Pellegrini named new manager at West Ham

West Ham have appointed one of the world's "most respected" football coaches in Manuel Pellegrini, according to joint chairman David Sullivan.

Pellegrini, 64, has signed a three-year deal at the London Stadium.

The former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager left his job with Hebei China Fortune over the weekend and succeeds David Moyes.

"Manuel brings a reputation for attacking football and getting the best out of his players," said Sullivan.

"We believe he will attract new talent to the London Stadium as well as improving the current squad.

"Manuel is the first West Ham United manager to have a Premier League title on his CV, and we believe his experience, quality and proven record of taking teams forward quickly will ensure that he is successful here."

Chilean Pellegrini, who had been a priority target from the start of West Ham's search for a new manager, will be joined at London Stadium by assistant Ruben Cousillas.

He replaces former Everton and Manchester United manager Moyes, who was appointed West Ham boss in November 2017 but released at the end of his contract after guiding West Ham to 13th place.

West Ham had explored the possibility of hiring Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, however they quickly concluded it would be hugely difficult for the Spaniard to leave St James' Park.

Pellegrini, who was on a huge contract in China, has agreed to take a pay cut but it is anticipated he will become the highest paid manager in West Ham's history.

Sullivan had previously said he intended to hire someone who had experience at the highest level.

Pellegrini won the 2013-14 Premier League title and two EFL Cups during his three years at Manchester City, in addition to taking the club to the Champions League semi-finals.

West Ham have experienced huge problems during their first two seasons after leaving Upton Park.

They won just seven home Premier League games this season, a campaign which was marred by crowd trouble at London Stadium.

Five fans were banned for life by the club for running on to the pitch during their home fixture with Burnley on 10 March.

Other fans were also banned for life for throwing coins or objects "with intent to injure or harm".

Manuel Pellegrini's Premier League record
Club Season Win % Points per game
Man City 2013-14 71.1% 2.26
Man City 2014-15 63.2% 2.08
Man City 2015-16 50.0% 1.74

Source: BBC NEWS

Unai Emery set to be appointed new Arsenal manager

Arsenal are set to appoint Unai Emery as their new manager.

Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta was strong favourite to succeed the outgoing Arsene Wenger.

But following a thorough recruitment process that involved all candidates being spoken to, Emery emerged as the unanimous choice.

The 46-year-old Spaniard is available after leaving Paris St-Germain where he won one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups in two seasons in charge.

Previously he guided Sevilla to three Europa League triumphs.

Emery's English is not completely fluent but the language barrier is not expected to be a problem.

An announcement and news conference are expected later this week.

The recruitment process was led by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.

Source: BBC NEWS

Santi Cazorla to leave Arsenal this summer at end of contract

Midfielder Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal this summer when his contract ends, the club have announced.

The Spaniard, 33, has made 180 appearance for the Gunners since joining from Malaga in 2012.

But he has not played for the Premier League club since October 2016 because of a serious Achilles tendon injury.

Cazorla has two FA Cup winners' medals from his time with Arsenal and scored in their 3-2 cup final win over Hull at Wembley in 2014.

"I am very sad to be leaving after so many great times," Cazorla said.

"I have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget.

"I am very proud to be part of this club's history."

Cazorla has had surgery on his injury several times and in November 2017 doctors told him he should be "satisfied" to walk again after contracting gangrene in his right ankle.

The central midfielder was forced to have skin removed from his arm and grafted on to his leg after the infection left him with "eight centimetres missing" from his Achilles tendon.

He will reportedly train with Spanish side Villarreal, one of his former clubs, before next season.

Cazorla's last Arsenal match was a 6-0 win over Ludogorets on 19 October 2016, and in total he scored 29 goals for the club.

"Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch," Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said.

"His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years.

"He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare.

"We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club."

Source: BBC NEWS

Willian 'erases' Antonio Conte with cup emojis

Has Chelsea midfielder Willian just given the game away as to how he really feels about his boss Antonio Conte?

The Brazilian shared pictures of the Blues' FA Cup victory on Instagram, but seems to have completely obscured Conte with cup emojis.

There are already rumours of a rift between the player and his Italian manager - and Conte's future at the club remains unclear.

Willian came off the bench in the 91st minute of Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley, which the Blues won 1-0.

The 29-year-old made 36 Premier League appearances this season, 16 as a substitute.

He has since deleted the post, but not before it was screengrabbed and shared on social media.

The original photo shows Conte celebrating with the team and coaching staff...
...but Willian's version had a few emoji add-ons

Source: BBC NEWS

Southampton Reportedly Decline Opportunity to Sign Troubled Schalke Starlet

Schalke 04 star ​Max Meyer is looking for a new club this Summer, but will not be going to relegation candidates Southampton, who have reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign the troubled attacker.

According to the German publication Bild, Meyer's agent Roger Wittmann offered the Saints the attacking midfielder's services, but were turned down by the Premier League club.

Since deciding on not signing a new deal in February, Meyer has seen little first team action. His last appearance for Schalke came on the 15th April in a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund.

The 22-year-old is currently suspended for criticising Heidel, after Meyer accused Schalke of bullying him.

 

FC Schalke 04 v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga

 

Meyer told Bild: “I was never concerned about the money, otherwise I would have accepted the second improved offer.

“That’s why I find it a mess for Clemens Tonnies to say it on TV as if it were all about money. I simply did not want to stay with Schalke and work under Heidel. It’s all about this. Lately, it just feels like bullying to me.

 

FC Schalke 04 v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga

 

“I did not want to come out and talk. I’ve just had enough of always reading something about myself, but neither Heidel nor Tonnies talked to me. Now they can read how the last two years have been for me at Schalke.”

There is little good to come from this story for both Southampton and Meyer. Southampton are not necessarily in need of such a player, while Meyer has no doubt tarnished his reputation through this bizarre story.

Bild have suggested that Southampton may have been put off by the player asking for a signing-on fee of around €10m.

Source: 90min.com

Sir Alex Ferguson remains in intensive care

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson remains in intensive care after having emergency surgery on Saturday for a brain haemorrhage.

A United statement said the procedure "had gone very well" but there is no update on the 76-year-old's condition.

The Scot retired as United manager in May 2013 after winning 38 trophies during 26 years in charge.

He was at Old Trafford last Sunday when he presented Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger with a commemorative trophy.

Ferguson's family have requested privacy as he recovers in Salford Royal Hospital.

"We will keep Sir Alex and his loved ones in our thoughts during this time, and we are united in our wish to see him make a comfortable, speedy recovery," United later said in a tweet.

"He needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery."

The most successful manager in the history of the British game, Ferguson's trophy haul at Old Trafford included 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

Ferguson famously won the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999, the year in which he was knighted.

United's club captain Michael Carrick said he was "devastated" to learn his former manager had needed emergency surgery.

"All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Be strong boss," he posted on Twitter.

Ferguson has been married to wife Cathy since 1966. His son Darren manages Doncaster Rovers but did not not take charge of their League One match against Wigan on Saturday.

Ferguson began his playing career with Scottish club Queen's Park as a 16-year-old striker while working as an apprentice tool-worker at Clyde Shipyards.

His most notable spell as a player came in a two-year stint at Rangers from 1967. He retired as a player in 1974 when he was on Ayr United's books.

He began his managerial career as a 32-year-old at East Stirlingshire before going to St Mirren, where he won his first trophy by taking the Scottish first division title in 1977.

Ferguson moved on to Aberdeen and turned them into a major force in a Scottish top division in which Rangers and Celtic had dominated.

He led them to three Scottish titles, four Scottish FA Cups, one League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 by beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Man Utd trophies
Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004 Uefa Super Cup: 1992
League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010 Inter-Continental Cup: 1999
Champions League: 1999, 2008 Fifa Club World Cup: 2008
Cup Winners Cup: 1991

Ferguson managed Scotland in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico following the death of Jock Stein, although he was unable to take his country past the group stage.

He became Manchester United manager later that year.

United celebrated their first Premier League triumph under Ferguson in 1993, the club's first league title for 26 years.

Willie Miller, who served as Aberdeen captain under Ferguson, said he was "staggered" to hear the news.

"My thoughts are with the boss, Cathy and the boys. Hoping the great man does what he does best and wins this challenge," he added.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce said: "I hope he's in good hands and I hope the operation is a major success. As a personal friend, I hope he has a full recovery."

'Keep fighting boss' - reaction from the football world

Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham: Keep fighting boss. Sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family.

Mike Phelan, who was Ferguson's assistant for five years: You've won more than most and if anyone can, you can boss.

United defender Ashley Young: Gutted to hear the news tonight about Sir Alex. Don't really know what else to say other than thoughts and prayers with you and your family, boss.

Former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar: Devastated about the news about Sir Alex and knowing all too well about the situation ourselves. Stay strong and hope together with everyone you recover.

United defender Chris Smalling: Gutted to hear the news about Sir Alex. Stay strong boss. Thoughts are with you and your family.

Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker: Very sorry to hear the news that Sir Alex Ferguson is seriously ill in hospital. Wish him all the very best.

Aberdeen FC: The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with Aberdeen Football Club are with our former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his family following tonight's news.

Liverpool FC: A great rival but also a great friend who supported this club during its most difficult time, it is hoped that Sir Alex will make a full recovery.

Manchester City: Everyone at Manchester City wishes Sir Alex Ferguson a full and speedy recovery after his surgery.

World football governing body Fifa: We join many across the world of football in sending our best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson.

What is a brain haemorrhage?
A type of stroke caused by bleeding in and around the brain.
It results from the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm - a ballooning in an artery wall, causing it to thin and become weak.
There are usually no warning signs, but it can sometimes happen during physical effort or straining.
Symptoms include a sudden and very severe headache, being sick, seizures and loss of consciousness.
It accounts for 5% of all strokes in the UK.

Source: BBC NEWS

Burnley end 51-year wait for European football

Burnley secured a return to European football for the first time in 51 years as Everton could only draw with Southampton on Saturday.

The Clarets - who have two games left - will finish at least seventh in the Premier League, which would earn a place in the Europa League play-offs.

They could still earn a spot in the group stage, but they would first need to avoid defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.

They are three points behind the Gunners, who have a game in hand.

"It's official! The Clarets are back in Europe," said Burnley. "We're all going on a European tour."

Everton's draw with Southampton at Goodison Park means they are unable to match Burnley's points total.

In their first season back in the Premier League, Burnley finished 16th last season.

The seventh-placed finisher in the Premier League earns a place in the second of four qualifying rounds for the Europa League, with the first leg scheduled to be played on 26 July.

Source: BBC NEWS

What happened in the Premier League on Saturday?

Southampton slipped deeper into relegation trouble as Crystal Palace and Huddersfield won to move away from the bottom three in the Premier League.

Olivier Giroud scored twice as Chelsea came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and leave Saints five points from safety.

Tom Ince scored a 91st-minute winner to help Huddersfield beat Watford 1-0.

Wilfried Zaha netted twice as Palace beat Brighton 3-2, with all five goals scored in the opening 34 minutes, while Swansea drew 1-1 at home to Everton.

Southampton, who started the day three points from safety, were on track to give Mark Hughes his first league win since being appointed.

But substitute Giroud's introduction sparked Chelsea into life at St Mary's and the reigning Premier League champions moved within to seven points of fourth-placed Tottenham.

Huddersfield jumped to 14th, seven points clear of 18th-placed Southampton, while Palace are six points from danger in 16th.

Jordan Ayew's second-half goal earned Swansea a point against Everton at the Liberty Stadium, but they dropped to 17th, five points above Saints.

First-half strikes from Chris Wood and Kevin Long gave Burnley a 2-1 win over Leicester at Turf Moor to strengthen their grip on seventh place and their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

Seventh will be enough to qualify for Europe unless Southampton win the FA Cup.

The Clarets are only two points behind sixth-placed Arsenal, who face Newcastle at 13:30 BST on Sunday.

In Saturday's late kick-offs, third-placed Liverpool host Bournemouth at 17:30), while Manchester City can move closer to winning the Premier League as they travel to Tottenham at 19:45.

In the Championship, Cardiff beat Norwich 2-0 to move a point behind second-placed Fulham in the race for automatic promotion, with a game in hand. Fulham host Brentford at 17:30.

Sunderland missed the chance to register a much-needed win in their quest to avoid relegation as they were held to a draw by fellow strugglers Reading.

Source: BBC NEWS

Conte praises 'fire in our eyes' after Chelsea comeback stuns Southampton

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his team showed "the right fire in our eyes" as they mounted a remarkable comeback from 2-0 down to win at Southampton.

The victory - thanks to three goals in eight second-half minutes - kept alive their faint hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Dusan Tadic's opener, a placed effort following Ryan Bertrand's marauding run, and Polish defender Jan Bednarek's left-footed shot looked to be lifting Saints out of the bottom three.

But, with Mark Hughes seemingly on course for a first league victory as Southampton manager since arriving on 14 March, the entrance of substitute Olivier Giroud, who scored twice, sparked a listless Chelsea into life.

The France forward's header - his first league goal for Antonio Conte's team - and left-footed drive sandwiched Eden Hazard's left-foot finish as the Blues moved within seven points of fourth-placed Tottenham.

"I was very angry from our first half," Conte said. "In the second half we showed great character, great determination and desire to win the game. We showed the right fire in our eyes."

For an hour, Chelsea's performance epitomised their travails since the turn of the year, with the defending champions having collected just 12 points from the previous 33 available.

Willian's 55th-minute shot was their first effort on target, and there were question marks over the application of several players in the build-up to both Saints goals.

One of those players - wing-back Marcos Alonso who crossed for Giroud's header - was also fortunate to escape without punishment for standing on the back of Southampton forward Shane Long's calf in the first half.

The incident left the Southampton manager furious and calling for the Football Association to take retrospective action, which could potentially rule Alonso out of next Sunday's FA Cup semi-final rematch between the clubs.

"It was a poor challenge, it should have been a red card in my view," Hughes said.

"I don't think he was booked, so maybe people need to look at that again, retrospectively. Thankfully he's just about OK, but he's been raked down the calf.

"We're not here to accuse people, and no sour grapes, but a decision needs to be made on that because it's not acceptable."

Southampton remain 18th as they try to avoid slipping into the Championship for the first time since 2011-12.

No respite for Southampton or Hughes

After being sacked by Stoke, Hughes is facing the ignominious prospect of playing a part in the relegation of two clubs this season.

The upturn in results the Saints board hoped for when the Welshman was brought in to replace Mauricio Pellegrino just over a month ago has not materialised.

While an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea is on the horizon, Hughes has presided over three successive league defeats, with three goals conceded in each match.

Following an abject 3-0 defeat at West Ham, there were encouraging signs in a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal last Sunday, and more of the same against Chelsea.

Southampton controlled proceedings for about 70 minutes, but their biggest problem is turning performances into points.

"Some of our guys are up for what we've got ahead of ourselves," Hughes said.

"I'm learning about the group more and more each training session and match. We're still conceding goals and they're just slips in concentration."

One victory in 20 league matches - against bottom club West Brom - does not bode well for the Saints though, who could be six points adrift of safety later.

Jan Bednarek celebrates after putting Southampton 2-0 ahead.

Conte changes the flow

Much of Chelsea's display typified the problems that have undermined their defence of the title and have been exacerbated by speculation over the future of Conte.

The Italian has not helped himself at times, allowing himself to become embroiled in a public spat with Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho and at times cutting a desolate figure on the touchline.

There was again an absence of emotion and touchline theatrics that marked first season at Stamford Bridge, but Conte did turn this contest on its head with the introduction of Giroud and Pedro.

"In the first half we didn't play well but not just that, they put more into the tempo than us," Conte said.

"The most important thing is to show in every game the right passion and to fight until the end. We need to finish this season in the best possible way.

"I don't know why the desire wasn't there but the coach is the first person to have the fault. It doesn't matter that we won the game 3-2, it was important to see the right reaction and fight in the eyes of my players."

Southampton 2-3 Chelsea: Second-half spirit please Antonio Conte

Chelsea had lacked conviction in front of goal until Giroud replaced Alvaro Morata, while Davide Zappacosta had a largely forgettable afternoon before being withdrawn for Pedro.

The former Torino man was caught out of position for Tadic's opening goal and had just 11 touches in Southampton territory during the first period.

By contrast Ryan Bertrand created the opening goal for Saints and appeared to be almost permanently stationed in the Chelsea half, having 23 touches.

Giroud, though, made the difference - scoring twice from his two efforts on goal.

Man of the match - Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)

Olivier Giroud's introduction sparked a Chelsea fightback, scoring his first league goals for the club

'Super-sub Giroud' - the stats

What's next?

Both clubs play again before facing each other in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on 22 April (15:00 BST). Southampton travel to Leicester City on Thursday, 19 April (19:45 BST kick-off), while Chelsea visit Turf Moor to play Burnley on the same evening (19:45 BST kick-off).

Source: BBC NEWS

Pardew leaves West Brom after four months as manager

West Bromwich Albion have parted company with manager Alan Pardew after eight successive league defeats.

The 56-year-old was appointed on 29 November after the Baggies sacked Tony Pulis following a run of 10 Premier League games without a victory.

A 2-1 home defeat by Burnley on Saturday left bottom club Albion 10 points from safety with six games left.

Coach Darren Moore has taken over the first-team and is likely to stay in charge for the rest of the season.

Pardew has become the 10th permanent manager in the Premier League to leave his post this season, which is a joint record along with the 2013-14 campaign.

The Baggies' statement read: "West Bromwich Albion and Alan Pardew have agreed to mutually part company following discussions between both parties.

"Assistant head coach John Carver will also be leaving.

"The club would like to thank Alan and John for their efforts and wish them well in their future endeavours."

Pardew, a former team-mate of West Brom technical director Nick Hammond, was the club's sixth manager since 2011.

West Brom won just once in 18 league games under him, taking only eight points from a possible 54.

They are in their eighth successive Premier League season but have taken only 20 points from their 32 matches this campaign.

Pardew's previous job in the Premier League was with Crystal Palace, who sacked him in December 2016 with the club 17th in the table.

Pardew's Premier League stats

Pardew 'furious' over Barcelona incident

Pardew's departure comes six weeks after the club sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman and four of his players were accused of stealing a taxi during a training camp in Barcelona.

The players - Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill - were questioned but not arrested by police, and look to have avoided legal action because of a lack of evidence.

West Brom have had to 'repair' after incident in Barcelona - Pardew

Pardew, who has also managed Reading, West Ham, Charlton, Southampton and Newcastle in an 18-year managerial career, has lost two FA Cup finals as a manager.

He was named League Managers' Association Manager of the Year in 2012 after Newcastle finished fifth in the Premier League.

However, he has also been involved in various controversies during his career.

While West Ham boss in 2006, Pardew was involved in a confrontation with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and in January 2014 he swore at Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini while at Newcastle.

Two months after that, he was fined £100,000 and given a formal warning for headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler.

'Guardiola would be sacked with this record'

Adrian Chiles, BBC Radio 5 live presenter and West Brom fan

If you'd told me we'd be at this stage looking at our third manager of the season after just three wins I'd have said that was far-fetched.

But it had to happen. You just can't lose as many consecutive games. If we'd had Pep Guardiola in and he'd lost that many games, we'd have had to get rid of him - that's just the way it is.

I don't think anyone could accuse the board of being a quick-firing operation, I just think if anything it's too late.

I'm sure Pardew's had enough, poor man, along with his assistant, and maybe the club have identified someone that can come in now and have a look at the squad before next season, have them over the summer and do something in the Championship.

Darren Moore is a club legend and he'll have a lot of goodwill behind him. He can't get any worse. I must say with Pardew I can't celebrate him going because I found him to be a decent bloke and we looked to be improving when he took over.

Nothing seemed to go right, the gods of football were against us. I don't know who could've come in and changed things around after Tony Pulis left.

Source: BBC NEWS