Paper Gossip: Rooney to Lead United, Ramsey New Deal, Jose Backs England & More
The day after international action offers up plenty of coverage of the England national side.
That's not to say that club football is neglected, with plenty of column inches devoted to the Premier League sides and their trials and tribulations.
And let's not forget that the transfer window is a mere three months away, so there's plenty of gossip on who's going where.
All this and more feature in Thursday's iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
'Good Luck in the World Cup... You'll Need It'
England laboured to a 1-0 win over Denmark in an international friendly at Wembley on Wednesday, and the performance left much to ponder ahead of the World Cup.
Denmark will not be at the World Cup after failing to qualify, and their head coach Morten Olsen made his feelings quite clear with regard to England’s chances of glory in Brazil.
The Mail’s Sami Mokbel has the quotes:
I think that England have a young team with a lot of quickness. It's promising for the future, but if it's enough for the World Cup?
I think we would have won if Christian Eriksen was playing tonight.
Tellingly, Mokbel’s piece led on Olsen’s parting shot when he exited his press conference: “Good luck in the World Cup... you'll need it."
Hodgson in No Mood to Be Negative
England’s display would hardly have struck fear into group rivals Italy and Uruguay, but Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson was in no mood to be negative.
He went with a blend of youth and experience, and felt that the youngsters rose to the challenge.
Hodgson also brushed off the jibe form Olsen. Matt Law of the Telegraph has the quotes:
Every team will need good luck. We didn’t need it tonight, that’s for sure.
You couldn’t get me to say anything negative about any of the young players. At one stage we only had Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard who would consider themselves seniors.
I wanted a level of energy, players running back when they lost the ball, making tackles from the wrong side, not being afraid to make mistakes knowing with their pace they can recover. That’s what I did see and we put the icing on the cake with the goal to win it.
England Backed to Come Good by Mourinho
England have been handed some welcome support, with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho of the opinion that the Three Lions should not be dismissed lightly.
England go into a tough World Cup group alongside Italy and Uruguay, but Mourinho feels their rivals should not take the Three Lions lightly.
The Mirror’s Ed Malyon has the quotes:
England? Everybody says no, no, no, no, no—I always say why not, because I don’t understand why not.
When I see the players and the clubs where they play, I don’t understand why one day it cannot happen. They know how to play for the big clubs, they play in the Champions League which is probably the most difficult football in the world, so I don’t see why they don’t win. So one day they have to do it.
I don’t think Uruguay and Italy will find it easy to play against England.
Ramsey on Brink of New Arsenal Deal
It's not all about international football, and Arsene Wenger is putting the building blocks in place for Arsenal’s long-term future—with Aaron Ramsey set for a new deal.
Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky committed to the Gunners recently by signing new deals, and the Mail’s Tom Bellwood claims Ramsey is set to follow suit.
The midfielder is currently on the sidelines on account of injury, but Bellwood has also revealed that the Welshman is set to haul himself out of the treatment room and aid Arsenal in their push for honours.
In his piece, Bellwood wrote:
Aaron Ramsey is set to hand Arsenal a double boost by returning to training on Thursday after agreeing a new £90,000-a-week contract.
The Welshman’s impending return comes as he prepares to sign a bumper new deal as a reward for his outstanding performances in the 15 months since penning his last agreement.
The 23-year-old has agreed the terms of an improved contract that will lift his salary to £90,000-a-week, bringing it in line with fellow British stars Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Ramsey’s current deal runs until 2018 and is worth £60,000-a-week.
Inter Praise for 'World Class' Vidic
Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has described Nemanja Vidic as one of the world’s best defenders, after securing a deal to sign the Serbian from Manchester United.
Vidic has put his name to a pre-contract with Inter and will make the move to Serie A when his deal with United winds down in the summer.
Thohir took control of Inter last year, and he views Vidic as the latest piece of the side he is building.
Liam Prenderville of the Mirror has the quotes from an interview Thohir gave to Inter’s official website:
Vidic is a world-class player and I am extremely happy to have completed this deal to bring him to Milan.
He's one of the world's best defenders. He will bring added value to the club and is another piece of the great Inter side we are building.
Rooney Set for United Captaincy Now
With Vidic’s departure confirmed, there is now speculation as to who will lead Manchester United.
Cross and Kajumba are convinced it is a done deal that Rooney will get the armband and expect manager David Moyes to act swiftly.
In their piece, Cross and Kajumba wrote quote a United source:
The manager will make Wayne captain and it could be sooner than people think.
His current captain is leaving and promoting Wayne, the team’s talisman, is the logical thing to do because he is the future.
Campbell Unsure of Arsenal Future
Joel Campbell burst onto the scene with a starring display in Olympiakos’ win over Manchester United in the Champions League, but he is unsure whether he will return to Arsenal.
Campbell was on many Gunners fans’ lips when tormenting United in Greece. His play added weight to his chances of securing playing time at Arsenal, while it also drew praise from Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
Campbell is unsure as to what the future holds for him beyond the terms of his season-long loan in Greece.
The Star’s Gary Jones has the quotes:
I do nothing more than focus on playing for the team, whether Olympiakos, whether in Real Betis, whether in Orien.
For me it has been an experience that has made me grow as a player. It's not the time to say whether I will play at Arsenal or not.
But, if I get that chance to play there, I will do as I have always done in my life, fight and believe in myself.
Olic Opens Door to Stoke Move
Ivica Olic is closing in on a move to Stoke City, after revealing the Potters are his first choice.
The Wolfsburg forward claims to have a host of clubs on his tail, but he is attracted by the prospect of playing against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
The Mail’s John Drayton has the quotes:
There are many rumours about my future. The press are talking about me moving to United States, to Qatar, but Stoke City remains my first choice.
They are very serious and it would be really nice to play against Manchester United, Liverpool and other great English clubs.
Bits and Pieces: Kallstrom Close to Return, Hammers Talks on Hold and More
Kim Kallstrom is on the brink of making his Arsenal debut, over six weeks after signing for the club, according to Jack Wilson of the Star.
West Bromwich Albion forward Nicolas Anelka will accept his five-match quenelle ban, according to Ben Rumsby of the Telegraph.
West Ham United have shelved all contract talks with players until their Premier League status is secured, according to Andrew Dillon of the Sun (Subscription required).
Frank de Boer turned down the chance to take charge of Tottenham in January, per a report from the Telegraph's Luke Edwards.