Manchester United v Chelsea: Michael Owen thinks Wayne Rooney will be 'raring to go' against suitors Chelsea

John Peters

Michael Owen thinks that is in the right frame of mind to play against Chelsea this evening, and that David Moyes will be gagging to start the 27-year-old.

The former Man United striker told MirrorFootball that the Wayne Rooney he knows will be raring to get out there, and if he’s back to full fitness then it would be virtually impossible for manager David Moyes to leave him out.

"I’m sure he’ll be right for the game in his attitude," said Owen.

"He loves football. I know him really well and his passion for football I’ve never seen in any other player.

"He will be desperate to play, regardless of who the opposition are, and I’m sure David Moyes – if [Rooney] is fit, healthy and raring to go – will find it very hard to resist picking him on Monday night."

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Smudger Smith: What crazy deals could we see from desperate managers before the transfer window closes? – Smudger Smith

Scott Heavey

In a professional career spanning two decades, Simon “Smudger” Smith has played for over sixty-seven clubs. The ultimate utility player, as his pace has diminished Smudger has managed to reinvent himself time and again, from poacher to holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

With just a week until the transfer window closes, there is still plenty to be resolved.

We’re going to see all manner of crazy deals as managers become lusty Rapunzels, dragging whoever they can get their hands on in through the window.

There are all sorts of unorthodox deals that go down when the clock is ticking and I’m sure a lot of you are aware of Zat Knight’s transfer to Fulham in 1999 where Knighty went for thirty tracksuits.

It was essentially a free and the gear was seen as a gesture of goodwill, but somebody needed to deliver it and old muggins here was put on a bus. When I arrived at non-league Rushall there was a message saying that my transfer had actually been negotiated on the way over.

My new bossman told me that it was simply so Al Fayed didn’t have to pay for my bus back to London. Fair play to the guy, he told me with such a straight face it was impossible to tell he was joking.

Then there was the time in ‘96 I went to Leicester from Coventry as the result of a poker game. Apparently a group of bossmen went over to Brian Little’s house and wanted to keep going once the cash was gone.

When I found out I was appalled.

I know that footballers are seen as commodities and traded as assets but to be casually tossed into the middle of one of those round tables that extends into a sort of oval when you have people over with a bunch of plastic chips was deeply offensive to me.

In fact there is only one occasion that I have been more upset and that was when I found out that I was Martin O’Neill actually acquired me because he lost.

One man who won’t be gambling who must be feeling confident now that he has some silverware (qualification to the CL group stages) all but sewn up.

Arsenal, like a big old ball of sage and onion, were very much at home in turkey in a performance that was probably the equivalent of taking the batteries out of the remote and rubbing them to create the illusion you don’t need new ones.

There was irony abound on Wednesday (at least in the Alanis Morissette/football commentator vein) when David Villa scored against his former club, Barcelona, and had a much better night than his distant relative Aston.

Ivanovic’s goal for Mourinho’s boys proved crucial and seeing as he should have been sent off, was as ironic as ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.

Jose’s post-match press conference was the classic master class of deflecting attention once again but it does make me wonder – does he ever draw attention away from his outrageous comments by having his team play well?

Gareth Bale transfer on hold as Spurs tell him to come home from Marbella break

Rex

was put on hold today was denied the chance to seal his move to Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old Tottenham star was sunning himself in Marbella at the weekend waiting for his record-breaking £86million move to be ratified.

Bale had been pictured at a luxury apartment owned by one of his advisors with Real confident of announcing him as their player.

But Spurs want him back in for training at their north London base tomorrow morning after refusing to confirm the deal.

There was also a potential new twist today after and maintain that the player’s departure to Madrid is not a foregone conclusion.

Bale, who scored 26 goals for Spurs last season, was due to be presented to the world’s media by Real tomorrow.

Via @juanjimenista 

The Spanish club’s chiefs had ordered a specially-built stage in front of the Director’s Box at their 85,000-seater stadium with Bale set to be paraded in front of thousands of fans.

But Spurs are upset at that move and feel Real are behaving as though they already own the Welshman.

The north Londoners also insist they do not yet have the players they want to replace Bale and maintain he will not leave until they are signed.

Boss Andre Villas Boas was set to sign Brazilian star Willian last week for £30million from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala until Chelsea stepped in and dramatically lured the 25-year-old away at the last minute.

Bale is understood to be happy to uproot his young family in pursuit of European glory with Real.

Currently he lives in London with partner Emma Rhys-Jones, his long-term girlfriend, and their first child, Alba Violet Bale – who shares the same three initials as his current boss.

EMPICS 

If Real Madrid do capture Bale the deal is expected to involve payments structured over four years.

Madrid have also offered to pay over a much shorter timescale in just two instalments but the fee would then drop to £78m.

With the £45million to be paid in wages – a staggering £300,000 a week – and the £86m outlay in transfer fees Bale will end up costing at least £130million.

If Bale signs it will take Madrid’s spending over the last 10 years to more than £800 million.

Tottenham have attempted to persuade Bale to stay, and offered to smash their wage structure and off him a club record £200,000 per week new deal to stay.

But the winger is determined to move and become a player for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

He has made no secret of his desire to play in Europe’s premier competition, the Champions League.

If the two clubs agree the £86m deal, Bale’s transfer fee will be the biggest ever paid in football history, topping the £80m Real paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

Bale was named PFA Young Player of the Year, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year last season.

He started his career at Southampton but joined Spurs in 2007 as a teenager for a deal which ended up being worth just £7million.

Arsenal vs Tottenham: Roberto Soldado can't wait to sample the north London derby

Getty Images

Spot-kick king Roberto Soldado can’t wait to taste the spice of a north London derby after becoming an instant hit at Tottenham.

For the second week running, record £26million signing Soldado was Spurs’ match-winner from the penalty spot, on Sunday – .

After the formality of Thursday’s Europa League return against Dinamo Tbilisi, next stop for Soldado is a tiff over the garden fence with neighbours Arsenal.

And the Gunners will not be taking the Spanish striker lightly after he announced himself at with four goals in his first three games.

Soldado said: “It’s always important to score goals, especially if they are important to the team and I hope to keep on doing this for the team

“I had my presentation here when I was playing against Espanyol, but it was a pre-season friendly, and the welcome I have had since then has been great. To hear the fans signing your name is special and I hope it happens a lot more throughout the season.

“Maybe the physical aspect of the game is the biggest difference between the Premier League and La Liga – the referees here allow much more contact and the games are a lot quicker.

“This is something that I have been taking in bit by bit, but the first few games I think are the hardest of the season and we have played well, although we can still improve a lot.

“I think this is quite a strong squad and a competitive team, and that can only be a good thing for us. I hope that at the end of the season we can be as high as we can be in the table.

“My team-mates have already told me about playing Arsenal – it’s the most beautiful derby, the one with the biggest rivalry for Tottenham, I cannot wait to play in this environment and of course I hope we can get the three points.

“The new players all understand the importance of the derby.

“There are rivalries in La Liga, just as there are here in the Premier League, but Tottenham against Arsenal is one of the most beautiful games for the club and everyone who has come in from outside will want to play in it.”

Liverpool: Jose Enrique on Manchester United clash and the confidence boost winning will bring

Clive Brunskill

Jose Enrique says Liverpool are determined that Manchester United won’t wreck their promising start.

have opened the Premier League campaign with successive 1-0 victories and Aston Villa.

And they aim to keep their momentum going on Tuesday, when League One side Notts County visit in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Defender Enrique wants the Reds to maintain their sky-high confidence going into Sunday’s home clash with arch-enemies Manchester United.

Liverpool, who lost to United and in the League last season, are anxious to keep their current run going.

Enrique said: "Having a good start like this is very important for confidence.

"For many years, Liverpool didn’t win the first game of the season and have won the first two games even less. The most important thing is we have six points from our opening two games and we want to continue like this.

"We showed last year that we can fight against any team – including United. We are even stronger when we play at home.

"But we have Notts County before that, so if we can keep winning we can keep building our confidence."

Liverpool are yet to concede a goal this term with a new-look defence including keeper Simon Mignolet and stopper Kolo Toure.

Following , Enrique, 27, added: "We defend as a team. It’s important to keep clean sheets, not just for the defenders but the whole team.

"Keeping a clean sheet away from home always builds confidence, and we know with the forward players we have we are always going to have a chance to score goals.

"If we keep clean sheets, we are going to get a lot of points."

Arsenal: Jack Wilshere injury warning to England already from Wenger

Clive Mason

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged Roy Hodgson to handle Jack Wilshere with special care.

England manager Hodgson will include Wilshere on Tuesday when he names his squad for next month’s crunch World Cup qualifiers at home to Moldova and away in Ukraine.

Wilshere, 21, will also return to Arsenal’s starting line-up against Fenerbahce in the second leg of their Champions League qualification playoff, after being rested in because Wenger admits the season is ALREADY taking its toll.

manager insists he is going to be extra cautious with Wilshere – who has had three operations after a career-threatening ankle injury kept him out for 17 months – and fully expects England to do the same.

Wenger said: "He’s not played 90 minutes since February [until doing so this week against both Villa and Fenerbahce], so the numbers suggested he needed a breather (at Fulham). We have good communication between him and the medical department, and we will give him a breather when it’s needed.

"I’m a bit cautious, because he’s had a few operations. I don’t want to make a mistake on the medical front and overuse him, because the ankle is the most important part of any football player.

"People think it’s the knee. It’s not, it’s the ankle. All the movements come from the ankle. He’s had surgery three times, so we have to be cautious.

"I always take medical advice. If the ankle is not inflamed, if he has no pain, then we would not rest the player. If they say there is a little inflammation, we would say, ‘Okay, let’s not.’ I do that with medical advice."

Wilshere started Saturday’s match on the bench, but came on for the final 20 minutes.

Wenger continued: "I would be a bit more cautious (with him), yes. Until we feel he is completely free from any risk, of course.

"If he gets through well on Tuesday he will play on Sunday [in the north London derby against Tottenham]. Between Tuesday and Sunday there are five days.

"We have a good connection with the (England) medical department. They know him well. Who are England’s next two games? That’s the key. So don’t play him against Moldova!"

While Wenger’s remark about resting him against Moldova was uttered with a big smile on his face, you can bet he would appreciate Hodgson sparing him for the harder trip to Ukraine on Tuesday, September 10.

Hodgson knows that qualifier in Kiev is the key to qualification as victory will put England firmly on the road to the World Cup, so all of the big guns will want to play.

Meanwhile, Wenger insists he will not allow Arsenal to ease up against Fenerbahce, despite and a place in the group phase being all but assured.

While there may be the odd change from the team that won at Craven Cottage, with Nacho Monreal likely to play at left-back and a possible breather for Tomas Rosicky, the Gunners are determined to finish the job.

Wenger is immensely proud of his record of qualifying for the Champions League knock-out stages and this would be 16 years in a row.

Playing in Europe’s elite competition is also vital in attracting big name signings.

"It’ll be stability in the team. Maybe one or two who are a bit injured, but 95 per cent of the team who played at Fulham will play," added Wenger.

"It shows consistency and, therefore, I’m already focused today to go into the game with full commitment. Top level sport is just about consistency.

"It (not resting players) shows how important it is to us. It’s an important time for us. We want to be in the group stage the next day, and that demands attitude and commitment and desire to play the game with full power, like we love to do.

"The first leg was not as comfortable as people saw on television. It was highly committed. I have big experience in the Champions League and, to knock someone out, you need attitude and commitment.

"That’s what is at stake for us."

With captain Thomas Vermaelen now just and Bacary Sagna showing that he can switch from right-back to centre-back when needed, Wenger has virtually ruled out signing a new defender in the final week of the summer window.

Premier League: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea: Player ratings

Getty

David Moyes’ first Manchester United match at Old Trafford ended all square as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea shackled the hosts on Monday night.

The Blues centre-backs both enjoyed fine games against Robin van Persie et al, channeling the defensive solidity Chelsea produced during Mourinho’s last reign.

For United, Wayne Rooney enjoyed his return to the starting line-up, turning in an energetic performance.

There were disappointments, however: Ramires wasn’t his usual effervescent self, while Danny Welbeck had a night to forget.

David Anderson has had his say on all of this evening’s performances below. How did you think the following players did?

Manchester United OUR RATING YOUR RATING

David De Gea

The Spaniard dealt well with what little threat was posed by Chelsea’s strikerless attack, saving from Gary Cahill. Growing in stature with every game.

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  • 10 Phil Jones

    Raided forward from right-back and caused problems, although he was temporarily affected after he was injured when he fell awkwardly.

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    • 10 Rio Ferdinand

      Toothless Chelsea gave him very little defending to do so he could concentrate on playing the ball forward.

      6

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      • 10 Nemanja Vidic

        Like Ferdinand, had his pipe and slippers on for the first hour and distributed the ball well when he had the chance.

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        • 10 Patrice Evra

          Supported Danny Welbeck by getting forward down the left flank when he could, although was caught out of position on several occasions.

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          • 10 Tom Cleverley

            The England midfielder as tidy in possession but wasted a decent opportunity when he shot over from just outside the area.

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            • 10 Michael Carrick

              Knitted the play together seamlessly as usual and robbed midfielder Ramires to create a chance for Robin van Persie.

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              • 10 Antonio Valencia

                Showed great discipline to track back to tackle Eden Hazard and help out Phil Jones. Made way for the more attacking Ashley Young after 67 minutes.

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                • 10 Mirror PickWayne Rooney

                  The man of the match showed huge desire from the off in his first start under David Moyes and had a shot saved after creating a chance.

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                  • 10 Danny Welbeck

                    Struggled on the left and did better when he came inside, although shot over from a good opening. Ryan Giggs replaced him late on.

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                    • 10 Robin van Persie

                      The Dutch star was dangerous in flashes and fired a left-footed effort into the side netting on the left. Did not really get much of a look in though.

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                      • 10 Chelsea OUR RATING YOUR RATING

                        Petr Cech

                        Largely untroubled in the Chelsea goal for all of United’s possession in front of him. One of the quietest games he will have had at Old Trafford for some time.

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                        • 10 Branislav Ivanovic

                          The Serbian star showed his centre-half instincts to cover for John Terry once or twice and got forward well to cause United ­problems.

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                          • 10 Gary Cahill

                            Distributed the ball well when he was not shadowing United’s star striker Robin van Persie – and had a powerful drive saved by David de Gea.

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                            • 10 John Terry

                              Showed good anticipation to cut out one dangerous cross from the right and continue his renaissance under new Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

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                              • 10 Ashley Cole

                                The left-back was fortunate not to be booked for a cynical foul on van Persie and appealed in vain for a penalty. Got forward well when allowed.

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                                • 10 Frank Lampard

                                  The midfield star was ­uncharacteristically quiet and survived a penalty appeal for handball when Tom Cleverley’s shot struck him.

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                                  • 10 Ramires

                                    Not his best night. Made little impact and gave the ball away far too often. Will have to up his game to keep his place in the Blues midfield.

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                                    • 10 Kevin De Bruyne

                                      Bizarrely booked for catching an elbow from van Persie and created a chance for Oscar with a neat lay-off. Was replaced by Fernando Torres after 60 minutes.

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                                      • 10 Oscar

                                        Chelsea’s playmaker was given a roving role by Mourinho. He tried his best to be creative and had a couple of decent efforts saved by De Gea.

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                                        • 10 Eden Hazard

                                          Was expertly shackled by Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia and struggled to cut loose. Cesar Azpilicueta replaced him late in the game.

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                                          • 10 Andre Schurrle

                                            Handed the impossible task of leading Chelsea’s attack and was starved of decent service. Replaced by Mikel with three minutes remaining.

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                                            • 10 RANKING BY THE FANS