Manchester City Attempt To Recall Joe Hart From Birmingham City
Manchester City’s lack of a proven goalkeeper is putting their Champion’s League hopes in serious doubt. City approached the Premier League yesterday to request special permission to execute an emergency loan deal to bring in a keeper for the final two weeks of the season. First-choice keeper Shay Given went down with a dislocated shoulder in City’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday. Stuart Taylor is still out injured and back-up Joe Hart is on loan with Birmingham City until the end of the season. This leaves Faroe Island International Gunnar Nielson as City’s last option. Nielson, the first Faroe Island player to take the field in the EPL, had not played before last Saturday and the lack of experience is cause for great concern from Roberto Mancini.
The BBC is reporting that Manchester City has approached Birmingham City about returning Hart for the last two matches of the season. Birmingham City has no obligation to return Hart and even if Birmingham agrees to the move it must be ratified by Premier League board. Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool refuse to rule out an opposition to the move if Birmingham agrees to the return. But Birmingham is unlikely to cut the loan deal short and Hart doesn’t believe he will be returning.
“As far as I know, that’s the way it is – I will be staying here,” said Hart, in a statement to the BBC. “I really enjoy what I’m doing with the boys at Birmingham and in training and just try to repay their efforts with my performances.”
City have approached Sunderland in an effort to sign Marton Fulop on an emergency loan deal. Fulop, who has appeared in 14 games this season, has fallen to third in the depth chart for Steve Bruce and gave up seven goals to Chelsea in his last appearance. Fulop says it would be an “enormous honor” to play at Eastlands until the end of the season. City is still waiting on approval from the Premier League to sign another keeper but the motion is widely expected to pass.
Solano Arrested On Suspiscion Of Rape
English police have arrested Peruvian International Nolberto Solano on suspicion of rape early Monday morning. Solano, 35, has appeared for Newcastle and currently plays for Championship side Leicester. The name of the accuser has not been released but police say she’s a 22-year-old woman from Newcastle. Solano has been released on bail and no comment has been made from the midfielder or his legal team.
Capello To Allow WAG’s At World Cup
England Manager Fabio Capello is set to do a 180 and allow England players to bring along their wives and girlfriends to the finals in South Africa. Capello had previously stated that he would not allow players to bring along their significant others because it would provide a distraction to the team but recent behavior by the England players suggests the watchful eye of the WAG’s might benefit the Three Lions.
“The spirit of the group is really important,” Capello was quoted as saying in the Independent. “With [Marcello] Lippi we talked about Italy when they won last time, when the players had free days the players and their families stayed together.” Lippi famously had cookouts with his players and their families and the sense of community the Italian skipper promoted helped the Azzuri put the scandal raging at home behind them to win the World Cup despite being far from pre-tournament favorites. England came under fire in 2006 because Errikson allowed players vast amounts of leniency and freedom. Capello’s greatest challenge for 2010 is to unite an English side that has still not gotten over the John Terry fiasco of last winter.
“Leadership is vital, you can’t buy it. You need to have it to be successful. The players will follow a strong leader, you need to be able to convince the players of your methods and ideas at all times and you can only do this by being a good leader,” said Capello.
Sullivan Refuses To Assure Zola Of Employment
West Ham United has all but survived a relegation scare and will be playing the EPL next season but it is not clear whether Gianfranco Zola will stay on as manager. West Ham co-owner David Gold has offered support to the embattled skipper. “I would hope Franco stays,” Gold said yesterday. “He has been through hell and back. It has been a very difficult season for him.”
But Zola’s future has been thrown back into doubt as West Ham’s other co-owner, David Sullivan, “Franco has indicated he doesn’t want to discuss his position until the end of the season, and that’s fine by us, said Sullivan. “We shall ask him what he has in mind, we will see what he wants to do.” Zola has been in constant clashes with administation this season and was fortunate to avoid relegation.