Paper Review: Joe Hart Blamed, Sir Alex on Rooney and Beckham, Fernando Torres

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterOctober 3, 2013

Paper Review: Joe Hart Blamed, Sir Alex on Rooney and Beckham, Fernando Torres

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    Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart might want to avoid the newsagents on Thursday after the criticism he received following the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

    The England international was deemed to be at fault for two of the Bundesliga club's goals in the 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, and only manager Manuel Pellegrini offers solace for the City No. 1 in the papers.

    Manchester United manager David Moyes saw his name removed from the headlines after the 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk, but former Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson is in the news.

    Meanwhile, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was left furious by the lack of action taken against Fernando Torres after the weekend Premier League games, but the Chelsea striker now has greater concerns.

    Who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more. 

Manchester City Goalkeeper Joe Hart Blamed for Bayern Munich Defeat

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    Manchester City were outclassed by Bayern Munich in their 3-1 defeat at the Etihad, and goalkeeper Joe Hart is the focus of attention in Thursday's newspapers.

    David Maddock of the Daily Mirror reports that City boss Manuel Pellegrini spared his No. 1 from criticism and instead opted to blame his team as a whole.

    However, the same report highlights the thoughts of Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville, who is also an assistant to Roy Hodgson with England.

    For the first goal, he's got to do better there.

    Joe Hart was beaten at his near post. It just goes through his hand. It's not the start Manchester City wanted or the goalkeeper.

    And for (the third goal) you have to say Joe's got to do better again at  that near post. That's twice he's been beaten there tonight. He'll be disappointed again.

    Martin Blackburn of The Sun (subscription required) was less forgiving, and questioned whether England manager Roy Hodgson will keep faith with Hart for the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland this month.

    Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail was scathing in his review of City and Hart's display against Bayern, describing the performance as "an orgy of incompetence and unforced errors." 

David De Gea Lauded as Sir Alex Ferguson Offers Rooney and Beckham Olive Branch

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    While Hart was being lambasted, Manchester United counterpart David de Gea was being praised for his performance in the 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

    The Spaniard was in fine form to deny the Ukraine side, with Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph particularly fulsome in his praise for the United No. 1 in his match report.

    De Gea tipped over a late effort from Taison to ensure United earned a point in Ukraine after the same player had cancelled out Danny Welbeck's opener for United.

    Manager David Moyes saw the pressure ease on him after the weekend defeat to West Brom, while his predecessor used an interview with American television to offer olive branches to Wayne Rooney and David Beckham, as reported by Ogden.

    Wayne is unfortunate in the sense that he is England’s big white hope.

    So therefore, the media is always centred around Wayne. And he has people who advise him. And I think that’s where all that’s coming from.

    He is back to his form and if in some way I’ve helped to bring that back, then I’ve done the right thing – made him aware that he’s a great player and we need him.

Fernando Torres out for Three Weeks as Andre Villas-Boas Hits out at FA

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    Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has branded the Football Association's decision not to take further action against Fernando Torres as "a disgrace" after the scratching incident with Jan Vertonghen, reports James Dobson of the Daily Star.

    Torres and the Belgium international were involved in an altercation during the second half of the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday, and television replays showed the Spaniard appearing to scratch the Spurs defender's face.

    However, the FA said no retrospective action could be taken as none of the officials had seen the incident, according to the report.

    Villa-Boas was unhappy with that verdict.

    Obviously it is almost a farcical decision. It doesn't matter to me which player or club is involved.

    I think the FA has made the decision almost a joke. It looks incredible.

    How can you see the images, pretty clear, and come out without punishment, on something (which) overtakes all professional behaviour? I think the decision is a disgrace.

    However, Torres was recently dealt a different blow after being ruled out for up to three weeks with the knee injury he suffered during the Champions League win at Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, as Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail reported.  

Arsene Wenger Poised for '£8million-a-Year' New Deal with Arsenal

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is about to open negotiations on a new, three-year deal with the Gunners after overseeing a change in fortune for the club this season, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Since the opening-day defeat to Aston Villa, Wenger has guided the team to the top of the Premier League and to a 100 percent record in the Champions League after capturing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day.

    According to Cross, the Gunners believe Wenger has been "re-energised" by the team's form this season.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal will challenge Chelsea for the signature of Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler in January, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

    The two London clubs are also considering moves for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema when the transfer window reopens, claims Nick Lustig of the Daily Star

Bits and Pieces: Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Romelu Lukaku, Marco Reus, Qatar 2022

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    Real Madrid have been unable to give a date when world-record signing Gareth Bale will return to action from a thigh injury, reports the Daily Telegraph.

    The Wales international has struggled with injury since joining the Bernabeu club during the transfer window, and Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail makes a comparison with Jonathan Woodgate when he joined Real from Leeds United.

    Real are poised to make a £45 million move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez when the transfer window reopens, claims Geoff Sweet of The Sun (subscription required).

    Juventus are weighing up a move for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who is currently on a season-long loan with Everton, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Borussia Dortmund are confident midfielder Marco Reus will remain at the club, despite interest from Arsenal and Manchester City, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    UEFA president Michel Platini claims FIFA must not rush into a decision on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, reports Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph