Djourou keen on Hamburg switch

first_imgSwitzerland defender Johan Djourou would be open to a permanent move from Arsenal to Hamburg in the summer. “I know the coach, I love the club, I love the city. HSV (Hamburg) is incredible,” Djourou said in German newspaper Bild. “The club has so much potential. We have to go way up. “The fans are great. The mood is different than in England. If all goes well and the club also want to, I would stay.” The 27-year-old first moved to the Bundesliga side on loan in January 2013, with the deal extended for this season. Djourou, who came through the Arsenal youth system, would be keen to stay on. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Welbeck sits out Arsenal trip

first_imgEngland forward Danny Welbeck will not travel with Arsenal to the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore as he continues to recover from the ankle problem which ruled him out of the end of last season, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed. The Chile forward enjoyed a stand-out first campaign in English football following his move from Barcelona after the World Cup, but there remains concerns over player burnout. Before the Copa America, Wenger indicated t he 26-year-old could well be eased back into action this season following his exploits in Santiago, so just like with Arsenal’s World Cup winning Germans, Sanchez may not be involved in the first few domestic matches. However, the Gunners boss revealed no sooner had the Chile forward chipped in the decisive spot-kick with a Panenka penalty, then his attentions turned back to club matters and ambitions for 2015-16. “He has shown again that he is scared of nothing. He took the ball and chipped the keeper. It was quite audacious, but I was of course over the moon to see him bring the trophy to a country that has waited for such a long time,” Wenger said to Arsenal Player. “It is an historic achievement and when you’re a football player, you want to do that, so I’m very happy for him.” The Arsenal manager added: “I texted him [after the final] and he texted me back. He was already focused on next season with Arsenal and wants to win everything with us. He was thrilled and very happy.” Wenger sai d on the club’s official website, “Welbeck isn’t completely recovered from the problem he had. He is not back in full training, so he will stay behind.” Speaking last month, Welbeck indicated there was no serious issue, just needing more time to recover. He said: ”It was worse than we first thought it was, but it is just a natural healing period and usually I heal faster than others.” Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky, who along with captain Mikel Arteta has signed a contract extension, is also not part of the squad for Singapore because of what Wenger describes as a small injury picked up on international duty. Goalkeeper David Ospina, linked with a move away from the club following Cech’s arrival, has been given extra holiday following the Copa America, as has key man Alexis Sanchez, whose penalty in the shoot-out won the final for hosts Chile. While the likes of Calum Chambers, who has cut short his time off after the European Under-21s Championships, Chuba Akpom and 18-year-old American Gedion Zelalem will all hope to get some game time on the Asia tour, Carl Jenkinson, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell were not included in the group and appear likely to be sent out on loan for next season. Arsenal play a Singapore XI on July 15, then are scheduled to face either Everton or Stoke. The Gunners return to England to host the Emirates Cup on July 25/26 ahead of the FA Community Shield against Chelsea at Wembley on August 2 and will open the new Barclays Premier League campaign with a televised home game against West Ham on Sunday, August 9. Sanchez is not expected back from holiday until August 3, so would not normally be involved in the Community Shield. Press Association The Gunners will take a 27-man squad to the Far East in the first leg of their pre-season preparations, with summer signing Petr Cech joining up with his new team-mates for the first time since a £10million switch from Chelsea. Welbeck, though, is to remain in London as he looks to shake off the knee problem which kept him out of the final few weeks of the season, missing both the FA Cup final win over Aston Villa and England’s June internationals. last_img read more

Miscues, poor execution cost Syracuse in Big East home finale

first_imgJustin Pugh felt he personally let his teammates down. Ryan Nassib said there was a direct correlation between his play and Syracuse’s. Doug Marrone claimed SU’s 23-6 loss to Connecticut was his fault. They all put the blame on themselves in a loss that resulted from startling mistakes from the Orange on offense, defense and even special teams. But in a game where each unit slipped up at the most inopportune times, Antwon Bailey summed up how the entire team attributed the loss. ‘It was us,’ Bailey said. Us, as in the Orange’s three units all making simple, costly errors. Marrone has preached the importance of the ‘little things’ this season, and that is exactly where SU failed in its loss to UConn. From fumbles at the doorstep of the Husky endzone, to costly defensive penalties to an immaculate interception, Syracuse didn’t do the ‘little things’ Saturday in the Carrier Dome. It was a loss where, without the mounting errors of every unit, the game would have been much closer.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text It all wouldn’t have piled on. ‘Dropped passes, missed blocks, missed hot reads,’ Pugh said, ‘just all of these things adding up.’ The pent-up frustration began with the first quirky mistake. It came because of a Nassib pass at the knee of SU tight end Nick Provo. With the Orange trailing 7-3 at the 2:30 mark of the second quarter, the errant pass deflected off Provo’s knee into the waiting hands of Reyes. Instead of continuing a half-ending drive to tie or take the lead, the deflection led to another Husky field goal. But more so, it led to the brewing frustration. Case in point: At the end of the half, Pugh jawed with several UConn players after Nassib was sacked. The trash-talking occurred while Marrone sprinted onto the field. The coach did so to catch up with SU left tackle Michael Hay and ream him out for the missed block that led to the sack. After letting off the fumes, Marrone kneeled over with his hands on his knees, staring at the turf for 10 seconds, before jetting for the locker room. Meanwhile, Pugh exchanged the words that, after the game, he said were all for naught. ‘It’s an emotional game, so I kind of got caught up in it,’ Pugh said. ‘I guess they can talk now, because we didn’t come out and do much.’ Marrone chalked up the performance not to emotion, but execution. He refused to call the loss the most frustrating game of the year. The fact that SU didn’t score a touchdown despite having three more first downs than UConn didn’t matter. The only reason for the frustration was because it was another loss. Everybody felt it. ‘I think there is a level of frustration in all of us,’ Marrone said. ‘What you do with that level of frustration, if it becomes overwhelming, then you can have some issues.’ In the second half, those issues reached new lows on select plays. The quirkiness continued as Reyes forced a Nassib fumble which was recovered by the Huskies at the SU four-yard line. With UConn up 10-6 at the 1:31 mark of the third quarter, the game was in the balance. It then rested on a crew that hadn’t failed all day: the defense. Doug Hogue and the unit then trotted onto the field to try to make a big stop again. From the sidelines, SU linebackers coach Dan Conley flexed his biceps in order to send in the signal for the goal line defense. But it wasn’t about brawn on this day for Syracuse. Rather, a lack of brains at times. SU defensive tackle Jay Bromley was whistled for an offsides — one of nine SU penalties — that put the ball on the two. A play later, Jordan Todman was in the endzone. From there, it unraveled further. The reliable punter who gave SU its biggest offensive play of the game (thanks to a 36-yard SU gain when UConn’s Nick Williams fumbled on a punt return) soon failed too. Rob Long shanked a 14-yard punt. The specialists were in on the little mistakes as well. And the ‘we’, not the ‘I’, had to take the brunt of the blame. Said Pugh: ‘That’s not how we should be playing football.’ [email protected] Published on November 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more