Paper News & Gossip: England Face 'Horror' World Cup Draw, Moyes on Everton

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterDecember 4, 2013

Paper News & Gossip: England Face 'Horror' World Cup Draw, Moyes on Everton

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    Just two days before the 2014 World Cup draw is made, the Wednesday newspapers focus on a potential "horror" group for England.

    Reports outline how Roy Hodgson and his team could be facing an uphill struggle in Brazil after a late change to the draw.

    Manchester United manager David Moyes faces former club Everton on Wednesday night for the first time since leaving Goodison Park in the summer.

    Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho also feature in our newspaper round-up, but who else is making the headlines on Wednesday? Read on to find out more.

England Facing World Cup 'Horror' Draw as 2014 Ball Is Unveiled

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    England are facing a potential group of death in the World Cup after UEFA president Michel Platini engineered a change in the draw for Friday, reports Charles Sale of the Daily Mail.

    Sale claims that France had been expected to make up Pot 2 for the draw along with the African teams and non-seeded South American sides.

    But now a preliminary draw will be made to decide which non-seeded European team will switch from Pot 4, meaning England could face a group containing the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Holland and Italy if they are the unfortunate country selected.

    Meanwhile, the World Cup draw has been preceded by the launch of the ball for the finals, and FIFA has unveiled it, as Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent reported.

    Lionel Messi, Steven Gerrard and Robin van Persie were among a number of high-profile players to test the ball for manufacturer Adidas.

    After criticism of the Jabulani ball at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, there are high hopes that the new Brazuca ball will perform much better, adds Pitt-Brooke.

David Moyes Prepares for First Game vs. Everton as Manchester United Manager

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    Manchester United manager David Moyes admits he will be facing a mixed reception from Everton supporters when he takes charge of the Old Trafford team against his old club for the first time on Wednesday night, as Kevin Francis of the Daily Star reported.

    Moyes infuriated a number of Goodison Park fans after his summer transfer chase for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, and an offer of £28 million for the pair was described as "insulting" by the club, as Francis notes.

    But the Scot insists he warned Everton chairman Bill Kenwright that he would be making a move for Everton players when he left the club to replace Sir Alex Ferguson:

    Once I got the United job, I ­discussed it with Bill near enough immediately. I said that there would be some players I would be interested in.

    Bill was well aware of it but ­obviously it was always going to be a difficult thing when it ­actually came to it.

    There were bits of it I would have liked to have done better. But there were also bits of it as a whole I think could have been done better. That is football. I speak with Bill regularly.

    We both knew this would ­happen but it is never that easy. But time moves on as well. Life is too short to hold any grudges.

    Meanwhile, United first-team coach Phil Neville has urged midfielder Fellaini to come out of his shell to find success at his new club, reports Richard Tanner of the Daily Express.

    Moyes is considering an offer of Nani and Antonio Valencia for Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

Arsene Wenger Hits Back at Television Critics' Doubt over Arsenal Title Hopes

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists television pundits are wrong to dismiss the Gunners' Premier League title hopes, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Analysts Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy have all questioned Arsenal's title credentials on BBC highlights show Match of the Day in recent weeks, according to the article.

    But Wenger maintains the critics are wrong to dismiss his team's hopes without offering sound reasoning for their opinion:

    Sometimes I watch it (Match of the Day), sometimes not.

    Sometimes it’s just someone saying their opinion without an argument on something. That can make sense.

    But if it’s something based on hate or love, or just gut feeling then I just say, ‘Okay, it’s an opinion, he might be right, he might be wrong.'

    Often, he [the pundit] doesn't sustain his opinion by some work he has done to support that argument.

    Meanwhile, Wenger insists there are no deals in place to sign Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Pato, reports The Sun (subscription required).

    Sporting Lisbon have told Arsenal and Manchester United that it will cost £12.5 million to sign midfielder William Carvalho, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

Jose Mourinho Calls for Mental Strength of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has urged his players to show the mental fortitude of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba to keep their Premier League hopes on track, reports the Daily Mirror.

    The Stamford Bridge boss admits he is still working out the mental strength of his current squad, but is determined to see them follow the example of his two former players.

    I like to put pressure on them, yes, but you have to analyse the players you're working with.

    I gave Didier as an example. When I put real pressure on him, the animal was always coming out.

    Ibrahimovic at Inter...exactly the same. When I put real pressure on him, I knew that the answer was coming.

    It depends on the players' profiles. Some react in a very good way. Some don't.

    I have players who have told me not to criticise them in front of the other guys because, 'It's not good for my self-esteem.' I've had everything.

    Meanwhile, Mourinho is weighing up a move for Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia if David Luiz leaves the club, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Bits and Pieces: Vincent Kompany, Alan Pardew, Juventus Fine, Dimitar Berbatov

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    The thigh injury concerns over Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany are gone for good says manager Manuel Pellegrini, as John Edwards of the Daily Mail reports.

    The defender is expected to return to action on Wednesday for the first time in two months, but Pellegrini expects no further worries concerning the injury.

    Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew feared the sack in April after home defeats to Liverpool and Sunderland, reports David Coverdale of The Sun (subscription required).

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is considering a move for Burnley striker Danny Ings, writes Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror.

    The Reds will also battle Arsenal for the signing of Barcelona striker Pedro, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    Juventus have been fined €5,000 after schoolchildren abused Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic, reports The Guardian

    Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov is looking to leave the club in January, claims Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.