Paper News and Gossip: Wenger 'Embarrassed' for Mourinho, Liverpool Anger

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterFebruary 17, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Wenger 'Embarrassed' for Mourinho, Liverpool Anger

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    The rift between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho dominates the back pages on Monday after Arsenal knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Sunday.

    The Chelsea manager labelled his Arsenal counterpart a "specialist in failure" on Friday, and the Gunners boss countered that claim in the aftermath of his team's 2-1 win over the Reds.

    And Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was left unimpressed by match referee Howard Webb over his decision not to award a penalty in the game.

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

Arsene Wenger 'Embarrassed' for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea After 'Failure' Jibe

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    One story dominates the back-page headlines with Arsene Wenger responding to Jose Mourinho's criticism of him on Friday.

    As John Cross and David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror noted, the Chelsea boss claimed his opposite number at the Emirates Stadium was a "specialist in failure," leaving Wenger to fight his corner following the FA Cup fifth-round win over Liverpool on Sunday:

    I do not want to go into silly, disrespectful remarks.

    I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start now. The only thing I know is it is more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me.

    I am embarrassed for him. I didn’t speak about him at all in my press conference.

    Let’s focus on things that are worthy of it. I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me.

Brendan Rodgers Fumes over Webb Decision Not to Award Penalty at Arsenal

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was left infuriated after referee Howard Webb refused penalty appeals during his side's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.

    Reds striker Luis Suarez was brought down in the area by a challenge from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with the score at 2-1, after the striker had helped Liverpool back into the tie by winning an earlier spot-kick.

    But the match official adjudged the tackle to have been legal, leaving Rodgers irate after the game, as John Cross of the Daily Mirror reported:

    It was absolutely another penalty. With the first one Luis gets clipped and it’s a clear penalty, but the second one was even clearer.

    Howard was in a great position. I’m not sure if it was because it was so quick after the first one.

    With the type of player he is and the aggression in our offensive play we provoke a lot of challenges, especially Luis, who is always in and around the box asking questions of defenders. Quite a lot of the time he doesn’t get what he deserves.

    He got one today, but should have had two. If it’s a penalty he should get it, irrespective of what his reputation is. For me that was quite an easy decision.

    Former match official Graham Poll used his column in the Daily Mail to criticise Webb's decision.

Arsenal Striker Olivier Giroud Makes Twitter Apology

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    Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud used his Twitter feed to apologise to his wife and Arsenal over allegations of a fling with a model, as Stephen Moyes and Richard White of The Sun (subscription required) reported.

    The 27-year-old was omitted from the starting XI against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday, but appeared as a late substitute in the 2-1 win.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club will now take disciplinary action against the French forward, report Tom Sheen and Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.

    But Wenger maintains the matter is a private one for the player, who is alleged to have met the model in a London hotel the night before the Gunners played Crystal Palace earlier this month, claims The Sun article.

Manchester City Can Defeat Barcelona in Champions League, Insists Jesus Navas

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    Manchester City winger Jesus Navas believes his team have the game plan to defeat Barcelona in the Champions League, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    The two sides collide in the last-16 first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in a mouth-watering clash football fans have been waiting for since the draw was made in December.

    But Navas has experience of beating Barcelona from his time with Sevilla in Spain:

    We knocked them out of the Copa del Rey once, so that’s my main memory, and I scored a header against them at home when we drew 1-1. We must have beaten them three times at least.

    The one thing we must do is play with high pressure and a high tempo. We have to challenge them for the possession of the ball.

    They are at their best when they have the ball. Without it, they cannot hurt you.

    We have to put pressure on them, maintain the concentration at all times and take the chances.

    Even the best teams have their weaknesses and Barcelona struggle at set-pieces and counter-attacks, when they lose the ball in attacking positions.

Wayne Rooney Set to Sign New Manchester United Deal 'This Week'

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    Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will sign his new deal with the club "before the end of the week," reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    According to the article, the England international has been offered £300,000 per week, will be named club captain and be consulted on transfers at Old Trafford as part of the new contract, which will keep him at the club until 2018.

    Rooney has been a shining light during a disappointing campaign for David Moyes at United, and his new contract is seen as a coup for the club, who are struggling to make the Champions League places for next season.

Chelsea Could Fund Edinson Cavani Move by Selling Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could offload Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba to fund a transfer move for Edinson Cavani, reports James Dickenson of the Daily Express.

    According to the article, the Stamford Bridge club wanted the Paris Saint-Germain striker in the summer, but needed to remain within the FIFA Financial Fair Play rules.

    Lukaku is currently on a season-long loan at Everton, while Ba has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea.

    Mourinho has also been linked with a move for Real Madrid star Sami Khedira, claims Jamie Anderson of the Daily Express.

Bits and Pieces: Arsenal Are 'Best' in England Says Andres Iniesta, Everton

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    Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta claims Arsenal are playing the best football in the Premier League, reports James Dickenson of the Daily Express.

    Ahead of the Champions League tie against Manchester City, Iniesta praised the Gunners for their style of play, and is quoted as saying:

    I think Arsenal still play the best football in England.

    They play in a style in the way that most emulates what we do at Barcelona, and what is, in our opinion, the right way to approach the game.

    They may not have spent what other teams have in England, but their football philosophy is the most attractive in England.

    Everton striker Steven Naismith cannot remember scoring in the club's FA Cup fifth-round win over Swansea City after leaving the field with concussion, reports Ian Gordon of The Sun (subscription required).

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez is quoted as saying:

    Steven didn’t remember that he scored, so I told him that he got one from 40 yards. 

    He got a knock and was OK but all of a sudden he became dizzy and couldn’t remember much of what was happening.

    At that point, we could not take any risks. We will keep him under observation for 24 hours but we hope that he will be fine.