Paper News and Gossip: AVB Anger, Rodgers' Squad Worries, Rooney Contract
After a big weekend of Premier League action, there’s much to digest in the papers.
There is plenty of fallout from the games, especially for Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, while there’s also plenty of transfer speculation to chew through.
All this and more feature in Monday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Tottenham Boss Villas-Boas Tees off at Journalists
Tottenham produced a battling display to earn a 2-2 draw with Manchester United and manager Andre Villas-Boas came out fighting in his post-match press conference.
The Tottenham boss is under pressure, amid talk the club are looking at potential replacements, and he took issue with the Mail's Neil Ashton and Martin Samuel.
Villas-Boas was unhappy with columns written by Ashton and Samuel and accused them of questioning his honour and integrity.
Per the Mail's David Kent, Villas-Boas said:
A couple of people insult my integrity, my human values, my professionalism and one of these people is sitting over here.
It insults the success that I have achieved in other clubs and I don't think it's fair. I think it's a lack of respect and an attack on a person's integrity.
I don't want to undermine other managers. You can easily compare situations. We have sat above Man City before and above Man United before and we haven't seen any kind of these personal attacks to somebody so I think that is unfair.
It's something that obviously comes with the 6-0 thrashing but more important is the team and the response and I think the players did that in great, great fashion.
Rodgers Worried by Liverpool Squad Depth
Liverpool slipped to defeat to Hull on Sunday and manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested his squad is not big enough to cope with injuries.
The Reds were rocked by the news that England forward Daniel Sturridge is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
The loss of Sturridge would be bad enough, but Philippe Coutinho is also nursing an ankle complaint of his own, and Rodgers feels he does not have the depth to cope without players of their standing.
Via the Mail, Rory Dollard of the Press Association has the quotes:
The quality of our squad isn't big enough to cope with two big players like that missing. No doubt it was a disruption.
Daniel is out for up to eight weeks which is a big blow for us and Philippe didn't train all week. He had injections just to get on the bench.
It's difficult if you take those two out, two players who have been very efficient for us this season.
This little period will test us now but players will come in and it's a great opportunity to a stake a claim.
We have a very busy period coming up and we've got a squad that needs as many of its good players as possible so it's not ideal.
Pellegrini Cool on Aguero Madrid Move Talk
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed talk of Sergio Aguero jumping ship for Real Madrid in the summer.
A recent report in the Sun (subscription required) suggested Real were readying a £48 million bid to get their hands on the Argentina international in the summer.
It would come as no surprise if Real were on Aguero’s trail, given the form he has been in this season, but Pellegrini is not fazed by the transfer talk.
In the Mail, the Press Association’s Andy Hampson quotes the City boss, who was speaking following his side's win over Swansea on Sunday: "I don't know anything about that. I don't think Sergio wants to leave. That is not a problem for us. I don't believe in that."
United in No Rush over Rooney Contract
Manchester United boss David Moyes is in no rush to thrash out a new contract with Wayne Rooney.
After a summer of speculation that saw Rooney flirt with the Old Trafford exit door, he remained at the club and has been in brilliant form.
He bagged both of United’s goals in the 2-2 draw at Tottenham and was a topic of debate in the post-match interview room.
When asked about Rooney’s contract, Moyes would not be drawn on when new terms would be discussed.
The Sun’s (subscription required) Paul Jiggins has the quotes:
I don't really know.
It's fine, we're just moving on from the summer and I think it'll get done in good course and the appropriate people will talk when the time is right.
Terry's Pride at Entering 400 Club
John Terry has spoken of his pride after marking his 400th Premier League appearance for Chelsea with a goal.
Terry bagged the second in Chelsea’s 3-1 win—a looping header over the keeper, as the Blues closed the gap on leaders Arsenal to four points.
Speaking after the win, via the Star’s Adrian Kajumba, Terry made it clear that he has no intention of resting on his laurels:
It's very significant for me. It's a huge achievement, to maintain it at a top club like I have.
I'm very proud of that. I'm thankful for the fans as well for sticking by me and the club as well. Hopefully there's many more to come this season and maybe next.
Wojciech Szczesny's Title Warning to Arsenal Rivals
Wojciech Szczesny feels Arsenal’s win at Cardiff sent out a warning to their title rivals that the Gunners are in for the long haul.
Aaron Ramsey inspired the Gunners to victory with two goals against his former club to maintain their four-point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table.
Szczesny is aware that being top in December counts for nothing, but feels the win at Cardiff threw down a marker.
The Star’s Graham Clutton has the quotes:
It really doesn't matter where we are now. It matters where we are in May and if we carry on like we are now, then I'm certain we'll be top in May.
We have a lot of work to do and a lot of tough games to win. But there's no point in putting pressure on ourselves. We just want to enjoy every single game.
We knew that because Man United and Man City had both dropped points here, it would send a very strong message to our rivals if we won.
City and Barcelona Battle It out over Teen Sensation
Manchester City are set to beat Barcelona to the signature of 14-year-old wonderkid Brahim, according to the People’s Dean Jones.
Jones claims Barcelona introduced the teenager to a string of their stars, including Lionel Messi, as they courted the Malaga youngster.
However, City boss Pellegrini has seemingly used his Malaga connections to edge ahead in the race.
Jones claims Brahim will fly to England this week to thrash out a move.
Bits and Pieces: Boruc Blow for Saints, Benteke Facing Axe and More
Southampton keeper Artur Boruc is facing six weeks out of action after fracturing his hand against Chelsea, according to the Mail’s David Kent.
Arsenal are being linked with a bid to West Brom’s Youssouf Mulumbu, writes the Mirror’s Alex Richards.
The Mirror’s Darren Witcoop claims Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham are ready to do battle for Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady.
Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is being linked with a move to Leeds, writes the Mirror’s Alan Nixon.