Gareth Bale celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga
Premier League news and talking points
Wright: Arsenal must win the Europa League
In his column for The Sun Ian Wright says Arsenal must win the Europa League because getting into the Premier League top four is an “impossible task”.
The Gunners missed out on Champions League football this season and, with the team currently sixth in the Premier League, qualification for Europe’s top club competition next season also looks bleak.
Wright said: “Arsenal face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final in 12 days and it would be great for my old club to get another trophy. But the competition they really must win is the Europa League. This could be Arsene Wenger’s only route back into the Champions League.
“For Arsenal to win the final in Lyon on 16 May could still be one hell of a task when you look at the teams competing. Fourth spot in the Premier League now looks impossible for Wenger.”
Carragher: Arsenal players are ‘cowards’
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has also piled into Arsenal and says that their hopes of reaching the Premier League top four are “virtually impossible”. The Daily Telegraph columnist Carragher said: “I’ve always questioned Arsenal’s mentality but you’ve always felt they were good enough. I still question their mentality but they aren’t good enough now. Arsenal are actually getting worse, they aren’t getting better. If you go back to Crystal Palace last season, I called them ‘cowards’ and sometimes when you look back you can think it’s a bit strong. But those [away form] stats back me up.”
Brady: Kane was ‘a bit chubby’
Liam Brady has revealed that Harry Kane was let go by the Arsenal academy because he was “a bit chubby”. Tottenham superstar Kane played for Arsenal as a youngster but did not make the grade at the Gunners. Brady told Corriere della Sera: “He was a bit chubby and not very athletic, but we [Arsenal] made a mistake. But Tottenham also sent him on loan three or four times in the lower leagues. Yet he’s got that determination and is building a great career for himself, and he deserves it.”
Conte praise for Chelsea fans
Antonio Conte has praised the Chelsea faithful for their support after the Blues secured a 3-0 win against West Brom last night. Italian boss Conte’s future has been in the spotlight after two heavy league defeats but two goals from Eden Hazard and one from Victor Moses got the Blues the three points yesterday at Stamford Bridge. Conte told the BBC: “I have to thank the fans because they showed me great support. They are reading speculation and rumours on me and I’m grateful to the fans. It means they understand my passion, my will to defend this colour, this shirt, this badge.”
Moyes rules out early West Ham exit
David Moyes has told talkSPORT that his West Ham future will only be decided at the end of the season – not before. The Scot, who signed a six-month deal to take over from Slaven Bilic in November, said: “The situation when I came in was that I said I wouldn’t make any decision until the end of the season, and I didn’t want West Ham to make a decision either. I said ‘let’s see how it goes’ because first and foremost we have to make sure we’re a Premier League club. I was happy doing that, I came in on a short-term contract, I had no problem with that and that’s the way I want it to remain.”
United missing out on millions in revenue
Manchester United could be missing out on more than £26m a season in stadium rights revenue for Old Trafford, finance adviser Duff & Phelps has told the Press Association. “It’s an emotive topic, particularly in this country, but it’s an area that is definitely under-utilised as a revenue stream,” said Trevor Birch, head of UK sports at Duff & Phelps.
Premier League transfer news and gossip
Bale is happy in Madrid says agent
Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett says the Wales star is happy at Real Madrid despite speculation linking him with a move back to the Premier League with Manchester United. Barnett told the Manchester Evening News: “I think he’s worth as much as Neymar. He loves Real Madrid and doesn’t want to leave. Gareth does not need Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid, he is already a top star of the club.”
Arturo Vidal: Bayern Munich to Manchester United
Manchester United target Arturo Vidal wants to remain with Bayern Munich and is hoping to sign a new contract with the German club when his current deal runs out in 18 months’ time. Quoted by the Daily Mirror, he said: “I’m not thinking about a transfer. I feel very comfortable here. Of course I would like to extend my contract. That’s an option. My kids are very happy here, too.”