Empezó la Champions League

Con los duelos eliminatorios para pasar a la ronda de grupos arrancó la Champions

Troféu da UEFA Champions League (AP)
Troféu da UEFA Champions League (AP)
Troféu da UEFA Champions League (AP)
AC Milan dan Arsenal sama-sama saling mengalahkan saat pertemuan terakhir di Liga Champions 2011-2012.
7 Gol Tercipta pada Pertemuan Terakhir AC Milan dan Arsenal
AC Milan dan Arsenal sama-sama saling mengalahkan saat pertemuan terakhir di Liga Champions 2011-2012.
Barcelona 6 x 1 PSG – UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 (AP)
Barcelona 6 x 1 PSG – UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 (AP)
Barcelona 6 x 1 PSG – UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 (AP)
The midfielder defended his side from criticism for surrendering a two-goal lead to draw with the north London side in their Champions League tie
Juventus critics don't know how good Tottenham are, says Pjanic
The midfielder defended his side from criticism for surrendering a two-goal lead to draw with the north London side in their Champions League tie
<a href="http://deadline.com/tag/nbc/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:NBC" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">NBC</a> is making a small change to its Thursday night schedule. Beginning Thursday, March 8, <em><a href="http://deadline.com/tag/a-p-bio/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:A.P. Bio" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">A.P. Bio</a></em> will air at 8:30 PM ET/PT, and <em><a href="http://deadline.com/tag/champions/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Champions" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Champions</a></em>, which premieres that night, will air at 9:30 PM ET/PT. <em>A.P. Bio</em> aired in the 9:30 PM ET/PT slot on its premiere night February 1. That preview telecast earned a 1.3 rating in 18-49 and 4.3 million total viewers in Live+7. <em>A.P. Bio</em> will next air on Sunday, February 25 at 8:30 PM ET/PT after the Olympics closing ceremony. It will air&#8230;
NBC Tweaks Thursday Night Schedule: ‘A.P. Bio’ Moves To Earlier Timeslot
NBC is making a small change to its Thursday night schedule. Beginning Thursday, March 8, A.P. Bio will air at 8:30 PM ET/PT, and Champions, which premieres that night, will air at 9:30 PM ET/PT. A.P. Bio aired in the 9:30 PM ET/PT slot on its premiere night February 1. That preview telecast earned a 1.3 rating in 18-49 and 4.3 million total viewers in Live+7. A.P. Bio will next air on Sunday, February 25 at 8:30 PM ET/PT after the Olympics closing ceremony. It will air…
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger&#39;s tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday&#39;s outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Arsene Wenger dismisses idea that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger's tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday's outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I&#39;ve noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we&#39;ve seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can&#39;t turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven&#39;t been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren&#39;t in Champions&#39; League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that&#39;s Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won&#39;t be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we&#39;d have to plan a lot better and we&#39;d have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we&#39;ve already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Sam Allardyce targets Europa League qualification to end doubts about his Everton future
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I've noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we've seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can't turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven't been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren't in Champions' League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that's Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won't be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we'd have to plan a lot better and we'd have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we've already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger&#39;s tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday&#39;s outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Arsene Wenger dismisses idea that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger's tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday's outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I&#39;ve noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we&#39;ve seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can&#39;t turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven&#39;t been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren&#39;t in Champions&#39; League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that&#39;s Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won&#39;t be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we&#39;d have to plan a lot better and we&#39;d have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we&#39;ve already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Sam Allardyce targets Europa League qualification to end doubts about his Everton future
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I've noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we've seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can't turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven't been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren't in Champions' League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that's Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won't be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we'd have to plan a lot better and we'd have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we've already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I&#39;ve noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we&#39;ve seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can&#39;t turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven&#39;t been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren&#39;t in Champions&#39; League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that&#39;s Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won&#39;t be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we&#39;d have to plan a lot better and we&#39;d have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we&#39;ve already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Sam Allardyce targets Europa League qualification to end doubts about his Everton future
Sam Allardyce hopes he can end doubts about his long-term future at Everton by guiding the club to what once seemed an unlikely European spot before the end of the season. After struggling to avoid the scrap towards the bottom before Christmas, Everton are just two points from 7th. Should the FA Cup be won by a side in the Champions League next season, that will be enough to reach the Europa League. Allardyce is cautious about such prospects, but acknowledged the possibilities. “I've noticed that but when we get into the position of the last five or six games and then we can get better assessment of what can happen,” he said. “Already in my time we've seen the highs and lows, which happens in the Premier League, and so when get to the final five-six games can there be an opportunity of pushing to get that final European place? When we get into the single figures then you can look at where we are in the league and what can achieve. Everton have been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai Credit: Getty Images “You can't turn a European place down no matter who you are and where you are. You have plan to deal with it. Everton have definitely suffered this year because of it, like all teams suffer. “When clubs get into Europe and they haven't been in there on a regular basis then all suffer. Chelsea have suffered this year. They weren't in Champions' League last year and won the league, but now look at them this year – and that's Chelsea. “If we get it next season there won't be as big a problem. We can plan better with what happens. This season we had all the new players and all the change around the new players. Add to that the loss of Lukaku, all the goals he scored and not replacing him with a proven goalscorer. It was obviously a great difficulty in the beginning, and then a leaky defence. So I do think if we did get there we'd have to plan a lot better and we'd have to have two teams to cope.” Everton’s opponents on Saturday are a reminder of how close Allardyce was to missing out on the Goodison job, the fall-out from the Marco Silva affair adding edge to the fixture. Everton have been in poor form but returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace last time out Credit: PA Watford blamed Everton’s approach for Silva for their dip in form and subsequent decision to sack the manager. With Silva back on the market, Allardyce could do with a promising last few months to ensure his board do not reconsider the Portuguese coach. “What we do with the football team will ultimately decide how long I stay,” he said. “That boils down to improving the players we've already got, which we think we have already done, improving them even further next season and what do we change next season for the season after that? “It is not a short-term fix.”
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger&#39;s tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday&#39;s outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Arsene Wenger dismisses idea that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger's tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday's outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger&#39;s tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday&#39;s outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
Arsene Wenger dismisses idea that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management
Arsene Wenger has flatly dismissed the suggestion that Pep Guardiola has set new standards in management ahead of a League Cup final on Sunday that could further cement his own place in British football history. Victory would make Wenger only the eighth manager to complete a clean sweep of major domestic English trophies but, even with Arsenal 27 points adrift of Guardiola’s City in the Premier League, he rejected the claim on Friday that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has changed football. Guardiola was also the manager of arguably the greatest club team in football history at Barcelona and has twice won the Champions League as well as hat-tricks of league titles in both Spain and Germany but, asked if the 48-year-old had changed football, Wenger replied: “No. Why?” When Wenger was then asked if Guardiola had set a new standard over the past decade with his teams and how they play, he chose instead to highlight the concentration of playing talent at the biggest and richest clubs. “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe,” said Wenger. “I think you have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a very small number of clubs and we, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy. But this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.” Pep Guardiola is looking to win his first trophy in English football Credit: Getty Images It was an instinctive but revealing response that suggested either supreme confidence or perhaps just a tinge of insecurity, even if it was later stressed that Wenger did not intend any criticism of Guardiola, who he also described as a “good manager” with whom he shared a “love for the game and a positive philosophy”. Indeed, Wenger also revealed that Guardiola is on the long list of celebrated players who almost joined Arsenal during his tenure. That was back in 2001 but Wenger ultimately concluded that he did not need further midfield reinforcement and the 30-year-old Guardiola instead moved from Barcelona to Brescia. “I talked to him a few times, and once he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Wenger. Did he like Guardiola as a player? “Yes - it was the quality of his decision making and distribution. He played a very quick passing game and that is always our DNA [but] he was over the top of his career already and we had top class players in his position.” Arsenal lost 2-1 to Ostersunds on Thursday Credit: Getty Images With Patrick Vieira then in Arsenal’s midfield, it was a reminder of rather different times although it was clear on Friday that Wenger feels that the wider perception of his most recent work is sometimes distorted. Having previously this season described City as a club with “petrol and ideas…that makes it more efficient”, he underlined on Friday just how difficult it is to win trophies. Wenger’s Arsenal were of course Wembley winners against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last April and then also won the final against Chelsea. A fourth trophy in five years on Sunday would ensure the continuation of a record that, for all the frailties, would mean that Arsenal have either finished in the top four or won something in all 22 seasons of Wenger's tenure. “Trophies are very difficult to win,” said Wenger. “Look at the big clubs. Liverpool is a big club. How many times have they won the FA Cup in their whole history? Seven.” Wenger did not elaborate, but was clearly acutely aware that his own all-time record FA Cup tally stands equal at seven. Wenger has won seven FA Cups but no League Cups Credit: Action Images Another landmark could be reached at Wembley. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, George Graham, Joe Mercer, Jose Mourinho, Don Revie, Bill Nicholson and Kenny Dalglish have lifted the league title, FA Cup and League Cup in their managerial careers. It was obvious on Friday that such records do mean a great deal personally to Wenger, even if he probably also know that the narrative that currently surrounds him – and the summer uncertainty over his future - is unlikely to change substantially regardless of Sunday's outcome. There is surely a certain double-standard in those who disparaged top four finishes and no silverware between 2006 and 2013 but remain so critical amid declining league performance whilst now winning trophies, even if Wenger’s own emphatic criteria always gave priority to the Premier League and Champions League. The bottom line, also, is that the leading players now regard those two competitions as the ultimate benchmark, above even international football outside of major tournaments. It is why Arsenal would almost certainly still trade Champions League qualification – either by finishing in the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League – to a victory on Sunday. That, though, should still not diminish what have been genuinely big performances by Arsenal in the FA Cup last year and even in this year’s League Cup semi-final win against Chelsea. Those matches do also suggest that they have a realistic chance on Sunday, even if Wenger knows that Arsenal are regarded as bigger outsiders than in last year’s Wembley meeting. “Manchester City is dominating the league in the heads of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs but we have to believe in our quality,” he said. “The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again. In a final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it as well to find the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play your game. “The advantage of playing many finals is that I know how big a day it is. Wembley is always special. The pressure is always immense. You have to be cool. That is the target.”
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<p>Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions</p>
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions
The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions
The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
<p>Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions</p>
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

Manajer Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, dikabarkan memantau pemain Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred, yang turun pada ajang Liga Champions kontra AS Roma.
Pemain Shakhtar Donetsk Bangga Dipuji Manajer Manchester City, tetapi...
Manajer Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, dikabarkan memantau pemain Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred, yang turun pada ajang Liga Champions kontra AS Roma.
<p>Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions</p>
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions
The Gunners and the Citizens will go up against each other for their first title in the 2017-18 English league season
<p>Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions</p>
Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

Manchester City or Arsenal? Kolo Toure picks Carabao Cup champions

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