The manager of the French national football team, Didier Deschamps, is glad that his side will not have to face the mighty Portugal in the World Cup qualifying play offs.
FIFA announced the playoffs draw earlier today. According to the draw, France will be facing Ukraine, while, it’s Sweden which will be taking on Portugal.
The first leg of the France-Ukraine clash will be played in Ukraine, while, the second one will take place in France. That’s a bit of an advantage for the French team as it’s always good to play return leg in front of the home crowd.
Although, France is currently ranked lower than Ukraine in the FIFA rankings, still they will be the top favourites going into this contest. However, Deschamps has made it clear that his side will not be taking their opponents lightly at all.
Talking to the reporters a few hours back, the France boss said, “They are not going to make it easy for us. They are a fantastic side and they haven’t been defeated in the last 7 matches.”
“Their defense is pretty strong. The opposing teams don’t manage to score too many goals against them.”
“We can’t take them lightly. We have confidence in our abilities and that’s good, but, I believe that you should respect the other side as well. They will also be trying their best on the pitch.”
“It’s great that we have to play the return leg on our home ground.”
The last time that these two sides had faced each other was in the Euro Championship last year. That match was played at Shakhtar and was interrupted by lightning for a short period of time, but, Les Bleus had eventually won it by 2-0 with the goals of Cabaye and Menez.
Gareth Bale could finally end up with his dream move to Real Madrid with Tottenham Hotspur ready to sell their prized asset to the Spanish giants for a whopping £ 85 million and young Spanish striker Alvaro Morata as a makeweight.
Real have already had a bid worth a reported € 100 million in straight cash rejected by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy who is holing out for a player to included in the deal that will potentially take the price beyond the € 120 million mark and have already told Real that a player included in the deal as a makeweight would make their chances of landing the Welsh winger brighter.
Real have already inductaed their willingness to add sweeteners to the deal in order to push through a move for the PFA Player of the Season and have offered the likes of Portuguese left back Fabio Coentrao and Argentine winger Angel di Maria whose values they have factored into the deal. However, it seems that Daniel Levy and Tottenham Hotspur have made it clear that any deal would have to be conducted on their own terms and have asked for Morata to be included in the deal.
Given the fact that the 20 year old striker is seen is the most valuable player in the Real Madrid youth team and his exploits at the recently concluded Under-21 European Championships where he won the Golden Boot, Spurs see the total package well over £ 100 million if they have to part with Gareth Bale. And Real are also losing patience with Levy stalling on the deal and Manchester United also sniffing around for the player.
After selling Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli last week, Real would prefer holding on to Morata but with Tottenham Hotspur playing hardball, they have to take the chance with the player and let him go.
Tottenham have been dealt a major blow with the news that key defender Jan Vertonghen will be missing for the next three weeks after suffering an injury in the recent Barclays Asia trophy.
Tottenham were recently knocked out of the competition by Sunderland, but more worryingly, the absence of defender Vertonghen will be a major problem for Villas-Boas. The former Ajax defender arrived at the club only last summer and he has been a major revelation. His versatility means that Villas-Boas used in a number of positions like central defender and left back.
Vertonghen damaged his ankle ligaments in the match against Sunderland, which was played on a very poor pitch during heavy rains. Tottenham will be playing against Premier league newcomers Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season. Even though the fifth place team from last season will be facing a promoted team, Villas-Boas has said that this will be one of the toughest matches for the club. Newly promoted clubs often have a lot of enthusiasm in the first few weeks of the campaign.
Villas-Boas was also understandably displeased with the way officials handled the match. Due to heavy rain, the match kicked off 40 min later than scheduled.
"The conditions are extremely poor but there is nothing we can do about it. We've lost one player through injury - and if I can be sincere I would prefer not to go ahead (with Saturday's game) but that's the reality. It’s our responsibility and if the authorities decide to go ahead, we will play the game," said Villas-Boas, whose Tottenham is one of the several Premier league teams currently in Asia as part of their pre-season tour.
Manchester city went on to win the Barclays Asia trophy with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, while Tottenham faced South China in the other match.
The winger of Tottenham Hotspur, Gareth Bale, has said that he wants to thank his manager Andre Villas Boas for using him in different roles in the ongoing season.
Villas Boas has used Bale on both left and right wings and has also given him the opportunity to play as a central striker. The Welshman hasn’t let his manager down at all. He has performed superbly in all the positions and has found the net 20 times in the ongoing Premier League.
He is at no. 3 in the list of leading goal scorers in this Premier League season. The two men who have scored more goals than him are Luis Suarez of Liverpool and Robin Van Persie of Manchester United. Suarez has scored 23, while, Persie has scored 25.
Talking to the reporters about his performance in the ongoing season, Bale said, “This season has been terrific for me and I need to thank the manager for his support. He used me in different positions and that allowed me to show my versatility.”
“Not only from personal point of view, as a team also, we have played quite well I think. We are still in contention for the Champions League qualification and we are up for it. Hopefully, we will end the season on a high and will manage to get to that 4th spot in the table.”
When asked if he thinks that he still needs to improve, Bale said, “Yes off course. You always need to be improving. I have scored 20 this season; I will try to score more next season. You need to set big targets for yourself. That’s the only way you can keep developing as a player.”
Bale’s contract is supposed to be extended by Tottenham for the next 4 years at the end of this season.
The assistant manager of Tottenham Hotspur, Steffen Freund, has said that William Gallas has recovered from his calf injury now and he has started training. Freund also said that Gallas is not too far away from a return to the first team.
Gallas had got injured in the Premier League match against Aston Villa which was played on 26th of December. He has been out of action since one month and he has missed quite a few matches.
When asked about the fitness of Gallas, Freund said, “Gallas is now back to 100% fitness and he attended the training session yesterday. He is pretty close to making a comeback.”
When asked whether Gallas would get a playing opportunity in the FA Cup match against Leeds United which is going to be played on Sunday, Freund said, “He might not be playing on Sunday as we want him to train for a few days before returning to action. But, one thing is for sure that he is not too far away from returning to action. You might see him playing in the match against Norwich City.”
“In the training session, William was running well and his movement didn’t seem to be hindered at all. It suggests that his fitness is good now. A few more days of training and he will be back in action.”
The other good news for the Spurs team management is that Jan Vertonghen has also recovered from illness and he has also started full training.
The comeback of these two players will definitely give a big relief to Andre Villas Boas, the manager of Tottenham.
Quite a few Tottenham players have suffered injuries of late. Last week, Sandro Raniere injured his knee while playing in the match against QPR and was ruled out for the remaining of the season due to that injury.
William Gallas has said that Andre Villas Boas had a meeting with the defenders of Tottenham Hotspur in which he told them to work hard on their game and be a little more alert in the final few moments of the match.
Tottenham Hotspur has conceded goals in the final moments of quite a few matches in the ongoing season. 10 goals have been scored against the Spurs in the last 10 minutes of the matches.
In the Premier League match played against Everton at Goodison Park on 9th of December, the Spurs were ahead by 1-0 till the 90th minute of the match and the match seemed to be going in their favour. But, they conceded a couple of goals in the injury time and lost the match.
When asked about Tottenham conceding goals in the last few minutes of the matches, Gallas said, “Yes, that’s been a problem for us in this season. We keep the game under control for most parts and then, lose the plot towards the end. This is not a good sign. We need to get rid of this weakness as soon as possible.”
“The manager had a meeting with the defenders a couple of days back and he told us to stop conceding too many goals in the later parts of the matches.”
“We could have grabbed many more points and could have been at no. 2 or no. 1 in the points table if we had not conceded goals in the final moments of the matches. It’s a bit of a worry for us.”
“During the final 10 minutes of the match, it’s important to remain calm and play according to the situation of the game. You shouldn’t get panicked during those final moments.”
Tottenham is currently at no. 3 in the Premier League points table with 39 points in 21 matches.
While Heurelho Gomes may have been the first choice goalkeeper at White Hart Lane for several seasons, few people would disagree that the Brazilian's career at the club is all but over. He has been pushed significantly down the pecking order and following on from this, Andre Villas-Boas has announced that he will try and arrange for the player to leave on loan in the January transfer window.
Gomes joined from PSV Eindhoven in a fee reported to be £7.8m back in 2008. At the time, he arrived with a massive reputation and was widely expected to become a massive hit at Spurs. However, following several high-profile clangers, Gomes came under constant criticism from all quarters and it would be fair to say that he struggled to adapt to English football. Nevertheless, Harry Redknapp persisted with the player, before eventually bringing in Brad Friedel who has made the goalkeeper position his own over the past twelve months.
While Gomes has been understudy to the American since last summer, he was sent further down the pecking order after the summer acquisition of Frenchman Hugo Lloris. This means that Gomes now can't even make the substitute bench and according to AVB, he will try and do everything possible to provide the player with first team football at another club.
He said, “Gomes has been extremely unlucky. He has picked up different types of injuries and is making a steady return. We have discussed with Gomes the possibility of him [leaving] on loan but because of the injuries we lost the timing of doing it. We also didn't have an option a player of his dimension deserves. We have put it hold and will reassess it in January.”
As Gomes edges closer to the White Hart Lane exit, AVB still has to deal with other goalkeeper issues as Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel go head-to-head for the No.1 position at the club.
The Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he cannot wait for the match against Chelsea following the 2-0 win over Aston Villa during the weekend. Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as the Chelsea manager only a few months into his job after a string of poor results.
He was recently appointed as the Tottenham manager in the summer to replace Harry Redknapp. Even though the first few results of the Premier league campaign did not go according to plan, Tottenham have won the last four fixtures including the match against Manchester United. Hence, they will be going into the Chelsea match with great confidence according to the Portuguese.
Andre Villas-Boas has also rejected suggestions that he will be looking to get revenge on his former club for the sacking. The 34-year-old Portuguese manager is one of the youngest managers in the Premier league. The club are in a good shape according to the manager, who has also said that Tottenham will have the capability to move into the elite club if they managed to beat Chelsea. Chelsea will be having a difficult run of fixtures following this international break when they will be facing Tottenham, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Manchester United.
"It's not on an individual sense that I'm looking forward to the match, it's on a collective level. When you play the unbeaten leaders of the league, you can use that motivation towards the game. It will give us a chance to finally break into the top four and join the elite of the Premier League. That's what we've been wanting for quite some time. Chelsea are a tremendous attacking force, something that is surprising everybody," said Andre Villas-Boas after the Aston Villa match. This victory helped Tottenham get up to the fifth position in the Premier league with 14 points on the board.
QPR are looking to secure the deal that will bring the former Chelsea and Arsenal defender William Gallas to Loftus Road. QPR manager Mark Hughes has been extremely active in the transfer window and he has brought in a number of influential players, who will be helpful in ensuring that the club does not have any relegation troubles this time around.
The former Chelsea defender José Bosingwa has become the latest big-name arrival at the club, while he is set to be followed by the French defender William Gallas. The 34-year-old defender is currently having only one season left on his Tottenham deal.
It is thought that the Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is keen to bring in young and exciting talent to the club. As a result, he does not believe that the squad has enough space for older players like William Gallas. Due to the fact that QPR are looking for experienced players, William Gallas is the perfect fit for the club. The former Arsenal defender arrived at the club as a free agent and it is thought that the club will not be looking for a transfer fee in order to release him from his deal. William Gallas is currently on a contract worth around £ 60,000 per week.
QPR recently secured the signing of Ryan Nelsen, who is expected to be featured alongside William Gallas in a new look defence for the club next season. Another significant change at Loftus Road this season will see the departure of Joey Barton on a season long loan deal. The troubled midfielder has not been given the squad number for this season, while his squad number for the previous season has also been handed to the new arrival Ryan Nelsen. Joe Barton has expressed his surprise at being left out of the squad in this manner.
QPR are looking at the possibility of bringing former Tottenham defender William Gallas on a free transfer before the start of the new season.
The former Chelsea defender was released by Tottenham after his contract came to an end. The former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was responsible for bringing the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender to White Hart Lane. Despite his age, William Gallas has been a success during his short spell with the London club.
However, his contract was allowed to come to an end with the club after they decided not to renew due to his age. QPR are looking at the possibility of keeping William Gallas in London for the next foreseeable future after making a move for the 34-year-old.
Despite being 34 years of age, William Gallas proved to be a major reason for the success Tottenham have achieved in the last couple of seasons when they have reached the quarter-final stage of the Champions League and have also finished in the fourth position this season. New Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is looking to bring down the age of the squad, and has not identified William Gallas has a component of his first-team next season. QPR manager Mark Hughes, on the other hand, has been looking at the possibility of bringing several high profile players to the club.
Manchester United midfielder Park Ji sung recently sealed his move to the London club for another £ 2 million, while William Gallas is not set to be too far behind in negotiations. QPR could also be in for a surprise move for England international Jermain Defoe, who has grown frustrated about the lack of opportunities at Tottenham in his second spell with the club. Andre Villas-Boas, though, refused to rule out the possibility of Defoe leaving the club.