Wayne Rooney was not concerned by goal drought after netting Champions League hat-trick

first_img Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney insists he was never worried about his form after ending his 11-match goal drought with a hat-trick against Club Brugge in the Champions League.Rooney gave United the lead before half-time before adding two more after the break as he ended his goal drought.Ander Herrera added a fourth to mark his return to the starting line-up as the Red Devils ran riot in Brugge and Rooney was certain he would find the net sooner or later.“If I didn’t have a strong character maybe that would have affected me, but I know my quality, I know what I give to the team and if the goals don’t go in I still bring a lot to my team-mates,” the England and United captain told BT Sport.“Thankfully I got the chances tonight and I stuck them in.“I wasn’t worried, if it was going on for three, four, five games more then maybe so but it’s early days and I knew when the chances came I’d take them.“As a striker obviously you want to score, everybody goes back to last season and it was so many games without scoring, but a lot of top quality strikers are yet to get off the mark at this stage.“I understand because of my name and because of who I am it will get publicised a lot more. That’s my job and I understand that.”And Louis van Gaal feels he played a key part in keeping Rooney’s confidence up as the pressure grew on the man closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United goalscoring record.“I have given him always the confidence that a player needs,” the United manager said.“But I think Wayne has a very strong mentality and with his level he always shall come back. He proved that this evening.“Still it’s a long way for him and also for Manchester United it’s not so easy, but of course I’m very happy for him.” 1last_img read more

The stats Liverpool fans will love ahead of derby day

first_img2 Daniel Sturridge’s goals Everton v Liverpool is live on talkSPORT at 1.30pm on Sunday 4 October. 2 Daniel Sturridge marked what was only his second start of the season with two goals, as Aston Villa were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool last weekend.And if this is the striker back to his goal scoring best, he might just save Brendan Rodgers’ job.The manager is under pressure in the dugout following some poor displays, but unsurprisingly Liverpool are much better when Sturridge plays.Along with Luis Suarez who scored 31 times in the 2013/14 season, the England striker scored 21 Premier League goals as the Reds just missed out on the title.However, a lengthy absence as a result of injury meant he started seven times last season and a return to goal scoring form may give the Anfield faithful some hope they can beat Everton in what will certainly be a tough Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on 4 October.last_img read more

Chris Coleman admits he considered quitting as Wales manager

first_img Chris Coleman Wales manager Chris Coleman has revealed he considered his position after losing 6-1 in Serbia three years ago.Coleman is on the brink of becoming the first Wales manager for 58 years to lead the country to a major finals, his side needing a point from final Euro 2016 qualifiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday and at home to Andorra on Tuesday to make it to France next summer.The former Wales defender was a long way from national hero status when his Novi Sad nightmare unfolded in September 2012, but says he would have been “a coward” had he walked away in the wake of that defeat.“I had doubts whether I was capable of doing the job after the Serbia game,” said Coleman, who had succeeded the late Gary Speed the previous January.“It’s a job I wanted to do but did I come in at the wrong time? That was the lowest I’ve ever been.“But I’ve been at clubs in tough situations, you lose a game or you have a bad run of games.“But we didn’t just lose in Serbia, we embarrassed ourselves and when you do that you embarrass the country – and that’s another ball game. I’d never felt that before.”Coleman said he spoke to those closest to him, his fiancee and now wife, the television presenter Charlotte Jackson, then Wales assistant manager Kit Symons and media manager Ian Gwyn Hughes, in the days after that sorry 6-1 thrashing.And he recalled some advice from his father to stay in his job and build on the foundations put in place by Speed to lead the country towards its first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.“I spoke to my wife and Kit and I went to Ian’s house a few nights after we got back,” Coleman said.“We sat down, had a glass of wine, a bit of dinner and we had a good chat. It was tough.“But I think I’d have been a bit of a coward if I’d walked away.“If it is a fight, my father always said to me, ‘If you lose, you’ve got to be walking forward throwing punches back, not on your hands and knees crawling away getting kicked in the backside’.“But it did hurt and it took me quite a few days to calm down, think rationally and get on with it.“Winning for your country is great, but losing in that manner, well, that was something new to me.” 1last_img read more

Remember these players? Power ranking all 29 of Roy Hodgson’s England debutants

first_img 29 29 29 29 29 24. Jon Flanagan – Senior England debut: 4 June 2014 29 20. Wilfried Zaha – Senior England debut: 14 November 2012 29 29 29 29 29 14. John Ruddy – Senior England debut: 10 August 2012 11. Rickie Lambert – Senior England debut: 14 August 2013 29. Ryan Shawcross – Senior England debut: 14 November 2012 29 25. Steven Caulker – Senior England debut: 10 August 2012 29 2. Ross Barkley – Senior England debut: 6 September 2013 29 18. Jamie Vardy – Senior England debut: 7 June 2015 4. John Stones – Senior England debut: 30 May 2014 29 16. Fabian Delph – Senior England debut: 3 September 2014 19. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Senior England debut: 26 May 2012 17. Danny Ings – Senior England debut: 12 October 2015 29 7. Jack Butland – Senior England debut: 15 August 2012 6. Nathaniel Clyne – Senior England debut: 15 November 2014 29center_img 29 29 29 13. Dele Alli – Senior England debut: 9 October 2015 29 29 28. Carl Jenkinson – Senior England debut: 14 November 2012 9. Jonjo Shelvey – Senior England debut: 12 October 2012 22. Leon Osman – Senior England debut: 14 November 2012 21. Jay Rodriguez – Senior England debut: 7 November 2013 12. Tom Cleverley – Senior England debut: 15 August 2012 getty 29 8. Ryan Bertrand – Senior England debut: 3 March 2015 29 29 29 23. Calum Chambers – Senior England debut: 3 September 2014 29 5. Luke Shaw – Senior England debut: 5 March 2014 10. Andros Townsend – Senior England debut: 11 October 2013 15. Fraser Foster – Senior England debut: 15 November 2013 29 29 26. Jake Livermore – Senior England debut: 15 August 2012 England made it out 10 of 10 after flawlessly completing their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a victory over Lithuania on Monday night.Now that the elimination process has been seen to, Roy Hodgson and his staff can now look fondly ahead to next summer’s championships.However, while Three Lions supporters are of course delighted with their progression, attention remains fixed on the team.Hodgson still doesn’t appear to know what his preferred, or even strongest – starting XI is – which is summed up by the knowledge that the former Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool manager has handed a huge 29 players their debut over the past few years.In light of this, we’ve decided to rank every Hodgson debutant, starting with the least memorable. Take a look by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 27. Ryan Mason – Senior England debut: 31 March 2015 3. Adam Lallana – Senior England debut: 15 November 2013 1. Harry Kane – Senior England debut: 27 March 2015last_img read more

Neymar’s dad issues shock Barcelona quit threat – Manchester United to pounce?

first_img1 Neymar Manchester United target Neymar will leave Spain if the authorities continue to investigate his financial affairs, according to the player’s father.The forward’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona is being probed by tax officers in both Spain and his native Brazil.Neymar is currently in negotiations with Barca over a new contract but his father, Neymar Sr, says his son will leave the country if the situation is not resolved, which could pave the way for United to capitalise.Louis van Gaal’s side were linked with a world-record swoop for the 23-year-old in the summer and remain keen to lure a ‘galactico’ signing.“We are talking about a contract renewal but we’re waiting to resolve some things that concern us,” Neymar Sr told Cadena SER.“We can’t have this uncertainty with the tax of not knowing if what we’re doing is right. We need to know if Spain accepts our situation.“It’s hard for us because we’re receiving many attacks, from Spain and Brazil on matters of taxation. Neymar is a media player and we work his image from Brazil.“We have to do the right things and I’d like to know if Spain will let us work or we have to leave. I don’t want to use the word ‘persecution’ but if we don’t have a comfortable situation to work we can’t stay in Spain.“If we are creating big problems for Spain, we can’t be here. We’ve never had such big tax problems.”last_img read more

‘They should have hired Pearson!’ – Aston Villa great slams Garde and woeful players after 6-0 Liverpool humbling

first_imgEuropean Cup-winning former Aston Villa captain Dennis Mortimer laid into the club’s flops following their worst home defeat for 81 years as Liverpool smashed them 6-0 in the Premier League.Sunday’s thumping at Villa Park leaves the midlands side rock bottom of the top flight trable and eight points from safety. Mortimer captained Villa to European glory in 1982 and also became their first skipper for 71 years to lift the First Division trophy in the previous season.But things are not as they once were at Villa Park, with the club now plummeting towards the Championship, and former midfielder Mortimer – who played more than 400 games for the club – slammed the under-performing players.“There is a Villa side out there who, for me, the effort is not there. The understanding around how to play as a team is not there,” said Mortimer.“It could have been more. I never expected that, I expected maybe 2-0 but 6-0 was a shocking result.“The manager has to get players to appreciate what this club is all about and get on that pitch and put performances in because that was shocking.“Put the right manager in, a guy who understands what the Premier League is all about. Until they get that right they won’t get the right players.“I am disappointed for the fans, this has been coming over the last three seasons.“Sooner or later it had to happen. Players have to accept that performance is not good enough.”Villans manager Remi Garde admitted he felt ‘humiliated’ following the mammoth defeat, and Mortimer insisted the club made a mistake by appointing the Frenchman and should have appointed Nigel Pearson when they sacked Tim Sherwood in October.Garde has won just three times in 18 games in charge after Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure inflicted Villa’s latest loss.“For me I always felt it should have been Nigel Pearson coming in. I think the ideal person who should have taken this job was Nigel Pearson,” he added.“What he did last year to get [Leicester] up the league, and then they have gone on from there and are now top, it is unbelievable.” Aston Villa manager Remi Garde 1last_img read more

PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi signs £400,000-a-week deal to join Chinese club

first_img Ezequiel Lavezzi 1 Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi is the latest player to join the football revolution in China, turning down a Chelsea move to sign a big-money deal with Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune.The 30-year-old has moved for an undisclosed fee and pens a reported £400,000-a-week contract to make him the highest paid player in football history.Lavezzi was linked with a move to Premier League side Chelsea with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain due to expire in the summer.He turned down an extension with the French champions but favoured a stay in Europe, and was said to be in contact with the Blues and Inter Milan over a possible move.However the lure of a lucrative switch to China proved too hard to resist.The contract will be for two years and will see the Argentina international earn around £22million during his stay in the Far East.Lavezzi is the latest big name to head to China after Chelsea midfielder Ramires joined Jiangsu Suning and Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez moved to Guangzhou Evergrande.He also joins former Arsenal striker Gervinho at Hebei China Fortune, who arrived from Italian side Roma this month.last_img read more

UCLA not in favorite situation

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityAnd UCLA’s five seasons under Coach Karl Dorrell suggest it is possible. After the Bruins, as 16-point favorites, were ambushed by 38 points last month at Utah, and with a string of defeats as a heavy favorite pasted on Dorrell’s resume, losing to the Irish (0-5) doesn’t seem as outlandish as the storied Notre Dame program opening the season with five losses. “(Notre Dame) is a lot better than their record,” UCLA quarterback Ben Olson said. “They’re an athletic team. They’re not a bad team in any sense. We have to go out there and respect them. We’ve been in situations before where the team has been a little bit down and we made them look like superstars. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen.” UCLA (4-1) is a 201/2-point favorite, and excels at home, where it has won 14 of its last 15 games. However, a UCLA-induced condition is prevalent whenever the Bruins are big favorites. Dorrell’s record is 33-22, but half of those losses came when UCLA was favored, and the 44-6 loss at Utah is not an isolated incident. The Bruins were 14-point favorites and lost at home to Washington State in 2004, and as a 12-point favorite lost to Wyoming in the Las Vegas Bowl to close that season. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Bruins’ history means Notre Dame has a shot. By Brian Dohn STAFF WRITER Nearly 83 years have passed since Notre Dame’s four horseman traveled 2,000 miles to play Stanford in the granddaddy of all bowl games, but tonight, when the Irish return to the Rose Bowl, they will try to pull the mother of all upsets against UCLA. There is also the debacle in the desert, when the seventh-ranked and 8-0 Bruins, as nine-point favorites, were beaten by 38 points at Arizona in 2005. The common theme in many of those losses was it followed a strong effort, and the Bruins are coming off a 40-14 win at Oregon State. Now, the Irish enter today as, statistically, one of the worst teams in the nation. “We can’t take them lightly, because if we do, we can have another Utah relapse,” said UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis, who doesn’t anticipate another lackluster performance. “When we’re in the huddle, and I’m looking at the other 10 guys in the huddle, it’s like they want it. It’s like these guys are hungry and they haven’t eaten in a week. “I don’t know if you watch Discovery Channel during shark week, but it’s like we’ve got great whites out there. These guys are ready for some blood.” And the Irish offense is hemorrhaging. Notre Dame, which has scored 46 points this season, is 119th and last in the nation in rushing offense (30.4 yards per game) and sacks allowed (5.8 per game). The Irish are 118th in total offense (194.8 ypg) and scoring (9.2 ppg), and 106 in passing offense (164.4 ypg). “Right now we’re 0-5, but our outlook on things are still very positive,” Notre Dame running back Travis Thomas said. “Everyone is still working hard and everyone still believes we can win. We’re still going out there with the mind-set and the belief that we can win, and we’re going to win when we step on the field.” UCLA players said all week motivation came in many forms, including the memories of the Utah game, and last year’s collapse at Notre Dame Stadium. After throttling Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn for 59 minutes, all of UCLA’s good vibes were sliced apart in 35 seconds. That’s how long it took the Irish to go 80 yards, and to take a 20-17 lead with 27 seconds left as a flailing UCLA secondary allowed Jeff Samardzija to catch and run for a 45-yard touchdown. “I’m still bitter about that,” said UCLA left guard Shannon Tevaga, who is returning after missing two games with a knee injury. “Not until we beat them, and beat them badly (will Tevaga get over the loss). I wanted to play in this game.” This will mark Notre Dame’s second game at the now-world famous stadium, but it comes with a vastly different goal. When Notre Dame played Jan. 1, 1925, its 27-10 defeat of Stanford gave the school its first national championship. When the Irish meet the Bruins today, the only thing on Notre Dame’s mind is ending the worst start in the school’s history. But the question may not be whether the Irish are ready to finally win, but whether UCLA has finally learned how not to lose. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

All have a role in getting through fire season

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Some undoubtedly are acts of man and not acts of God, but it’s too soon to start chronicling what went wrong or to start figuring out what we can do to protect ourselves and our fragile environment. At this time, with so many fires still blazing, we all can see for ourselves the great job thousands of firefighters are doing in the face of tremendous danger. Firefighters have the biggest, most important jobs of fighting fires. And over the weekend and Monday, crews did an admirable job of beating back the flames driven by 80 mph winds. But all of us can help make Earth seem less hellish. For one, just by helping others. More than a quarter-million people have been displaced from their homes, from San Diego to Santa Clarita. They need places to stay and some tolerance as people crowd the roads getting somewhere else. EVERY fall when the hot dry Santa Ana winds start to blow strongly through Southern California, residents brace for the inevitable: wildfires that bring a taste of hell to Earth. Sometimes the conflagrations are minor, focused in a small area. Sometimes they are not. But one thing is for sure: They always come. And sometimes they are like nothing we’ve ever experienced, such as that terrible 10 days in the fall of 2003, in which 10 major wildfires in five Southern California counties killed 22 people and burned nearly 750,000 acres, 3,626 homes and 1,184 outbuildings. Today, in the midst of what could be another record-breaking fire season, more than a dozen blazes are threatening homes and lives. Traffic on Monday was nightmarish for many. Evacuations and road closures all over Southern California are bound to make the next few days hard ones. Those who can help by staying away from freeways during high-traffic times should do so. And, most important, everyone can make sure no new fires get a chance to begin. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere to spot potential arsonists or people who are careless. Southern California might smell like brimstone and look like a view of Hades for the next few days, but there’s no reason it has to lack humanity.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ultimate White House insider reveals all

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The first lady wore green, the queen yellow. “I could only think that here I am, the grandson of immigrants, dancing at the White House with the Queen of England,” Landau said. Barry Landau. He’s the kind of guy you may not notice in the pictures with celebrities. He is 59 and has been in the company of presidents for nearly 50 years. He is tall and bearded, with a home full of history and a head crammed with names, like boxes in an overstuffed closet ready to tumble out. He is at work on a trilogy of books about political pomp and protocol. The first, just released, is “The President’s Table,” a 200-plus-year sampling of White House cuisine, to be followed by a history of inaugurations, then a volume on presidential style. “We couldn’t get it all into one book,” Landau said with a laugh. NEW YORK – Barry H. Landau, presidential collector and connoisseur, remembers the time he was dancing with Betty Ford at the White House and Fred Astaire cut in. Oh? “I recall I was doing a `Lindy’ with Mrs. Ford, and remember `spinning her out’ when I suddenly received a tap on my shoulder; turning around to be face to face with Hollywood icon Fred Astaire,” he explained. “It’s customary for the couple to then switch partners, only to realize that Mr. Astaire was dancing with Queen Elizabeth. This didn’t faze me, as I had met the Queen 10 years earlier at a royal command performance in England.” Enter his midtown Manhattan high-rise and you might think the Smithsonian Institution had opened a new wing. The walls are covered with vintage black and white etchings of 19th-century inaugurations. A cabinet holds presidential mugs, plates, goblets and a skeleton key that fits right into the front door of the White House, or did during the administration of John Adams. Few have succeeded so well in mingling with the famous without becoming famous himself. Like a true insider, his office has a wall of inscribed photographs of presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, of Herbert Hoover and J. Edgar Hoover, of an inaugural ball in which Landau stands on a stage along with Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and many others. “He’s made it his business somehow to know everybody,” said CBS newsman Mike Wallace, a friend of Landau’s. Born in Manhattan and raised in the borough of Queens, Landau did not grow up in a political family. His father was a theater ticket broker, his mother worked in real estate and other fields, and was a photographer for columnist Walter Winchell, a source of endless show business anecdotes. Landau remembers himself as always very curious, not to mention “creative, impulsive and determined to do as many interesting things in life as I could.” Also, he had chronic bronchitis and asthma and couldn’t play sports. “So I gravitated toward older people.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img