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Manchester United legend Roy Keane is closing on a return to the Premier League with Paul Lambert keen to bring the fiery Irishman as his assistant manager at Aston Villa.
According to reports, Keane is close to making his decision about the move and he is eager for the appointment to happen as soon as possible as well. The former Ireland skipper has had previous stints as manager with Sunderland and Ipswich Town and he is currently working under Martin O’Neill as the assistant boss with the Republic of Ireland national team.
Keane is expected to continue in that role and is expected to be announced as Scottish manager’s number two before the players return for pre-season training on the 7th of July.
The fiery Irishman was scheduled to travel to Brazil as part of an expert panel for ITV Sport but pulled out from the panel on short notice as reports emerged about his impending return to club football. Keane was, at one point, the bookmakers’ favorite to land the managerial job at his beloved Celtic after the departure of Neil Lennon but he pulled out of the race in favor of a return to the Premier League with Aston Villa.
The Villa Park club sacked their previous assistant managers towards the end of last season citing problems with their behavior and placed goalkeeper Shay Given and club legend Gordon Cowans in temporary charge.
It is being believed that the choice of Roy Keane was entirely the decision of Villa manager Paul Lambert who believes the Irishman will help in adding stability to the backroom.
Aston Villa is currently in the process of trying to sell the club and he believes the appointment of Keane will add more value as he tries to make maximum profit from the sale of the club.
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Paul Lambert’s season has been under scrutiny pressure and criticism from the fans of the club which want him out of Aston Villa. During the majority of the campaign, the team of Lambert was trying to get out of the relegation spots and just barely was able of escaping it.
The future of the Scottish coach remains unclear as he has already released statements of his desire of being in charge of the Premier League club for the upcoming seasons but everything will be decided on whether or not Randy Lerner wants to sell Aston Villa during the summer.
When Lambert was asked about the owner, Lambert told Sky Sports: “What he’s going to say in the next six or seven days I really don’t know. This club has got to be stronger. It’s too big a club.”
“I would love to be. It’s a brilliant club with a fabulous fan base. Any club that wins a European Cup creates history and tradition and this club has got it in abundance. This team has got to live up to it and at the minute we haven’t done it. My job is to protect this club and I’ve done that. Getting this club safe and still in the Premier League is the greatest thing I’ve done. I had some good times at Norwich but keeping this club up is the best achievement’’.
Lambert has no intentions of leaving Aston Villa anytime soon but his position in the club will be decided if the billionaire of the Premier League club will sell it as the American entrepreneur announced the possibility of it becoming a reality a few days ago and his final decision is expected to be made in a few weeks.
Alan Hatton has played a huge role in the remarkable upturn of fortunes that Birmingham city have experienced in the last few weeks. He recently converted the one-month loan deal into a deal that takes him till the end of the season at the St Andrews. This was a positive news for the club, as they look to finish the season on a high.
Birmingham are almost certain to finish without any troubles this season after the good run of results has lifted them comfortably above the drop zone. Since there are several points below the play-off positions, they are unlikely to bother with much in the remainder of the season. Read the rest of this entry »
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Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen says that Luis Suarez has been the best player in the Premier league since the days of Thierry Henry. The former Arsenal man is widely regarded as one of the best players to have graced the Premier league. He is the club record scorer for Arsenal after having represented them for almost a decade. Even though there have been several great players since then – the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo come to mind, Owen says that they have been not long enough to create a mark.
However, Suarez has been at Liverpool for the last three years and looks set for more. He is on course to guiding the club to their first league title for almost 25 years. He is the club’s top scorer with 29 league goals, which is itself a remarkable achievement considering that he had not started the season due to ban carried over from last campaign. It was only during September that Suarez came back to playing in the league. Owen was a remarkable goal scorer during his playing days. He is regarded as one of the famous players to have wore the number seven shirt, which is currently won by Suarez.
“Suarez has been the best player in the Premier League this season. Yes, there are others who’ve done well – Yaya Toure, Steven Gerrard, Adam Lallana and Eden Hazard. But, when it comes to Suarez, I don’t think I have seen anything that good since probably Thierry Henry was playing in the Premier League. He has been absolutely outstanding. And it’s important to mention he has been absolutely exemplary this season. His discipline has been great,” said Owen.
The former Manchester United man also believes that the presence of Suarez gives Liverpool a huge advantage over Manchester City in the title race.
According to the Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, the teams securing less than 40 points in the Premier League this season might also end up surviving.
Generally, it is believed that 40 is the magic number that the teams need to get in order to stay in the league, but, Lambert believes that the number is going to be a bit lower this time around.
Villa is not looking in danger of relegation at the moment though. They are at the 12th position in the league table with 34 points and they still have to play 7 more games. So, one can assume them going past that number of 40 pretty easily. Read the rest of this entry »