Mesut Özil seems to have accepted his days at Arsenal are numbered, having made just a paltry two appearances for the club in all competitions this season. With his manager Unai Emery reported to be unimpressed with the playmaker’s attitude in training, a January move elsewhere looks increasingly likely even if his current employers are forced to heavily subsidise his £350,000 weekly stipend. Turkish newspaper Takvim, which your polyglot Rumour Mill has delivered daily, report that Fenerbahce have opened talks with Arsenal about a loan deal and say the “dream move can come true in January”. Not for the first time in recent months Manchester City are mulling over the possibility of trying to sign Nathan Aké, having identified the central defender as the man to help plug the conspicuous Aymeric Laporte-shaped hole in their beleaguered defence. Speculation linking Aké with City during the summer ultimately came to naught, but knowing how desperate … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Mesut Özil to leave Arsenal for Fenerbahce?
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The evolution of violent football hooliganism has been recorded in a book which pins the firework-buying informal Brazilian football associations as its beginning and ultra-violent organised criminals at its conclusion. Ultras, published by Carpet Bombing Culture, attempts to tell the detailed story of the journey from football hooliganism to organised criminal activity. The book considers the start of Ultra culture in Brazil's Torcidas, which are informal football fan clubs. Started in the 1930s, fans would co-operate to buy fireworks, cloth for large flags, and other things to be used during the matches to show their support. Though their origins are innocent, the Torcidas developed into hotbeds of hooliganism, leaving the police no option but to disband them. The socio-economic downturn in the United Kingdom during the 1970s and 1980s made a fertile breeding ground for hooliganism and then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, even set up a war … [Read more...] about Inside the violent world of football’s Ultras: How firework-loving Brazilian fans sparked the ‘English disease’ of hooliganism before European die-hards took it to an even more vicious level
Stunned Leicester City fans have gathered at the club's ground after its owner's helicopter crashed and exploded outside the stadium.Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter when it came down at about 20:30 BST on Saturday, a source close to the family has told the BBC.Witnesses said they saw it just clear the stadium before it spiralled out of control and crashed in a fireball.The BBC understands two crew members and three passengers were on board.Leicester had drawn 1-1 against West Ham United at the King Power Stadium, with the match finishing about one hour before the helicopter took off from the pitch.Under Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's ownership, the club won the Premier League in 2016, having started the season as 5,000/1 outsiders.Season ticket-holder Richard Jackson, 53, from Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, travelled to the stadium to join with other fans."I'm just devastated really, it is such a tragedy you don't expect to happen," he said."These owners have been absolutely … [Read more...] about Leicester City owner ‘on board crashed helicopter’
“I recently stumbled upon this article about Tony Hibbert signing for an unbeaten Sunday league team in 2017 and missing a penalty for them in a 1-0 defeat on his debut. Which other former professionals have extended their careers into Sunday league football after retiring,” asks George Jones. The smell of liniment oil and the thrill of almost being cut in two by a hungover centre-back would appear to be quite the draw for ex-pros as there have been a few turning out for Sunday teams over the years. “I remember Julio Arca, formerly of Sunderland and Middlesborough, playing for his local team Willow Pond FC in Sunderland for a period after he retired in 2013,” writes Robert Kelly. “He later played for South Shields at a higher standard.” Ali Tabari can go one better. He has a former Premier League player being managed by a former Premier League player in the pock-marked fields of Warwickshire. “My friend until recently played for a team near … [Read more...] about Which former pros have played Sunday league football after retiring?
“With Leon Clarke making his Premier League debut at the age of 34 for Sheffield United against Liverpool, who is the oldest debutant in a top division?” tweets Joe Turner. We’ve unearthed a golden oldie who can beat the ageing Blade by two years. Now-retired Brighton defender Bruno captained the Seagulls to promotion and then made his first appearance in the English top flight at 36 and only two months shy of his 37th birthday. But Tom Aldous points us in the direction of Graham Alexander who, at the ripe age of 37, made his Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009. Italy has always been an accommodating place for footballers who have got a fair few miles on the clock, so it is little surprise that a 39-year-old made his bow in Serie A in 2016. Goalkeeper Maurizio Pugliesi turned out for Empoli against Torino in the last game of the season and ended up on the winning team too, the home side victorious 2-1. Sticking with goalkeepers, the one and only John Burridge was … [Read more...] about Who is the oldest footballer to make their debut in a top-flight division?