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Arsene Wenger stands by Cesc Fabregas gamble

Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 by BBC.com

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes he was right to bring substitute Cesc Fabregas on against Aston Villa despite his captain aggravating his hamstring. Fabregas broke the deadlock and scored twice in the 3-0 win but had to go off after his second goal. "We do not know yet if it is a recurrence of the pull or just scar tissue," said Wenger. "If it is scar tissue then it is a few days, but i...Full Story »

Hull 1 - 3 Man Utd

Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 by BBC.com

Wayne Rooney pounced to give Manchester United the lead Manchester United edged an error-strewn encounter with Hull to close to within two points of leaders Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title. Wayne Rooney drew first blood for United on the stroke of half-time, but later made a calamitous back-pass which paved the way for a Hull penalty. Craig Fagan levelled from the spot, but ...Full Story »

Strauss leads England back from brink to promised land

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

Captain wins ultimate prize after making players responsible for their actions Everything seems different when the Ashes have come home. The world, or at least the English part of it, is somehow a much happier, sprightlier place. Presumably, in the Australian part of it at present, the reverse is true. Quite how England managed to reclaim the trophy in the summer of 2009 continues to be somet...Full Story »

Capello cracks whip to free Three Lions

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

As with any winter sport, reviewing a calendar year carries a sense of unfinished business; all the more so with a World Cup to come. In choosing 100 heroes or villains from the past decade last week, this newspaper justifably placed Fabio Capello in the former category. Of vastly greater import for English football, however, is which classification he will merit in 12 months' time. Or seven mon...Full Story »

Half-time report: lessons from around Europe

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

Ronaldo fitness holds key Off the pitch Real Madrid's signing of Cristiano Ronaldo is already paying off with Adidas set to double their €30m annual sponsorship of the club and extending the current deal, which was due to end in 2012 to 2014. On the field his importance was underlined when, after an unbeaten run of seven games at the start of the season with him in the side, they lost ...Full Story »

Top-four finish can happen for likely lads

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

As Liverpool stumble and others leap ahead of them, the possibility grows that this will finally be the season when the top four teams in the Premier League cannot be predicted with customary certainty. For all Manchester City's money and Tottenham's promise, Aston Villa under Martin O'Neill have often looked the most likely lads, which makes today's game at Arsenal a key fixture and the lessons...Full Story »

Ferguson says LMA must stop exits like Hughes

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by The Independent

A man with a birthday on New Year's Eve finds this an even more reflective period than most, and Sir Alex Ferguson – 68 on Thursday – has been contemplating one of football's wider issues as well as Manchester United's more immediate engagements at Hull City today and against Wigan on Wednesday night. Solidarity with fellow managers has always been important to him and on occasio...Full Story »

Hard times force new equality on the Premier League's economic miracle

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by theguardian.com

John Terry reacts after Aston Villa's James Collins headed the winner at Villa Park in October. The question we all dread from foreign visitors to these islands is: "What does Britain actually do?" All we can say is that we surge into cities on overcrowded trains and then disperse mysteriously, pointlessly invade far-off countries and talk an awful lot about the Premier League. England's highe...Full Story »

David James wants reunion with Harry Redknapp at Tottenham

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by theguardian.com

Calling Harry? David James may be heading for Spurs. Photograph: Allstar David James has said he welcome a move next month from Portsmouth to Tottenham Hotspur, where he would be reunited with Harry Redknapp. The goalkeeper is a target for the Spurs manager, under whom he had a successful spell at Portsmouth, and believes the transfer would strengthen his hopes of going to next summer's World ...Full Story »

Man City 2 - 0 Stoke

Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 by BBC.com

Mancini (left) celebrates the first goal of his reign with assistant boss Brian Kidd Roberto Mancini calmed the turbulence around Eastlands as he started his reign as Manchester City manager with a comfortable victory against Stoke City. Mancini was warmly greeted by City's fans after taking charge following the controversial sacking of Mark Hughes - and his opening victory will have been gree...Full Story »

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