West Ham co-owner David Gold says the club have taken a risk by taking Alex Song on loan from Barcelona for a second year running. The former Arsenal midfielder is currently carrying a foot injury which has kept him out of pre-season. Song, 27, impressed in his first loan spell at the Hammers last season, prompting new manager Slaven Bilic to sign the Cameroonian on Transfer Deadline Day. West Ham were one of the busiest clubs in this summer’s transfer market and continued their spending spree on deadline day with the additions of Song, Michail Antonio, Nikica Jelavic and Victor Moses. Gold confirmed Andy Carroll is also closing in on a return to fitness and is confident Song can proving his doubters wrong. Speaking to Drivetime, he said: “It does worry you and Alex Song does have a bit of a history.“However when quality players like him become available, sometimes you have to take a risk and that’s what we’ve done. I don’t think it’s a big risk, the injury isn’t life threatening and I’m optimistic. “When I look back in the past, West Ham haven’t been a massive buying club. I think that certainly in our time we’ve been here, we’ve never had a window like this. We’ve achieved our aims. “Slaven [Bilic] has put forward the players he likes and in each case we’ve gone out there and got them for him. “It has to be remembered we’ve got two big seasons coming up. The last season at Upton Park, which is going to be very emotional and the first season at the Olympic Stadium. “These will be memorable seasons that fans will remember for years and years to come. We’ve got to give them a team that can ensure we are successful in both those seasons.”
Among the guests are Charlton skipper Johnnie Jackson and Wolves first team coach Rob Edwards as Geoff Peters previews another round of fixtures in the Championship, League One and League Two.
1 We all love a bit of transfer talk, but when rumours started doing the rounds this week that Liverpool ‘are monitoring the situation’ regarding Muller’s contract situation, only one image popped into our mind.And it wasn’t Thomas Muller leaving the mighty Bayern Munich for Anfield.You never know in football. After all, Liverpool were able to attract one of the hottest properties in football management when they lured Klopp to Merseyside.Perhaps Klopp’s magnetic personality could tempt a player like his countryman Muller to Anfield. You can be sure Klopp wouldn’t ask Emre Can to send Muller a text, at least.But for now, any Liverpool fans excited by the possibility will just have to make do with our specially mocked up picture of Herr Klopp tucking into that other well known Muller.Danke und gute nacht! Klopp and Muller
Non-league Whitehawk struck a dramatic injury-time leveller at Dagenham & Redbridge to earn their place in the FA Cup third round draw.Jordan Rose’s late header sparked wild scenes at Victoria Road as the National League South side cancelled out veteran Jamie Cureton’s opener.Whitehawk join Salford City and Eastleigh as the only non-league representatives in the draw when the Premier League sides join the competition.That’s because the dreams of Chesham United and Welling were dashed 4-0 and 5-0 against Bradford City and Carlisle United respectively.Altrincham also succumbed in agonizing circumstances as Carlisle’s Callum Harriott robbed the National League strugglers of a deserved berth in the next round.Harriott scored twice as the League One side nervously saw off their opponents with a 3-2 victory.Meanwhile, there were also wins for Doncaster, Exeter, Oxford United and Peterborough.The draw for the third round will take place on Monday evening at 7pm. Jordan Rose 1
Derby County are confident they can pull off an FA Cup upset against Manchester United.United have won just three of their last 13 games in all competitions and all the talk in the build-up to Friday night’s game at the iPro Stadium has been centred on Louis van Gaal’s future.The Rams are now hoping to heap more misery on Van Gaal and, according to assistant coach Kevin Phillips, they are well capable of beating the Premier League giants.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Phillips said: “What a fantastic game for the players, live on TV in the best cup competition in the world.“I know the players are looking forward to it having worked with them since Monday night.“If we get the selection right and the performance right then as we have seen this season with the troubles Manchester United are having, they are well beatable.“But they have still got great players and we will have to be on top of our game.”talkSPORT has live and exclusive national radio coverage of Derby County v Manchester United on Friday night, kick-off 19:55
Alan Pardew criticised referee Mike Jones after Crystal Palace’s 2-1 Premier League defeat by Bournemouth, insisting opposing players only get punished against his team for “committing murder”.Bournemouth’s Adam Smith made a routine professional foul on Jordon Mutch in a relatively unthreatening area in the 84th minute, when Palace were chasing an equalising goal after Marc Pugh and Benik Afobe had given the visitors the lead.Jones punished Smith with what appeared the right call in a yellow card, but Pardew believes the referee could have been stronger and that Palace are frequently being undermined to the extent he has lodged a complaint.“I spoke to (referees’ chief) Mike Riley about (Mark) Clattenberg because the two incidents Saturday, the guy (Stoke’s Stephen Ireland) should get sent off,” said Pardew, whose team went ahead in the 27th minute through Scott Dann’s close-range volley.“No one gets sent off against us, no one. You’ve got to really commit murder to get sent off against Crystal Palace, no one gets sent off here.“Again, we have a one-on-one (against Bournemouth), when Jordon Mutch goes through. For me, it’s another tough decision.“The one on Saturday was a definite sending off in my opinion, which Mike Riley agreed with me on, and at some point we will get a referee that acknowledges that, maybe.”Pardew’s anger may have owed much to the fact his team underperformed in the absence of the injured Yohan Cabaye.The talented midfielder suffered an ankle injury when being fouled by Ireland on Saturday in the incident Pardew said deserved a red card, and without him Palace’s creativity was minimal.“We lacked composure at times,” added Pardew, who gave new signing Emmanuel Adebayor his debut from the bench.“We certainly missed Yohan to just put his foot on it and slow the game down, it was a frantic game. Bournemouth really worked hard, put us under a lot of pressure.“We’re a bit unlucky to lose, we had some good chances. The two chances they had they go in: that’s the run we’re on at the moment.“It is becoming a problem, our strikers not scoring, there’s no doubt about that.“We’re going to have to really dig in at Swansea (on Saturday), to try and get something.”
1 Liverpool crashed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night after an extra time goal from West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna.Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge returned from injury, with the former scoring the equaliser and Michail Antonio opened the scoring just before the break.Jurgen Klopp decided to play a weakened side with Lucas and Tiago Ilori at centre back, but it was clear to Reds who was really to blame for the defeat.Christian Benteke wasted a hat-trick of chances in extra time alone, including a one-on-one with West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph. The £32.5m signing has only scored six times since his summer move from Aston Villa and fans are already hoping he moves again this year.See below for the best reactions to Benteke’s performance! [View the story “‘Imagine paying £77 to watch Christian Benteke!’ – Liverpool fans fume at Belgian striker after FA Cup exit” on Storify] Christian Benteke
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will not blame Kevin Mirallas or Romelu Lukaku for the 3-2 home defeat to West Ham.Mirallas saw red for a second bookable offence after earning an initial yellow card for diving and Lukaku had a woeful penalty saved in the second half.Trailing 2-0 to ten men, the Hammers responded with three goals in the final 12 minutes.Michail Antonio and substitute Diafra Sakho struck within four minutes of each other before Payet popped up in the six-yard area to send the travelling support into raptures.“We were presented with a very difficult game when Kevin had the red card but you look at the way we adapted, worked for each other, and we were the better team,” the Toffees boss said.“You wouldn’t know West Ham had an extra man.“He (Mirallas) apologised but it is part of the game. He didn’t do anything apart from trying to play the game.“The penalty was a big blow psychologically. Romelu is such a reliable footballer that we were all a little bit shocked. Those were two key moments.”Martinez was more inclined to blame referee Anthony Taylor, although having already booked Mirallas he was given little choice when the Belgian needlessly clattered into Aaron Cresswell.“The second booking is a decision the referee has to make. The first one is a ridiculous decision,” he added.“Why should we book a player because we feel it is not a free-kick? Two players come together, they cross each other and he loses his balance.“I don’t feel he is a referee who understands the game in a way that we want the game played.“You want a referee who takes the backseat. Unfortunately we had him here against Swansea and he had a very unfortunate game.“You want to see refs who understand the game and allow players to play and not just have to apply the letter of the law.” Roberto Martinez’s side lost after three late West Ham goals 1
Girardi is one of three candidates, along with Don Mattingly and Tony Pe a, to replace Joe Torre as Yankees manager. While Mattingly is the favorite because he is believed to be the top choice of owner George Steinbrenner and Steinbrenner’s sons, Hank and Hal, others in the Yankees front office are said to strongly prefer Girardi. It isn’t clear whether the position with the Dodgers has reached the point of being a guaranteed fallback for Girardi if he doesn’t get the Yankees job. On the surface, adding Girardi to the Dodgers staff would appear to instantly put Little on the hot seat next spring as he enters his third season at the helm. The Dodgers are coming off a disappointing 82-80 season and fourth-place finish in the National League West. Girardi and Colletti have known each other since at least 1989, when Girardi made his major league debut as a catcher for Chicago while Colletti was the Cubs’ media relations director. Girardi was the NL Manager of the Year with the Marlins in 2006, his only previous season as a big league manager, but he nevertheless was fired after that season because of a rift with owner Jeffrey Loria. Girardi, 43, is fiery and energetic. That is in stark contrast to the reserved Little, who didn’t seem to have a remedy for the clubhouse disharmony that bubbled to the surface late in the season and might have contributed to the team’s downfall. Little, who is signed through next season with an option for 2009, went home to Pinehurst, N.C., shortly after the season to decide what changes he wanted to make on his staff. But almost a month into the offseason, there has been no word on those changes. Every member of the staff, whose contracts expire on Dec. 31, was given permission after the season to seek jobs elsewhere, but that didn’t necessarily mean Colletti or Little wanted them to leave. The Dodgers need a hitting coach to replace Bill Mueller, who is returning to the front office. Little also was believed to be strongly considering replacing bench coach Dave Jauss. Multiple sources said last week that Jauss was close to accepting a position with Pittsburgh, a claim Jauss later denied. The Dodgers made a series of procedural moves on Friday that reduced their 40-man roster to 34 players. Right-hander Zach Hammes and catcher Chad Moeller cleared waivers and were outrighted to triple-A Las Vegas. Lefty Tim Hamulack, who started the season at Las Vegas but made just seven appearances before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery, also was outrighted, but he refused the assignment and became a free agent. Moeller, a six-year major league veteran, also has the option of becoming a free agent. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BASEBALL: Candidate for Yankees manager might be targeted to join L.A. staff, eventually succeed Little. By Tony Jackson STAFF WRITER It now appears there was at least some truth to an Internet report earlier this week that the Dodgers are talking to former Florida manager Joe Girardi about a position with the club. But it doesn’t look like the Dodgers are trying to make Girardi their next manager. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Not yet, anyway. According to multiple sources, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has been in contact with Girardi about what is expected to be an opening on the coaching staff. More specifically, Girardi potentially would become Manager Grady Little’s bench coach if Girardi isn’t named manager of the New York Yankees. That would position Girardi as Little’s eventual successor. The fact discussions with Girardi reportedly are taking place without Little’s involvement would seem to put Little in an awkward position if Girardi joins his staff. For the second day in a row, Colletti didn’t respond to multiple phone messages left at his office. Steve Mandel, Girardi’s Chicago-based agent, also didn’t respond to a message left on his cell phone. “The Dodgers won’t be making any news until after the World Series,” said Camille Johnston, the club’s senior vice president for communications, in adherence with Commissioner Bud Selig’s edict that teams avoid upstaging the game’s premier event.
A political solution for Schwarzenegger, then, could be to agree to the licenses, but only as part of a package that includes stiffer penalties for unlicensed driving. Immigration proponents would, theoretically, be pleased to finally get licenses for illegal immigrants, while restrictionists could be satisfied that more lawbreakers might be deported. It may be wishful thinking to imagine that all sides would agree to this, as they’re generally determined not to agree on anything, but it seems like a workable answer. And with New York blowing a hole in his old strategy, Schwarzenegger will need to come up with some way to handle this explosive issue. … about Barbara Boxer? California Sen. Barbara Boxer has never been very popular and has always seemed ripe for political defeat – if only the California GOP could produce a credible opponent. Fortunately for her, it never has. Enter Schwarzenegger. The governor, who is termed out of office, could do to Boxer what he did to Gray Davis back in 2003. At least that’s the upshot of a new Field Poll, which shows him besting Boxer by 1 point among registered voters. And that’s without a campaign, during which Schwarzenegger could be his charming self, while his aides would have a field day highlighting Boxer’s goofier comments from over the years. Should Schwarzenegger decide to run, it would likely be hasta la vista, Barbara. But that’s the big question – would he run? Schwarzenegger likes to be the executive, the man in charge – which he certainly would not be were he to join Congress’ cast of hundreds. Plus, the move to Washington seems unbearable for this committed Californian. Still, the Schwarzenshriver family has deep roots in D.C. Arnold could spend countless hours hanging (and probably voting) with Uncle Ted. He would also become the town’s biggest celebrity, outshining even the likes of Hillary, Obama or McCain. Not a bad gig for a guy who likes the limelight. … and in the presidential campaign? Hollywood star, former senator and would-be president Fred Thompson campaigned in California on Tuesday, where he proudly announced the endorsement of the state’s most important Republican. No, not Arnold. State Sen. Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks. Schwarzenegger might have the celebrity, the top job, and the better overall approval ratings, but when it comes to the party faithful who will be casting votes in the February primary, McClintock carries much more influence. Unlike Arnold, he’s seen as a solid conservative, one whose values and priorities are more in line with the average California Republican. Tellingly, Thompson claims he didn’t even seek Schwarzenegger’s endorsement, but he did lobby to win over McClintock – Schwarzenegger’s toughest critic, left or right. Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger has yet to endorse anyone, although John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have all reportedly sought his support. Giuliani would be a natural choice, being a fellow hands-on, flamboyant executive with liberal leanings. But it’s not certain that Schwarzenegger’s support would actually help him. Although still in first place nationally and statewide, the former New York mayor has seen his numbers shrink over the last few months. The more Republicans get to know Giuliani, it seems, the less they like him. Among GOP loyalists, the endorsement of a less than reliably conservative politician like Schwarzenegger could possibly do more harm than good. That’s how Thompson seems to see it, anyway. As for Arnold, he might just decide the best way to help his fellow Republicans in 2008 is to hold his endorsement until after the primaries. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! … about licenses for illegal immigrants? When he took office in 2003, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promptly struck down a short-lived law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain California driver’s licenses. Ever since, he’s been deliberately coy on the issue. Trying to appease restrictionists among the GOP base while not alienating Latino voters, Schwarzenegger has refused to oppose the licenses in principle. Instead, he’s clung to a technicality, saying he’s not against licensing illegal immigrants per se, it’s just that Washington has yet to establish standards for doing so under the Real ID Act. But that excuse appears to have run its course. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre In New York, which is moving ahead with controversial plans to start issuing licenses to illegal immigrants, the state has struck a deal with the feds to make the documents Real ID-compliant. And if New York can do it, so can California. Which means that, sooner or later, Arnold is going to have to take a stand on the issue – something he has tried desperately to avoid doing so far. But there may be a way out of this. Under the terms of the New York deal, illegal immigrants would get a different sort of license, one that couldn’t be used for federal ID – and thus, couldn’t be used to board an airplane. Some immigration advocates worry that, as a result, illegal immigrants won’t bother to get the license. After all, to do so would be to officially tag oneself as being here illegally. They might change their minds, though, if the state significantly increased punishment for driving without a license. If jail time, steep fees, car seizure and/or deportation were the consequences of unlicensed driving, many illegal immigrants would likely accept the limited license as the lesser of two evils.