Wellington pulls on Hammers boots
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:16:00
Manchester City striker John Guidetti is looking to join an English club on loan, according to the player's Italian agent.
Guidetti has yet to play for City this season after being sidelined by injury, but was rewarded with a new three-year contract in October.
He impressed on loan at Feyenoord last season and his Italian representative Roberto De Fanti says Guidetti subsequently rejected a loan move to Siena last summer.
A January switch to Serie A has also been ruled out by De Fanti as Guidetti hopes to head out on loan this month in order to play first-team football.
"In the summer, the deal for Guidetti's transfer on loan to Siena was already done, then he talked with David Platt and decided to remain at City," De Fanti told Radio Blu.
"Now he is back after injury and he's looking for a team, but I think his most likely destination will be in England.
"A move to Italy could be possible for next season."
Blackpool are looking for their third manager this season after Michael Appleton left the club on Friday to join Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers on a two-and-a-half year contract.
Appleton had only been in charge at Bloomfield Road since early November after he left Portsmouth to replace Ian Holloway, who was appointed Crystal Palace boss.
Bradford manager Parkinson had emerged as an early contender to succeed Appleton, but Sky Sports sources understand he does not want to discuss the position.
Parkinson has led Bradford to the brink of the Capital One Cup final after the League Two club enjoyed a stunning run through the competition.
After knocking out Wigan Athletic and Arsenal on penalties in previous rounds, the Bantams beat Aston Villa 3-1 at home in the first leg of the semi-final on Tuesday night.
And it appears that Parkinson has no plans to walk away from Valley Parade, with Bradford also pushing for promotion to League One this season in addition to a trip to Wembley.
Last January Tottenham were within touching distance of the Premier League summit, but their north London derby loss at the Emirates Stadium triggered an alarming meltdown which ultimately cost the club a place in the Champions League, and Harry Redknapp his job.
A poor run of just one win in nine matches saw Spurs slip from second to fourth, with Chelsea's victory in the Champions League final in Munich providing the hammer blow for their neighbours' dreams of playing among Europe's elite this term.
Andre Villas-Boas, the man brought in to replace Redknapp last summer, has guided Tottenham to third and while his team are huge outsiders to top the table come May, finishing third or second is a distinct possibility.
But Walker knows the team cannot afford a repeat of last year's collapse if they are to succeed, making fixtures like Saturday's trip to Redknapp's new club, QPR, must-win affairs.
"Last time we faded off in the second half of the season," Walker told Spurs TV Online.
"Things like that happen, it's just football, but this year we have said that we are going to kick on around Christmas and the new year so we can get that third spot
"It's very close up there this season. The two Manchester clubs are a bit away, but then there's us, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and West Brom.
"That makes it exciting. It keeps you on your toes. And going to teams that are struggling like QPR, you know you need to get those three points to keep in contention to make sure you are there at the end of the season."
Before casting doubt on Redknapp's assertion that you had to be a "dope" not to be successful at Chelsea, Villas-Boas warned that QPR may be trickier opponents than they appear on paper.
Five points from safety, QPR look in serious danger of being relegated, but Villas-Boas warned that Redknapp's knowledge of the Spurs squad could give the 65-year-old an advantage over the favourites.
But Walker, who spent six months at QPR on loan two years ago, insists Spurs will not have any problems overcoming the west London club if they play to their potential.
The England right-back said: "You never know what might happen in football, it's a weird sport, but if we play as we have been doing we'll have no trouble."
Villas-Boas got his reward for dragging Spurs up the table today when he was named Premier League manager of the month for December.
QPR have lacked the consistency Villas-Boas has brought to Spurs and the Portuguese thinks that could be a key factor in whether the Rs survive.
"When negative results happen it's very difficult for you to come out of them," the former Chelsea manager said.
"You need a consistency in terms of results and only that will make you jump out of a crisis situation.
"I think Mark Hughes was looking for that stability, which never happened. Harry was looking for that stability too, which took some time, and it arrived maybe when people least expected it with the win against Chelsea and the draw against West Brom.
"Once they get that consistency they will get more confidence.
"As soon as they pick up that momentum I think anything can happen."
Villas-Boas has the rare luxury of an almost full-strength squad to choose from for Saturday's lunchtime game.
William Gallas is at a clinic in France having treatment for his calf injury while long-term absentee Younes Kaboul remains sidelined with a knee injury.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green claims he could use sex discrimination laws to sue UEFA if they try to block the club's moves to join a cross-border league.
Green wants Rangers to quit Scottish football if plans for a new 12-12-18 league set-up are approved.
The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League have agreed in principle to the restructuring plan, which could be implemented as soon as next season.
Such a scenario would keep the Light Blues in Scotland's basement tier, even if they go on to win this season's Irn-Bru Third Division title.
Green believes he has precedent on his side when he claims the club should be granted access to leagues in other countries.
He told TalkSport: "As the structures stand now, there are not many options. But I'm not one for hiding my light behind a bushel.
"People say you can't go into England because you are not allowed cross-borders (leagues).
"Well there is now a cross-border (league). You have a UEFA-sanctioned professional women's league in Belgium and Holland, so we have a precedent there.
"If there was an opportunity to join a cross-border league and that was challenged by UEFA, I would go to Strasbourg and challenge the sexual equality."
Green also claimed that Rangers could apply to join the English Conference set-up before attempting to rise up the leagues.
He insisted he would do so with the blessing of the club's supporters.
"I could join the Conference and I would be in a higher league than I'm in. It doesn't matter to me (which league Rangers are in)," he added.
"I can tell you this, if the only option is to go into England and start at the lowest level, I believe Rangers fans would support that.
"Nobody can question Rangers fans once they see the attendances.
"I got figures through yesterday and it's only Man United, Arsenal and Newcastle (that have) higher average attendances than Rangers."
Green added: "People say you are not allowed in the English league - well let's then kick Cardiff and Swansea out, because they are playing in a different country.
"People are saying Wales is fine but Scotland is not. We cannot have a situation where one of the Union is annexed by the football bodies but Wales can join. It's rubbish."
Meanwhile, Green revealed that European club debts of the 'oldco' Rangers have been paid or settled.
He told RangersTV: "What we have done since we came to Rangers was to act properly and not just for the best interests of Rangers but for football as a whole.
"We have a fiduciary duty and a responsibility to our share-holders and we want to run this club honourably and be fully transparent.
"Coming to agreements with all of the European clubs where we paid all of the debts or reached settlements with them is another example of the commitment 'new' Rangers have made and not turning our back or walking away from oldco's responsibilities.
"So we have put down a marker in that regard and what we want to do now is get UEFA and FIFA onside. I have spoken to both organisations informally and in the next few months we will have some formal conversations."
Two Premier League managers expressed support for Rangers joining English football.
Asked if he would welcome the Light Blues, Everton boss David Moyes said: "Yes I would. I have always thought that both Celtic and Rangers would be great for down here.
"I played for Celtic and I know exactly what it means, and what it would add to the Premier League would be fantastic.
"I'm sorry, because it might upset people in Scotland as it would take two of the best teams out of Scotland.
"But I do think that both the clubs would be great down south.
"I know that if you got both those two clubs down you would certainly need to get bigger stadiums because they would be full with the amount of away supporters who would travel to those games."
On whether such a move would signal the death knell of Scottish football, he added: "It is a bigger discussion than me speaking for two minutes to you just now.
"I don't know - I think Scottish football is actually doing quite well just now.
"There are young players coming through and there are quite a few coming down to England.
"I think the league looks different - Inverness are doing great, Hibs have been having a great season. So there is a lot of good things to talk about in Scottish football.
"I think there is a different look for it because Rangers are out of it right now, so in many ways, possibly, if both the teams were not in it, it would grow again I'm sure, and continue to develop players for Scotland as it has over the years."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he would not be opposed to Rangers moving to England but feels the game north of the border would suffer without the Old Firm.
He said: "Yes (I would welcome them) but you would not want to destroy Scottish football.
"Rangers and Celtic in England would destroy the Scottish game."
Reports in France on Friday morning claimed Adebayor had withdrawn from Togo's squad for the tournament after a row with the country's coaching staff, but it is understood the striker will depart for South Africa as planned following tomorrow's game against QPR.
Adebayor had originally snubbed his country's call amid fears over team security and unpaid bonuses, but reversed his decision earlier this week following a meeting with the country's president.
Tottenham will be without Adebayor for up to five matches, but manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted yesterday that he does not need to enter the transfer market to plug the gap left by the former Arsenal hitman.
The 29-year-old has signed for the Hammers on an initial six-month loan deal but the club have an option to extend that to a three-year contract.
Wellington has been linked with a move to Upton Park for a number of weeks and becomes Sam Allardyce's fourth signing of the January transfer window following the acquisitions of Joe Cole, Sean Maguire and Marouane Chamakh.
Wellington, who can play as a main striker or operate on either wing, will now be competing with Chamakh, Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole for a berth in West Ham's attack.
The Hammers have struggled to find goals from their forwards for much of the season with midfielders Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble leading the scoring charts with nine goals between them.
Allardyce will be hoping Wellington could be the answer to the lack of firepower, with the Brazilian having finished last season as Cruzeiro's top scorer with an impressive 27 goals.
Wellington said he has moved to West Ham to showcase his talents outside his home country and is not worried by the pressure of playing in the Barclays Premier League.
"I think I can do my best here and I am coming to England to prove to everyone that I am one of the best strikers in Brazil and to get better and better," he told West Ham TV.
"I am strong, I am a fighter and I can score with both feet. I run a lot on the pitch and I can play as either as first or second striker.
"The pressure will not be a problem for me because I am used to it from my time in Brazil, where the fans were really addicted to the club. The manager also put pressure on the players too, so it will be the same playing here."
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan labelled the signing of Wellington as a 'wildcard' but is sure he will be a hit at Upton Park.
"I'd like to welcome Wellington Paulista to east London and West Ham United," Sullivan said.
"He is another exciting player to add to our squad and although he may not be that well known on these shores, he comes with an excellent track record in Brazil.
"His arrival is similar to some of the other 'wildcard' players we have signed before like in Demba Ba and Ilan.
"They both made significant contributions and if he can match their efforts he will be an excellent acquisition for West Ham United."