Paper News and Gossip: Arsenal 'Nervous,' Liverpool 'Chihuahuas' Make Title Move

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 13, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Arsenal 'Nervous,' Liverpool 'Chihuahuas' Make Title Move

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    The fall-out from Wednesday's Premier League programme dominates the back pages on Thursday.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims his team showed signs of nerves in their 0-0 draw with Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

    And Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers made a tongue-in-cheek analogy to outline his view on the title race after his team won 3-2 at Fulham.

    But who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more.

Arsenal Were 'Nervous' over Manchester United Game, Says Arsene Wenger

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims nerves played a part in his team's 0-0 draw with Manchester United, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    After suffering a 5-1 drubbing at Liverpool on Saturday, the Gunners were desperate not to lose to the Old Trafford club, Wenger is quoted as saying:

    I felt we were nervous, yes. When you are hit like we were on Saturday, the players don't want to lose and we could have lost it in the last five minutes.

    It is not worrying, because we care about what we do and when you concede five goals like we did on Saturday, we are only human beings and that is always what you get after a game [like that].

    Sometimes, you don't score because the team was highly focused not to concede today.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski insists he is going nowhere despite being linked with a move to Schalke as part of a deal for Julian Draxler, reports The Sun (subscription required).

    The same newspaper reports that the £37 million buyout clause for Draxler will be in place for the summer transfer window.

    Jamie Sanderson of The Metro reports that Wenger met with Mario Balotelli's agent over a potential move.

Manchester United Set for Spending Spree as Question Asked on Adnan Januzaj

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    Manchester United will spend £100 million in the summer to buy their way back to the top, reports Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.

    David Moyes' team fell 11 points off the Champions League places with the 0-0 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday after a disappointing Premier League title defence.

    Former Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp used his column in the Daily Mail to question why Moyes left United starlet Adnan Januzaj on the bench at the Emirates.

    Redknapp recognised why Moyes wanted to protect the player, but could not understand why a potential match-winner was sidelined for the game.

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Plays Down Title Talk for His 'Chihuahuas'

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played down the title talk around his team after they twice came from behind before winning 3-2 at Fulham with a late Steven Gerrard penalty, reports Neil McLeman of the Daily Mirror.

    And the Anfield boss refused to become embroiled in the "little horse" analogy used by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho about the title race:

    I don’t do all that horse stuff.

    Jose is very good at all that sort of stuff.

    We may be the chihuahuas that run in between the horses’ legs.

    But we’re just about improving with each match.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has revealed the two biting incidents are his biggest mistakes in football, reports Martin Blackburn of The Sun (subscription required).

    But the Uruguay international does not believe the racist row involving Manchester United defender Patrice Evra should be considered a regret as he was "accused without proof," according to the report.

Jose Mourinho to 'Sacrifice' FA Cup for Premier and Champions League Success

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is considering a weakened team for the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Manchester City, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    The Stamford Bridge team are top of the Premier League, and resume in the Champions League with the last-16 tie against Galatasaray before the end of the month.

    And Mourinho could rest several first-team regulars for the cup-tie at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, claims Lipton.

    The future of Ashley Cole at international level is open to debate after Roy Hodgson hinted that Southampton left-back Luke Shaw would be included in the England squad for the friendly against Denmark, reports Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.

    Chelsea defender David Luiz is poised to be the talk of the transfer window once more with Barcelona still interested in the Brazil international, writes John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Manchester City Defender Matija Nastasic a Reported Target for Galatasaray

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    Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic has emerged as a transfer target for Galatasaray, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Former City manager Roberto Mancini signed the Serbia international from Fiorentina in August 2012, and is keen to be reunited with the player in Turkey.

    Cross reports that the deal will only be possible if Manuel Pellegrini can land Eliaquim Mangala in the summer.

    Reported City target Fernando of FC Porto is on his way to the Premier League, according to his agent, but the exact destination remains a mystery, according to Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.

Tottenham Head Coach Tim Sherwood Predicts Tight Champions League Race

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    Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood saw his team continue their impressive run of form with a 4-0 win at Newcastle United on Wednesday.

    And the White Hart Lane boss then predicted the chase for a Champions League spot will go down to the final month of the Premier League season:

    It is very tight at the top.

    I see it going down to the last month of the season, that's for sure. It's going to be tough for everyone to maintain the run that we're all having.

    We seem to be not climbing above anyone at the moment. Liverpool are doing excellent and we've just got to make sure we keep breathing down their necks.

    Meanwhile, Spurs have entered the chase for Ajax and Holland defender Joel Veltman, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Bits and Pieces: Lionel Messi, Fans' Postponement Anger, Inter Milan

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    Barcelona star Lionel Messi hit another milestone as he helped his team reach the Copa del Rey final at the expense of Real Sociedad, reports Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.

    The Argentina international scored his 335th goal for the Catalan giants to equal the long-standing record of Athletic Club Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra, and earn a 1-1 draw with Sociedad in the cup semi-final second leg to give Barca a 3-1 aggregate win.

    Jenson also warns, though, that Messi and Barcelona appear to be hitting form at the right time to face Manchester City in the Champions League.

    Travelling supporters were left infuriated by the late postponements of the games at Everton and Manchester City on Wednesday, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    But the Goodison Park club were quick to offer Malaysian fan Ric Wee the chance to meet manager Roberto Martinez and the players when his first-ever trip to see Everton was wrecked by the weather conditions.

    Inter Milan are targeting Nemanja Vidic, Erik Lamela and Alvaro Morata for summer transfers as they overhaul their squad, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.