Paper News and Gossip: Dempsey's EPL Link, Toure's Twitter Spat, WBA Fume & More

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Dempsey's EPL Link, Toure's Twitter Spat, WBA Fume & More

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    There’s been a bit of downtime for football, as everyone gears up for the international action.

    Such time allows the papers to go into overdrive, and there’s plenty of speculation making the rounds.

    There’s a host of players being linked with moves, while there’s a club seeking the introduction of more video technology.

    All this and more are featured in Thursday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Fuming West Brom Seeking Video Technology

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    West Bromwich Albion were denied victory at Chelsea on Saturday by a contentious penalty, and the Baggies are still smarting.

    Ramires tumbled in the box under minimal contact from Steven Reid, with the resulting goal enough to preserve Jose Mourinho's long unbeaten home run in the league as Chelsea's manager.

    Both managers had differing views, but the overwhelming feeling was that it was not a penalty.

    The Baggies certainly feel aggrieved, as they have contacted the Premier League to ask for video technology to be used on such issues, wrote the Mail's Neil Moxley.

    In his piece, Moxley wrote:

    West Bromwich Albion have written to the Premier League to ask for video technology to be used to stop the penalty injustice that denied them victory at Chelsea.

    The Midlands club believe they have been the victim of a string of contentious decisions this season.

    And the awarding of a last-minute spot-kick at Chelsea on Saturday that denied them three points and sparked a tunnel bust-up between Jose Mourinho and Albion defender Jonas Olsson was the final straw.

    West Brom have contacted the League, and the referees’ body, and will today ask for the issue to be debated at a Premier League shareholders’ meeting.

Mixed Injury News for Steven Gerrard

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    England are limbering up for their upcoming friendlies with Chile and Germany, and there's mixed news on captain Steven Gerrard, wrote the Mail's Neil Ashton.

    The Liverpool captain has been struggling with a hip complaint, and Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson confirmed that Gerrard would take not part against Chile on Friday; however, Hodgson revealed that Gerrard had received an injection of painkillers that he hoped will ensure his participation against Germany next Tuesday.

    Per Ashton's piece, Hodgson said, “Gerrard misses Chile but he’s had an injection and I hope he will be fit for Germany.’”

    Ashton also revealed that Frank Lampard, widely tipped to lead the side in Gerrard's absence, is expected to shake off the effects of a cold to feature.


Yaya Toure's Twitter Spat with Former Manchester City Forward Rodney Marsh

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    Twitter has done much to bring fans closer to the players they idolise, and it has also given front-row seats when players go off on one.

    The Mail's Chris Wheeler picked up on one such case involving Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, who became involved in a spat with former City forward Rodney Marsh.

    Wheeler reported that Toure responded angrily to claims by Marsh that the player was not happy at the club.

    In an interview with TalkSPORT, picked up by Wheeler, Marsh said:

    People close to Manchester City tell me Yaya Toure is not very happy and he’s one of their great players.

    When you start to hear rumblings from within the camp, and you see the way Toure played last weekend when he was strolling around and didn’t look interested, I’m wondering now if it will all go a little bit the other way.

    It looks like they’re throwing billions of pounds at players but keep coming up short. I think this season could end in tears at Man City.

    Toure was made aware of Marsh's comments and responded on Twitter:

    Hey buddies, don't listen to the rumors, I'm happy at city..the Toure brothers are in Casa and are missing Manchester

    — Yaya Toure (@Toure_yaya42) November 13, 2013

    Marsh hit back, and an angry exchange ensued.

    It's all rather unedifying but great entertainment.

    There was a happy ending, though, as Marsh tweeted in an attempt to offer the olive branch.

    Let it go people. @Toure_yaya42 told me I was wrong. Fair enough. Move on. Over.

    — Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) November 13, 2013

Anger at Manchester City over Pablo Zabaleta Axe

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    A storm is brewing at Manchester City, reported the Star's Jeremy Cross, who claimed manager Manuel Pellegrini has angered sections of the squad by stripping Pablo Zabaleta of the club's vice captaincy.

    As Cross reported, Zabaleta was handed the role by former manager Roberto Mancini. Yaya Toure is now the man in possession of the armband, though, as captain Vincent Kompany continues his recovery from injury.

    Cross claimed some of the players are far from happy.

    In his article, Cross quoted an anonymous source, who said:

    Some of the players are surprised and disappointed that Pablo has been stripped of the vice-captaincy.

    Pablo is the ultimate professional. He is so influential on the pitch and in the dressing room that there was a sense of shock at that.

    He has worked with the manager before so the assumption among the group was that Pablo would continue to wear the armband in Kompany’s absence.

    But it has been taken away and he has been in and out of the side.

    In tough away games they need someone to get them going and Pablo was always effective in that respect.

    Yaya is a world-class footballer, one of the best, but he would probably be the first to admit that he isn’t as vocal as Pablo.

Prem Sides in Hunt for Yevhen Konoplyanka

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    Some of the Premier League's top scouts may well be racking up the air miles in the next couple of days, as the Star's Adrian Kajumba claimed a host of teams will be deploying people to check out Ukraine star Yevhen Konoplyanka.

    The winger has caught the eye for club side Dnipro and the Ukraine national team. He will be in action in a World Cup play-off against France on Friday, and Kajumba claimed Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham will have scouts at the game.

    Kajumba claimed there is also interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Paris Saint-Germain.

    In Kajumba's article, he quoted Konoplyanka’s agent, James Lippett, who said:

    We are aware of the interest from a number of Europe's major clubs.

    This is only normal when you are talking about a star player like Konoplyanka.

    He can do things on a football pitch that very few players can come close to, so we are expecting an interesting January.


Clint Dempsey Linked with Premier League Return

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    Clint Dempsey could be on his way back to the Premier League in January, wrote the Mirror's Darren Witcoop.

    Dempsey left Tottenham for MLS side Seattle Sounders in the summer, but the season is drawing to a close and the USA international is looking into the prospect of a return on loan.

    The World Cup takes place next summer and the USA captain may well feel he needs to remain sharp ahead of the tournament in Brazil.

    Seattle have confirmed Dempsey can move for a two-month period.

    Witcoop quoted Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer, who said:

    Clint's contract allows him to go on loan for the off-season.

    All parties are working on a deal and we won't be surprised if it happens.

    Witcoop’s piece said the Spurs have first refusal on Dempsey but added that Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton are also interested.


Michu's Fitness Battle Goes Hi-Tech

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    Michu is not auditioning for a part as the front end of a pantomime horse; rather the Swansea forward is using cutting-edge technology to speed up his recovery from knee and ankle problems.

    The Spaniard's Swansea teammate Alvaro Vazquez posted an image on Twitter which was picked up by the Mirror's Phil Cadden, of the forward on an anti-gravity treadmill.

    De Swansea a la luna.. @Michuoviedo

    — Álvaro Vázquez (@AlvaroVazquez91) November 12, 2013

    Cadden's piece claimed "the treadmill uses air pressure to allow players to maintain their fitness without putting full weight on injured joints."

    He said the equipment costs £70,000.


Bits and Pieces: Carrick Deal Close, Inter Want Dzeko, Milan Eye Santon and More

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    Manchester United are ready to join battle with Chelsea for the signature of Sevilla's Alberto Moreno, wrote the Star's Gary Jones.

    Michael Carrick may be sidelined with an injury at the moment, but he can console himself with the prospect of being close to a two-year contract extension at Manchester United. The Star's Jeremy Cross carried the story.

    Inter Milan have set their sights on Edin Dzeko, who lost his place in the Manchester City side, wrote David Anderson of the Mirror.

    Ravel Morrison's clash with Wilfried Zaha during England Under-21s' game with Lithuania last month continued into the tunnel, but the pair patched up their differences later, wrote the Mirror's Darren Lewis.

    AC Milan are plotting a raid on Newcastle for full-back Davide Santon, wrote Ben Jefferson of the Express.

    Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham may do battle for Porto’s Jackson Martinez next summer, wrote David Wright of the Star.

    Luis Alberto is looking for more playing time at Liverpool but is ready to wait for his chance, wrote Gary Jones of the Star.