Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Alex Song the latest Cameroon star to retire from international football; Youth movement is on

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Cameroon had one of the worst tournaments of any team at the World Cup, and life isn’t getting any easier for the Indomitable Lions.

After threatening to not go to the tournament in Brazil, Cameroon had to deal with the fact that they not only got beaten soundly at the World Cup, they were accused of match-fixing.

Samuel Eto’o and Pierre Webo had already retired from international competition before today’s news from West Ham United midfielder Alex Song via Instagram (at bottom). He’s retiring as well.

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The 27-year-old Song’s absence will make the Cameroon team look even more bizarre at the Africa Cup of Nations this month. Longtime goalkeeper Charles Itandje also won’t be there. Neither will Jean Makoun nor Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

It’s a youth movement for Volker Finke’s side, captained by Sevilla’s Stephane Mbia, 28. The vice captains are 25 and 22 (Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Schalke and Vincent Aboubaker of Porto).

Benoit Assou-Ekotto suspended for comments on Anelka quenelle gesture

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Tottenham Hotspor and Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been suspended for three matches over his congratulatory Tweet to Nicolas Anelka after the striker punctuated a goal with his now infamous “quenelle” celebration.

Assou-Ekotto, the big-haired player on loan to QPR last season, took to social media to high-five Anelka after the then-West Brom player controversially used a French comedian’s incendiary anti-Semitic salute after scoring a goal.

source:

 

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From the BBC:

The striker claimed it was a show of support to his friend, the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, but the FA ruled that the gesture was “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper”.

Assou-Ekotto used Twitter to congratulate Anelka on his use of the gesture, which its proponents claim is merely anti-establishment.

The defender previously denied wrongdoing and said he was “disappointed” to face disciplinary action over his message.

Perhaps the investigation took a bit too long, but it seems many athletes did not understand the depths of their joke usage. For Assou-Ekotto’s sake, you’d have to hope a pretty decent investigation was made into the matter. In any event, hate getting punished — ignorant or blatant — is alright by me.

In or out? – Premier League teams submit squad lists

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On Wednesday all 20 Premier League teams had to submit their final 25-man squads for the new season.

Following the transfer window slamming shut on Monday, teams have had to reshuffle their players and abide by the homegrown player rule which states that if you select a 25-man squad, at least eight players must be homegrown.

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Some teams have struggled with that, including Chelsea who had named just 20 players in their squad as they only have three homegrown players. However, every PL team can also include their U-21 players in a separate list and can call on those throughout the season if need be. Both Liverpool and Manchester City have registered 59 players under the age of 21.

Notable inclusions to squads include Fabio Borini for Liverpool, who looked as if he was heading out of Anfield on loan all summer. While Benoit Assou-Ekotto has not been included in Spurs’ squad despite Mauricio Pochettino only naming 23 players. Manchester United have included Anderson and Marouane Fellaini in their squad despite both facing uncertain futures, while Stoke City left out Peter Odemwingie following his injury.

These lists can be altered again in January after the next transfer window closes, but for now, this is what they have.

Bonus: Check out the list published on the PL’s official website for some of the craziest middle names you’ve ever seen. We’re looking at you Jack Frank Porteous Cork…

Full squad lists for Premier League teams

Arsenal – Mikel Arteta, Joel Campbell, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Debuchy, Abou Diaby, Mathieu Flamini, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Emiliano Martinez, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, David Ospina, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez, Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere

Aston Villa – Gabby Agbonlahor, Leandro Bacuna, Nathan Baker, Darren Bent, Christian Benteke, Aly Cissokho, Ciaran Clark, Tom Cleverley, Joe Cole, Fabian Delph, Shay Given, Brad Guzan, Chris Herd, Alan Hutton, Libor Kozak, Matthew Lowton, Charles N’Zogbia, Jores Okore, Kieran Richardson, Carlos Sanchez, Philippe Senderos, Benjamin Siegrist, Ron Vlaar, Andreas Weimann, Ashley Westwood

Burnley – Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes, George Boyd, Aleksander Cisak, Michael Duff, Matt Gilks, Tom Heaton, Danny Ings, David Jones, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Michael Kightly, Daniel Lafferty, Kevin Long, Dean Marney, Ben Mee, Luke O’Neill, Steven Reid, Jason Shackell, Marvin Sordell, Matthew Taylor, Kieran Trippier, Sam Vokes, Ross Wallace, Stephen Ward

Chelsea – Cesar Azpilicueta, Willian, Gary Cahill, Petr Cech, Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa, Oscar, Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic, Filipe Luis, Nemanja Matic, John Mikel Obi, Loic Remy, Mohamed Salah, Ramires, Andre Schurrle, Mark Schwarzer, John Terry

Crystal Palace – Barry Bannan, Yannick Bolasie, Fraizer Campbell, Marouane Chamakh, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney, Kevin Doyle, Zeki Fryers, Dwight Gayle, Adlene Guedioura, Brede Hangeland, Wayne Hennessey, Mile Jedinak, Andrew Johnson, Martin Kelly, Chris Kettings, Joe Ledley, Adrian Mariappa, James McArthur, Paddy McCarthy, Jason Puncheon, Julian Speroni, Jerome Thomas, Joel Ward, Wilfried Zaha

Everton – Antolin Alcaraz, Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry, Muhamed Besic, Seamus Coleman, Sylvain Distin, Samuel Eto’o, Darron Gibson, Tony Hibbert, Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Arouna Kone, Conor McAleny, James McCarthy, Aiden McGeady, Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith, Leon Osman, Bryan Oviedo, Steven Pienaar, Joel Robles, Francisco Junior, Christian Atsu

Hull City – Sone Aluko, Hatem Ben Arfa, Robbie Brady, Alex Bruce, James Chester, Curtis Davies, Michael Dawson, Mohamed Diame, Ahmed Elmehamady, Maynor Figueroa, Stephen Harper, Abel Hernandez, Tom Huddlestone, Tom Ince, Eldin Jakupovic, Nikica Jelavic, Jake Livermore, James McGregor, Paul McShane, David Meyler, Stephen Quinn, Gaston Ramirez, Liam Rosenior, Yannick Sagbo, Robert Snodgrass

Leicester City – Marc Albrighton, Esteban Cambiasso, Adam Dawson, Ritchie de Laet, Danny Drinkwater, Ben Hamer, Dean Hammond, Matty James, Andy King, Anthony Knockaert, Paul Konchesky, Riyad Mahrez, Wes Morgan, David Nugent, David Nugent, Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Adam Smith, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Leonardo Ulloa, Matthew Upson, Jamie Vardy, Marcin Wasilewski, Chris Wood

Liverpool – Joe Allen, Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini, Philippe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Brad Jones, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho, Jose Enrique, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Sturridge, Kolo Toure

Manchester City – Sergio Aguero, Dedryck Boyata, Willy Caballero, Gael Clichy, Martin Demichelis, Edin Dzeko, John Guidetti, Joe Hart, David Silva, Stevan Jovetic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Frank Lampard, Eliaquim Mangala, James Milner, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Fernando, Bacary Sagna, Scott Sinclair, Yaya Toure, Richard Wright, Pablo Zabaleta

Manchester United – Ben Amos, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Anderson, David De Gea, Angel Di Maria, Jonny Evans, Marouane Fellaini, Darren Fletcher, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Anders Lindegaard, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Rafael da Silva, Davide Petrucci, Marcos Rojo, Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie, Marnick Vermijl, Ashley Young

Newcastle United – Mehdi Abeid, Sammy Ameobi, Vurnon Anita, Remy Cabella, Papiss Cisse, Jack Colback, Fabricio Coloccini, Siem de Jong, Paul Dummett, Rob Elliot, Facundo Ferreyra, Yoan Gouffran, Jonas Gutierrez, Massadio Haidara, Daryl Janmaat, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere, Davide Santon, Moussa Sissoko, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Haris Vuckic, Mike Williamson

Queens Park Rangers – Charlie Austin, Joey Barton, Steven Caulker, Sandro, Richard Dunne, Max Ehmer, Rio Ferdinand, Robert Green, Karl Henry, Clint Hill, Junior Hoilett, Mauricio Isla, Niko Kranjcar, Alex McCarthy, Brian Murphy, Jordon Mutch, Nedum Onuoha, Matt Phillips, Yun Suk-Young, Adel Taarabt, Armand Traore, Eduardo Vargas, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bobby Zamora

Southampton – Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand, Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Jack Cork, Kelvin Davis, Steven Davis, Jose Fonte, Fraser Forster, Florin Gardos, Paulo Gazzaniga, Shane Long, Sadio Mane, Emmanuel Mayuka, Graziano Pelle, Jay Rodriguez, Morgan Schneiderlin, Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama, Maya Yoshida

Stoke City – Charlie Adam, Marko Arnautovic, Oussama Assaidi, Phil Bardsley, Asmir Begovic, Geoff Cameron, Peter Crouch, Mame Biram Diouf, Dionatan Teixeira, Robert Huth, Stephen Ireland, Bojan Krkic, Victor Moses, Marc Muniesa, Steven N’Zonzi, Wilson Palacios, Erik Pieters, Ryan Shawcross, Brek Shea, Steve Sidwell, Thomas Sorensen, Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, Andy Wilkinson, Marc Wilson

Sunderland – Jozy Altidore, Ricky Alvarez, Liam Bridcutt, Wes Brown, Will Buckley, Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Coates, Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini, Jordi Gomez, Danny Graham, Adam Johnson, Billy Jones, Sebastian Larsson, Vito Mannone, John O’Shea, Costel Pantilimon, Jack Rodwell, Cabral, Patrick van Aanholt, Santiago Vergini

Swansea City – Modou Barrow, Kyle Bartley, Wilfried Bony, Leon Britton, Tom Carroll, David Cornell, Rory Donnelly, Nathan Dyer, Marvin Emnes, Lukasz Fabianski, Federico Fernandez, Bafetimbi Gomis, Ki Sung-yueng, Jordi Amat, Jefferson Montero, Curtis Obeng, Jazz Richards, Wayne Routledge, Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Neil Taylor, Dwight Tiendalli, Gerhard Tremmel, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel

Tottenham Hotspur – Emmanuel Adebayor, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Cristian Ceballos, Nacer Chadli, Vlad Chiriches, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Federico Fazio, Brad Friedel, Younès Kaboul, Erik Lamela, Aaron Lennon, Hugo Lloris, Ryan Mason, Kyle Naughton, Danny Rose, Roberto Soldado, Benjamin Stambouli, Andros Townsend, Jan Vertonghen, Michel Vorm, Kyle Walker

West Bromwich Albion – Victor Anichebe, Chris Baird, Sebastian Blanco, Chris Brunt, Luke Daniels, Jason Davidson, Craig Dawson, Graham Dorrans, Ben Foster, Cristian Gamboa, Craig Gardner, Brown Ideye, Joleon Lescott, Gareth McAuley, James Morrison, Youssouf Mulumbu, Boaz Myhill, Jonas Olsson, Sebastien Pocognoli, Georgios Samaras, Silvestre Varela, Claudio Yacob

West Ham United – Morgan Amalfitano, Andy Carroll, Carlton Cole, James Collins, Aaron Cresswell, Guy Demel, Stewart Downing, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Matt Jarvis, Carl Jenkinson, Cheikhou Kouyate, Sebastian Lletget, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Joey O’Brien, Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho, Adrian, Alex Song, Raphael Spiegel, James Tomkins, Enner Valencia, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mauro Zarate

Report: Tottenham Hotspur ready to offload 11 first team players

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Tottenham Hotspur intend to have a summer clearout and up to 11 players, four of whom were signed last summer, are said to be free to leave White Hart Lane.

It’s a case of “when the Spurs go marching out…”

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Spurs are aiming to vastly streamline their squad ahead of the season as new manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to raise funds for incoming transfers.

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The following players have all apparently been put up sale, with the club willing to listen to offers for England internationals Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon, club record signing Roberto Soldado, captain Michael Dawson, defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Kyle Naughton and Vlad Chiriches, plus midfielders Sandro, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Moussa Dembele.

Pochettino and chairman Daniel Levvy are said to want a 25-man squad at Spurs but after the massive spending spree which occurred last summer following the sale of Gareth Bale for a world-record transfer fee to Real Madrid, several players arrived who have yet to make a noteworthy impact in North London.

source: AP
Could Spurs trim their squad to 25 players between now and September 2?

Spurs’ asking prices for the players are currently said to be too high, which has so far stifled interest in the players they wish to move on in order to fund new deals.  They are offering up Townsend to Queens Park Rangers in return for French striker Loic Remy, while Hull City are interested in signing defender Michael Dawson. Vlad Chiriches is rumored to be interesting AS Roma, while Brazilian midfielder Sandro could link up with former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas at Zenit St. Petersburg.

As for AVB, he was the man who signed seven players last summer with the money Spurs received for Bale but was never given the chance to see them bed in properly at the club before being fired. Spurs’ Technical Director Franco Baldini is said to be the man who signed most of those players and his decisions will come under further scrutiny if a fire sale is sanctioned by Levvy and Pochettino.

Tottenham are said to be chasing Southampton midfielder Morgan Schniederlin, Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal and Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid. All three would strengthen Spurs’ squad considerably.

With so many talented players able to leave White Hart Lane if the right deal arrives, will Spurs be better after this monumental trimming of their squad?

Rio Ferdinand completes move to Queens Park Rangers

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Having completed his physical earlier today, Rio Ferdinand is set to continue his career in hoops. After 12 years at Manchester United, the 81-time England international has made the move to Loftus Road official, signing with Queens Park Rangers this evening.

The 35-year-old had been linked with a move to QPR earlier this month, with Rangers’ manager Harry Redknapp expecting the former West Ham and Leeds defender to sign after returning to England from the World Cup. This evening, QPR announced that process had been completed, signing Ferdinand to a one-year deal.

Ferdinand, from the club’s website:

 

 “I used to sit in the Loft – my Dad used bring me here as a young boy. QPR was the first professional club to ever sign me …

“I spoke to Harry and Mr Fernandes at length. I think they both looked me in the eye and knew that I still have something to offer – that I had a genuine desire to come here and play football.

“I had a lot of offers from all over the world – some in places with a better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier League and back here where it all started.

“It’s not about money – I had loads of more lucrative offers available to me.

“I still feel I’ve got something to offer and I’m excited about helping this club cement its place in the Premier League.”

When healthy, you’d expect Ferdinand to start and partner either Richard Dunne or club captain Clint Hill. Another former Manchester United defender, Danny Simpson, will likely make Redknapp’s back four, with Nedum Onuoha, a center back capable of playing wide, also among the manager’s options.

Particularly with left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s loan expired, the group looks solid if uninspiring by Premier League standards, but if Ferdinand can stay healthy, the signing should be a significant boost to QPR’s chances of survival.