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GUARDIAN – André Villas-Boas: Tottenham’s Daniel Levy broke promises over new players

• Portuguese claims Franco Baldini is set to leave Spurs• ‘I had talks with Liverpool. Returning to England is not in my plans’Andr Villas-Boas has accused Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy of not keeping his promises over signing new players during the Portuguese’s tenure at White Hart Lane.A year to the day since he left Tottenham, the former Chelsea manager has spoken for the first time in detail about the circumstances surrounding his departure but admitted “it was an experience I needed to have”. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend | Nick Miller

What team will Brendan Rodgers put out, Newcastle are in flux, Arsenal’s mental block and is this the end for Alan Irvine?There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that this section won’t be another thing about Steven Gerrard’s place in the Liverpool team. The bad news is that, well, it will be a little bit about Steven Gerrard’s place in the Liverpool team. Even with a squad laden with not insignificant injury problems, Rodgers has shown a willingness to rotate his players depending on the more pressing needs of the team – or at least what he perceives to be the more pressing needs of the team. He of course dropped/rested half his side for the Champions League trip to Real Madrid with more winnable domestic encounters in mind, so one wonders if he will do the reverse for the visit of Sunderland this weekend. Important as the three league points are, next week’s visit of Basel surely trumps it. Liverpool need to beat the Swiss side on Tuesday to progress to the knockout stages, and having just played four games in nine days, it would surely make sense for Rodgers to give some of his key men a breather. And yes, that does include Gerrard (sorry), if only because the rest last weekend seemed to do the trick, helping the captain to a goal and decent performance against Leicester. If that theory extends to the whole side, Rodgers and Liverpool will be laughing.• Liverpool defend rise in corporate seats in new stand• Liverpool players desperate for Gerrard to stay• Cattermole uses his head to make England case• Andy Hunter: Who will finish in the top four?• Mourinho: Drogba is remarkable• Dominic Fifield: Chelsea can cope without Costa• Barney Ronay: Southampton look comfortable in own skin• Rooney fit for United’s trip to Southampton• Ten talking points from the midweek action• Everton miss chances while Aluk profits for Hull• Pearson row should not become a pantomime• Benteke: my goal can revive Villa’s season• Tomkins rises high to give West Ham comeback win• Swansea’s late goals deny QPR a first away point• Alexis is a ‘breath of fresh air’ at Arsenal• Emiliano Martinez to fight for Arsenal No1 spot• Stoke chairman Coates fined 5,000 for referee comments• QPR file accounts before likely FFP penalty• Boyd goal helps Burnley out of bottom three• Tottenham pitch invaders charged after Partizan stunt• Freidel: claims I tried to hurt Howard’s career are ‘crap’• Manchester City turnover reaches 347m• David Squires on: fit and proper football club owners Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Champions League: who will finish behind Chelsea and Manchester City? | Andy Hunter

With Chelsea and the champions set for top two slots in the Premier League, nine clubs are chasing the other two Champions League places• Match report: Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea• Match report: Southampton 0-3 Manchester CityThose expecting an end to Southampton’s remarkable response to the summer exodus from the club, and a repeat of last season’s decline once a daunting run of fixtures arrived, should not feel too smug just yet. Sunday’s comprehensive defeat by Manchester City followed the loss of the influential Morgan Schneiderlin at half-time and Ronald Koeman’s team still have the best defensive record in the Premier League. They remain a team with genuine European prospects. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Football transfer rumours: Fabian Schär to Arsenal?

Today’s rumours don’t kick off at 8.05pmSomehow, somewhere, the Mill has learned that Arsenal may be in need of, among other things, a new centre-back. Despite regularly shipping six goals in games against their top-four rivals last season, Arsne Wenger spent the summer watching Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker getting knackered at the World Cup and then decided that the best course of action was to sell their bench-warming/injured deputy/captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona for 15m so he could get the feel of the Nou Camp’s more expensively upholstered dugout.Then with a seemingly endless 23 days to sign a replacement, the ever-frugal Frenchman decided that, no – bringing in 19-year-old right-back Calum Chambers would do quite nicely thank you, don’t question my authority on this one, we have mental strength and great quality, and have you heard this all before over the last 18 years? Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Are you an average fan? Find out with YouGov’s Premier League profiles

YouGov polled 200,000 people to find that Liverpool fans think they are funny, QPR supporters enjoy chess and Stoke City fans like Ann Summers. Do these character traits feel familiar?Arsenal fans follow Piers Morgan on Twitter, can be feckless and are “willing to sacrifice free time to get ahead with their careers”. Fun. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Five English players on 40-man shortlist for Golden Boy award

Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw both contenders for title Calum Chambers, John Stones and Eric Dier also on listFive English players are on the 40-strong shortlist to be crowned as Europes best young player.While Gareth Bale was the only British player to make Fifas 23-man shortlist for the Ballon dOr award this week, the nominations for this years prestigious Golden Boy award, which was first established by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport, features Liverpools Raheem Sterling, Calum Chambers of Arsenal, Luke Shaw of Manchester United, Evertons John Stones and Eric Dier of Tottenham. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Football transfer rumours: Ignazio Abate or Joel Ward to Liverpool?

Todays rumours cant wait for the next instalmentWhen the Mill was being trained up for its noble profession learning the ropes, making the tea, answering its superiors politely it was told, in the faintest of whispers, of a higher calling. Football is of no consequence, it rasped. Just 11 men kicking a ball around, you know. No satisfaction in it for you. No money. Understand all this and you, my boy, will be ok. Youll get the rewards in time. Well make a Mario Balotelli Journalist of you yet.And we can touch it now, taste it, almost feel it and if it wasnt for Ignazio Abate getting in the way wed be lathering ourselves in milk and honey already. The Milan right-back is making a spirited landgrab for those Liverpool transfer headlines, the Mirror suggesting that he could be brought in as a possible replacement for Glen Johnson. And if not he, then perhaps Crystal Palaces Joel Ward. This is a all mere bump in the road, not career suicide. Besides we all know who else used to play for Milan, dont we? Continue reading…

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