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EPL 2015-2016 - Page 5

Mauricio Pochettino

Shocking news for Man United: Pochettino wants to extend his contract at Tottenham

According to Teamtalk, Mauricio Pochettino has just confirmed that he wants to extend his contract at Tottenham Hotspurs by two years, which will see him at the White Hart Lane till 2021.

The Argentinian manager has been linked with many big clubs, including Manchester United. But it looks like that the switch to the Old Trafford will not be possible anymore as the 44-year-old has already verbally agreed to a new five-year extension at the White Hart Lane.

Pochettino, the former Saints boss, came to the White Hart Lane in May 2014. He is yet to officially sign the contract but has verbally agreed to sign it by next Tuesday.

Spurs fans are very happy this season as the club have improved very well under Pochettino. Maybe it seems tough to snatch the Premier League trophy from Leicester’s hands, being 7 points behind, but Mauricio’s side have shown that they can do anything. Who knows, there could be more drama still left!

Inevitably his success has led him to a whole new level and he was a target for many clubs especially for the struggling Manchester United, who are badly looking for a replacement of the Dutchman Louis Van Gaal.

But a verbal agreement on Friday shows his passion about the club, as he is now all set to extend his contract with Spurs:

“It was an easy decision when you feel the love of the people and the potential of the club is massive, so why change?

“We create a good atmosphere on the training ground and I think we can achieve big things in the future. I believe in this project and this club. I want to stay here.”

Want Arsenal to do better after I leave: Wenger
Want Arsenal to do better after I leave: Wenger

Want Arsenal to do better after I leave: Wenger

London, April 29 (IANS) Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger says he wants the football club to do better after he leaves.

Under Wenger, Arsenal have won the English Premier League (EPL) three times. But since 2004, they have failed to win the competition and their success has been limited to only the FA Cup.

“I wish when I go the club goes higher up and wins the Champions League and the championship every year,” Wenger was quoted as saying by goal.com on Friday.

“I will be the biggest supporter in the stand because I will feel I have contributed to that.

“You have to remember when we built the stadium we had five to seven difficult financial years. We had to be three years in the Champions League and have a 54,000 average attendance.

Wenger said at the time of the crisis they had to sell the best players to survive.

“We had to sell our best players and survive. And we didn’t do three years out of five, we did five years out of five. During that time it was very competitive,” he said.

The Frenchman was vocal about his own frustration at the club’s failure to launch a challenge for the Premier League crown this season. Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur are only the two clubs now in the race for the title.

“It is very frustrating as we were in the position for long, long time to compete for the title,” he said.

“We won the FA Cup twice and the Community Shield and wanted to go one step up and win the league and that is why we are frustrated.

“I can understand the frustration because nobody is more frustrated than we are. Our disappointment has not to go too far.”


Sakho decides not to challenge drug test results, faces lengthy ban in days to come

English Premier League franchise were dealt a huge, long-term blow earlier today which could not only affect the remainder of their current campaign but also for seasons to come.

Earlier in the season before the match against Manchester United, French international and star Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho was asked to submit a sample for a drug test and last week it was revealed evidence of a fat-burning substance that is on the banned list by UEFA.

The defender was given up until the 26th April to respond to the allegations and he has now reportedly decided not to challenge the results of the drug test.

The club have however not released and official statement and have insisted that it was a private matter at the moment. However, the defender will not be eligible to play for the club till the investigation from the UEFA is still undergoing.

This leaves Sakho with almost no chance of playing for Liverpool for the rest of the season and if the issue is not resolved quickly, the 26-year old may face a lengthy ban from the game.

Klopp’s Liverpool have already left for the first leg of the semi-final of the Europa League this season against Villarreal and Sakho did not make the trip to Spain.

The fact that Sakho has accepted his fate and has not challenged the A-sample to be cross checked with another sample shows that the French star does not want to make this a huge story and this gesture will see him slapped with a ban sooner than he would have if he challenged UEFA’s first decision.

This is not the first time that a situation like this has hit a professional footballer.

Kolo Toure, currently a Liverpool player was banned for six months in 2011 after he admitted to taking his wife’s diet pills, medication that was not allowed by the UEFA regulations for players.

However, Toure pleaded innocent and of not knowing the list of banned substances and got away with a 6-month ban.

Sakho, on the other hand, is not looking to defend himself and has accepted the inquisition into him from the UEFA.

With nothing changing drastically in the next few days, Sakho will be looking at up to a 2-year ban and will miss the EURO’s in his home country later this year.

Liverpool will now be without the fan favorite for the rest of the season and will have to find a makeshift replacement for the big Frenchman if they want to go all the way in the Europa league.

Bayern's Lewandowski in talks with Real Madrid: Agent
Bayern's Lewandowski in talks with Real Madrid: Agent

Maybe will play in England or Spain in future: Lewandowski

Munich, April 27 (IANS) Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski says he wants to play football in the English Premier League or the La Liga if given a chance.

The 27-year-old has spent the last few years in Germany where he first turned up for Borussia Dortmund and then signed for Bayern in 2014.

He has netted 63 goals for Bayern in 95 matches, which has made him a transfer target for some of the biggest football clubs in the world.

“Maybe I’ll play in England or Spain one day,” Lewandowski was quoted as saying by goal.com on Wednesday.

“But, if I committed to pursuing my career in Munich, it’s because I considered it the ideal club at which to move up a level and to win more trophies. The fact that every season they reach at least the semi-finals of the Champions League impressed me,” the Polish international added.

“Apart from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, what other teams can brag about such consistency? I don’t know what my future will look like but at the moment, I’m very happy at Bayern.”

He also said former France striker Thierry Henry has always been his idol.

“Thierry Henry has always been my idol, especially when he played for Arsenal. I watched a lot of his matches,” he said.

Ranieri denies Roma icon Totti moving to Leicester
Ranieri denies Roma icon Totti moving to Leicester

Ranieri denies Roma icon Totti moving to Leicester

London, April 25 (IANS) Leicester City head coach Claudio Ranieri has denied calling his former ward and beleaguered Roma captain Francesco Totti to the English football club.

The Roma icon will turn 40 in September and wants to play on, having scored three goals in his last two Serie A games.

However, the Giallorossi seem unwilling to offer a contract extension and he will be a free agent this summer.

“Could Totti come to Leicester? It’s just speculation,” Ranieri was quoted as saying by football-italia.net on Sunday.

“Totti is Roma and Roma are Totti. And Totti is and will continue to be very useful to Roma.”

Ranieri worked with Totti when he was the coach of Roma.

Totti, the 2006 World Cup winner, is playing for Roma since 1992. This season, he has struggled to become a regular starter.

He has scored three goals in his last two games, and Roma fans have sided with him in a reported dispute with head coach Luciano Spalletti which both have tried to play down.

Ranieri urges Leicester to give 'reality' push for EPL title
Ranieri urges Leicester to give 'reality' push for EPL title

Ranieri urges Leicester to give ‘reality’ push for EPL title

London, April 25 (IANS) Leicester City chief coach Claudio Ranieri has called on his side to finish off the job after a 4-0 win over Swansea City put them within five points of guaranteeing a fairytale English Premier League (EPL) title.

The result at home on Saturday puts Leicester eight points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur with three matches left to play. Spurs have four matches left and have a chance to reduce the deficit when they play West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

“I know it’s not easy, because in my mind, Tottenham will win all their matches,” Ranieri told premierleague.com.

“I told them before the match: ‘We have a dream so far, now make the dream a reality’. Now is the time to push everything. We can have no regret. If Tottenham are better than us, OK, but we have to fight.”

Ranieri also praised the impact of striker Leonardo Ulloa after his two goals in Sunday’s victory.

Ulloa was named in the starting line-up because of Jamie Vardy’s suspension and justified his selection with goals on the 30th and 60th minutes to extend Leicester’s unbeaten run to nine matches.

“Leonardo had a fantastic performance,” Ranieri said. “He jumped, he held the ball, he jumped, he attacked, he scored two goals, he defended, he was everywhere.”

Stoke City midfielder Afellay suffers serious knee injury
Stoke City midfielder Afellay suffers serious knee injury

Stoke City midfielder Afellay suffers serious knee injury

London, April 23 (IANS) Stoke City head coach Mark Hughes said on Saturday that the English football club’s midfielder Ibrahim Afellay suffered a “serious” knee ligament injury, while media reports speculated that the Dutchman could be sidelined for eight months.

The former player of Barcelona twisted his knee in Friday’s training session, reports Efe.

“It’s unfortunate. He’ll come back stronger with our support,” Hughes said ahead of Saturday’s game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Afellay, 30, who joined Stoke last summer, played 31 English Premier League (EPL) games out of 35 matches with the English club this season.

According to the BBC, the former player of PSG, Schalke and Olympiakos, could be out for eight months.

Striker Ulloa ready to own up responsibility in Vardy's absence
Striker Ulloa ready to own up responsibility in Vardy's absence

Striker Ulloa ready to own up responsibility in Vardy’s absence

Leicester (England), April 23 (IANS) Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa says he is ready step up in the absence of star goal-poacher Jamie Vardy when they face Swansea City in their bid to extend their lead at the top of the English Premier League (EPL) table on Sunday.

Top scorer Vardy was dismissed against West Ham United last time out and will miss Sunday’s meeting with the Swans, meaning Ulloa could well be involved at the King Power Stadium.

He came off the bench to score a stoppage time penalty in the 2-2 draw with the West Ham last weekend, and whatever role he’s asked to fulfil by head coach Claudio Ranieri against the Swans, he’ll be happy to do it.

“I want to play always. I know the team is in a good moment and all the season have been in a good moment. It’s difficult to get into the XI but I want to help the team. I am ready to play 10, 20 or 90 minutes,” Ulloa told Leicester’s official website on Saturday.

“It’s easy to play with Shinji (Okazaki) because he has many qualities and he can adapt to play with Vardy or with me. We have different characteristics but we can play together,” the 29-year-old added.

“(As a team) I think we don’t have pressure because we are in a good situation and a good moment. If we think about last year and how we are now then it’s amazing. Now I think we need to enjoy it and enjoy the situation.”

But while there remains a relaxed mood and a good feeling around the camp, Ulloa insisted that the team is under no illusions about how tough their task with be against Swansea on Sunday.

The Foxes are currently five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur at the top with four games to play, but they’ll need to work hard to have any chance of extending that gap.

“I think it’s a tough game and a difficult game. Their situation isn’t so good but every game is hard. Swansea can play good football and we need to play with the same intensity and strength as the last few games,” said the Argentine.

“We need the same mentality and we need to think about us and not what they can do. If we think too much about them we’ll forget about ourselves, and it’s important to think of ourselves.”

Beating Stoke ideal for Champions League semis preparation: City coach
Beating Stoke ideal for Champions League semis preparation: City coach

Beating Stoke ideal for Champions League semis preparation: City coach

Manchester, April 23 (IANS) Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini believes the best way to prepare for their Champions League football semi-final against Real Madrid is to win on Saturday against Stoke City in the English Premier League.

Pellegrini said at the press conference on Friday, “It’s very important because we’re in the semi-finals but that doesn’t mean we’re not worried about the Premier League.”

“For big teams you cannot choose one competition. For some reason, the big clubs can be knocked out. It’s important not to leave one competition,” he said.

Manchester City will host Real Madrid on Tuesday at their home ground – the Etihad Stadium – in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.

They face Stoke City on Saturday in the 35th round of the Premier League.

They are currently fourth in the standings with 61 points from 34 matches.

Honoured to be in EPL team of the year: Man United's De Gea

Honoured to be in EPL team of the year: David De Gea

London, April 23 (IANS) Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has said it is “an honour” to be included in the English Premier League Team of the Year for the 2015-16 season.

“It’s an honour, I feel very proud. There are great goalkeepers in the Premier League,” said the Spanish international on Friday, reports Efe.

This is the third time the 25-year-old has been named best goalkeeper in the Premier League.

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in England previously included De Gea in the best team in the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons.

“We must also give credit to the team, I think that United should always be represented in the team of the year,” the goalkeeper added.

In addition to De Gea, the PFA Team of the Year includes defenders Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Wes Morgan (Leicester) and Danny Rose (Tottenham); midfielders N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Dele Alli (Tottenham) and Riyad Mahrez (Leicester); strikers Harry Kane (Tottenham) and Jamie Vardy (Leicester).

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