday’s 3-1 Great Britain victory at the 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday and the 20-year-old Al Ain midfielder made an impression.

He played a full game in the loss to the hosts, setting up Rashid Essa’s equaliser on the hour mark, before late goals from substitutes Scott Sinclair and Daniel Sturridge earned Team GB the points.

Speaking after the game, Richards, who also put in a full shift in the match at Wembley Stadium, raved about Abdulrahman’s performance.

“The number 15 (Abdulrahman) is a very good player who plays beautiful football,” Richards said.

“He’ll be one of those players we should keep an eye on in the future.”

The Manchester City defender also said he was impressed by the UAE team as a whole and felt their two defeats from two games (they lost 2-1 to Uruguay in their opening game) was not indicative of their good performances.

“We had watched videos of the UAE and we knew they were good,” Richards said.

“The UAE deserved to win their previous match against Uruguay and I don’t think either one of their matches has been fair to them because they played pretty well.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Hong´s South Korea offer no quarter

South Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo says his team will play to win against Gabon despite only needing a point to progress at the Olympics.

Hong’s team need a draw or better to qualify for the final eight of the 2012 Olympic football tournament after recording a 2-1 victory over Switzerland and a goalless draw with Mexico in their opening two group games.

However, Hong insisted they would go out looking for all three points against Gabon on Wednesday.

“We aren’t going to approach this game passively, assuming that we can qualify for the quarter-finals with a draw,” Hong told reporters.

Mexico are top of Group B with four points alongside South Korea, while Switzerland and Gabon have only one point each so far.

Tue 31 July, 2012
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Cahill: A-League never an option

Socceroo Tim Cahill said he never considered a move back to Australia to play in the A-League as his Everton career came to an end.

Cahill, who was unveiled as the New York Red Bulls’ star signing at a press conference on Monday, said he felt a move back to the A-League was not in his interests as he attempts to make a third FIFA World Cup appearance for Australia at Brazil 2014.

“This is a massive move for me,” Cahill told reporters.

“Moving to the A-League, in all fairness, would have been a step backwards

“And that’s no disrespect. It’s basically, I want to still play at a high level.

“There’s still another World Cup for me to play in and qualify for the Australian team, and this is a massive opportunity.

“I didn’t speak to any A-League clubs and it was never in my plans.

“The one thing I do in Australia is create pathways for kids to follow their dreams with my soccer clinics, and I make sure that they know that if a kid like me can make it then they have opportunities.

“I think I’m more interested in the grassroots level of football in Australia and not playing there.”

Cahill believes he has plenty to contribute to New York and to Major League Soccer as he prepares for his first outing in a friendly against former English Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday at Red Bull Arena.

The Socceroos midfielder said he wrapped up the whirlwind move in short order to help the Red Bulls push toward their goal of lifting MLS Cup for the first time.

“As a footballer, I’ve achieved a hell of a lot in my career, but I feel this is a big move for me,” Cahill said

“I know a lot of people might think otherwise, but I’m 32 years old. I respect MLS. I’m coming here at this age because I’m fit and I’m ready for a new challenge.”

Tue 31 July, 2012
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