Paper News and Gossip: Wenger's Suarez Error, Moyes Hails Strikers, Jose Warned
The focus is on the weekend action and ahead of Arsenal’s game with Liverpool, Arsene Wenger has spoken about Luis Suarez.
A former player has questioned the role of Manuel Pellegrini in his newspaper column, while Manchester United boss David Moyes has lavished praise on his strikers.
Another manager has crushed talk of his striker leaving the club, while there’s plenty of other transfer talk.
All this and more feature in Saturday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Arsene Wenger Admits Luis Suarez Transfer Mistake
Arsenal take on Liverpool on Saturday and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been repeatedly questioned about Luis Suarez.
As has been well documented, Arsenal pushed hard to sign Suarez in the summer.
Arsenal angered Liverpool by tabling a bid of £40 million and £1, believing it would trigger a clause in Suarez’s contract.
All it produced was a stinging rebuke from Liverpool, with Reds owner John W Henry famously tweeting: "What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?"
Wenger was asked about the issue in his press conference on Friday. And while stating he does not smoke, he admitted—per the Mirror’s Mike Walters—it was not the cleverest move.
In Walters' piece, Wenger said:
It was not the most subtle thing we have ever done. I’m very happy with what I did.
There again, the details will maybe come out one day—maybe not in my book, but somebody else’s book!
I know only one side of the story, but we always had fair relations with Liverpool, we kept in touch over that period. It was not meant to be provocative at all—it could be interpreted like that, but it was not our purpose.
Jamie Carragher Feels Manchester City Fans Would Take Roberto Mancini Back
Jamie Carragher’s column in the Mail is often a good read and, on Saturday, he has placed his focus on Manchester City.
The former Liverpool defender, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, believes the City fans are extremely frustrated with life under Manuel Pellegrini.
And Carragher feels that the frustration is so great that the club’s fans would prefer to have former manager Roberto Mancini back at the helm.
In his column, Carragher writes:
Manuel Pellegrini was drafted in to take Manchester City forward, but at the moment it appears they are moving backwards.
Yes, Pellegrini has taken City to the brink of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages for the first time. I also expect him to oversee a win against Norwich on Saturday. But there has been something about his side’s erratic start to the campaign that has left more questions than answers.
Mancini was not popular with his players but City were difficult to beat under him. He made them challenge their neighbours and eventually overtook them, which is why City fans loved him.
It makes you wonder: if they were given the option now, how many City fans would take Mancini back over Pellegrini?
David Moyes Hails Rooney-Van Persie Partnership
How good is the partnership between Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie?
"The best" is the view of Manchester United manager David Moyes.
While van Persie has not been at his best so far this term, Rooney has been irrepressible. And Moyes believes that when they click into gear, there is no better partnership in world football.
The Mail’s Ian Ladyman has the quotes from Moyes:
Wayne and Robin, on their day, will be a match for any players in the world, never mind just in this country.
So when those two are firing, they are the best.
They’re incredibly talented, both natural goalscorers and both can play in several positions.
Ladyman puts a twist on Moyes’ quotes by suggesting the United boss’ words are a dig at their rivals Liverpool, who have Daniel Sturridge and Suarez tormenting defences.
Alan Pardew's Warning for Jose Mourinho
Tough tackling is part of the game. But you don’t often get physical clashes between managers.
There could well be one at St James’ Park on Saturday, reports the Mail’s Sam Cunningham, as Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has warned his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho that he will not stand for any touchline antics.
As Cunningham states, Mourinho is well-known for his touchline exuberance. Last weekend, he jumped into the crowd to celebrate a goal.
It appears Pardew is well aware of the Portuguese’s antics and has warned him not to overstep the mark.
Per Cunningham’s piece, Pardew said:
He doesn’t want to be jumping round me because I’ll give him a slap.
I’m bigger than him and he knows that.
He can jump around in the crowd or whatever he does.
Roy Keane Primed for Ireland Return as Martin O’Neill’s No. 2
Roy Keane is primed for a return to football, writes the Mirror’s Paul O’Hehir, as the No. 2 to Martin O’Neill for Republic of Ireland.
On Friday, bookmakers stopped taking bets on O’Neill becoming the next Republic boss.
There has been no word from O’Neill, but O’Hehir claims a deal is effectively done. And he also reveals Keane is poised to become his assistant.
In his piece, O’Hehir writes:
Roy Keane is poised for a sensational return to football as Martin O’Neill’s No. 2 with the Republic of Ireland.
O’Neill will be confirmed as Giovanni Trapattoni’s successor next week, and the former Aston Villa and Sunderland boss wants Manchester United legend Keane by his side.
A deal has still to be struck, but the O’Neill-Keane ticket should be in place for the friendly with Latvia in Dublin on November 15.
Keane infamously had a major fallout with the Irish FA at the 2002 World Cup and walked out on the team, but O'Hehir says O'Neill's determination to have him as his No. 2 smoothed over any issues.
Andre Villas-Boas Wants Jermain Defoe to Stay at Tottenham
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has played down talk of Jermain Defoe leaving the club.
Earlier this week, Defoe had been linked with a move to Canada after former Tottenham defender Ryan Nelsen expressed interest in taking the striker to Toronto.
Defoe is no longer Spurs’ No. 1 striker—that role is held by summer signing Roberto Soldado—but Villas-Boas insists the England man has a future at the club.
The Star’s Darren Witcoop has Villas-Boas’ quotes:
The player at the moment is our top goalscorer.
He is chasing the European record for the club as well, which is important for his motivation.
We want him to stay and hold on to those last years of his contract. I think he is extremely happy, not only because of what he has achieved, but also because of the smile on his face.
Bits and Pieces: Livermore Happy at Hull, Ba Exit Talk, Liverpool Eye Iturbe
Jake Livermore is eyeing up a permanent move to Hull after impressing during his loan spell from Tottenham, writes the Mirror.
Valencia are looking to take advantage of Demba Ba’s lack of action for Chelsea by making a January swoop, writes Metro’s Jamie Sanderson.
Anderson will not be swapping Manchester United for Porto, writes the Mail’s John Edwards, as the Portuguese cannot afford the player.
The Express’ David Wright is reporting that Liverpool are readying a bid for Porto’s Juan Iturbe.
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