Exclusive – Peter Crouch: ‘Tottenham have gone backwards’

first_img Peter Crouch with former Tottenham team-mates Gareth Bale and Luka Modric Former Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has told talkSPORT Spurs have gone backwards since he left the club to join Stoke City.Spurs academy graduate Crouch, who returned to north London from Portsmouth in 2010, was a key member of the side which reached the Champions League quarter-finals under Harry Redknapp.Linking up with the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, Crouch netted a total of 24 goals over two seasons at White Hart Lane.Seven of those came in the 2011/12 Champions League campaign, including a hat-trick against Swiss outfit Young Boys and the match-winning strike which sealed a 1-0 aggregate win over AC Milan in the last-16. They were eventually knocked out by Spanish giants Real Madrid.The towering frontman left the following summer for the Potteries and any hint of Redknapp’s talented side has since disappeared, with Andros Townsend the only remaining player from that team, while Spurs have also changed manager twice in that period.And Crouch believes the current Tottenham squad is in a sorrier state than the one he left four years ago.“The side I played in was fantastic we had some amazing players, and I think they have gone backwards since then – it’s pretty obvious to say that,” Crouch – a special guest co-host on Wednesday night’s Sports Bar – said.“A lot of those players have moved on for whatever reason, and they’ve tried to replace them with foreign players – players who perhaps don’t know the league as well as the players I played with.“There’s been a couple of changes in management as well, so it’s not as settled there as it was when I was at the club.“But I like the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] and I think he will get it right. They’ve got a young side and maybe it will take time to get back there.”Tottenham currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League standings following an indifferent start to the season, having found the net only five times in their opening six games.Out-of-form striker Harry Kane has endured a sophomore slump following his brilliant 32-goal maiden campaign, but Crouch believes the 22-year-old’s hunger for goals will see him succeed for Spurs.“I would be very surprised if he manages to score 30-odd goals again, as he did last year,” he added.“It’s just so difficult to replicate that. He was a surprise package last season, so defenders will be keeping more of an eye on his this year.“It’s going to be more difficult for him, but I expect him to score goals.“He’s a quality finisher, I love watching him play and I love his hunger and desire.“He’s confident in his own ability and he’s scored goals for England this season, so he will come good. He’s too good not to.” 1last_img read more

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Koeman confirms Wenger bust-up after Arsenal draw

first_imgRonald Koeman has drawn a line under his midweek tunnel bust-up with Arsene Wenger.The Southampton boss and Arsenal chief Wenger exchanged words following the goalless draw at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.Wenger had reportedly shouted at referee Lee Mason “It’s always the same with you” with Koeman responding to the Frenchman: “No, it’s always the same with you.”Koeman confirmed the incident had taken place as it was reported, but insisted it was all in the heat of the moment and that it would not affect his relationship with Wenger.“What was written in the press was true, and that’s all,” said Koeman. “It’s emotions in football and it happened, and we go on.“Do I regret it? If I talk it’s what I mean, of course. No, I don’t think (it will affect our relationship).“It’s always a little bit of emotions and he was very disappointed about the result because they had some good chances.”Koeman was named manager of the month for January following Saints’ recent fine run.They emerged from a recent sticky patch to collect three wins, without conceding a goal, before the stalemate against the Gunners.Next up is a tea-time visit from a West Ham side lying one place, but five points, above Southampton in sixth spot.“We hope to get more consistency, because that’s one of our ambitions that we had at the start of the season, to have a more regular season,” added Koeman.“It’s the Premier League and it’s so difficult to get a good run, and to change it if you are in a bad run.“We know what we have to do. The confidence is totally back in the team after the last few results.“We have a big game against West Ham because it’s still a gap between West Ham and Southampton, and we’d like to make that distance shorter than it is now.”Koeman is set to hand £4million January signing Charlie Austin his home debut. The striker scored the winner on his first Saints appearance as a substitute at Manchester United last weekend, but missed out at Arsenal with a knock.Left-back Matt Targett is out with an ankle problem and midfielder Steven Davis remains a doubt due to a hamstring injury. Ronald Koeman and Arsene Wenger 1last_img read more

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Arsenal FC news: Arsene Wenger hails ‘great guy’ Danny Welbeck after match-winning goal against Leicester

first_img1 Arsene Wenger was full of praise for match-winner Danny Welbeck as the Arsenal forward came back from 10 months out to keep Arsenal in the title race with a last-gasp goal against 10-man Leicester.The England international has been missing all season after a serious knee injury but came off the bench to rescue a win for the Gunners, who moved to within two points of leaders Leicester with the 2-1 win.With Arsenal laying siege to Kasper Schmeichel’s goal, Wenger threw on Welbeck, who had played just an hour for the under-21s as he strives for fitness having not played a senior game since last April, and the former Manchester United man was on hand to glance home Mesut Ozil’s free-kick in the fifth minute of added time.“You know Danny Welbeck, he is a great guy, with a great mentality. He worked extremely hard. That is why he is fit,” Wenger said.“[I decided] yesterday. In the last two days he was convincing in training. I planned at the start, when I made my press conference on Friday morning, to play him next week.“But in the last two training sessions he was very strong and I decided just in the end to include him in the squad.“It was a great decision because Danny Welbeck is a great player, and you never know in our job, if somebody else had come on, would he have scored or not?“But everybody is extremely happy for him, because he has been out for 10 months, that is an eternity for a player. We work very hard, our medical team, our fitness team, to bring him back so strong. Let’s not forget he has not played one minute for us.” Arsenal hero Danny Welbeck last_img read more

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Key Tottenham player ruled out of Fiorentina and Crystal Palace clashes

first_img Hugo Lloris Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris will miss Thursday night’s Europa League clash at Fiorentina after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Premier League win over Manchester City at the weekend.The French goalkeeper will definitely miss the round of 32 first leg meeting in Florence as well as Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Crystal Palace.And while Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino has backed under-study Michel Vorm to step up to the mark, he admits not having his skipper available will have an effect.“It is not a big, big issue,” he said at his pre-match press conference.“It is a very small injury. It will always impact, Hugo is our captain and it is a very important period for us but how it is important, we know now we have a squad and we believe that Michel is a very good, top goalkeeper too, and we believe in him and trust in him.“It is true it is a big impact but in one week we expect and hope he is available to start to play again.”Lloris picked up the injury turning away a Sergio Aguero cross deep into the 2-1 win at City on Sunday, which left Tottenham second in the Premier League.“The last action of the game against Manchester City, Hugo hurt his shoulder and he is out for tomorrow and for Sunday too,” Pochettino explained.“We need to assess him during the week if he can be available for next Thursday but for sure, tomorrow and next Sunday he is out.” 1last_img read more

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Winds expected to raise wildfire fears

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsHigh temperatures in the mountains are expected to range from the upper 70s to mid-80s. For more news and observations about crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Offshore winds are expected to blow through Los Angeles County mountain areas today, again raising fears of possible brush fires. The National Weather Service issued a fire weather watch for mountain areas, including the Santa Monica Mountains recreation area and Angeles National Forest. The watch will be in effect from this morning through this afternoon. According to the NWS, north to northeast winds will blow through the area at 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 50 mph possible in passes and canyons. At the same time, very dry conditions are expected, with humidity levels ranging from just 8 to 15 percent. “While gusty northerly winds are expected to continue Tuesday night into Wednesday, it appears that humidities will rise above critical thresholds during this time frame,” according to an NWS statement. last_img read more

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NEW PLAN POINTS TO EXCITING TIMES FOR DONEGAL’S CREATIVE SECTOR

first_imgMininster Joe McHugh sees a gap in the market for Donegal’s emerging creative sector. Pic by Donegal Daily.The launch of Donegal’s Creative Strategy is a great first step towards establishing the right conditions for creative entrepreneurship in Donegal, according to the Head of Enterprise at Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Michael Tunney.Speaking at the launch of the strategy in the Regional Cultural Centre, Mr. Tunney said that the launch of the document marked the end of a consultation process that had begun last August.“While the plan is not written in stone, it is a plan that we are formally launching today and the real process will begin now, the journey of implementing the plan.” He suggested that while the document has a ten-year horizon, it is very much geared towards the first two years.Pictured at the launch of the Donegal Creative Strategy at the Regional Cultural centre, Letterkenny on Monday were from left: Ursula Donnelly, Donegal Local Enterprise Office; Michael Heaney, Donegal County Council; Minister Joe McHugh who officially launched the plan; Seamus Neely, CEO of Donegal County Council; Eve-Anne Cullinan, MCO Projects and Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal Local Enterprise Office.“I think the strategy, in particular the larger document, outlines the importance of the bigger ecosystem that creatives operate in and that is an ecosystem that needs to be supported on an ongoing basis.I am delighted that the people within the various sections in Donegal County Council who do support and have supported the arts, the creatives and heritage, were all part of the process and engaged with us. The hope is that now, together with the businesses in the sector, we can make the plan happen.”The Chief Executive Officer of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, told the large gathering in attendance for the launch, that the document presents an opportunity to create something of real value for the county. “What we have here is a confluence of a great set of opportunities. A fabulous wealth of raw talent at local and regional level, very strong abilities in the whole creative industries side and then an infrastructure at state, semi-state and even the private sector as well, that helps people realise the potential from that.This isn’t a strategy where we are starting from a standing stop. We have a lot of work done in terms of understanding where the areas of potential are. I believe we are only skimming the surface. It’s going to be an exciting time ahead.”Eve Anne Cullinan of MCO Projects who facilitated the consultation process, outlined the key elements of the plan before it was formally launched by Minister Joe McHugh.He reassured the audience on the government’s commitment to a massively improved broadband network and stressed the need for continued support for – not just newer creative industries like videography and gaming, but also the traditional creative industries as well.Meanwhile Donegal’s Mayor, John Campbell, insisted that the plan demonstrated the common sense of purpose the council shares as a public body. “I think we will play a key role in encouraging creative entrepreneurship and providing the right platforms. It does a great job of identifying and hopefully now providing the right supports to those involved in the creative sector.”EndsCaptionPictured at the launch of the Donegal Creative Strategy at the Regional Cultural centre, Letterkenny on Monday were from left: Ursula Donnelly, Donegal Local Enterprise Office; Michael Heaney, Donegal County Council; Minister Joe McHugh who officially launched the plan; Seamus Neely, CEO of Donegal County Council; Eve-Anne Cullinan, MCO Projects and Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal Local Enterprise Office. NEW PLAN POINTS TO EXCITING TIMES FOR DONEGAL’S CREATIVE SECTOR was last modified: May 19th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Conor McGregor to take Celtic job? Reaction to Deila decision

first_img Here’s the reaction from fans after Ronny Deila announced he will leave Celtic 1 It’s welcome news for most Celtic fans.Yes, Ronny Deila is stepping down from his role as manager at the end of the season.Deila had been under mounting pressure and the final straw for supporters seemed to be the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers, who triumphed 5-4 on penalties.LISTEN: MARK WARBURTON EXPRESSES SYMPATHY FOR RONNY DEILAA number of names have been linked with replacing him including Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes, while Dubliner Conor McGregor also has some time on his hands as someone pointed out.Here, talkSPORT looks at some of the reaction to Deila’s decision, with some Celtic fans venting their anger at the club’s board.last_img read more

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Juventus confident of agreeing deal for Chelsea and Man City target

first_img1 Juventus are confident of pipping Chelsea and Manchester City to the signing of Monaco star Bernardo Silva.The attacking midfielder is one of the hottest prospects in world football and was named in the Team of the Tournament at last summer’s European Under-21 Championship.The 21-year-old has gone on to be capped at senior level for Portugal, while his performances for Monaco have also caught the eye.Chelsea and Manchester City have both scouted Silva and they are ready to make offers this summer.But, according to Tuttosport, Juventus are confident they will beat the Premier League giants to the Portuguese’s signature.The Serie A champions made an initial enquiry in January and believe their preliminary talks with Silva will display their long-term interest. Bernardo Silva in action for Monaco last_img read more

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Deila explains the problems Scottish football faces as he looks for new ideas

first_img Ronny Deila has been explaining what he will use his spare time for 1 Celtic manager Ronny Deila will rethink his football philosophies now he has some spare time and says he will be taking inspiration from Europe’s top teams.The Norwegian is preparing to return to his homeland after two roller-coaster years in Scotland following his decision to leave Parkhead.Deila bows out after Sunday’s final Premiership clash against Motherwell but, before he waves goodbye, he will get his hands on a second top flight trophy as the Hoops celebrate five titles in a row.However, Deila acknowledges he should have added more to the Celtic Park trophy cabinet than two league triumphs and last year’s League Cup success.The 40-year-old found the pace of life in Scotland unrelenting but, now he is heading for an extended break, he revealed his time will be put to good use.“First I’m going to have a vacation,” he said. “Then if I haven’t start working [as a manager] I will work in television. That is very easy.“Maybe I will do some speeches for some companies and I will go around and [have a look at other clubs]. I have a lot of contacts now, so I will go and watch and talk with the best ones.“I will try to develop myself and try to get new ideas.“It is hard to get new ideas here in Scotland and I think it is a problem for Scottish football.“There are so many games and it just goes on all the time. You don’t have time to go and watch what is going on around you. You don’t have time to go outside of Scotland and see what is happening elsewhere.“That is an important thing to do if you want to get new ideas on how to approach the game.”As he turns his thoughts to his next challenge, though, Delia insists he will have no issue kick-starting his coaching career in less intense surroundings than Glasgow.Asked if he would find it a struggle moving onto a smaller club, he replied: “No, because I’m not a trophy hunter. I like to win things of course but I love to work with people, to develop them.“If I coach an under-14 team, a third division team, if I coach Celtic or Barcelona it all feels the same.“Of course the challenge is much bigger here and the result pressure, the media and the supporters make it unbelievably tough but what is happening on the pitch is the same and that’s why I do it, because I love teaching.”last_img read more

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To stay or to go?

first_img The Trojans would likely have three juniors drafted before Sheppard was taken 26th overall, Bush, White and Justice. Bing could go anywhere from late in the first round to early in the third. Smith is considered a possible third-round pick. “It’s a tug of war,” said agent Jerome Stanley, a USC graduate who represents former Trojan star Keyshawn Johnson. “Every kid in the last 30 days has thought at one point he was leaving. And at one point, he has had a counter thought. Even Reggie Bush at some point, even for a moment, thought ‘What if I come back?’ ” For each player, the decision whether to stay or go is a personal one. Different weight is given to many of the same considerations: money, academics, health, position, family circumstances and career goals. A year ago, quarterback Matt Leinart, prompted in part by a need for elbow surgery, returned. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who hoped to support his family, surprised just as many people by leaving. “You look at other guys at your position group and how you stack yourself,” said defensive end Lawrence Jackson, a third-year sophomore who briefly considered leaving. “Why go out if you have guys like Tamba Hali (Penn State) or Elvis Dumervil (Louisville)? They proved themselves over the course of time. You have to be real with yourself.” “LenDale and Reggie started and played for three years. If you can’t get a good evaluation off that, you never will.” While the NFL provides a preliminary assessment of any underclassman’s draft stock who requests it, players must declare their intentions more than three months before the late-April draft. In that span, players will work out for scouts at the NFL Combine or their school, and will also have interviews with teams interested in drafting them, all things that can impact where they’re drafted. “Right now it’s halftime,” said agent Jamal Tooson, who used to represent former USC defensive end Kenechi Udeze, a projected No. 9 pick who fell to 20th when doctors discovered a shoulder injury at the NFL Combine. “Once a player declares, they look at every game a guy has played and they start to factor in injuries, some of which they may not find out about until the combine.” The difference in money for high draft picks can be immense. Braylon Edwards, chosen third overall by Cleveland, received $20 million in guaranteed money. Mike Williams, the former USC receiver chosen 10th by Detroit, got a deal that guaranteed him $10 million. Carroll uses Udeze and Williams as examples when he talks to his team, saying they would have benefited by returning to school, but Williams disagrees. “The fact remains the same with me whether I came out or not,” he said. “Braylon Edwards still ran faster. Troy Williamson (a receiver chosen seventh by Minnesota) would still run faster than me. “Nobody really knows what will happen in the draft. Coach Carroll is not a GM. Nobody knows how it will play out until the commissioner calls your name.” Returning to school is not without its drawbacks, either. From an economic point of view, how much does a player need to improve his stock to earn back the money he didn’t earn by staying in school? Also, by going back to school the player is one year further removed from free agency. Then there is the risk of injury. Chicago Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye was projected as a borderline first-round pick at Indiana in 2000, but chose to return for his senior season. Midway through it, he blew out a knee and went undrafted. “If I had it to do over again, I’d have left,” said Ogunleye, who became a Pro Bowl player and earned a new contract. “But I can’t complain. It made me understand very early that this is a business. One minute you’re on top and then nobody cares about you.” And at USC right now, it is very much about business. Considering that Bush and Leinart are likely to be among the top few picks, and that USC could have as many as five players chosen in the first round, there was somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 million in signing bonuses alone running around the practice fields at USC. The total value of the contracts could triple that. If the standard cut for an agent is three percent, then that’s at least several million dollars in commissions to be had. This led to competition that one veteran agent described as “out of control.” Said another agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: “Most agents are ethical, but there’s a lot that aren’t ethical. Since there’s so much money out there to get, some people have crossed the line to get it.” Neither agent would elaborate and said they knew of no instances where players were given money or anything would violate NCAA rules. However, that was one concern this fall when administrators banned agents from practice. Another was that so many of USC’s best players are underclassmen. The more that return, the better the Trojans’ prospects next season. “There’s no reason they should be able to (attend practice),” Carroll said. “They are not necessary at this stage. They’ll do everything they can to make kids think otherwise. We’ll give (players) everything they could possibly need. We’ll do it without asking for fees. Our perspective is much clearer. We’re acting in their best interests.” Some players and many agents believe Carroll is acting out of self-interest when he says players can earn more money by returning for their senior season, as he did with Leinart. “Does Coach Carroll say he’s wrong if Matt isn’t the No. 1 pick now?” said Williams, who was forced to sit out last season when a court ruling allowing him to enter the NFL after his sophomore season was reversed. “For every pro, there’s a con. When I came out I was a kid making a decision. I had a million reasons that were right and a million that were wrong.” Carroll recently brought in two former NFL personnel directors, Pat Kirwan and Joe Mendes, to counsel USC players on the draft. Kirwan, a close friend of Carroll’s who speaks to the Trojans on the subject each year, met individually with Bush, Justice and Bing. However, privately some players questioned the reliability of the advice. Kirwan received a commission worth at least $120,000 from agent David Dunn for steering Carson Palmer to him three years ago. Kirwan has said he no longer has such agreements with agents. In the end, the players say they will take all the advice into consideration and then follow their hearts as much as their heads. “The best thing for me and my family are the two things I took into consideration,” said Justice, who has not chosen an agent. “I don’t know about LenDale or Darnell’s situation. We’re all different. If it’s right for me, that’s all that matters.” Billy Witz, (818) 713-3621 billy.witz@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Yet the toughest part of leaving has been telling USC coach Pete Carroll, who is leaning heavily on Justice to stay. It is a conversation Justice has put off for two days now. “Pete Carroll has been a super coach and a mentor to my son,” said Gary Justice, Winston’s father. “Pete has been the kind of coach that when he recommends something, it’s hard to turn down.” Carroll has been relying heavily on his power of persuasion in recent days, hoping to convince a talented group of underclassmen to return next season. The deadline to apply for the NFL draft is Sunday. While nobody expects Reggie Bush to come back and fellow running back LenDale White on Tuesday chose an agent, four other underclassmen have seriously considered leaving early, Justice, safety Darnell Bing, receiver Steve Smith and guard Fred Matua. Only one school has had as many as four underclassmen drafted, Florida in 2002, when cornerback Lito Sheppard was drafted in the first round and tackle Mike Pearson and receivers Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney were chosen in the second. But it has not been an easy decision. If Justice were to return, the athletic department’s formidable publicity machine would push him for the Outland Trophy, and if he works his way into a top-5 pick next year he could expect to more than double his signing bonus. center_img At first glance, it would seem to be an easy decision for Winston Justice. If the USC offensive tackle gives up his senior season to enter the NFL, he’ll probably be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round, where he could reasonably expect a signing bonus upwards of $7 million. There are other incentives, too. Justice would relish the chance to test himself against professionals, he’d be happy to leave school at the same time as several friends and he has the blessing of his parents, who originally had pushed him to finish his degree. last_img read more

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