Frankfurt - Joachim Loew believes there is plenty of room for improvement in his Germany team as the Euro 2008 finalists continue their efforts to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. "We can all improve. We have to work harder in areas like tactics and pace, we aren't where we want to be," Loew told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.
Loew also admitted that the row with captain Michael Ballack and veteran midfield Torsten Frings had had adverse effect on the team.
"In future, we are going to avoid carrying these discussions out in public," he said.
The row erupted following Loew's decision to drop Frings in two World Cup qualifiers, which led the Werder Bremen star to publicly lambast his coach.
Ballack also criticized the move, saying it showed a lack of respect for long-time Germany players. Loew subsequently ordered Ballack to apologize. As a result, Ballack remained on the team and its captain as well.
Rather than dwelling on the past, Loew preferred to focus on the future and trying to emulate free-flowing Spain, the side that beat Germany in the Euro 2008 final in Vienna.
"It's obvious that we have to optimise our work and and we have done the necessary analysis accordingly," he said.
"We have to qualify for the World Cup, integrate young players, improve infrastructure, optimise new talent," added Loew.
Bayern Munich are the only German team in the last 16 of the Champions League, a tournament Loew feels is vital for his players.
"That's where the best and most intensive football is played," said the 48-year-old. "It's very important for every player to prove himself in the Champions League."
Loew also believes there is still a place for Ballack und Frings, starting with the international against Norway on February 11 in Dusseldorf.
"If they remain free from injury and the preparations are in order," said Loew. "Michael Ballack won't have a winter break in England so should be up to the pace. If Torsten Frings shows his normal level of performance at Werder Bremen then he will be valuable to the team."
camera man sails away on his new yacht
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via her facebook
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Please don't die because of these.
MOAR EVA PICS
battle of the blues
everton vs. chelsea
Nemanja Vidic to be ruled out of Inter clashes
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It's a little tl;dr so the jist is he got a straight red for elbowing someone during a "tussle" on the ground in the Club World Cup Final. So FIFA is giving UEFA the punishment instead of the FA so he could miss only the first leg, but more than likely he will miss both.
Maybe Ray Hudson thought of his nickname being a geordie and all.
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Alonso Apologises, Cesc Unavaliable For Three MONTHS?
Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas is expected to discover the extent of his knee injury tomorrow afternoon, with Guillem Balague suggesting it could be worse than first thought.
The 21-year-old Spanish international limped out of yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool and will miss the entire festive programme.
Fabregas was unable to continue for the second half after picking up a possible knee ligament injury when he collided with Spain compatriot Xabi Alonso.
Sky Sports Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague believes the injury could mean months out, rather than a few weeks.
He told his personal website:
“Quite often, in situations like this, the player has an innate sense of how bad an injury really is and there is a real fear that Cesc has torn a cruciate ligament in his right knee – meaning he would face closer to three months, rather than three weeks, on the sidelines.”
In fairness to Alonso, he managed to visit Cesc immediately after the game to wish him well and to see how his close pal was doing.
Arsenal.com are expected to provide information on the seriousness of the injury later tomorrow afternoon.
Roma captain Totti could miss two months
Roma captain, talisman and all-around hero Francesco Totti has been told to rest until the new year following the injury he sustained against Catania on Sunday afternoon and he now faces a two-month injury layoff.
Totti's injury added to the pain of a 3-2 defeat and a quick return is now looking doubtful.
The Italian underwent tests at the Villa Stuart clinic Monday morning and the results show a muscular strain to his right leg. The Giallorossi star will be out until February and he has been ordered to put his feet up over the Christmas period.
Sky Sport Italia claims he will be out for at least two months, missing crucial games against AC Milan and maybe even the Champions League tie with Arsenal.
Once Totti returns, the race will be on to get him back up to speed. Earlier reports in the Corriere Dello Sport claimed he would be out for a month.
However, early indications suggest he will be out for 55 days, even though the club is yet to confirm this with further tests planned over the next few days.
The playmaker was in some discomfort as he left the clinic at lunchtime and it's not the news coach Luciano Spalletti wanted to hear.
Can we have a Roma tag por favorrrrr?
By Phil Ball
This is Phil Ball's last column before he goes on hiatus. Reading his column after Monday classes is one of my habits.
We have two games in hand (the most recent because of the Club World Cup, whoo!), so we're not as behind as we look.
English Premier League
Spanish Primera División
Italian Serie A
Internazionale (Serie A) - 42 points
Chievo Verona (Serie A) - 9 points
Barcelona (La Liga) - 10 points
Liverpool (Premier League) - 1 point
Closest to Danger
West Ham United (Premier League) - 1 point more than 18th place
Mallorca (La Liga) - 1 point more than 18th place
Torino (Serie A) - 1 point more than 18th place
Farthest From Safety
Chievo Verona (Serie A) - 6 points fewer than 17th place
French Ligue 1
Scottish Premier League
Christoph Metzelder will return to action with Real Madrid CF in the new year wearing a protective mask after undergoing surgery on his broken nose.
The German international defender picked up the injury following a clash with Raúl Albiol during Madrid's 1-0 weekend win against Valencia CF. Metzelder – who has made four Liga appearances this season – has been advised to play in the mask for the next four weeks, giving him plenty of time to recover before the Spanish club take on Liverpool FC in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in late February. Metzelder, who will fly home to Germany on Tuesday, said he had twice broken his nose during his spell at BV Borussia Dortmund and had played with a face mask to protect it.
Russia captain Andrei Arshavin is on his way to Arsenal, according to a director of UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg.
Arshavin, outstanding at the finals of the European Championship this past summer in which Russia reached the last four, has been awaiting clearance to move ever since then.
Maxim Mitrofanov, Zenit’s director-general, told a Russian radio programme: “Zenit are ready to sell Arshavin to Arsenal for £20m.”
Speculation has been growing in both London and St Petersburg that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had pressed his club’s claims ahead of rival interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Arshavin was reported to have been seen at Arsenal’s training centre north of London last week after having been given formal persmission by Zenit to weigh up offers.
The player’s popularity had slipped within Russia and he was criticised as “unpatriotic” after saying publicly that he wanted to move abroad.
Arshavin, who won the Russian league, UEFA Cup and European Supercup with Zenit, almost certainly made his last Zenit appearance in their 3-0 defeat by Madrid in the Champions League in the Estadio Bernabeu on December 10.