Friday, 11 May 2007

A True Gentleman

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he snubbed the opportunity to sign Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano because of uncertainty over the deal that was being offered Manchester United. Ferguson confirmed that, like most leading clubs, United were given the opportunity to buy the pair last summer. But the Scot was not happy at what was being offered. "Tevez was offered to everyone," said Ferguson. "We were offered both him and Mascherano but, if I remember it correctly, we weren’t sure of the deal." It is not clear if his interest in the Tevez still remains but he has obviously been impressed by the striker's recent form. "He is the one who has lifted their game a bit," said Ferguson. “He has scored a couple of really good free-kicks and seems to have a lot of enthusiasm for it." Tevez himself is looking forward to playing against Manchester United. "We go to Old Trafford to play the champions. To play in this stadium is something emotive because it's one of the greatest in history and I've always wanted to be part of that. I've spoken to Veron about the atmosphere and he told me it is sensational. I have so much desire to play there." According to various media reports the mutual admiration extended to a night out at Les Ambassadeurs Club in London this week where Tevez gatecrashed Manchester United’s championship celebrations.

A story in the Express suggests West Ham want to keep Carlos Tevez but it could cost upwards of £30million. Sources close to MSI said: "There are four clubs, plus West Ham, interested in taking Tevez and talks are on-going." Harry Harris claims the news will astound Irons fans while raising fresh questions about who controls the player. He insinuates that this current transfer talk, which the club deny, simply underlines the fears of West Ham’s angry rivals – the Gang of Four – that the player is still under the influence of a third party.

Elsewhere, a statue of England's 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore was unveiled by his widow at the new Wembley Stadium today. Moore, who died of cancer in 1993 aged 51, is fondly remembered for lifting the trophy when England beat West Germany at the former stadium which was demolished to make way for the new 90,000-seater arena that opened this year. Unveiling the statue, Stephanie Moore said: "I am delighted that Bobby's career is being recognised in such an appropriate way and in such a perfect place as Wembley -- he belongs to football and to the fans." Prime Minister Tony Blair, who attended the ceremony along with members of the 1966 team, paid a glowing tribute to Moore, saying: "He was a true gentleman and represented all the very best of our country."

In the Mirror, Sir Trevor Brooking has hailed Alan Curbishley's experience as the key to the West Ham revival which has put Premier League survival "within touching distance". Brooking, who twice took on the role of caretaker manager at the Hammers, touted Curbishley for the England job last year in his role of FA director of football development. And he now reckons the former Charlton boss's steady leadership during a torrid time at his beloved club will continue and see West Ham survive a nervy final weekend at the bottom of the table. "He has shown his experience," said Brooking. "He admitted himself he took longer to realise the depth of some of the problems. But it will be a fantastic achievement if we do manage to squeeze our way out of the bottom three. Because six weeks ago that looked pretty impossible. It is almost within touching distance now."

Looking ahead to the game on Sunday and Alan Curbishley believes the big occasion would not overawe his side after their tribulations of the last few years. "I'm sure those 90 minutes at Old Trafford will be nerve-racking but we're ready for that," Curbishley said on Friday. "The players have had big games. The Cup final last year, playoff finals- I don't think anyone's afraid of a big game. If you look at the players we've got here at the moment, they've all been through it and had enormous pressure to deal with this year but now it's just one more game. I know there's a lot of money at stake, but that's the last thing the players will think about when they go out on the pitch." In addition, Dan Roebuck offers a detailed analysis of the latest relegation odds and there is also a comprehensive statistical overview of the key games in The Telegraph.

Finally, a picture that appears on the front page of the Newham Recorder site...

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