The managerial changes at the three clubs most football and betting fans expect to be challenging for the league next season – the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea – are both expected and unexpected.
After all Mancini was always going to struggle to survive City’s horrendous season, while whoever is Chelsea manager is always going to struggle to survive any kind of season, but few would have put bets on Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down when he did.
The subsequent appointment of David Moyes, and return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, only complicates next season’s Premier League further from a betting point of view, but the bookmakers still have United listed as odds-on favourites next season – although at many sports betting sites the odds for them and City are very close. Read more »
Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United striker Michael Owen recently announced that he would be retiring from professional football at the end of this season. This has led to a heap of praise from the England midfielder, David Beckham. Beckham has praised his international teammate by saying that he is a true legend. Owen retires from the game after having played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, while also coming close to beating the all-time goalscoring records for the England national team. Besides from playing at the national level, Beckham and Owen played along with each other at Real Madrid for one season.
Owen broke through the scene at Liverpool when he was just a teenager. His extraordinary speed and skills earned him several accolades during the early part of his career. He was even named as the FIFA Ballon d’Or award winner back in 2004. However, his career has been plagued by injuries for the last few years. The 33-year-old signed for the Premier league club Stoke City on a free transfer in the summer hoping to play regular football, but he has once again spent majority of the season on the sidelines. As a result, he has chosen to retire when his playing at the highest level of football.
“I am not going to retire yet but obviously Michael has had an amazing career. He is a legend in our country for the things he has done on the field. I wish him luck. He has obviously become a friend of mine over the years. He has got an amazing family and an amazing wife and children. He has had a great career and scored amazing goals, not just for England but for the teams he has played for,” said Beckham, who ruled out his retirement now.
Despite struggling to finish in the top four this season, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out the possibility of bringing in any high profile players in the final few days of the January transfer window. Wenger has always been a man reluctant to spend in January. He even recently proposed a two player cap on the number of signings that the club could make in the January transfer window. Arsenal will be playing against Brighton and Hove Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup during the weekend. The FA Cup represents one of the realistic ways to bring an end to the trophy drought for the club.
Wenger’s squad has been decimated this season by several injuries to key players like Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby. Yet, they have been able to maintain a challenge for the top four positions. The recent 2-1 defeat in the hands of Chelsea, though, has come as a major blow to the club in hopes of retaining the record of consecutive Champions League group stage appearances. Wenger has said that he will never stop from strengthening the squad, but he feels that it is not possible to bring in magic signings like David Villa from Barcelona.
“If we perform at full potential we cannot expect any miracle from outside, we want to make things happen inside. If someone else can strengthen our squad, we will do it of course, but we have the resources inside to do well. We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind. But if we find the top-class players in any position, we never refuse to strengthen our squad,” said Wenger ahead of the weekend’s match. The Russian winger Andrei Arshavin remains as one of the high profile January buys for Arsenal.
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that the club will not be bringing in the former striker Thierry Henry in a loan spell like last season. The striker returned for a second spell at the club last season on loan deal from the MLS club New York Red Bulls that lasted about two months. His presence was extremely influential on the team after it helped them finish in the third position ahead of Tottenham. There have been suggestions that the club will be trying to bring the striker, who has been training with them, for a third spell.
The Frenchman is the record goal scorer at the club and is regarded as a legend by many fans. He also has a statue unveiled in front of the Emirates stadium, which shows the level of importance he has been given by the club. Yet, he will not be coming back to the club in the third spell according to Wenger, who has promised that there will be other signings. The 35-year-old is at the twilight of his career, but he has been training with Arsenal in order to keep up his fitness during the MLS off-season. The former Barcelona man has been a huge success at his MLS team.
“I will be active, yes. Will I be concrete? I hope so. We are looking everywhere, we are open-minded. We want to strengthen the squad if possible if we find the right players. I think he goes away somewhere. He is not ready, he has just come back from holiday anyway. At the moment we are not on that case,” said Arsene Wenger after the match with Southampton. Despite playing a relegation threatened team, Arsenal were unable to assert their dominance in the match and could only come away with a 1-1 draw.