Celtic boss silent on Keane speculation

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan has refused to comment on speculation linking Manchester United midfielder with a move to Celtic Park at the end of this season. The Manchester United captain has said he expects to leave Old Trafford in the summer when his contract expires. Having previously said he would like to end his career at Celtic, speculation he will move to Glasgow is now rife. But Strachan said: "If I say anything at all there will be headlines all over the place."Keane stressed that he would not stay in England if he left Old Trafford, adding further to the theory that a move to Celtic Park would suit him, though he would have to take a massive pay-cut.

But Strachan refused to give the expectant media any encouragement. "I've never spoken about anybody at any other club. I'm not going to change it now. I want to concentrate on Livingston," he added. "It's not fair on the player or the club. It's as simple as that." Celtic keeper David Marshall said the players are taking the speculation with a "pinch of salt". "Obviously every Celtic fan hopes he signs but I don't think it's set in stone that he is leaving Manchester United," said Marshall. "It would be great to have him up here and his experience would help all the young boys but he is getting on a bit now.

"He is 35 next summer but the experience he would bring would be great. It is just a pipe dream at the moment and we take it with a pinch of salt. "We have heard three or four times in the past that he is coming up here so nobody is talking about it in training."

Personally I would love to see Roy end his carrer at Cektic because I think he is a great player and Celtic would be a great place to end a great carrer. Keane will be 35 at the end of the season and I think he could still play at least two years more of competitive football. I personally believe he will move to Celtic at the end of the season and finish his playing days there.


Roma ace told he won't play for the club until he signs new deal

Antonio Cassano has been told by his club Roma that he will not play for the club until he has signed a new contract at the Italian outfit. Despite recovering from a muscle injury he sustained two weeks ago, the striker has been told that he will not play for the club until he agrees a new deal. According to the Italian press, coach Luciano Spalletti is ready to recall the striker for their game against Siena, but officials at the club have rebuffed the idea until the 23-year-old has committed his future to the club. Cassano looked to have agreed a contract extension a few weeks ago, thought to be worth around £3million for up to four seasons, but has since pulled out.

Cassano is a great player and over the summer I have heard many stories that he was going to leave Roma and join fellow Seira A side Juventus. He is only 23 year's old and I think whatever club he is at he will still do a great job. I personally think he will leave next summer and maybe join someone like Chelsea or Real Madrid.


Pompey star in hospital with malaria

Portsmouth striker Lomana Lua Lua has been hospitalised after he collapsed in training today and it is thought that he has contracted a nasty disease called malaria. The 24 year old caught the disease on a return to Africa to play for DR Congo and it is thought that he willl miss several weeks of the season for Pompey. The form of malaria is thought to be serious but not life-threatening and a hospital spokesman described his condition as "stable and satisfactory". LuaLua missed Pompey's Carling Cup exit at Gillingham and the Premiership defeat at Bolton with what was initially thought to be a virus.

The £1.8m signing from Newcastle is Pompey's top scorer this season with two goals and his loss is another blow for boss Alain Perrin. Former Pompey team-mate Yakubu was twice laid low by malaria during his time at Fratton Park - before his £7m close-season move to Middlesbrough.

This is a blow for Pompey but the blow for Lua Lua is even bigger because this is a very serious disease and I just hoping we see back in action as soon as possible. Lua Lua has been in fine form this season for Pompey in a side that has struggled under Portsmouth's new manager Alain Perrin. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lua Lua and himself right now.


Arsenal and Man Utd both earn 2-1 victories

Arsenal and Man United both earned 2-1 victories against Ajax and Benfica, respectivly. Man United have alot to owe Ruud Van Nistelrooy for scoring the winner just 6 minutes from time. Arsenal gave a battleing performance to win in Amsterdam against Ajax with goals from Freddie Ljunberg and a Robert Pires penalty. Man United took the lead 39 minutes in when a Ryan Giggs free kick was deflected by a Benfica player in the wall. But Benfica came back strongly and scored on 59 minutes with a goal from Portugese international Simao. But United got the winner 6 minutes from time when Ruud Van Nistelrooy tap in from close range. Final score Man United 2-1 Benfica.

Arsenal took the lead just 2 minutes in when a ball was played through by Jose Antonio Reyes to Freddie Ljungberg and he dinked it over the Ajax keeper. Arsenal went two ahead on 68 minutes when Reyes was brought down in the box and Robert Pires steppped up and hit it right down the middle. Ajax got a consalation goal just 2 minutes later when a spectaculor shot by Ajax Tomas Galasek rebounded of the post and Markus Rosenberg was there to tap in. Final score Ajax 1-2 Arsenal.

Good results for both Arsenal and Man United because United hadn't won in four games in a row so it was good they got out of that habit and it was a great result for Arsenal because they were away to a very tough side and they managed to win.


Doyle and Connoly in Ireland fold

Reading's Kevin Doyle and Wigan's David Connoly have both been selected in Brain Kerr's 24 Ireland squad for their next two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Switzerland. A first international call up for Doyle who has scored three goals for Reading since signing for them in the summer from Irsih league side Cork City. Ireland boss Brian Kerr was quoted as saying "I've watched Kevin at various levels including for the under-21's and I have seen him this season for Reading." "He has maintained a high level of performance and I am obviously serious about bringing him in."

Wigan striker David Connoly has been recalled for the first time since 2003 by Kerr who must prepare for the match against Cyprus without suspened duo Andy Reid and Clinton Morrison.

The squad in full: Goalkeepers: Given (Newcastle), Kenny (Sheffield Utd), Colgan (Barnsley)Defenders: Cunningham (Birmingham), Breen (Sunderland), O'Brien (Portsmouth), Dunne (Manchester City), O'Shea (Manchester Utd), Carr (Newcastle), Harte (Levante), Finnan (Liverpool)Midfielders: S Reid (Blackburn), Miller (Manchester Utd), Holland (Charlton), Kavanagh (Wigan), Kilbane (Everton)Strikers: Connolly (Wigan), Duff (Chelsea), Doherty (Norwich), Elliott (Sunderland), Doyle (Reading), Robbie Keane (Tottenham)


Defoe strike lifts Tottenham to fourth

Tottenham have tonight beaten Fulham by a single goal at White Harte Lane to lift them to fourth in the Premier league. Tottenham started brightly forcing great saves out of Fulham keeper Tony Warener, most notably the save to keep Egyptian striker Mido's effort out. Jermain Defoe opened the scoring on seven minutes when he latched onto the long ball from Ledly King but Fulham boss Chris Coleman was furios at the ref because he felt Defoe was off side.

Fulham's most notable chance came when their Danish midfielder Claus Jensen hit the bar after a sweeping move from his team mates. Steed Malbranque was Fulham's most dangerous player, the Frenchman causing havoc down the Spurs left. Spurs' win saw them jump five places to fourth, nine points behind Chelsea. The defeat left Fulham just one place above the relegation zone, two points above bottom-placed Everton. Final score Tottenham 1-0 Fulham.

Good result for Tottenham after last Tuesday when they were defeated by the mighty Grimsby but the result for Fulham now leaves them fourth from bottom. On the course of ninty minutes I thought Tottenham deserved the win but Fulham didn't play to bad at all.


Adriano pledges future to Inter

Adriano has pledged his future to his current side Inter Milan by signing a new deal at the club. The brilliant Brazillian has extended his current contract by two years and it willl keepe him at the club until 2010. Adriano had been strongly linked with a move away from Inter over the summer with Chelsea and Real Madrid making admiring glances at the powerful striker. Inter were very keen to keep him at the club and tie him down to a new long term deal.

This news is a massive boost for Inter boss Roberto Mancini with Adriano establishing himself as the clubs most prized asset and he's only 24 years old. Adriano joked that his new deal will see him grow old at the club. "I have signed until 2010? I will be old with white hair ," joked Adriano.

This is very bad news for all of the elite teams in the world because I'm sure any side would love to have him in their squad because he is such a great young player. I personally thought that he would leave Inter and join either Chelsea or Real Madrid but fair play to for not leaving the side that gave him the chance in football at the highest level. I think no matter what club Adriano is playing for he will always be one of the best in the business.


Sunerland are in Wonderland

Sunderland have today won their first game in the Premiership since 2002 and it came at the expence of their North East rivals Middlesborough. Sunderland came into the game rock bottom of the Premier League and with only one point from their opening 6 games. Sunderland started very very brightly when they opened the scoring on 1 minute with a goal from summer signing Tommy Miller. It was a neat finish that hit the post on the way in. Sunderland keeper Kelvin Davis who has come in for some critiscim in the last few weeks was one of the heros today with a string of saves in the first-half and he wasn't really presured in the second-half.

Arca was really over the moon with his free-kick

Sunderland got what they deserved mid way through the secong-half when they were awarded a free-kick just on the edge of the box and man of the match Julio Arca curled it right into the top corner. At the end of the game you could really see the delight in Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy face, his side actually won. Final Score Middlesborough 0-2 Sunderland.

This result will really lift the whole Sunderland team and maybe now they can go on some sort of run. Middlesborough really didn't play well and they deserved what they got with the result. Although I'm not a Sunderland fan I am very happy for them.


Wenger wants points for goals

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has today added his voice to the call to award points for goals to encourage attacking play. Wenger has a solution for the Premier League, who will discuss falling attendances at a shareholders' meeting. He told the News of the World: "You have to try and encourage teams to keep on attacking when they are in the lead. "What could work is awarding points on the difference between goals scored and conceded - an extra point if there is a difference of three, like 3-0 or 5-2." The Gunners boss conceded that it would be difficult to introduce and implement new legislation.

Wenger added: "It is difficult to impose new rules but the intention should always be to win."The most successful teams have always been attacking ones. "Brazil have won more World Cups than anyone and Real Madrid more European trophies - and both of them always play to win." Wenger's suggestion is unlikely to find much favour and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admitted told BBC Radio Five Live: "I don't like it. "It's one for debate but I think it's too contrived."

I am with Wenger on this point because I believe it would make the Premiership even more exciting and it would also boost the attendances that have been very low so far this season. It would be very good because if one team hammered another team one week then it would boost their points total for that match and I do think it would encourage more attacking play in the game. I think Rugby does something like, if you get a certain amount of points you get an extra point.


Chelsea finally concede but still win

Chelsea have today continued their 100% start to the season with a 2-1 win at home to Aston Villa who did take the lead. Aston Villa took the lead just before the half-time interval when Luke Moore latched onto a Tomas Sorenson goal kick and the 19 year old managed to beat Petr Cech, just to tell you that is the first time anyone has scored against Chelseas all season and Moore earned himself £10,000 for his selected charity because their was some prize thing in a paper that the first bperson that scored against Chelsea earned £10,000 for their charity. Chelsea scored just a minute after when a free kcik on the edge of the box was put away by England international Frank Lampard. Olof Mellberg affectivly ended the tie when he brought down powerful African striker Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard scored his secong goal of the game. Final score Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa.

This was a very good game in many ways because first of all Frank Lampard got back to scoring form, secondly Chelsea finally conceded this season and finally it is good to see Moore getting £10,000 for his selected charity. Chelsea, I believe deserved the win and I thought that both sides gave a good account of themselves. It was also good to see that the stadium was full to capacity because their has been alot of critiscim about atendances lately at Chelsea because of the ticket prices.


Black day for United

Blackburn today managed to overcome the mighty Man United with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. Blackburn boss Mark Hughes was delighted with his teams performance on his first time at his old club as a manager. The game came to life when Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen struck a beautitful free kick that crept straight in after Kieron Richardson was perhaps harshly pulled up for a foul on Dickov. Wayne Rooney was brought on just after half-time and just after he took a very nice shot but Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel managed to save but he fumbled and Ruud Van Nistelrooy followed up and put the sides level.Just when the game looked to be finishing as a draw, on 81 minutes Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen powered a shot right into the top corner of United keeper Edwin Van Der Sar's net. Final score Man United 1-2 Blackburn.

Man united boss Sir Alex Ferguson must be very angry with himself that he didn't start Wayne Rooney because United just couldn't finish of some of their flowing moves. Blackburn have alot to owe Gamst Pedersen because he really did turn the game in Blackburn's favour. This is a great result for Blackburn but United already have alot of catching up to do on Chelsea.


Neville set to miss next six weeks through injury

Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been rulled out for up to six weeks after undergoing groin surgery. Neville, 30, suffered the injury during the Champions League qualifier against Debrecen in Hungary in August. Neville was hoping to return to action against Blackburn but, after breaking down in training on Thursday, decided to undergo surgery.Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "It is a blow but we think it is the best course of action." Ferguson resigned himself to being without the experienced defender for at least six weeks.

He said: "The recovery time from the operation is a month and then it will take another two or three weeks to get his fitness back." Neville will be ruled out until the middle of November and will miss the key Premiership clash with leaders Chelsea on 6 November. He will also be sidelined for England's World Cup qualifying matches against Austria and Poland next month.

This is another big blow for United after Gabriel Heinze also is set to be out for a lengthy period of time. Neville has been a great player for United over the past few years and this will be a big blow because John O' Shea hasn't been at his best this season so far. Neville is 30 years old and he will probablly retire in the next five years so this is a bit of a dent in his great carrer.


Ole Gunna be out for another while

Manchester United Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjear has revealed his return to training has been put back because of a fresh injury problem. The 32-year-old has spent almost all of the last two seasons on the sidelines trying to combat a serious knee injury. He told MUTV: "There has been a bit of a setback. It was not really anything to do with the old injury, but it will take a few more weeks to recover. "I am hoping to be back in training by 1 November." Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has previously revealed his own doubts over whether Solskjaer would play again.

I am very sorry for Solskjear because when he plays he can turn a game all by himself, but I don't know wheter or not he will be able to do that when he finally becomes match fit. Man United fans love him and I'm sure they would love to see him play in a United shirt once more because he hasn't done that for some time. When or if he ever becomes match fit then I'm sure that the Old Trafford faithful will give him a great reception.


City appeal against red card decision

Manchester City have today made an appeal against defender Nedum Onuoha's red card pick up in their League Cup second round defeat against Doncaster. Onuoha was red carded in last nights game but were told by a representative of referee Graham Salisbury that it would be rescinded. But only the Football Association can make such a decision and City have to go through the procedure of appealing to overturn the sending-off.

The FA will make a decision on Friday prior to City's game at Newcastle. City boss Stuart Pearce said: "After watching the replays, it is an embarrassing decision. "Nedum is not a malicious player and if you look at it, he has actually done the keeper a favour by keeping his studs down, so it ended up being a clash of knees."

I saw the incident last night and I have to say that the fould didn't even warent a yellow card let alone a red. The decision totally changed the game and in the end it made City lose the game. I felt City were hard done by the ref because I don't think Doncaster's penalty decision was right either, but I do believe City should have been able to kill the game off earlier.


Carra expects Rafa to stay

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said today that he fully expects Reds boss Rafa Beniteaz to stay at Liverpool. Benitez has again been linked with a move to Real Madrid following their poor start to the season. Wanderley Luxemburgo's future at El Santiago Bernabeu has been the subject to intense speculation after Real slumped to their third successive defeat last weekend. Real president Florentino Perez is thought to be considering axeing Luxemburgo and Benitez is believed to be among his top targets to take over at Real.

Carragher is not worried about the speculation and believes it shows that Benitez is doing a good job at Liverpool. "I don't think it's a bad thing him (Benitez) getting linked there, it just shows that you've got a good manager," Carragher told Sky Sports News. "What you would probably call the most successful club side in world football if they want your manager it shows you've got a good manager. "He doesn't have to say anything (about the speculation). We are all sure he's dedicated to Liverpool. "He's signed a four or five-year contract and has only just started. I'm sure he wants to be here for a few more years yet and win a few more trophies."

Carragher has admitted that the club have set their sights on winning The Premiership after their UEFA Champions League success last term. "Our next aim is the Premiership title and I am sure this season and the coming seasons we'll get more quality into the squad. "I am sure that's what the manager will be looking to do, starting in January and start challenging the top three to try and win the Premiership title. "It is something on the list that the players at the club desperately want.

"It is going to be difficult, we are up against some great sides in The Premiership. "Look at the start Chelsea have made already, it is putting pressure on ourselves, Arsenal and Manchester United and we now feel even if we draw a game it's two points dropped rather than a point gained. "It is tough to catch them, they've set the bar very high and now you can't afford to be losing more than two or three games so it is up to us to keep this unbeaten run going as long as we can."

I fully expect Benitez to stay because I think Liverpool fans now have a special bond with him. He has only been at Anfield for one season and in that season he won the Champions League against AC Milan on penalties, that says alot about him. I agree with everything Carragher is saying about Benitez because it does go to show that if your'e been linked with one of the best teams in the World then it means your'e doing something good with the team your'e with at the moment.


Carrick injured in League Cup defeat

Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick is set to miss the next two weeks of the season after he picked an ankle injury in his sides 1-0 defeat to Grimsby in the Carling Cup second round. Spurs coach Martin Jol has now confirmed that his midfield ace will not play for two weeks. "Michael Carrick twisted his ankle in a bad way - I've seen it on video again," said Jol."Thankfully he's recovering quickly but I think it will take a couple of weeks. "So we'll have to play with a new midfield again against Fulham but at least we have five days to prepare for that game."

This is a blow for Carrick and for Tottenham because Carrick would have been looking to impress England boss Sven Goran Eriksson ahead of Englands next two World Cup qualifiers, it is also a big blow for Tottenham because Carrick is vital in their midfield, but I think Jenas and Davids will do just fine together. I was very surprised Tottenham lost last night because they had a pretty strong squad out but they just weren't up for it.


Campo set for spell on sidelines

Bolton midfielder Ivan Campo has been ruled out up to two months after sustaining a fracture in his foot. The former Real Madrid man has played a vital role in The Trotters' fine start to the season after scoring in both his Premiership appearances so far. However Sam Allardyce will now be denied his services after the 31-year-old fractured a metatarsal during a training session and X-rays have revealed he may be absent for an extended period.

"He could be out for six to eight weeks," Allardyce told the club's official website. "He ran into a tackle in training, got caught and broke his foot, and that's something we could have done without at this stage." With men like Kevin Nolan and Gary Speed, as well as new midfield recruits Hidetoshi Nakata and Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye, Allardyce has the depth of squad at his disposal to cope with the loss of the player who moved to The Reebok Stadium in 2003.

This is a big blow for Bolton because Campo has been a big part of the side ever since he joined in 2003. He helped the club achieve European qualification last year, the first time they have ever done that. This is a big blow but lucky for Big Sam because he has brought in some decent midfield players over the summer that may fill in for him.


Gilberto extends stay at Gunners

Brazillian star Gilberto Silve has signed a new long term deal with Arsenal. Gunner boss Arsene Wenger saw key midfielders Patrick Vieira and Edu leave Highbury this summer, which increased the reliance on Gilberto, who joined the club from Atletico Mineiro in July 2002. Gilberto has performed very well in the opening games this season and this news is a major bosst for Arsenal becuase they certainly haven't got off to the start they would of wanted.

Wenger is aware of Gilberto's qualities and has ensured he remains an important part of his future thinking by handing him a new deal which ties the player to the club until the summer of 2009. A statement on Arsenal's website read: "Arsenal is delighted to announce that Gilberto has signed a long term extension to his contract with the club until 2009. "Everyone at Arsenal is looking forward to enjoying Gilberto's continued contribution in the forthcoming seasons."

This is great news for Arsenal because this season Gilberto has performed to his full potential and has been one of few good players this so far this season at Highbury. Gilberto is now thirty years old and I think that this contract will see him through to the end of his playing days and that he will finish his good carrer at Arsenal.


League Cup Round Two

There were some exciting scores tonight in the League Cup second round, the round that the Premiership sides come in. Tottenham were defeated at the hands of mighty League 2 side Grimsby by a single goal. The goal came from came from a chap called Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala's. Tottenham appeared to be playing a pretty strong side but they just weren't good enough on the night to win.

Aston Villa came through a pretty big scare when they were 3-1 down at half-time to Wycombe but managed to win with an impressive 8-3 scoreline. Wycombe's goals came from Nathan Tyson, Roger Johnson and Tommy Mooney, while Villa's eight goals came from Steve Davis (2 goals), James Milner (2 goals), Gareth Barry (2 goals), Milan Baros and a Clint Easton O.G. Birmingham strolled through their second round match with a comfortable 2-0 win against League 2 side Scunthorpe. Both of Birmingham's goals were scored by Mikeal Forssell.

West Ham managed to overcome Championship side Sheffield Wednesday by a margain of two goals. West Ham's goals were scored by David Bellion, Bobby Zamora (2 goals) and Christian Daily. Wednesday's gaols were scored by Graham Coughlan and David Graham. Sunderland h were forced to extra time by the mighty Cheltenham Town but they managed to score a goal in the 92 minute by Anthony Le Tallec.

Portsmouth have been knocked out by League 1 side Gillingham in a five goal thriller that was decided on extra time. The Portsmouth goals were scored by Gary O'Neill and Matthew Talyor. Portsmouth also missed a penalty late on when Todorov hit wide of the goal. Gillingham's goals were scored by Darren Byfield, Portsmouth keeper own goal (Jamie Ashdown) and Alan Crofts in extra time.

I am really surprised to see Tottenham going out so early because I thought that they would be one of the sides that would be trying to win this trophy, after all it does lead a way to Europe. I am also surprised at Portsmouth because I thought that they would go on some cup run but maybe they might do that in teh F.A. Cup. Great result for Aston Villa because at Half-Time I was thinking of the embarrsement for the players after. No real surprise with the other scores.


Rooney's actions earn him an extended ban

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been handed a two game ban from UEFA. Rooney, 19, was dismissed against Villarreal last week for apllauding in referee Kim Milton Nielsen's face after receiving a booking. But he has been given an extra game after Nielsen also reported that Rooney swore at him as he left the field.

United could fight the accusation of swearing, and an appeal must be lodged with Uefa by midnight on Friday. The suspension would involve Rooney missing United's two home games with Benfica on 27 September and Lille on 18 October.A statement by Uefa's control and disciplinary body said: "It is beyond any doubt that Wayne Rooney committed several disciplinary offences, notably by taking two yellow cards resulting in a red card, as well as by displaying unsporting conduct."As a result, it is appropriate to impose a two-match ban for the reported misconduct."

Rooney's temperament has repeatedly come into question and he was lucky to avoid being shown a red card in England's World Cup qualifying defeat to Northern Ireland seven days ago. He is already suspended for England's next World Cup qualifying game against Austria on 8 October after receiving a yellow card in the Northern Ireland game.

I think Rooney's actions have deserved this extra game ban because it is just common sence that you don't do that to a ref. I thought it was very insulting to the ref, Kim Milton Nielsen, and if I was him I would have sent him off as well. I now it was kind of funny but you just don't do that.


Pires: Neville tried to hurt me

Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has accused Everton's Phill Neville of deliberately attempting to hurt him during his side's win on Monday. Pires was forced off with a thigh injury soon after a tussle with Neville in the first half of Arsenal's 2-0 victory at Highbury. Neville escaped punishment for the tackle by referee Alan Wiley, but Pires believes the former Manchester United man intended to injure him. "I tackled to get the ball," Pires told London's Evening Standard. "He didn't. "He made the tackle to catch me and he did. I tried to play on but the pain was too bad." Pires is a major doubt for this weekend's clash with West Ham as a result of the injury.

I personally don't believe Neville went in intentially to hurt Pires, I just think Pires was a bit of a wimp in the tackle. Neville was bood even before the challenge because of his former Manchetser United links, who as you know are one of Arsenal's main rivals, and he was bood even more after the takcle with Pires.


Rooney and Ronaldino scoop for awards

Wayne Rooney and Ronaldino both picked up the big awards at at the inaugural FIFpro awards. Barcelona star Ronaldinho scooped FIFpro World Player of the Year award, while Manchester United ace Rooney was named FIFpro Academy's Young Player of the Year. More than 38,000 players represented by FIFpro from around the world voted in the poll. Rooney fought off competition from eleven other candidates including his Man United team mate Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldinho was the clear winner of the World Player of the Year award from the 55-strong shortlist that was announced for the award.

The award is more recognition for Ronaldinho as he is already the Fifa 2004 world player of the year and he was delighted to receive the prize. "It's a great honour to receive another one of these big prizes and this one is extra special because it's voted for by my fellow players," said Ronaldinho Brazilian legend and football icon Pele picked up the FIFpro Legend award for his services to the game. A world select team of the year was also named and the only Premiership representatives in the XI were Chelsea trio John Terry, Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele. Italian giants Milan had the biggest representation of players in the team with five of their stars making the starting line-up.

Fifpro World XI: Dida (Brazil/Milan)Cafu (Brazil/Milan) Alessandro Nesta (Italy/Milan)John Terry (England/Chelsea)Paolo Maldini (Italy/ Milan)Ronaldinho (Brazil/Barcelona)Frank Lampard (England/Chelsea)Claude Makelele (France/Chelsea)Zinedine Zidane (France/Real Madrid)Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon/Barcelona)Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine/Milan)

I believe these two awards are very fair because both Rooeny and Ronaldino have been great role models and great players in the last year. It is very hard to believe that Rooney is still only nineteen and I think in years to come he will win the award Ronaldino just won.


Club Profile: Bolton Wanderers

Name: Bolton Wanderers.
Nickname: The Trotters.

Manager: Sam Allardyce.
Captain: Jay-Jay Okocha.

Stadium: The Reebok Stadium.
Capacity: 28,000.

Star Player: Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Young Gun: Nicky Hunt.
One To Watch: Jared Borgetti.

Top Goal-Scorer Of All Time: Nat Lofthouse (285)
Most Appearances: Eddie Hopkinson (578 games)


Bolton have established themselves as a solid Premiership side ever since they were promoted from the First Division in 1999. Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has a reputation of signing proven world class players for really no fee's at all such as Jay-Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkaeff (who has since left the club). Bolton's best ever finish in the Premiership came last year when they reached the dizzy heights of a European spot. Boss Sam Allardyce has had great success at Bolton since his appointment in 1999 most noteablly their promotion, but in the last few weeks papers have suggested that "Big Sam" will be the next England manager. Bolton moved into the Reebok Stadium in 1997 and since they moved they have started to perform to their best and win back promotion in 1999. Bolton have got of to a flyer this season and they have already played their first European game which they won. I believe Bolton will establish themselves as a solid top half side in the next few years.

Other Profiles:

  • Arsenal
  • Aston Villa
  • Birmingham
  • Blackburn Rovers

    Nicky hit with fine

    Birmingham's English midfielder Nicky Butt has been charged by The FA following his sending off at Portsmouth. The midfielder who is on a season long loan from Newcastle has been found guilty of breaching FA Rule E3 for using abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official. Butt was sent off on Saturday playing away from home against Portsmouth for kicking out at Pompey striker Dario Silva, the kick was alerted to the reffere by his line's man and he was shown the red by Dermot Gallagher.

    The former Manchester United star was seen on camera verbally abusing the assistant referee as he left the pitch as he had alerted official Dermot Gallagher to Butt's kick on Dario Silva. The 30-year-old has until 6pm on Tuesday to respond to the charge and his case will be heard on Tuesday September 27.

    I saw the incident on Saturday and it did look as though Butt did lash out at Dario Silva and he did warrent a red card, but Silva did back into him and he was booked. I personally don't think should appeal against the decision because that could lead to an even bigger fine.


    Bolton snatch undeserved win

    Bolton Wanderers have today ended Manchester City's thirteen game unbeaten run in the Premiership with a 1-0 win, but I believe the game should have been won by City. City played with alot of confiedence but both sides went in at the break with the game poised at 0-0. City nearly took the lead just after the interval when City striker Antoine Sibierski ratteled the croos bar. Then moments later Joey Barton hit a left footed shot at goal but it hit the cross bar.

    Bolton's Gary Speed converts the penalty

    Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelianen made a stunning save mid way through the second half when Claudio Reyna strook with his right foot from close range. Kiki Musampa grazed the bar from ten yards out just after the save and Bolton just couldn't put any pressure on City. Sun Jhai shot from distance with a power bolt but once again it hit the cross bar for City. Bolton were awarded a penalty in the very last minute when the ball appeared to hit City defender Richard Dunne on the arm. Gary Speed stepped up and put it right down the middle of David James' net. Final score Man City 0-1 Bolton.

    Man City were very unlucky to lose this game and they really should have won by a few goals with all of the chances they had, but fair play to Bolton for getting all three points. Bolton boss Sam Allardyce said earlier in the week that he would be happy with a draw and it looked as though it was going to turn out that way going into the last minute but Bolton got very very lucky. Bolton now go ahead of City in the league to go fourth while City are fifth.


    Keane ruled out for two months

    Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has been ruled out for the next two months of the season with a broken foot picked up in todays Premiership game against Liverpool, the game finished 0-0. Keane was not expected to play today after it was predicted that Keane would require three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. The 34-year-old broke the third metatarsal bone in his foot and will now be missing from the United team for the next two months.

    This is a big blow for United because whenever Keane plays the team plays well. He is a leader and anyone would love to have him in their team. Roy will also miss the Republic Of Ireland's two World Cup qualifier's against Switzerland and Cyprus, games that Ireland really need to win if they want to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. He will also miss Man UNited's clash against Chelsea on Sunday the 6th of November.


    Magpies new boy on the score sheet in impressive win

    Newcastle today beat Blackburn at Ewood Park 3-0 and their £17 million man Michael Owen got on the score sheet. The first half was a midfield battle with neither side creating much chances. The game really came to life when Blackburn old boy Alan Shearer scored a trade mark free kcik to put the visitors in front. Just four minutes later Shearer's new striking partener Micheal Owen scored his first goal for the club with a neat header past Brad Freidel.

    Newcastle were reduced to ten men five minutes later when Steven Talyor recieved a second yellow card for a tug on Newcastle old boys' shirt Craig Bellamy. Then everybody thought it would give Blackburn to make a come back but instead they conceded again to a goal scored by young French man Charles N'Zogbia. Final score Blackburn 0-3 Newcastle.

    Dissapointing result for Blackburn being the home side but great result for Newcastle and a timely one to for Magpies boos Graeme Souness who has been tipped to be sacked in recent weeks. I am really glad to see Michael Owen scoring for Newcastle and I hope he goes on to score many more goals this season.


    Hammers continue good start to the season

    West Ham today defeated Fulham 2-1 to continue their great start to the new Premiership season after being promoted last season. West Ham's Marlon Harewood continued his good form when he opened the scoring on 46 minutes with a delitful goal that saw him pass through Fulham defender Zat Knight and then lifted the ball over Fulham keeper Tony Warner. Harewood scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday and it looks as though he is in the mood this season for goals after today's goal.

    West Ham went two in front just five minutes later after Fulham goalkeeper Tony Warener scored an unlucky own goal after West Ham's Paul Konchesky fired a croos into Marlon Harewood and he had a shot that hit the post and then hit Warener and in. Fulham pulled a goal back on 66 minutes with a fine individual effort from Portugese international Luis Boa Morte. Final score Fulham 1-2 West Ham.

    West Ham are looking good so far this season and I think that they will comfortablly avoid relagation. Bad result for Fulham but I think they will also be alright this season despite what the papers say. I think Marlon Harewood was great in the Championship for West Ham last year and it looks as though he has carried the same kind of form into the Premeirship


    Gera breaks Black Cats hearts

    Zoltan Gera scored a last minute equaliser to ensure West Brom took a point away from Premiership new boys Sunderland. Sunderland took the lead after 7 minutes when the Black Cats captain Gary Breen headed home from a beautitful set piece by Dean Whitehead. Sunderland dominated the rest of the second half and could of went two in front but Arca missed cued his shot.

    It looked as though Sunderland were going to end a twenty five game run in the Premirship were they have not won but it just wasn't to be and West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera rose to finsh a neat header past Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis. Final score Sunderland 1-1 West Brom.

    Unlucky for Sunderland and if they want to stay up this season then they must win these type of games against the lower sides, with all due respect to West Brom. Sunderland deserved the win but they just didn't finish off the game. I fear for Sunderland's survival in the Premiership but I think West Brom should be alright.


    Chelsea win top of the table clash

    Chelsea maintained their 100% start to the new season with a 2-0 win to end Charlton's 100% start. The first half didn't produce much and the sides went in level at the break. Chelsea looked in good shape all through the game and they got their first goal on 55 minutes when Micheal Essien put a superb ball into the box and Hernan Crespo finished with a neat header past Charlton keeper Stephan Andersson. Before the goal the goal Chelsea were dominating and it continued after the goal as well.

    A second goal seemed inevitable and it came on 60 minutes when Damien Duff played a nice pass to Arjen Robben and he let fly with his left foot and it went sailing into the top corner of Charlton's goal. Frank Lampard made his 100th consecutive appearance today and it wasn't quite the performance he would of hoped for. Final score Charlton 0-2 Cheslea.

    Good result for Chelsea and I personally believe that they will win the title this season for a second consecutive time. Charlton have got of to a great start to the season but I think this will bring them back down to earth after a 100% start to the season. It was good to see Robben getting his first goal of the season because he has been very quiet so far for Cheslea.


    Van Persie ban reduced

    Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has had his three match European ban reduced to only one after UEFA deemed that there was no intent in van Persie's challenge and have decided a one-match ban is sufficient punishment. The young Dutchman was dismissed just before half time of Wednesday's 2-1 win after catching Thun defender Alen Orman in the head with a high challenge. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had branded the decision harsh but was also aware that van Persie could receive a three-match suspension.

    Van Persie will now only be suspended for Arsenal's trip to Van Persie's homeland Holland to face Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena on September 27. Arsenal have no grounds to appeal the decision, meaning Wenger is likely to ask veteran attacker Dennis Bergkamp to make the trip to Holland by ferry due to his depleted options up front.

    I believe that the Van Persie's foul didn't even warent a yellow card let alone a red. I feel UEFA were right to reduce it and I think that if it wasn't reduced then it would be wrong. This is good news for Arsenal because if he had of been unavailable for three games then Arsenal could only chosse Denis Bergkamp for a striker because Thierry Henry is injured for a lenghty period of time.


    Heinze blow

    Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze has been ruled out for "most" of the season due to a knee injury he picked up in United's Champions League game against Villareal on Wednesday. Heinze limped off in United's game on Wednesday and further scans have revealed that his cruciate ligament has been damaged. News of the Argentine's absence will come as a major blow to Sir Alex Ferguson, who has watched the full back emerge as a firm fans favourite since arriving from France.

    Kieron Richardson is expected to deputise for the South American this weekend, but Ferguson is aware that he will miss the drive and tenacity of Heinze. United paid £6.8 million for the player in June of last year and he has quickly become a key man at Old Trafford.

    I personally believe United will miss Heinze because he has put in some great performances since joining United from PSG. Heinze is still only 28 and I believe he will go on for quite a long time to come, although I think this injury may effect his game when he comes back from this terrible injury.


    Brad glad to sign new deal

    Blackburn Rovers keeper Brad Friedel has signed a new contract at Ewood Park that will keep him their until 2008. The American goalkeeper has established himself as one of the best keepers in the Premiership since he joined Rovers. Freidel did have one year left on his old contract but he has decided to extend his stay at Ewood Park.

    The new contract will take Friedel up to the age of 37 and it could see the former Liverpool and Galatasaray man end his career at the Lancashire outfit. Friedel was delighted to pledge his long-term future to the club. "We've been speaking since March and I'm delighted," said Friedel. "I really feel the staff we have now are ambitious and they want to take the club forward."

    Friedel is a great goalkeeper and he has been a great player at Blackburn. I'm glad he has extended his stay because I think he is a player that belongs to Rovers. I know he is thirty five but he can still go on until he is forty.


    Vieira and Smith defend firey Rooney

    Manchester United, midfielder come striker Alan Smith has lept to the defence of his team mate Wayne Rooney after the England striker was sent off in United's Champions League group game against Villareal for a smart gesture to the ref. Former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira has also defended the English nineteen year old. The Juventus midfielder was also sent off last night in his side's Champions League game against Belgian side Club Brugge for a second bookable offence.

    Smith was quoted as saying ''He (Rooney) plays on the edge and sometimes he's going to step over the line and unfortunately for us, tonight he did. ''When you are a world class player there comes a lot of attention and focus upon you. "Up until now he has conducted himself and handled himself in the right way. ''I think for a young man, who could potentially be one of the best players in the world, we've all got to put an arm round his shoulder and help him through difficult times.''

    "I think the potential and talent is there," Vieira told Sky Sports News. "There's no doubt about it, he's a fantastic player. "He is a terrific player who has just started and everybody looks after him but, after all, you need that temperament and anger as it's part of his game. "I hope he's not going to change it. That's how he is and, if he is who he is right now, it's because he's a strong player. "He just needs to learn a little bit about it but I'm not worried about it. He will sort himself out."

    Rooney is a great player and I think if he lost that temperment in his game he wouldn't be the same, Though I do think he has to cool it just a little bit. Vieira and Smith are good players and maybe this advice may help Rooney a little bit. It is hard to believe that Rooney is still only nineteen and I believe he will go on to be one of the best players in the world (If he cools it a little bit).


    Villa defender ruled out for rest of the season

    Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season with a recuring knee problem that he picked up on the opening day of the season. The Danish defender has played just 13 times for Villa since securing a £3 million move from Milan, and has seen top specialist Dr Richard Steadman about the problem.

    "I've spoken to our physio Alan Smith, who flew out with Martin, and he's confirmed we won't see him in action again this season," said manager David O'Leary. "It's a blow, but I suppose it's one I was prepared for. I was looking at Martin in pre-season and thinking he wasn't 100 percent right."

    This is big blow for Villa because they certainly haven't had any great denfencive displays this season. At least Villa recently signed Dutch centre back Wilfred Bouma from PSV for a fee of £3million so he will fill in for him. Laursen is 29 years old and he still has some years left in him but this is a big dent in his good carrer.


    Vieira, Rooney and Van Persie all see Red

    Patrick Vieira, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie were all sent off tonight in their side's Champions League group matches. Patrick Vieira saw red in Juventus' away game against Club Brugge for a second bookable offence but Juve still went on to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet. Rooney was sent off after a bizzare incident were he was booked for a challenge and he then made a smart gesture to the ref and was sent off, his side Man United went on to draw 0-0. Van Persie recieved a straight red card after he went up for a challenge with a high foot and caught FC Thun's Orman in the face.

    I personally believe Van Persie's sending off was a little bit harsh because he had his eye on the ball most of the time. Rooney was just silly and deserved to go and I saw Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's reaction and I can just say he was not at all happy with Rooney. I didn't see the Patrick Vieira incident but I have heard it was deserved.


    UnLuque for Newcastle

    Newcastle's new signing Albert Luque has been ruled out of action for up to two months with a hamstring injury picked up in Newcastle's game against Fulham last week. The Spanish forward only joined The Magpies from Deportivo La Coruna towards the end of the summer transfer window for a fee of £9.5million. Toon boss Graeme Souness initially said that Luque would be out for six weeks but scans have revealed a ruptured hamstring that will result in eight to ten weeks on the sidelines.

    The news will be another big blow for Souness who has seen fellow new signing Emre pick up an injury early in his Newcastle career. Luque also joins Kieron Dyer, Craig Moore and Michael Chopra on the treatment table, but Steven Taylor hopes to return to fitness for Sunday's trip to Blackburn. Luque made a good impression in his first two games since he has signed for Newcastle and now magpies boss Graeme Souness will be utterly frustrated as the club goes in search of their first win of the season.

    This is a big blow for Newcastle because they haven't won a game all season and Luque was just starting to play well for them. Luque is a good player and Newcastle will certainly miss him while he is out. The Magpies paid £9.5million for Luque and now he is already out for two months, unluque.


    Keane injury not as bad as first thought

    Manchester United skipper Roy Keane is set to be out of action for a total of three weeks, but this is good news for United because it was originally thought that he would be out for up to six weeks. It had been feared the hamstring strain collected by the midfielder in the Manchester derby at the weekend would keep the 34-year-old out for some time.However, The Red Devils have confirmed the knock is not as bad as initially thought and they hope to have him back within three weeks.

    Keane who is out of United's squad to face La Liga outfit Villareal tonight in the Group D of the Champions League will miss United's crunch match on Sunday against arch rivals Liverpool. Former Leeds United striker Alan Smith has been deputising in a defensive midfield role and he could get the nod to face The Reds at Anfield on Sunday. Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr will be hoping his influential midfielder will be available to tackle Switzerland in a crucial World Cup qualifier in the middle of October.

    Keane is an influential figure in the United squad and any team would miss a player as big as him. It will be though for United tonight and I think that they would be lucky to get a draw against Villareal. Alan Mith should step in but I'm not sure he is a great midfield player yet and I still think he is a better striker.


    Latest FIFA World Rankings

    England have dropped out of the top ten countries in the world after their embarrassing defeat to Northern Ireland. Sven Goran Eriksson's side have dropped four places to eleventh in the lastest FIFA World Rankings. Ireland have also dropped seven places in the rankings to 21st following defeats to both Italy and France.

    Scotland were also among the big movers following their draw with Italy and impressive victory over Norway. Walter Smith's men rose 12 places to 74th to complete a good month for them. Northern Ireland, boosted by their wins over England and Azerbaijan, climbed 15 places to 101st. Wales have climed one place to 82nd spot.

    Top 10:

    1 Brazil
    2 Netherlands
    3 Argentina
    4 Czech Republic
    5 Mexico
    6 France
    7 USA
    8 Spain
    9 Portugal
    10 Sweden

    I'm not sure Sewden deserve to be in tenth spot and I'm not sure why USA are in seventh. I believe England should still be in the top ten and I also think that Ireland should be higher than 21st. I was excpeting Scotland to move even higher than 74th and I think Northern Ireland should be a little bit higher than 101st.


    Ronaldo Included Keane Not

    Manchester United trickster Cristiano Ronaldo is a surprise inclusion in the Man United squad for their Champions League trip to Villareal, but skipper Roy Keane has been left out of the side. Ronaldo has recently returned from Portugal after he attended the funeral of his father who died tragically last week. Boss Sir Alex Ferguson has decided not to risk Keane, who reported a slight hamstring strain in training.

    Villareal are hoping that Argentine international Juan Roman Riquelme will shrug off a slight ankle sprain. The forward, who scored 15 goals in the Spanish Primera Liga last season, was originally rated highly-doubtful after limping out of Villarreal's 1-1 draw with Sevilla on Sunday.But his condition has improved enough for him to be named in Villareal's squad.

    Good and bad news for Man United, first the bad news Roy keane been left out and Juan Riquelme has been included in the Villareal side. Good news though Ronaldo been named in the squad. It will be tough for United on Wednesday and I believe they will earn a draw. I feel Diego Forlan will end up scoring a goal on his first game against United since he left the club last season.


    Harewood Hammers Hopeless Villa

    Premiership new boys West Ham have tonight hammered Aston Villa 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick by Marlin Harewood and a injury time Yossi Benayoun strike. To be fair Aston Villa were hopeless but I can't take anything away from West Ham because they put in a great performance. Harewood opened the scoring on 25 minutes with a neat finish and he then netted again in the 29 minute with a clever flick past Villa keeper Sorenson.

    Harewood certainly silenced the travelling support

    Villa were playing several new faces in the side tonight including James Milner and Wilfred Bouma but they certainly didn't gel tonight. Harewood's hat-trick came on 50 minutes but it came from a bit of an error from Sorenson but the finish was half decent. Harewood 26 has recently been asked questions of his performance's in the Premiership this season by the media but tonight he has certainly answered his critics. West Ham completed the route on 89 minutes with a great finish by Israeli international Yossi Benayoun.

    Good performance for West Ham but for Villa but for, I have to say they were nothing short of pathetic. It is good to see Harewood getting a hat-trick after he was recently critisised in the press. Great start to the season for West Ham after their promotion to the Premiership.


    Canaries capture Calum

    Tootenham defnder Calum Davenport has joined Championship side Norwich on a three month loan deal. Spurs manager Martin Jol has allowed Davenport to follow Paul Ifil out of White Hart Lane on a temporary basis, with the giant centre half heading to Norfolk for the next three months. Canaries boss Nigel Worthington has been scouring the market for a new centre half and beat off some strong competition to land the 23 year old.

    "I'm delighted that we have got Calum Davenport on a three-month loan," Worthington told the club's website. "He is a player that we have been working on getting in for a few weeks and he will add experience and quality to our current group of players." Davenport is looking to take his chance and aid Norwich in their quest to return to The Premiership. "I haven't been playing football at Spurs so I'm delighted to be coming to Norwich to hopefully play some games," said the 22-year-old. "Norwich are a big club and hopefully I can help them achieve what everyone wants them to achieve - promotion to The Premiership."

    Davenport is a good player and this loan deal will do him the world of good. He has struggled to break into the Spurs starting eleven but this loan deal could help him find his real potential. This is a good deal for Norwich because it is a loan deal and they don't have to pay a penny for a good young centre back.


    Yakubu promises more goals

    Middlesbrough striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has today vowed to keep the goals coming for Middlesbrough after he opened his account for the teesiders on Saturday against Arsenal. The 22-year-old Nigerian was on target in Boro's impressive 2-1 win over Arsenal, scoring for the first time since a big money £7.5 million switch from Portsmouth. Yakubu admits that a failure to find the target in previous matches was playing on his mind but having netted his first goal at The Riverside, he is now ready to show his true worth.

    The powerful hit-man is already looking to the next game, as Middlesbrough look to continue what has been a solid start to the new campaign. "When you don't score for three or four games, you feel a bit down," Yakubu told the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette. "But I'm pleased to get my first goal for Boro and we kept fighting to the end. "I'm looking forward to the next game - when you score you have confidence and I'm looking forward to getting some more."

    Yakubu is a great striker and I wouldn't bet against him being Boro's top goalscorer this season. Yakubu scored many many goals for his old club Portsmouth and I think he will do the same with Boro. He's only 22 years old and I think he will go on to achieve great things in his carrer.


    Forlan ready to haunt United

    Diego Forlan will return to Old Tarfford on Wednesday when his side Villareal take on Man United in the Champions League group stages. Forlan managed just ten goals for United from his 63 appearances, and Sir Alex Ferguson was keen to offload him to the Spanish outfit. However Forlan has proved he is no flop with Villareal by firing in 25 goals last term - helping himself to a share of the European Golden Boot with Thierry Henry.

    Forlan will now return to Old Trafford on Wednesday and is desperate to prove United were wrong to let him go. "I really felt the pressure there as everyone seemed to want me to score two goals per game," said Forlan. "It's a dream come true to be playing against them now. I can't wait to show what I can do. "I was happy at United but eventually it became too frustrating that I wasn't playing."

    Forlan says he has no problems with anyone at Old Trafford - but would like nothing better than to score against his old team-mates. "I am looking forward to facing United. I've had a successful season with Villarreal and things could not have gone better for me. "It is going to be strange for me to face United after two-and-a-half years there but at the same time the games at Old Trafford and here in Villarreal are going to be really emotional.

    "Alex Ferguson was very supportive but I think when I didn't score straight away he started to feel the pressure from the fans. "I appreciate Ferguson and at no time did I ever have any kind of personal problem with him."

    To be honest Forland was terrible at United but for Villareal he just can't stop scoring. I have a fuuny feeling he might just score the winner on Wednesday and Sir Alex will be wondering why he sold him. Villareal knocked Everton out in the Champions League third qualifying round and Forlan scored in one of the legs.


    Injury blows for Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea

    Arsenal striker Thierry Henry will miss his team's opening Champions League group match with Swedish side FC Thun. The French striker picked up his injury during France's World Cup qualifier with Ireland last Wednesday and in the game he scored the winning goal for France. Henry was a big loss for Arsenal as they lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough, with Wenger admitting that they missed the killer touch in front of goal.

    Newcastle new £9.5million striker Albert Luque has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks after he picked up a hamstring injury in only his second game for the club against Fulham.Newcastle boss Graeme Souness said: "It is a proper one - he said he felt it was like a knife. It's what Bob Paisley would have called a 'six-weeker'." Souness is also without midfielders Kieron Dyer and Emre through injury.

    Chelsea's new £8million left back Assier Del Horno has been ruled out of Chelsea's first Champions League group game against Belgian side Anderlecht. The Spanish international picked up a thigh strain in Chelsea's 2-0 win against Sunderland on Saturday. The player has played every game this season for Chelsea this season and this injury might give English left back Wayne Bridge a run in the team.

    Terrible blows for all of the team's involved but I think Arsenal will probably suffer the most with the loss of Henry. Newcastle haven't got of to the best start this season and the injury to Luqque could make their start even worse. Del Horno's loss for Chelsea won't effect them much because they have Wayne Bridge to fill in for him.


    Joaquin would love reds move

    Real Betis winger Joaquin has reavealed today that he would love a move to Betis opponents Liverpool on Tuesday in the Champions League group stage. The Spanish outfit will welcome Liverpool to Seville on Tuesday with Spain international winger Joaquin eyeing a switch to Anfield. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been looking to bring in a right sided player all summer and Joaquin would fit the bill but the transfer window has closed and they can't sign anyone until the transfer window opens in January.

    "I know Liverpool are looking for a right winger and I'd love to play there if they want me," said Joaquin. "Liverpool are a massive club and Benitez knows what he wants. "But if he comes in for me he's got to agree a deal with the Betis president." Chelsea and Real Madrid were heavily linked with the 23 year old this summer but no deal happened.

    Despite his desire to move to Merseyside, Joaquin is still vowing to send the holders home empty handed on Tuesday, although he is struggling to make the game through injury. "I'm going to complicate [John Arne] Riise's life on Tuesday. "We will give Liverpool and Chelsea big headaches in Group G - I'm sure we'll beat them. "English fans probably haven't seen much of me. But they'll see things that will make their jaws drop. "What I'll enjoy most is running Liverpool ragged and sending them home beaten."

    Joaquin is a quality player and I for one would love to see him playing in the Premiership. The Spanish international's club would be looking for a good bit of money if they were going to sell. If Liverpool were to sign Joaquin I think we may just see the end to Luis Garcia's stay at Liverpool.


    Fulham Spoil Owen's Big Day

    Fulham left St. James' Park today with a very good point against a Newcastle side with £17million man Micheal Owen playing in his debut for the club. The first goal was scored by American striker Brain McBride after the Newcastle defence made a comedy of errors. Owen was very queit for Newcastle in the first half. Newcastle lost Albert Luque in the first half after he picked up what looked to be a very bad injury and he is set to be out of action for the next six weeks.

    Owen's debut didn't go to plan

    Newcastle defender Steven Taylor was also taken off due to injury after he collided with the post. Owen was responsible for the free kick which led to Newcastle scoring an equaliser from Charles N'Zogbia but the Fulham keeper didn't do much to save it. Newcastle midfielder Scott Parker was sent off for two yellow cards that were probably right decisions by the ref. By the way this was Newcastle first goal of the season.

    Newcastle need to up their game if they are going to acheive anything this season. Fulham in the end were a bit unlucky only to take away 1 point because they hit the wood-work a couple of times and also Newcastle only had ten men for the last few minutes. I believe Newcastle boss Graeme Souness is in real danger of losing his job already!


    Chelsea maintain 100% record

    Chelsea have won their fifth straight league match in a row for the season against pointless Sunderland who have kept up their 18 games without a Premiership win. Chelsea opened the scoring with a 54th minute opener by Cameroon midfielder Geremi. Chelsea haven't let in a goal this season and did not look like doing it today as their defence was immaculate.

    Geremi gets congragulated by fellow players after his goal

    Chelsea's second goal came from a trade mark header by Ivory Coast hit man Didier Drogba and Sunderland goal keeper Kelvin Davis couldn't do anything about it. Sunderland have yet to get any points back in the Premiership. The only worrieing thing for Chelsea was that their £8million man Assier Del Horno limped off with 10 minutes to go.

    I fear for Sunderland this year and I think they are strong contenders for the drop from the Premiership. Chelsea have continued like they ended last season with more victories and I wouldn't bet against them winning the title again.