Paper News and Gossip: Liverpool's Defence, Rooney's Headband and Giroud on Fire

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Liverpool's Defence, Rooney's Headband and Giroud on Fire

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    There’s plenty of post-weekend fodder to digest in the morning papers, and with Liverpool playing on Monday evening there is a preview or two flying around.

    As well as a look ahead to Liverpool’s clash with Swansea, the papers dissect Chelsea’s defeat at Everton and look into Manchester United’s win over Crystal Palace.

    There's an Arsenal striker with eyes on the prize, while the big news concerns Wayne Rooney and his headband.

    Still, there’s a bit of transfer talk as well and you can catch it all in Monday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Review.

Brendan Rodgers Reveals 10-Year Liverpool Plan

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    A decade, 10 years, 120 months. However way you wrap it up, it's a long time, but that's the amount of time Brendan Rodgers feels he has shored up Liverpool's defence for—according to a report from David Anderson in the Mirror.

    Rodgers added Kolo Toure to offset the loss of the retired Jamie Carragher, and late in the transfer window he swooped for Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.

    And with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel also on the Liverpool books, Rodgers feels the club are well set for the next decade.

    In Anderson's piece, Rodgers says:

    I wanted to try and protect the present and the future of the club.

    One that we had been tracking for a year was Tiago Ilori, a young talent, but who can become a big talent.

    Sakho is also young, but he is an experienced player. He has senior international caps for France and looks an absolute monster in training. He’s one who is ready for now and that’s what we want.

    We had a chance to do that and protect the club for maybe the next 10 years and that is what we’ve done.

    Liverpool face Swansea on Monday, with Rodgers looking for his side to extend their perfect start to the Premier League season.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea Reality Check

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    Jose Mourinho's Chelsea honeymoon is over following Saturday's defeat at Everton, and the Portuguese has moved to offer a reality check by insisting the team he has now is not the one that dominated during his first period at the club.

    Mourinho's first spell in charge of Chelsea was a trophy-laden one, and he has been brought back for another crack by owner Roman Abramovich.

    Defeat to Bayern Munich in the Super Cup was the first dose of reality, and now the loss to Everton has prompted the Portuguese to issue a warning, as reported by the Mirror's Martin Lipton.

    In Lipton's piece, he quotes Mourinho as saying:

    No, it is not 2004 all over again. Then we lost against Manchester City in October—our only defeat. But that is not the point. We are not unbeatable. This is a different team.

    I came here to work—I don’t say peacefully because I am the first one that does not like to work peacefully—but to work with time, to develop the players and play the best they and we can.

    We have to be effective, be adult and not naive. That is what we have to work on. We have to transform the beautiful football we played into goals.

Olivier Giroud Boost for Arsenal

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    Olivier Giroud has played down fears over his ankle injury, reports Simon Bird of the Mirror, and the striker is training his sights on the golden boot following his blistering start to the season with Arsenal.

    The Frenchman was on target in the win over Sunderland to extend his run of scoring in every Premier League game so far this season.

    Giroud did not finish the game on account of an ankle injury, but Bird's piece quotes the Frenchman as saying he will be fit for the Champions League clash with Marseille on Wednesday.

    "It is not bad," Giroud said. "I twisted my ankle but, fortunately, it is nothing major.

    “Marseille? Yes, I am OK, I will be fine.”

    Giroud has four goals to his name this season and is clearly full of confidence.  

    When asked about his fine run of form, he said: “With this team I can score many goals. Can I finish the league’s top scorer? I must have a chance.”

Cristiano Ronaldo Ends Manchester United Return Talk

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    Cristiano Ronaldo has committed his future to Real Madrid with a new contract, worth a whopping £288,000 a week if Martin Samuel’s report in the Mail is to be believed.

    And, Daniel Jones of the Metro reveals that the new deal has put an end to any chance Manchester United had of signing the Portuguese.

    Ronaldo joined Madrid from United in 2009, and Jones’ piece claims the Red Devils held out hope that the forward would wind down his contract in Spain before returning to Old Trafford in two years’ time.

    That cannot now happen, with Ronaldo contracted to Real until 2018, and the player has moved to consign talk of United to the past.

    will be honest with you, everyone knows I was in Manchester for six years. Manchester is in the past. Now my club is Real Madrid. This is my home, my family is here and I’m really happy here.

    I respect all the clubs who ask about me. But they always know that my decision, that my only goal is to be here and to play at this club until, maybe, the end of my career.


Wayne Rooney's Headband Uncovered

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    Rooney has been set a 30-goal target by Manchester United manager David Moyes, writes Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, but of more importance is the news from Mail’s Andrew Magee which proves investigative journalism is alive and well after he tracked down the company that provided the headband the United forward sported on Saturday.

    Rooney bagged his first goal of the season with a sweetly-struck free-kick in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, and Moyes wants more of the same from his striker.

    Asked if 30 goals was an attainable target for Rooney, Moyes said: “I will try to do that. I think Wayne's aim will be to do that as well. Hopefully we can make that happen.”

    As well as Rooney played against the Eagles, there was as much talk about the headband he wore to protect the cut that kept him out of England duty the previous week.

    And the Mail’s Magee has done his research on the company that provided cover for Rooney’s head.

    Outlining the chain of events, Magee writes:

    Wayne Rooney's head injury might have stopped him playing for England, but one quick-thinking company helped get the striker back on the pitch at Old Trafford sooner than expected. Storelli is a New York-based firm that specialises in protective gear for athletes, particularly footballers. 

    On hearing of Rooney’s injury, they emailed Manchester United’s medical team to offer their services and United, suitably intrigued, requested some samples. They arrived last Thursday night and, after training with it for only a day, Rooney was happy enough to start the game.

Bits and Pieces: Villa Eye Striker and Spurs to Speak to Fans over Yid Use

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    Tottenham are to step into the debate over the use of the word "Yid," with Paul Hirst of the Press Association writing that the club will ask fans if the time has come to stop using the word.

    The winter transfer window is over three months away, but there is plenty of chatter in the air. Aston Villa are one side in the news, with Gary Jones of the Daily Star claiming Paul Lambert's side are readying a bid for forward Ivelin Popov from Russian side Kuban Krasnodar.

    Tottenham midfielder Erik Lamela’s brother was released unharmed after being kidnapped at gunpoint in Buenos Aires, writes Charles Reynold of the Independent.