Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Michel Platini’s Gallic shrug said it all. “I’m not bothered. What do you want me to say?” he said.
The UEFA President and former France captain had just been asked for the third time in a few minutes on England coach Fabio Capello’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy because of something which happened off the field.
Platini was speaking in Warsaw at a news conference and was supposed to be talking about the qualifying draw for Euro 2012, an event which involved all 53 of UEFA’s associations.
Instead, he found himself fielding questions on the internal problems of one single member.
John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy following revelations about his private life.
Here is England coach Fabio Capello’s statement:
“After much thought, I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry.
The striker is far and away United’s most important player this season as he takes up the slack left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s summer move to Real Madrid and his value to his club is matched by that to his country.
Michael Owen’s quest to find favour under England coach Fabio Capello ahead of June’s World Cup finals may have got a little harder with the arrival of Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf at Manchester United.
In only his second appearance since joining from Norwegian side Molde, Diouf opened his United account with a well-taken header in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Burnley and has firmly installed himself as a rival for the precious substitute time Owen has so far enjoyed unchallenged this season.
David Beckham has returned for his second loan spell at AC Milan where he has an outside chance of playing right back.
Massimo Oddo is injured while left back Marek Jankulovski has been hit by fitness and form problems so Gianluca Zambrotta has been operating on the left of the defence rather than the right.
England manager Fabio Capello might well have found himself an unexpected Christmas present this year in Birmingham City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Filling the gap between the sticks at next June’s World Cup finals in South Africa is perhaps the biggest conundrum Capello will face in the run up to soccer’s most glittering event, but Hart may just have made it a little easier.
Inter Milan’s colourful coach Jose Mourinho has hit the headlines again for a foul mouthed rant at an Italian journalist, the latest in a number of spats with the soccer-obsessed media here.
The Portuguese has admitted using offensive language, said he made a mistake, but has not publically apologised. He also said there was no physical contact during the incident outside the team bus following Inter’s 1-1 draw at Atalanta on Sunday.
Everton hope to complete the signing of Landon Donovan on loan from Major League Soccer’s L.A Galaxy, a move which has generated plenty of excitement among North American soccer fans.
The move makes a lot of sense for Everton manager David Moyes – it gives him no-risk attacking cover, particularly useful while Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni is away throughout January at the African Nations Cup. What is less obvious is why a short term loan spell is a good move for Donovan.
David Beckham is in South Africa to help England try to get their bid to host the 2018 World Cup back on track.
Beckham played a similar ambassadorial role for London’s successful bid to stage the 2012 Olympics and as perhaps the most famous player in the world he is clearly an important asset for the FA.
It is 50 years this week since Bill Shankly first arrived at Anfield, when Liverpool were languishing in the second division, writes Martin Roberts.
The Scotsman soon turned them into a team feared across Europe, and set up a managerial system with enough momentum to carry on after his shock 1974 resignation and make the club the most successful in English footballing history.