Paper News and Gossip: Man Utd Fans Turn on Sir Alex, Scholes on Arsenal, Messi

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 26, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Man Utd Fans Turn on Sir Alex, Scholes on Arsenal, Messi

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    Some Manchester United supporters turned their ire over the derby defeat to Manchester City on former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, according to reports on Wednesday.

    Old Trafford manager David Moyes suffered another poor performance and result as Manuel Pellegrini's team comfortably claimed a 3-0 win.

    Meanwhile, United legend Paul Scholes used his post-match analyst role to criticise Arsenal for failing to move forward in recent seasons after the Gunners' 2-2 draw with Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium.

    Elsewhere, Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title, while Lionel Messi is set for a Barcelona windfall.

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

Manchester United Fans Turn on Sir Alex as Moyes Banner Is Protected by Stewards

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    Manchester United fans turned on former manager Sir Alex Ferguson after the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    United were outclassed by their neighbours on Tuesday night, leaving some supporters to vent their anger at Ferguson, who was sat in the directors' box, for his appointment of David Moyes, claims the report.

    McDonnell also notes that stewards were required to guard against "The Chosen One" banner for Moyes being taken down by United fans after another poor performance at Old Trafford.

    To compound the agony for United fans, the same article says Moyes is "aspiring" to be like City, and the United boss is quoted as saying:

    I think we’ve played a very good side, playing at the sort of level we’re aspiring to.

    We need to come up a couple of levels ourselves because at the moment we are not there.

    I take responsibility for the team and always will do. I have to be the one who picks the players.

    I still think there are a lot of good players in this squad, but some of them could play better.

    I thought it would be a tough year for us, but I hoped it would be much more competitive and we’d be closer to the top of the league than we are.

Former Manchester United Star Paul Scholes Launches Scathing Attack on Arsenal

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    While his former club were in free fall against Manchester City, Manchester United legend Paul Scholes turned his criticism on Arsenal in his role as an analyst for Sky Sports, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The Gunners saw their Premier League title hopes further dented by a late own goal in the 2-2 draw with Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium after the six-goal drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday.

    Scholes is quoted as saying:

    Typical week for Arsenal, really. They capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme which happens when they play the top teams. It happened at Liverpool, they conceded six against City.

    For one reason or another, the players just seem to go missing. The Artetas, the Cazorlas, the Rosickys, Ozils although I know he has not played for a bit.

    They go on the pitch with no discipline. It's as though 'You four, five midfielders go out there and do what you want, try and score a goal. A few nice one-twos, nice tippy-tappy football, but don't bother running back'. That is my thoughts on it.

    I don't know if it is the manager, it just seems that way. Midfield players with no discipline. There are no leaders. No Patrick Vieira, no (Tony) Adams, or Martin Keown. They need sometimes a midfielder to say 'Look, come beside me for five or 10 minutes and let's stop the flow of attacks.'

    You feel sorry for Arsenal fans. They get the same thing every year. The hint of a title for a few weeks then they go to Chelsea, City or Liverpool and they just do nothing.

    Fans expect Arsenal to go for a League trophy. They are third or fourth but are a million miles away, in my eyes.

    When we played against Arsenal teams it was really tough.  Now, you play Arsenal and just get stuck in and you have won the game. Wilshere, what a really top young player, but he has not really gone on.

    He needs players like Vieira to take him to the next level. Injuries have not helped him but his development, from being 17, he does not look any better player now than when he was 17.

Arsene Wenger Admits Arsenal 'Looking over Shoulder' in Champions League Race

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits his team are now looking over their shoulder rather than at the top as their Premier League title hopes were further dented by a late own goal in the 2-2 draw with Swansea, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Mathieu Flamini was the unfortunate goalscorer as the Gunners' title challenge appeared to be ended at the Emirates Stadium.

    However, Everton's 3-0 win at Newcastle United on Tuesday night has left the Goodison Park club six points behind Arsenal with a game in hand. The Blues also play host to Arsenal on Apr. 6.

    Wenger is quoted as saying:

    We have to look behind us; of course, we also have to look in front of us, but as well behind us.

    Everton won, so we have to focus and prepare well for the next game. It will be open until the end, we can still have surprises.

    The result is very disappointing but the spirit we put in and the effort we put in was great. We have to take it on the chin.

    However, Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident his team will qualify for Europe but not necessarily the Champions League, after a brilliant solo Ross Barkley goal helped the Blues beat Newcastle 3-0, reports Si Hughes of the Daily Telegraph.

    What we want to do is make sure this season affects the season after.

    The only way you can do that is qualifying for Europe. If it’s Champions League it would be an incredible achievement.

    Sometimes you think: 'Are you ready for that? Will the summer allow us to be ready for such a big challenge?’

Bayern Munich Clinch Bundesliga Title After 19th Successive League Win

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    Bayern Munich's 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin clinched the Bundesliga title after a run of 19 successive league victories, reports the Daily Telegraph among others on Wednesday.

    Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze and substitute Franck Ribery were the scorers on the night as Pep Guardiola celebrated a third trophy in his first season in charge at the Allianz Arena.

    Bayern's title triumph also represented the swiftest ever league championship, with seven games to spare, beating their previous record set last season under Jupp Heynckes.

    The German champions are also still chasing the Champions League and face Kaiserslautern in the German Cup semi-final next month.

Lionel Messi Poised for £335,000 Per Week New Deal at Barcelona

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    Barcelona are set to make Lionel Messi the world's highest-paid footballer with a new deal worth more than £335,000 per week, reports Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.

    The Argentina international has been breaking records left, right and centre this season, while his hat-trick at Real Madrid on Sunday helped to fire the La Liga champions back into the title race.

    But now Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu wants to reward Messi by usurping Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's best-paid footballer, claims the article.

    Bartomeu is quoted as saying:

    We all want Messi to be the best-paid player in the world and that is what we are working on.

    Right now we are concentrating on the competitions we are in but it will happen soon

    Nobody here wants to sell Messi. You cannot sell Leo. He arrived here when he was 13 and he is one of ours.

Brendan Rodgers Backs Liverpool 'Gladiator' Luis Suarez for Player of the Year

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed striker Luis Suarez to win the Player of the Year award this season, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    The Anfield boss describes the Uruguay international as a "gladiator" on the pitch after his form helped the Reds into Premier League title contention this year.

    Rodgers is quoted as saying:

    Certainly for him it would be a wonderful step forward in his life and his career if he were to get the Player of the Year award.

    I think it’s been nice for people to see the other side of Luis this season. People don’t see he’s a real quiet, humble guy off the field who becomes a gladiator when he crosses the white line. 

    This year, he has been a model of brilliance. On the pitch it’s never been questioned and if anything he has improved on that level.

Bits and Pieces: UEFA International League, Sam Allardyce, Demba Ba, Kallstrom

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    UEFA is poised to unveil a third international tournament with a Nations League set to replace friendly matches in the football calendar, reports Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph.

    According to the article, the new tournament is planned to begin in the 2018-19 season after receiving unanimous support.

    West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is facing an uncertain future after three successive league defeats, with Michael Laudrup waiting in the wings, reports Tom Barclay of The Sun (subscription required).

    Chelsea striker Demba Ba is eyeing the Premier League or Italy for his next move, reports Andrew Dillon of The Sun.

    Sweden international Kim Kallstrom admits even he was surprised that Arsenal signed him during the January transfer window, reports Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

    The 31-year-old joined the Gunners from Spartak Moscow, but he only made his debut on Tuesday due to injury.

    Kallstrom is quoted as saying:

    It was bewildering (joining Arsenal) to say the least. It went very quickly.

    Then everyone at Arsenal took care of me very well, it's been great care and rehabilitation.

    Everything has been well managed and I have received good care and rehabilitation. It has gone very well.

    It was surprising. It was nothing I had expected. Of course I was surprised.

    I've had a good career, they needed an experienced player and I fit the profile and took the opportunity.