Enjoyed my rainy Sunday afternoon at Winter Wonderland with the family. #hydepark #gunnersumbrella #familytime #dayout #EnjoyLife #Poldi #BreakFromTheBench
PODOLSKI DEMANDS 'FAIR CHANCE' AT ARSENAL
Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has delivered the latest in a series of protestations against his bit-part role at the club, insisting that he will not be taken for "a buffoon who sits out his contract in the stands".
The Germany international has yet to start a Premier League or Champions League game for Arsene Wenger's side this season.
He has already indicated that he will seek a decision on his future in north London in January, though he would be keen to stay at the Emirates Stadium if given more game time.
"I love London, I love the club but I don't like the situation," Podolski told Kicker.
"I'm not a buffoon who sits out his contract in the stands. I have to try to talk to Arsene Wenger. I want a fair chance."
Germany coach Joachim Low has previously suggested that the forward should "think about his situation", though both Koln and Schalke have ruled out bids to sign him this winter while Wenger says that he is not for sale.
ARSENAL WITHOUT GIROUD FOR BORUSSIA DORTMUND CLASH
Despite returning from injury in emphatic fashion, Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud will be absent from their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday after failing to register the Frenchman with UEFA.
The Gunners believed that the 28-year-old would be out until the new year with a broken foot, they therefore decided not to register him for the group stages of the competition, and will be without last season’s top scorer for the remaining games.
Giroud returned to first team action against Manchester United during Arsenal’s 2-1 loss on Saturday, coming on as a late substitute and scoring a fantastic goal.
The Bundesliga side have already qualified for the next round of the competition after taking maximum points from their opening four games.
CHELSEA NOT INTERESTED IN REUS
Reus, who was recently ruled out for the remainder of 2014 through inury, has a buyout clause in his contract which becomes active in the summer, prompting links with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
When asked if Chelsea are keen on Reus, Mourinho told reporters: "We are not interested, not at all."
MOURINHO HITS AT RAMOS THE DOCTOR
Jose Mourinho has hit back in the ongoing row with the Spanish national team over the fitness of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, sardonically remarking that Sergio Ramos “is not a doctor”.
The two Chelsea players missed Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus and the subsequent friendly with Germany through injury. Fabregas’s situation prompted a back-and-forth that led the Spain coach, Vicente Del Bosque, to complain about a lack of “trust” and Real Madrid defender Ramos to question the pair’s commitment.
Fabregas was initially ruled out of both games, but then travelled to Madrid for a scan. The results showed his hamstring injury was not as serious as feared, but Del Bosque allowed him to return to Chelsea – accompanied by a few barbs.
Mourinho notoriously clashed with Ramos during their time together at Madrid and that was evident in his response. “Do you know Sergio Ramos personally?” he asked. “[He] is a fantastic football player, but he is not a doctor. My doctor and the doctor of the Spanish national team, they had the scans and they decided that the player was not in the condition to play. I am nobody – nobody – to go against it and I don’t think Sergio did a medicine masters in the last couple of years to understand about it.”
“I trust my doctor 100 per cent. If Del Bosque doesn’t trust his doctor, that is his problem not my problem. I speak with my doctor and I believe in what my doctor tells me. No problem.”
“[Vincent] Kompany played today for [Manchester] City, but he didn’t play for Belgium. He was injured. Has he a compromise with his national team? I think he has. He is the captain of Belgium. Did he ‘cheat’ by not playing against Wales to play today? I don’t think he did. So we all accept that he was injured.”
VERMAELEN SUFFERS HAMSTRING INJURY (yes, again)
Thomas Vermaelen has been ruled out of Barcelona's Champions League clash with APOEL after suffering a hamstring injury. The defender has not played a single minute for the Spanish side following his move to Camp Nou from Arsenal because of inuries and will have to wait even longer to make his debut for the club.
+ HEADED FOR A JANUARY TRANSFER?
TER STEGEN UNHAPPY WITH HIS SITUATION
The goalkeeper has yet to make his debut in La Liga, but remains determined to convince Luis Enrique of his qualities.
"My current situation is not easy for me. I have to be patient, though. I am doing my utmost to prove myself on the training pitch and make things hard for the coach. I have put in some good performances, but people always remember the bad moments. Mistakes are only human, though. Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas and Roman Weidenfeller also make mistakes. But everybody in the team knows they can rely on me and they can always give me the ball.
Everything is a bit different here. One player has won a number of Ballons d'Or, others have won European and world titles and are world-class players. I didn't need long to adapt."
Ter Stegen has kept two clean sheets in four Champions League appearances.
+ MANCHESTER UNITED TO MAKE A MOVE FOR HIM?
BALOTELLI RETURNING TO ITALY IS IMPOSSIBLE
The 24-year-old only arrived at Anfield from AC Milan during the summer, but reports have suggested that all parties have decided that it would be best if he left the club in January. However, his agent Mino Raiola has moved to play down that speculation, having described the notion of a move back to Italy as "impossible".
"A return to Inter? Impossible. Not for (Roberto) Mancini but for other reasons for which is not due to talk about. Neither Napoli. Mario doesn't return to Italy," Sky Sports News has quoted Raiola as saying.
Balotelli has scored two goals during his 12 appearances this term, neither of which have come in the Premier League.
PSG LINING UP BIG MONEY FOR DI MARÍA?
The Ligue 1 club had extensive talks about signing Di Maria from Real Madrid over the summer, only to find themselves hamstrung by UEFA's new rules. But reports in France suggest that PSG are optimistic that sanctions will be eased - if not lifted - ahead of next summer. And that will see the club raise their £50m ceiling for spending on new signings as they pursue Di Maria once more.
The Argentine international cost United £60m when he joined over the summer but has admitted he remains open to a move to the Parc des Princes in future. And recent reports suggest that the Red Devils would be receptive to a massive over for Di Maria if it enabled them to bring Gareth Bale back to the Premier League.
CARLO ANCELOTTI AND REAL MADRID SET TO BEGIN CONTRACT EXTENSION NEGOTIATIONS
The Italian arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu ahead of last season and ended Real's long wait for a 10th UEFA Champions League title by overcoming city rival Atletico in Lisbon in May. Although Ancelotti's existing Real contract runs until 2016, he has already begun talks over extending his stay.
"I hope not to [just] be remembered because of La Decima," he told La Repubblica. "My contract ends in 2016 and we're already talking about an extension."
Since leaving Milan in 2009, Ancelotti has managed in England, France and Spain, and admits that only a return to San Siro would tempt him back to Serie A in the future.
"If sooner or later I was to return to Italy, it would only be to Milan," the 55-year-old added. "The league has little charm, it does not attract the champions [best players]. The stadiums and infrastructure are the main problem. It is worrying. All countries are making progress, but we [Italy] are static."