Manchester United FC v SC Braga - UEFA Champions League

Wayne Rooney could make Manchester United return in a few weeks

Leave a comment

The transfer saga which has encapsulated the summer took yet another twist earlier today, as Manchester United boss David Moyes reaffirmed his stance on not selling Wayne Rooney.

And Moyes also stated that Rooney could return to action in a matter of weeks… who believes that?

Manchester United’s manager for starters. Speaking after United suffered another friendly defeat, this time a 3-2 loss to Yokohama in Japan, Moyes expects 27-year-old Rooney to play in Sweden against AIK Fotboll on August 6.

“I do expect Wayne to be in Stockholm. As far as I know he is coming on,” Moyes said. “He has started light jogging and the feedback from the physios is that he is progressing, so hopefully those dates will still be right when we get back.”

It didn’t take long for Moyes to be asked about Chelsea’s bid for Rooney and if the club plans to let the England international leave Old Trafford.

“We have said, and the club have said, he is not for sale. That has not changed.”

So there you have it. Straight from the horses mouth.

(MORE: Chelsea boss Mourinho, “It’s Rooney or bust”)

But other players and managers have been speaking out about the Rooney situation, with Chelsea’s Ashley Cole saying: “For me, if there’s a player who wants to come to Chelsea, it would be one thought in my mind — to come here and to be under a great manager.”

While Mourinho has been coy but cryptic in his latest comments, when asked if he’s playing mind games with David Moyes. “If to say my colleague in United is a great coach, deserves success, deserves time to work, didn’t win trophies at Everton because it’s difficult to win trophies there … if that is playing mind games, what would you say if I speak bad about him?”

And Chelsea’s young striker Romelu Lukaku revealed he would love to play alongside Rooney at Chelsea.

All this mounts more pressure on Moyes and United. The sooner they sort this out, the better.

I’ll leave you with this interesting report. This morning pictures emerged of Rooney playing a round of golf just ten miles from Chelsea’s Cobham training ground. Make of that what you will.

But should a player that is suffering from a hamstring injury really be out on the golf course while he’s recovering? Seems like Rooney just doesn’t care anymore. And if this saga drags on any longer, plenty more people will start to loose interest too.

Or maybe not.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
Leave a comment

Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
1 Comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.