1 Gary Cahill Gary Cahill believes it was important for Chelsea to express their support for under-fire Jose Mourinho, even if his illustrious CV does speak for itself.Just a matter of months after comfortably securing the Premier League crown, the Blues now sit 16th in the standings after Southampton last weekend inflicted their fourth league defeat of the campaign.It has naturally led pressure to ratchet up on Chelsea’s Portuguese manager – talk the club attempted to extinguish by surprisingly releasing a statement saying Mourinho retained their “full support”.It is a move centre-back Cahill certainly supports, highlighting the success and calibre of the man at the Stamford Bridge helm.“(The statement) is important,” he said. “I think everybody knows the situation we’re in at the moment.“It has been a very, very difficult start. The Southampton game, for me personally, was a real low and I’ve come away here totally determined to make that right when I come back.“That’s the kind of attitude I’ve got towards it all and I am sure my other team-mates are probably feeling the same – pure determination to turn it around and make sure that when we have the good times again, they’re even sweeter because of what we’ve been through. I think that’s important.“I think in terms of backing the manager, of course we all back him, of course we are all around him.“Dare I say, he doesn’t even need backing. When you’ve done so much in the game, got the CV and been through everything that he has been, not just in this league or what he has done for Chelsea but in other leagues.“I don’t even think he needs backing, but obviously it is nice to have that and he has certainly got that from the players and the club.”Before Cahill can help Mourinho and Chelsea get back to winning ways comes the small matter of representing England.Roy Hodgson’s men round off Euro 2016 qualifying with a trip to Lithuania after Estonia visit Wembley on Friday, when the Chelsea defender will lead his country out as captain for the very first time.“Obviously it is an extremely proud moment for me tomorrow, not just for myself but my family,” Cahill said, skippering the side in the absence of Wayne Rooney. “It is one I am looking to enjoy as much as I possibly can.“It is a great honour, a dream come true. Since the boss gave me the vice-captain role I’ve enjoyed that, but waiting and hoping obviously to at some stage lead the team out.“I know I’ve had the armband once or twice when Wayne has come off the pitch, but to lead the team out will be something incredible for myself.“Definitely a career high for me and something I’m really looking forward to.”
Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the first half 1 A French double helped Arsenal rise to top spot in the Premier League after beating ten-man Everton 2-1 at the Emirates on a wet Saturday evening. The Gunners’ lead at the top of table could last less than 24 hours, however, with Manchesters United and City meeting in the derby on Sunday, but it sends out a warning to the club’s title rivals.Everton’s poor form at Arsenal continued – they have not won at Highbury or the Emirates since 1996 – and they were two down in a matter of first-half minutes in a rain-soaked north London.Shortly after the half-hour, Wenger’s side netted a headed double less than 90 seconds apart, first Olivier Giroud and then Laurent Koscielny.But the Toffees were back in the game before the break, with thanks to Ross Barkley’s solo run.Everton had their moments in the second half, while Giroud and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku rattled the crossbar at each end, but Gareth Barry was dismissed in added time to hand Arsenal the simple task of closing out an impressive home win which outlined their title credentials. Arsene Wenger made three changes from the side which beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek. Aaron Ramsey, who is set to be sidelined until the next international break with a hamstring problem, Per Mertesacker and Theo Walcott were replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel and Giroud respectively.Everton made one alteration from the home loss to Manchester United – Gerard Deulofeu coming into the side in place of Steven Naismith. Arsenal had early possession but their first clear-cut chance did not come until the 14th minute, when Giroud beat two markers to flick the ball down for Mesut Ozil on the edge of the box. The German attacker was essentially through on goal with the whole target to aim at, but he pulled a low, right-footed shot to the near post and goalkeeper Tim Howard got a foot to the ball. Everton came close shortly before the half-hour, Aaron Lennon’s cross troubling Petr Cech, who palmed the ball into John Stones in the box, though the 21-year-old could only slice his volley wide.Koscielny was inches from heading home Ozil’s diagonal free-kick, before a similar ball assisted Giroud for the opening goal. Ozil, this time in open play, floated a pinpoint ball into the box and the 6ft 4in striker added to his goal against Munich with a strike against the Toffees, flicking home from six yards. Wenger’s men doubled their lead within 90 seconds, as Santi Cazorla whipped in a well-crafted free-kick from the left-hand side and Koscielny made no mistake, beating Howard to the ball and nodding into the net from close-range.The visitors surprisingly dragged themselves back into the game when Barkley’s strike was helped home by a fortunate deflection. The England international went on a mazy run, stepping over the ball before unleashing from 20 yards, with his shot diverting off Gunners defender Gabriel to off-set Cech and beat the stopper.Howard made good saves early in the second half to first deny Alexis Sanchez and then Olivier Giroud, who had volleyed on target before Seamus Coleman’s excellent tracking saw the Irishman’s last-ditch header prevent Arsenal from making it three.Giroud nearly added to his tally with just over 20 minutes remaining as he controlled the ball 18 yards out, before curling a shot against the crossbar. Teenage left-back Brendan Galloway had the perfect chance to level when James McCarthy sent a superb in-swinging cross to the back-post, but the youngster lacked the composure and technique, instead heading wide. Everton grew in confidence and belief late on, as Lukaku rose above Koscielny to head Gareth Barry’s cross against the upright, which forced Wenger into a change, introducing Mathieu Flamini.Roberto Martinez’s Blues made a late counter and summer signing Cech made a match-winning save to deny Deulofeu, sealing the three points in an efficient Arsenal showing, before Barry was shown a second yellow card in added time.
1 Steve Morrow broke his arm after Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal is live on talkSPORT at 7.45pm on Tuesday 27 October.The 1993 Coca-Cola Cup final is a match better remembered for the celebrations on the pitch, rather than the football.In that year, Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday in the finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup, with Steve Morrow the hero in the latter final, scoring the winning goal at Wembley.When the final whistle sounded, Gunners captain Tony Adams attempted to lift the midfielder on to his shoulders, but dropped him to the turf.Having broken his arm, Morrow was rushed to hospital strapped with an oxygen mask as he left the pitch, while his team-mates went up the Wembley steps to collect the cup.He eventually received his winner’s medal ahead of the FA Cup final a month later, with Wednesday defeated again – this time after a replay – when another another unlikely Arsenal hero, Andy Linighan, scored a last minute winner.PREDICTED ARSENAL LINE UP FOR SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GAME
Chelsea star Eden Hazard 1 Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has denied reports he has advised Eden Hazard to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid.Hazard has endured a frustrating domestic season so far, having failed to hit the net in 17 appearances for the Blues.The 24-year-old was instrumental in Chelsea’s Premier League title win last season but his dip in form this year has led to rumours suggesting he has fallen out with Jose Mourinho.Real, who see Hazard as the natural successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, are interested in signing the playmaker next summer but Wilmots insists he will have no influence on the star’s future.“I do not need to intervene there,” he told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.“Eden is old enough to make his choices.”
1 Liverpool take on Newcastle United Sunday afternoon Liverpool take on Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, hoping to continue where they left off from their League Cup thrashing of Southampton mid-week.Such was their fine attacking display in the 6-1 victory over the Saints, that it seems that supporters cannot wait for kick off at St James’ Park.And many have had their say on who they want to see make Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, with the German’s diamond formation certainly leaving an impression.Have a read below of the players and formation that Liverpool fans want to see against the Magpies.
1 Jurgen Klopp and Tony Pulis Tony Pulis made a sarcastic apology to Liverpool as he hit back at criticism from Jurgen Klopp of West Brom’s style of play.Klopp slammed the visitors’ approach to last weekend’s Premier League clash at Anfield, which ended in a 2-2 draw, accusing them of ‘only playing long balls’.The German, who also refused to shake Pulis’ hand following the game, was branded an ‘idiot’ by West Brom midfielder James McClean earlier this week.And Baggies boss Pulis told reporters on Friday of Klopp’s comments: “It was disappointing, but he’s got his opinions and he can say what he wants.“We apologise. We actually played three longer passes in 99 minutes than what Liverpool played in that game. Sky TV came out with that stat.“So as a football club we apologise to Liverpool for playing three more longer passes than they did. There’s always a bit of spin put on things these days.“But if I had a team that was worth £200million, playing against a team that was worth less than £20million and we never won that game, I’d be doing my best to divert it away from the fact that I had 10 times more value on the pitch than my opposition and couldn’t win.“I’m not annoyed – I’m just stating the facts. Forget all the spin – that’s the facts. That was the value of our team on the pitch.“I don’t know the fella and I don’t want to say anything else. They were the facts.”
1 Gary Neville with brother Phil Gary Neville says he hopes to remain as Valencia boss beyond this season.The former England and Manchester United star is under contract until the summer after signing a short-term deal to replace Nuno in the Mestalla hotseat at the start of December.Neville is still searching for his first win in La Liga after Valencia played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on Sunday.Ahead of the clash with Real, the 40-year-old indicated in a Sky Sports interview that he did not see his long-term future in management.But, speaking after the game, Neville insisted his comments were misconstrued and revealed he is determined to make his mark as a manager in Spain.“I was talking about 15, 20 years’ time,” he said of the interview. “I don’t want to be just a coach for six months. I hope I am here beyond six months but I know have to prove myself.”
1 Pedro in action for Chelsea Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has reportedly turned down the chance to re-sign Pedro from Chelsea.The Spanish winger swapped the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge in the summer but has found it difficult to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.Pedro has only managed three goals in 21 appearances for the Blues this season and has yet to nail down a regular starting role.According to Sport, Pedro is open to the idea of returning to Barcelona but Enrique is more interested in securing the services of either Nolito or Denis Suarez.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain This interview appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app here, and follow on twitter @sportmagukAny new year’s resolutions?“Score more goals.”Who would play you in a film of your life?“Ideally it’d be Denzel [Washington], just ’cause he’s sick. But I think the role is a little beneath him. I think he’s above that.”You can watch only three sports for the rest of your life. What do you choose?“Women’s beach volleyball. Women’s wrestling [laughs]. NFL. See, I love golf – but I can’t really watch it. And I love cricket, but I can’t really watch a Test until the last day.”Football?“Oh, and football! I thought I wasn’t allowed!”You played rugby to quite a high standard at school. But if you could be a pro in any other sport, what would it be?“Golf. Not rugby.”Who’s the best player you’ve faced?“Gareth Bale.”Favourite athlete who’s not a footballer?“Usain Bolt.”What sport puts you to sleep?“Equestrianism. Any of that horse riding stuff.”What’s your favourite travel destination?“Vegas. I haven’t been there yet, but I just know it’s going to be good. The whole idea of America… we went to America with England [before the 2014 World Cup] and it was sick, and we didn’t even do anything. But just being in Miami was cool, so I imagine Vegas and LA are good fun too.”What superpower would you like?“To fly.”What’s your guiltiest pleasure?“Well, it’s not really that guilty anymore… it used to be not cool to like Justin Bieber or One Direction. That’s probably my guilty pleasure. But I don’t really listen to them on my own, it’s more of a group thing. We all sing along.”Who would you take for a drink?“Ariana Grande. She’s taken now, so it’s not gonna happen.”Favourite goal you’ve ever scored?“The one in Brazil – at the Maracana. That was my favourite. Even though it was a friendly, it was still a nice moment.”What’s your dream job?“Singer. Rapper. I would be a rapper and I would just live up life.”What TV show are you currently watching?“Sons of Anarchy. I’m on the series.”What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a fan?“When they ask you for your clothes that you’re actually wearing, like: ‘Can I have your trousers?’ And it’s like: ‘Alright mate – hang on, let me just walk off here in my boxers.’”Does that happen a lot? “Usually it’s just when I’m coming off the pitch or in my tracksuit or something.”What’s your favourite film?“The Shawshank Redemption.”Would you rather have fish finger toes or spaghetti hair?“Hair made of spaghetti because I love spaghetti. [Incredulous] Fish finger toes?” 1
Is Rafa Benitez set for a Premier League return? Danny Murphy has told talkSPORT Newcastle United will have a greater chance of avoiding Premier League relegation with Rafael Benitez in charge than with Steve McClaren.McClaren has come under increasing pressure in the St James’ Park hotseat with the Magpies currently sitting 19th in the table.Reports this week have claimed that the former England manager’s job hangs in the balance following three consecutive defeats, while rumours in Spain claim Ex-Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez could be appointed as his replacement even before their next league outing – away to league leaders Leicester City on Monday.Murphy had a prickly relationship with Benitez, with the Spaniard deciding he was not right for his Liverpool side and the midfielder ultimately left the club he loved since a child.But the Anfield favourite still hails Benitez’s managerial credentials and says he is the ideal man to save Newcastle’s season.Speaking on the Colin Murray show, Murphy said: “I think Newcastle would have a hell of a chance [of avoiding the drop] with Benitez.“Don’t get me wrong, I still am and always will be frustrated at leaving the club I loved. But Rafa was always straight an honest with me, he didn’t mess about, and that’s not a bad trait in anybody.“The time I spent with him, I realised quite quickly that he loves football. He studies the game, he knew everything, everyone, every tactic and every player.“He is on the training pitch, organising and doing the sessions and a lot of what he did in the couple of months I was at Liverpool with him still sticks in my mind, because he knows how to set up a team to win football matches.“He’s very accomplishes with coaching, and of course what Newcastle need right now is to try and stop losing games and conceding goals.“Could he do it? Could he get enough out of those players? I do worry for Newcastle, but Rafa has so much experience and if they get him I think they’d have a better chance of staying up than under Steve McClaren.” 1