Paper News and Gossip: Gerrard Aims High, Mourinho's Tunnel Bust-Up and More

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Gerrard Aims High, Mourinho's Tunnel Bust-Up and More

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    It’s a busy day in the papers as focus starts to shift to international action.

    England captain Steven Gerrard has given a lengthy interview in which he touches on a range of topics.

    But for all the internationals, you can’t keep a good bit of transfer speculation down. And there is a lot today.

    For all this and more, enjoy Tuesday’s iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard Driven on by Trophies, Not Records

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    Ahead of England's friendlies with Chile and Germany, captain Steven Gerrard has been trotted out before the media, and he has given an exclusive interview to the Mail's Dominic King.

    Gerrard touches on a range of subjects, including Liverpool's strikers, Sir Alex Ferguson's book and England retirement.

    Looking to England, Gerrard is not obsessed with passing David Beckham's record for an outfield player of 115 caps, but he has a desire to achieve something special with the national side.

    King has the quotes:

    107 caps isn’t bad for someone who isn’t “a top, top player”, is it? I never expected to get that amount of caps. When I made my debut, I set myself the personal target of trying to get 50 caps and score 10 goals if I could. So to have 107 is something I am really proud of, particularly being among those names.

    I’m not looking at Shilton or Beckham. Passing Bobby Moore would be the next one. To go past him, after everything he did, would be unbelievable. But the dream would be to come away from a tournament and everyone back home is proud of the team.

    To be clapped home would be amazing. But it will only happen if we go past the quarter-final. It is not about me passing Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton or David Beckham. To think about that would be very self-centred. I am not that type of person.

    For me the ambition is this: can I help get the team past a quarter-final? I haven’t really thought about what I will do after the World Cup. It is all about going to enjoy this World Cup. 

    The "top, top player" quip was a reference to Ferguson's criticism of Gerrard in his book. It would appear that the Liverpool captain is not fazed by the comments or the storm they whipped up.

    Listen, he’s entitled to his opinion. I’m a fan of his; he is one of the best managers in the world. I won’t lose any sleep over it.

    Throughout my career I have had praise from all types of people—including him—and I am not vain enough to take it all. I have had some unbelievable praise from him and he tried to buy me, certainly on one occasion. Maybe even two.

    Liverpool sit second in the Premier League, and Gerrard feels that with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in the team, there is real reason for optimism at Anfield.

    I have always played with one top forward through my career here. Now there are two main men and it is great.

    I will be honest and say that at the start, I wasn’t sure whether it would work. But it has clicked without much work in training. I’m excited as I think it can get better. 

    It’s not all positive for Gerrard, though, as the Star’s Duncan Wright claims the 33-year-old is out of England’s clash with Chile on account of a hip injury.


Jonas Olsson and Jose Mourinho in Tunnel Spat over Chelsea Penalty

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    West Brom players were angered by the late penalty that earned Chelsea a point on Saturday, and it seemingly spilled over into the tunnel.

    Ramirez tumbled under minimal contact in the final minute to earn the penalty that Eden Hazard tucked away to snatch a draw.

    Baggies players fumed at the time, and the Mail's Sami Mokbel claims West Brom defender Jonas Olsson and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho became involved in a "foul-mouthed slanging match."

    In his piece, Mokbel wrote:

    The pair were involved in an angry bust-up as they left the Stamford Bridge pitch just moments after referee Andre Marriner awarded Chelsea a controversial injury time penalty that Eden Hazard converted to secure a 2-2 draw.

    Initially, the duo were embroiled in a foul-mouthed slanging match, with Mourinho calling Olsson a 'Micky Mouse player' while the Swede told the Blues manager to 'f*** off'.

    The clash sparked an ugly melee in the Stamford Bridge tunnel, involving up to 20 players from both sides before match-day stewards and coaching staff quickly moved in to de-escalate the confrontation.

    The pair are believed to have settled their differences before Olsson boarded the West Bromwich team coach. 

Chelsea Plotting January Radamel Falcao Raid

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    Chelsea could make a bold move in January with a £60 million bid for Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, reports the Mirror’s Alan Nixon.

    Blues boss Mourinho missed out on landing Wayne Rooney in the summer transfer window and is widely expected to raid the market in January.

    Nixon claims Mourinho will make a personal check on Falcao when Colombia face Belgium on Thursday, before deciding whether to make the huge bid.

    Per Nixon’s piece, Mourinho’s concern is whether Falcao could stand up to the rigours of the Premier League and wants to see him in action against the Belgians.

    Falcao only joined Monaco in the summer, but there has been talk, such as this report from Metro, of the Colombian being unsettled in the Principality.



Manchester City Train Sights on Willy Caballero

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    Willy Caballero is the latest keeper to be linked with Manchester City, with the Star's Jeremy Cross suggesting Manuel Pellegrini is ready to raid his former club.

    The papers are of the opinion that Pellegrini has decided to seek out a permanent replacement for Joe Hart.

    There have been links with Barcelona's Victor Valdes, but Cross says Pellegrini has admitted defeat in his pursuit of the Spain international.

    Instead, Cross claims the City boss will make a raid on his former club, Malaga, for Caballero, whom he will attempt to prise away from La Liga with a triple-your-money offer.

Marco Reus Clause Alerts Premier League Big Guns

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    Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United have been placed on alert, writes the Star's Nick Lustig, by the news that Marco Reus has a release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.

    Reus is one of the star names who have propelled Dortmund into the elite bracket of European football.

    The former Borussia Monchengladbach man has been catching the eye both domestically and in Europe, and the club have admitted he has a release clause.

    Dortmund's executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told SPORT1media (h/t to the Star):

    Marco Reus possesses a release clause option in his current contract at our club.

    He could leave our club due to that.

    He is, however, the only player in our first-team squad that has such a contract clause.

    And in light of Watzke's quotes about Reus, the Premier League trio are mulling over potential bids in the January transfer window.

Brooklyn Beckham Links Up with Fulham

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    Brooklyn Beckham's bid to become a professional footballer has taken him to a new club, writes the Mail's Sami Mokbel.

    In a bid to follow his superstar father into the game, Beckham has had trial days at Manchester United, Chelsea and QPR.

    He can now add Fulham to that list, as Mokbel reveals the 15-year-old played in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Sunday.

    And if Mokbel's sources are correct, Brooklyn was not even the most famous Beckham at the game. He was accompanied by his mother Victoria to the match.

    Mokbel states that Beckham will continue to train with the Fulham juniors at the club's Motspur Park HQ.

Arsenal Step Up Striker Search

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    Arsenal’s pursuit of attacking reinforcements could see them raid both Real Madrid and Juventus, reports the Mail’s Matt Barlow and John Edwards.

    Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was frustrated by his inability to land a striker in the summer, having failed to land Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez.

    Wenger’s side are currently top of the Premier League, and there has been talk of a January spending spree.

    Arsenal have long been linked with Real striker Karim Benzema and Mail pair Barlow and Edwards suggest Wenger could renew his interest in January.

    As well as Benzema, the piece is linking Arsenal with Juventus’ Fernando Llorente.

    Barlow and Edwards say it is unlikely Juve will sell in January, but Wenger could test their resolve in the summer.

Bits and Pieces: West Ham Eye Strikers, Mertesacker's New Deal and More

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    Per Mertesacker
    Per Mertesacker

    Goal-shy West Ham are plotting a January loan raid on Real Madrid for striker Jese Rodriguez, reports the Star.

    The Express’ Ben Jefferson suggests West Ham may look east to Lokomotiv Moscow for attacking reinforcements in the guise of Felipe Caicedo.

    Arsenal have opened contract talks with Per Mertesacker and are confident the Germany international will sign a four-year contract, writes the Mail's Sami Mokbel.

    Arsenal and Liverpool are mulling over bids for Southampton's rising star Jay Rodriguez, writes the Star's Nick Lustig.

    It has been a productive day for Star scribe Lustig, as he writes that Chelsea are on the trail of Schalke's Max Meyer.