Tag Archives: Marseille

Joey Barton Talks In Hilarious French Accent During Post-Match Press Conference (Video)

Speaking after making his Ligue 1 debut for Marseille in the 1-0 win over Lille on Sunday, QPR’s Joey Barton addresses the post-match press conferenceusing a hilarious french accent. 

The former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder’s interview is similar to Steve McClaren’s infamours Dutch news conference when he was the manager of Eredivisie side FC Twente in 2008. Barton later defended his accent on his twitter account, after receiving criticism from his followers. He wrote:

Tottenham Hotspur’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

Tottenham Hotspur had a very indifferent season last term. They started the season in fine form and around December they looked like serious title contenders but since January their form dipped and they ended the season in 4th place.

This summer, there have been changes at White Hart Lane with Harry Redknapp being sacked for failing to secure a place in the Champions League and replaced by the former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas. Spurs have already completed the signings of the impressive midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, the young Zeki Fryers and the strong defender Jan Vertonghen, but the former Porto boss expected to add some more new names to his squad with the goalkeeper, midfield and striker positions needing strengthening. Here are Tottenham’s potential transfer targets for the summer..

HUGO LLORIS – LYON (GOALKEEPER)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that the club are ready to listen to offers for the France skipper Hugo Lloris, who is valued around €20m. With Brad Friedel in his early 40s, Lloris would be a great signing for Spurs and would be a great long-term option. If reports are to be believed, Tottenham have already made a bid for the French stopper but they are expected to face some tough competition from a host of European clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool and AC Milan.

KASPER SCHMEICHEL – LEICESTER CITY (GOALKEEPER)

Spurs have had a close eye on the Denmark international since the end of last season. Peter Schmeichel, the son of the great Manchester United legend Peter, has had good season with Leicester City in the nPower Championship. With Friedel in his 40s, Cudicini not way behind him at 38 years and Gomes expected to leave, Spurs will surely do with a young reserve keeper in their squad. The 26-year-old has attracted interest from many English clubs but a move to White Hart Lane may be too hard to resist.

OSCAR – INTERNACIONAL (MIDFIELDER)

The young Internacional playmaker is said to be high on Tottenham shopping list this summer as they search for a replacement for Luka Modric, who is reportedly on his way to Real Madrid. Oscar has been very impressive for Brazilian giants and is also a regular part of Brazil national team. The 20-year-old, who is rated around £25m, has attracted interest from many top European clubs including Chelsea. According to the reports, Spurs and Chelsea have both launched a bid for the Brazilian and the Blues are said to be favourites to sign him.

JOAO MOUTINHO – FC PORTO (MIDFIELDER)

Moutinho has attracted a lot of interest from the Premier League this summer after some putting in some impressive displays for Portugal at the Euros. The £25m rated midfielder has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane since arrival of Villas-Boas as both of them worked together at Porto. With Modric expected to leave for Real Madrid, Moutinho is a perfect replacement for the Croatian but Spurs will have to battle with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to bring the Portuguese to White Hart Lane.

ALAN DZAGOEV – CSKA MOSCOW (MIDFIELDER)

The 22-year-old had an outstanding UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland/Ukraine and was the join top goalscorer with three goals. The Russian international, who can play anywhere behind the striker, is valued at £13m by CSKA but with just six-months left on his contract,  the Russians may be forced to accept a lower asking price or lose him for nothing. With Modric destined to leave this summer, Dzagoev could be cheaper option to replace the Croatian.

MILOS KRASIC – JUVENTUS (MIDFIELDER)

The Serbian winger, who caught everyone’s attention with his performances for CSKA Moscow in the Champions League couple of season, is not needed anymore at Juventus. Krasic was subjected to a lot of interest in January but a move away from Turin never materialized. Spurs are reportedly to be still interested in the 28-year-old, who has also interested the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea as they look to solve their wide problems. Rated at around £10m, Krasic would be a real bargain  in comparison to other players of similar ability.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – CHELSEA (STRIKER)

The Chelsea striker is said to be unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. With Emmanuel Adebayor with his parent club Manchester City and Louis Saha released, Villas-Boas has just one striker in his senior squad in the form of Jermain Defoe. With Defoe out of favour and past his peak, the former Chelsea boss might try to sign the 22-year-old pacey forward – who can also play on the wings – but will face some tough competition for his signature from Arsenal and Liverpool, who have also expressed their interest in him.

LEANDRO DAMIAO – INTERNACIONAL (STRIKER)

Oscar is not the only Internacional player linked with Tottenham this summer, star striker Leandro Damiao is said to be also one of Spurs’ top transfer target. With the arrival of Diego Forlan at the club and Internacional needing to cut down their high wage bill, Damiao is expected to leave Brazil for Europe sooner than later. With Spurs needing to buy some new strikers this summer, the 22-year-old would be a great addition to squad but they will need to act fast and agree a deal before the Olympics, as his price may sour up if he has a good tournament in London.

DEMBA BA – NEWCASTLE UNITED (STRIKER)

With Tottenham in need of some serious striking reinforcements, the Newcastle United forward – Demba Ba is another name linked to Tottenham this summer. The Senegal international had a fantastic start to last season and went on to score 16 goals in 36 matches in total. With the 27-year-old available for just £7m till the end of July, due to a clause in his contract, Spurs are expected to face some stiff competition from a host of Premier League clubs including the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.

GIUSEPPE ROSSI – VILLARREAL (STRIKER)

The former Manchester United forward is a player who has been on Tottenham wish-list for many years now. With Adebayor back with Manchester City and too expensive to buy on a permanent deal, Rossi could be a good solution to the problem up front. The Italian has been in good goal scoring form since joining Villarreal in 2008 and could be available for as less as £15m since the Spanish club are relegated and are struggling with debts.

LOIC REMY – MARSEILLE (STRIKER)

Remy was one of the top transfer targets of Tottenham when Harry Redknapp was in charge of the club. The France international has expressed his desire to play for the White Hart Lane club despite the lack of Champions League football. The 26-year-old who is rated around £20m and has scored 14 goals for Marseille this past season, would be a very good addition to squad but it look like the new boss – Andre Villas-Boas doesn’t seem interested in him.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR – MANCHESTER CITY (STRIKER)

Adebayor spent the last season on loan at White Hart Lane, where he scored 17 goals in 33 Premier League matches. City are looking to reduce their wage bill because of the new Financial Fair Play Rules and the Togo international is most likely to be sold. According to the papers in UK, Spurs are very close to signing the former Arsenal forward on a permanent basis and the fee is reported to be in the region of £6m. If the reports are true then Adebayor will be a great signing for the club, keeping in mind his success last season.

5 Issues AVB Must Solve At White Hart Lane

Andre Villas-Boas has been appointed as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, just seven weeks after Harry Redknapp guided them to fourth place in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old’s appointment will create some concern at White Hart Lane following his disastrous tenure at west London rivals Chelsea last season where he was fired after just 27 league games in charge. The former Porto manager failed to convince the fans, the players or the owner that he was the right man to deliver them success. In order to avoid a repeat of the same fate with Spurs, here are five issues he must deal with at White Hart Lane..

1. Win Over The Dressing Room And The Supporters

At no stage during his spell at Chelsea did Villas-Boas got the full support of the dressing room. The former Porto manager’s age counted against him. He was 33 when he took over at Stamford Bridge, younger than senior players such as Frank Lampard and barely older than the captain John Terry. With no playing career and only a few years’ coaching experience, he lacked the dignity of older managers and when results didn’t go their way, the protesting voices grew. In the end, Abramovich directly blamed these critics within the squad for the premature end to the Villas-Boas’ tenure. But after a number of humiliating defeats, including the 3-1 defeat against Napoli that left them on the brink of exiting the Champions League, the fans had run out of patience as well.

At Spurs, Villas-Boas must create an immediate bond with his squad. This should be easier than at Chelsea with fewer big egos in the dressing room and he has the advantage of a full pre-season to shape his plans. A strong start in the league will banish the disappointment of Spurs missing out on Champions League qualification and help win over the fans, who would probably have wanted a more experienced manager.

2. Sort Out Luka Modric’s Future

An immediate priority will be to sort out the future of Luka Modric, who is reportedly wanted by Real Madrid and also is a long-term target of Manchester United. The Croatia playmaker, who was an integral part of Tottenham’s success under former manager Harry Redknapp, was promised a new deal last summer after rejected Chelsea’s approach, but he has yet to commit his future to the club. He has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football again and even though he was not at his best last season, he is still one of the most gifted midfielders in the Premier League.

With Modric not inspired by the prospect of playing yet another season in the Europa League, Villas-Boas must waste no time in persuading the most influencial players in his squad to have faith in his plans. If he still wants to leave, then Spurs should let him leave and cash in on him. A fee of £30m-£40m for the former Dinamo Zagreb playmaker who turns 27 soon, would be great business.

3. Strengthen The Defence

To compete for the Premier League or for a place in the Champions League next season, Villas-Boas needs to ensure his team have a very strong defence. That means going to the transfer market. The first priority will be to finalise a deal with Ajax for their skipper Jan Vertonghen. Negotiations for the Belgian international have dragged on all summer and a stage has come that he is already back in pre-season training with the Dutch club. But with most of the hard work completed, Villas-Boas should be able to quickly seal the deal.

Doubts remains over the future of Ledley King. He has become a hero in the eyes of many Tottenham fans after 14 years of loyal service to the club. But the question is how often will he feature in the forthcoming new season. His well-publicised chronic knee problems caught up with him towards the end of last season which may force him into retirement, where he is expected to be offered a coaching role. Such is his influence, if King breaks down again, it will leave a massive hole in the back line – despite the impressive form of Younes Kaboul and the return of Michael Dawson from injury. Vedran Corluka has already departed White Hart Lane this summer, joining Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow for £6m, but the need for defensive acquisitions is less urgent than bringing in new faces up front.

4. Bloster The Strikeforce

Following the departure of Louis Saha this summer and Emmanuel Adebayour’s return to his parent club Manchester City, Spurs have only one recognised striker in their squad – Jermain Defoe. The former Portsmouth forward scored 17 club goals last season – despite spending much time on the bench – but didn’t feature in England’s UEFA EURO 2012 campaign beyoung a 15 minute cameo against France.

Therefore, Villas-Boas will have to immediately dip into the transfer market to buy at least two strikers and his cause will be helped by the transfer budget expected to be given to him by Daniel Levy. Adebayor was a hit last season scoring 18 goals in 37 games but his wages, reported to be around £175,000 a week, have been an obvious stumbling block. If Tottenham can reach some sort of agreement with the former Arsenal man then they should. If that is not possible then another hitman must be pursued. Villas-Boas reportedly has his sights on the 22-year-old Chelsea frontman Daniel Sturridge, with a £10m bid being lined up but Roberto Di Matteo is keen to hang on to the player. Hulk would also be a perfect fit but he appears to be on his way to Chelsea. Brazil striker Leandro Damiao and Marseille’s Loic Remy are possible alternatives.

5. Get Rid Of The Deadwood

Although Andre Villas-Boas will want a big squad that will help him challenge for silverwares on all fronts, there are plenty players increasing the wage bill who could leave. Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen have already left, but there are still plenty of others who could be discarded. Giovani Dos Santos, Heurelho Gomes, Sebastien Bassong, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and a couple of more reserves players were all out of the first-team picture under Harry Redknapp. Clearing them off the wage bill would free up plenty of money for new signings.

Champions League Quarter-Finals 2nd Leg Predictions

The 2011-12 Champions League is nearing its final stages as the remaining eight teams contest the second legs of their quarter-final ties. Into The Top Corner predicts what may happen in the matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Barcelona v Milan @ Nou Camp

Milan may have well held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw last week, but doing the same again at Camp Nou will take a monumental effort. Milan have enough of a forward threat in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho to cause Barca the odd problem, but there is also a reason for the Italians to be fearful at the back. The likes of Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini will have to deliver once-in-a-lifetime performance for the second time in a week if Milan are to withstand the inevitable pressure from the home side. Expect the Serie A champions to score a goal and be in the match till the last 10 mins of the game but in the end Barca will win the game easily. I also predict Messi to score two goals today.

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Milan

Bayern Munich v Marseille @ Allianz Arena

Marseille put up a very good effort at home last week, but conceded two huge away goals. They visit the Allianz Arena with an impossible task, as Bayern have conceded two goals only once this season and never lost by more than one goal at home. Marseille will need to attack from the start if they have to get anything out the game and that will play in the hands of the German giants, who have an outstanding record in their own backyard. The hosts must not get complacent, but at the same time it will be a miracle if the Bavarians fail to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-0 Marseille

Chelsea v Benfica @ Stamford Bridge

In the first leg at the Estadio da Luz, Chelsea were not the better side at all but they did enough to get an away goal as the Portuguese missed the experience of Ezequiel Garay. For the return leg, Benfica have some more injury problem at the back, with Jardel, Luisao and Miguel Vitor all doubtful for the game in London. Jorge Jesus is expected to start with Rodrigo alongside Oscar Cardozo to add more pace to the attack, which could see Benfica hit Chelsea and score a goal on the counter, but the defensive problems will be exploited by the Blues and they will win the game. I also predict Fernando Torres – who created Kalou’s goal in the first leg – to be on the scoresheet.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Benfica

Real Madrid v APOEL @ Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid claimed an easy 3-0 win in the first leg away in Cyprus last week and APOEL were unable to muster a shot on target in that match. At the Bernabeu, Jose Mourinho’s men are likely to have things even more their own way. Expect the Portuguese tactician to make some changes to his side with key La Liga matches against Valencia and Atletico Madrid ahead but Real Madrid have the quality and the depth in their squad to win the game easily. I also predict Cristiano Ronaldo to continue his hot goal-scoring form of this season by scoring yet another hat-trick.

Prediction: Real Madrid 6-0 APOEL

Guide To The Champions League Quarter-Finals

The Champions League action is back tonight with some mouth watering quarter-final clashes between top teams. Here is Into The Top Corner’s guide to the Champions League quarter-finals.

APOEL v Real Madrid

Regardless of who wins, the Cypriot minnows are the Champions League Team of the Year after reaching this stage for the first time in their history.  An Apoel win would be the biggest upset in European football but it will be one fairytale too far.

Player to Watch

APOEL – Dionisios Chiotis was the hero with two spot-kick saves against Lyon in the last round.

Real Madrid – Cristiano Ronaldo is in stunning form. Jose Mourinho has surely got the best out of him.

Managers

APOEL –  Ivan Jovanovic completely deserves the praise he is getting. He should enjoy his Bernabeu trip.

Real Madrid – Jose Mourinho could win the Champions League with a third club — after Porto and Inter Milan.

Prediction: Real Madrid to win.

 

Benfica v Chelsea

This is no easy tie for Chelsea. But they are the favourites to make it through. Benfica played a huge part in eliminating Manchester United out in the group stages and can’t be underestimated. But Chelsea’s win over Napoli in the 2nd Leg showed they can reach the last four.

Player to Watch 

BenficaOscar Cardoza is Benfica’s top scorer and expect him to cause the Chelsea backline some problems.

Chelsea – John Terry proved how important he is to Chelsea during his side’s win over Napoli at Stamford Bridge.

Managers

Benfica – Jorge Jesus has been impressive as he has worked his way up the Portuguese leagues after starting in the fourth division.

Chelsea – Roberto Di Matteo has enjoyed a great start after replacing Andre Villas-Boas and the players look like they are with him.

Prediction: Chelsea to win

 

Marseille v Bayern Munchen

Marseille showed what they are all about after knocking Inter Milan out in the previous round. But Bayern’s 7-0 second-leg win over Basel showed their intent to reach the final on their home patch. The Germans will be too strong to handle for the French.

Player to Watch 

Marseille – Loic Remy will lead the attack. There have already been comparisons to Thierry Henry.

Bayern Munchen – Arjen Robben showed what a player he is when he played against England for Holland at the Wembley and also has been Bayern’s start player this season alongside Mario Gomez.

Managers

Marseille – Didier Deschamps lifted the World Cup as a player but has built a fine reputation as a manager.

Bayern Munchen – Jupp Heynckes was a top striker and won the Champions League with Real Madrid as a coach in 1998.

Prediction: Bayern Munchen to win

 

A.C. Milan v Barcelona

This has to be the match of the quarter-finals. Milan will need to repeat their first leg heroics against Arsenal if they are to have any hope of getting through.  But that will be a big ask against a Barca side that looks unstoppable at the moment.

Player to Watch

A.C. Milan – Zlatan IBrahimovic can cause anyone problems — as seen in the first leg against Arsenal.

Barcelona – Lionel Messi just gets better and better. He really can win any game on his own.

Managers

A.C. Milan – Massimiliano Allegri, hugely talented and won the Italian Serie A title in his first season in charge.

Barcelona – Pep Guardiola has won 13 titles already. His job will be to keep the players motivated after tasting so much success.

Prediction: Barcelona to win