Paper News and Gossip: Moyes Security Raised at Man Utd, Ashley Cole Link
Manchester United manager David Moyes remains the focus of attention in Friday's newspapers ahead of his next date with destiny when Aston Villa visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.
United play host to the Villans on the back of another poor home display, this time against Manchester City on Tuesday night.
United are planning to increase security around the dug-out area, claims one report, while one Old Trafford star has voiced his "embarrassment" at the team's form this season.
Elsewhere, Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been linked with a summer move to another Premier League big-hitter, while Jose Mourinho insists succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson was never part of his agenda.
But who else is making the headlines on Friday? Read on to find out more.
Manchester Utd Increase Security Around Moyes, as Ferdinand Voices Embarrassment
Manchester United will increase the security around the dug-out area of the stadium as feelings against manager David Moyes rise, reports Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
One fan taunted Moyes during the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, and the club will have more stewards around the dug-out to prevent a similar situation against Aston Villa on Saturday, claims the article.
Custis also notes the support Moyes has received from Villa counterpart Paul Lambert after reports emerged of supporters hiring a plane to fly a protest banner over the ground.
Lambert is quoted as saying:
If it happened to me, it wouldn’t be a nice thing to see.
Criticism goes with the territory.
But to fly a plane over the stadium saying the manager is not wanted, that’s a bit extreme.
Ferdinand is quoted as saying:
It’s embarrassing—it becomes a personal insult. I don’t want to go out when the game is finished and you even stop watching TV. I don’t want to take my kids to school.
I don’t want to walk on the school path and think I’m hearing things or seeing people look at me because we lost a game.
I don’t want to fill my car up with petrol or go to the shops.
It gets personal with everyone looking at you and talking about the results and the form and stuff. You don’t want to live like that. You want to live freely and comfortably.
Chelsea Was My Future Not Manchester United, Insists Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United was never part of his thinking, and Stamford Bridge was his chosen destination, reports Rob Beasley of The Sun (subscription required).
The former Real Madrid head coach spoke with Ferguson after the Champions League tie between the clubs last season, and informed him that he was destined for Chelsea to replace Rafael Benitez.
Mourinho was quoted as saying:
I spoke with Sir Alex when my Real Madrid team knocked United out of the Champions League last season and I told him what I wanted to do—that Chelsea is what I wanted.
That was the direction I wanted to go.
Everyone knew (Rafael) Benitez was not going to stay, everyone knew my relationship with the club and it was an opportunity I didn’t want to lose.
So I don’t know if Sir Alex thought of me for United or not—that’s not the point. The point is he knew clearly that I wanted to go to Chelsea.
Chelsea Defender Ashley Cole Linked with Summer Transfer to Liverpool
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been targeted by Liverpool for a summer transfer, reports David Woods of the Daily Star.
The England international has been a regular omission from the Stamford Bridge first team this season under Jose Mourinho.
But according to the article, Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers is a fan of Cole after working with the player while he was a coach at Chelsea.
The two clubs meet in the Champions League quarter-final first leg next week, and PSG star Lucas Moura has voiced his view on Brazil team-mate Oscar after Yohan Cabaye claimed Hazard would be an ideal addition to the Ligue 1 club's squad, notes the article.
Referee Andre Marriner Wants to Exorcise Demons of Wrongful Red Card
Referee Andre Marriner is determined to exorcise the demons of his wrongful red card when he takes charge of the Southampton vs. Newcastle United game on Saturday, reports Steven Sutcliffe of the Daily Telegraph.
Marriner sent off Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs for deliberate handball at Chelsea last weekend, although it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who committed the offence.
Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted his guilt to the official after the red card was brandished, but Gibbs remained off the field.
But after receiving support from the Professional Game Match Officials’ Limited, Marriner is quoted as saying:
I made a high-profile mistake last weekend but it’s like a player who misses a penalty or goalkeeper who fails to make an easy save, you want to get back out there the week after to put those demons right.
I’m delighted by the [PGMOL] decision, it shows what my bosses think of me as a referee and hopefully I won’t let them down and I’ll be able go out on Saturday and perform at my usual high standard.
I’ve met all my colleagues this week so I’ve received a little bit of banter from them which has been good natured. I’ve been down in the dumps and it’s made me smile and hopefully I’ve got my mojo back.
You’ve got to draw on your experience and look at the good things you’ve achieved over a number of years. I took charge of the FA Cup final last year and you’ve got to take strength of character from that as it’s the biggest game in English club football.
I achieved that by doing things right so you draw from those experiences and it’s about getting back out there and putting things right. The players experience the same things we do when they go home and think can they do better and as a referee I’m no different.
Arsenal Midfielder Jack Wilshere Accused of Lacking Discipline by Former Gunner
Former Arsenal star Stewart Robson believes Jack Wilshere must leave the club to fulfil his potential, reports Paul Gorst of the Daily Mirror.
Robson has also accused the England international, who is currently out of action with a hairline fracture of his foot, of lacking discipline under manager Arsene Wenger.
Robson is quoted as saying:
(Wilshere) lacks discipline. He wants to get on the ball and charge into tackles, there seems to be no discipline. Who does that come from? The manager. Wenger has to make sure he has a role in the side where he knows what to do when he does and doesn't have the ball.
He can be petulant at times, but why is he petulant? Because the manager (is the same) on the sidelines and it's never been sorted out.
If Jack gets the right manager in charge of him, and the right sort of coaching, he will become a world-class player. Arsene Wenger in my view is not that manager.
Like many players that have gone on to become top players, sometimes you have to move on. Jack Wilshere will at some point have to move away from Arsenal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Rejected by Queens Park Rangers as a Teenager, Claims Friend
Queens Park Rangers rejected the chance to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he was a teenager, reports Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.
The claim is made by the Sweden international's former Malmo youth team-mate and friend, Tony Flygare, who has written a new book called Once, I was Bigger Than Zlatan.
Ibrahimovic and Flygare spent a week on trial at Loftus Road in 1998, but then QPR boss Gerry Francis was not impressed, claims the author.
Flygare is quoted as saying:
Zlatan was holding on to the ball for too long, and the trainer tackled him when he wasn’t expecting it. He went mad at Zlatan.
Being in England was so much different. I’ll never forget it. We didn’t hear from QPR again.
Zlatan didn’t want to play or stay in England, that is my opinion.
Bits and Pieces: Sam Allardyce on West Ham Brink, Ilkay Gundogan, Everton, Krul
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce could be the victim of fan power in the summer, reports Mike Walters of the Daily Mirror.
Allardyce was shocked to hear his team booed off the Upton Park field on Wednesday, despite beating Hull City.
But Walters claims the Hammers hierarchy are considering a change in management when the Premier League season ends.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder and reported Manchester United target Ilkay Gundogan will decide his future in the coming weeks, claims Alan Wilson of the Daily Mirror.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will embark on a summer spending spree on six players if they qualify for the Champions League, reports Paul Joyce of the Daily Express.
Newcastle United and Holland goalkeeper Tim Krul has been ruled out for three weeks after injuring his knee in a collision with team-mate Mike Williamson, claims Ian Murtagh of the Daily Star.