Despite being at a fairly elevated age, Stoke City’s Lee Grant it has only been recent when he managed to make a true impact at the big stage as the English shot-stopper was without doubt the best player during Stoke City’s recent Premier League match against Manchester United which concluded with a 1-1 draw as both clubs had to settle with 1 point after the encounter reached it’s completion.
Lee Grant is a player that was initially signed as a back-up player as he was snatched up with the objective of serving as someone who could perform only during the period of time when Jack Butland was injured, this signing was completed on August 31 of 2016 but it wasn’t until a few days ago that Grant was able to prove that he can be someone much more important than just a substitute player who has only been able to make 2 appearances in the 7 opening Premier League matches of the season.
On October 2 of the ongoing year, Stoke City travelled to Old Trafford as they locked horns with Manchester United and even though the team of Jose Mourinho had the upper hand in everything, it still wasn’t enough for Manchester United to claim the triumph and the biggest reason of why the home team failed to win was because of Lee Grant’s memorable performance.
It was during this match where Lee Grant stood out and from there on out, the veteran shot-stopper has started a wave of notoriety as he has been reaching the headlines of websites and this is all thanks to his amazing performance.
The head coach of Stoke City, Mark Hughes also praised Lee Grant as the tactician said:
“He is a confident guy and we all saw his confidence this afternoon, which is just what you need when you come and play at Old Trafford. He is enjoying his time here, getting opportunities that maybe he didn’t think he would have and he is taking those chances with both hands.”
Lee Grant was initially signed on a 6 months loan deal from Derby County but with this superb performance, it might lead to the Premier League club offering him a longer stay.
Marc Wilson originally signed with Stoke City on August of 2010 and from there on out, the Irish defender went on to make over 140 appearances for the English club but after an incident that occurred in social media, this led to Wilson criticizing Mark Hughes and the 29 year old player had to make his way out of Stoke City.
"It's fair to say that sometimes players can be frustrated with a perceived lack of opportunity and that's the case with Marc. He's maybe expressed himself in the wrong way and it's fair to say that Marc probably feels his future lies elsewhere and it's fair to say I probably agree with him’’ Stoke City’s Mark Hughes said as he revealed information concerning his situation with Marc Wilson.
Ever since Marc Wilson joined Stoke City on around 6 years ago, the Irish player became a regular starter as he consistently made over 20 appearances in almost every single season but his relationship with the club completely turned around after he critiqued some of Mark Hughes decisions as the coach of the Premier League club.
During the season of 2015-16, Marc Wilson sustained a string of wounds including ankle, knee and calf injuries which forced the Irish defender to stay out of action for the majority of that season and he had to settle with only 4 appearances during that season.
After his contract with Stoke City was terminated, he went on to join the recently promoted Premier League club Bournemouth.
During this summer transfer window, Mark Hughes has signed a few midfielders with the likes of: Joe Allen and Ramadan Sobhi joining Stoke City but still no defender has been signed and it would be a good idea for Hughes to reinforce his defensive department as most of his defenders are 28+ years old and an injection of youth could help Stoke City in snatching a higher spot in the Premier League than their traditional 9th position which they have consistently been doing since the season of 2013-14.
Matthew Upson is a defender of MK Dons and a veritable name in the football circles.
Matthew Upson lined up with John Terry about five years back. The situation was the World Cup tournament whose second round was being played in Bloemfontein in the afternoon of a chilly day. They had celebrated the goal that they had achieved in England in 2008. However about 90 minutes later there was opportunity for a goal which was ruled out due to the blunder that was made by the referee. Fabio Capello and his team had been humbled by a superior team from Germany that year. The team had to suffer a defeat of 4-1.
Upson remembers those times and that fact that, at that time he and Terry were not exactly thinking alike. The result was a dismal performance by England. Upson however, scored the lone goal and that marked his final appearance in the country in international matches. About half of that team today does not play active any more. Upson is now 36 years of age and is presently with MK Dons. He joined them from Leicester which happened last summer. He is currently suffering from a hamstring injury and is getting ready to face Chelsea which would be part of the fourth round of the FA cup. He would be up against Terry who is now 35 years of age and is a pivotal member of Chelsea. He has emerged on the Chelsea side since 1998 and till today he plays about 700 games in the competitive level.
Upson looks at Terry, who is his old partner and feels that he has achieved a lot by staying at the top level and playing at center back. This is wonderful, considering his age. He is able to train and play even at the age he is when he is surrounded by younger players around him.
Milton Keynes Dons’ Karl Robinson has confirmed that some players have played their last games for the team after the 2-1 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Matt Upson alongside others that include Nicky Maynard, Alex Revell, Anthony Kay, Cody Cropper, Jordan Spence, Carl Baker and Charlie Burns do not have deals extending into next season, though most will know by now whether they will be playing at stadium:mk again next season.
An announcement is expected as to the future of those eight players.
“It’s about us rebuilding now. The line is drawn. For as quick as I forgot about the emotions of promotion, I’ve got to forget relegation.
“We’ve seen the end of some of the players, we’ll know at the beginning of next week.
“There’s no right way of doing it, but we’ve shown them a lot of respect. I have thanked them all for their hard work and dedication this season,” he added.
The final game of the Championship season was a dead rubber for both sides, though with two goals inside the opening 20 minutes, it could have turned into a tasty affair to give the season a good send off.
But despite Nicky Maynard cancelling out Chris Cohen’s opener, Danny Fox’s red card for a high tackle on Spence shortly before half time ended it as a spectacle.
At the end of the game, Robinson thanked the fans for sticking by his side throughout what has proven to be a disappointing campaign in the second tier. He added:
“Of the 11,000 or so fans here today, who already knew we were relegated, 80 per cent stayed until the end. And that’s who we’re playing for. Through thick and thin, they’ll stick with us.
“Next year, part of our team talk will be to remember the fans who stayed and showed what true supporters are about.”
Former Stoke defender Matthew Upson has urged Aston Villa to consider appointing Nigel Pearson as their next manager.
With the club relegated to the Championship and without a manager since the sacking for Remi Garde, Upson has stated that Nigel Pearson will be a good appointment for them.
In fact, Nigel Pearson is considered as one of the favorites to take control of the club given that he has enough experience to take the club forward. He helped Leicester City won promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and kept them in the top flight last season. Many believe that he was the one that laid the foundations for the current successful season that Leicester City is having.
Former Stoke player who played under Nigel Pearson at Leicester City believes that his former manager will be an excellent fit for Aston Villa as he has the qualities necessary to help the club go forward. He said that at the moment Villa need a manager with character and the discipline to help move the club forward and help them push for a Premier League return.
For Mathew Upson, changes are needed in both the board and players’ attitude and mentality, and Pearson is the right man to achieve this. He has a strong character that will help motivate the team and give them a clear vision of the future. Upson definitely knows all about the man’s character after he saved them from relegation last term.
However, it is believed that a new manager will only be appointed after a reported takeover bid is completed. Villa’s chairman Hollis is currently considering bids from China and the United States, and it is only after this that a decision will be made about the next Aston Villa manager.
Former West Ham United defender Matthew Upson has praised his former teammate Mark Noble for his tenacity and he feels that it is about time that Noble was selected for the England national team.
After coming through the ranks at West Ham, Noble went on to make several hundred appearances for the Upton Park outfit before being named as captain of the club. Now one of the established members of the squad, Noble continues to play a major role in the club’s push for a top four place in the Premier League. His form has not gone unnoticed by many of his peers.
However, England manager Roy Hodgson continues to look away from the possibility of selecting Noble. The 28-year-old has now received attention from his former teammate Upson, who currently plies his trade in the Championship with MK Dons. Upson also represented teams like Stoke City and Birmingham. He is considered as an experienced Premier League defender and he continues to shine in the Championship even at 36. Since making his debut at the age of 17, Noble has been a tremendous influence on West Ham, according to Upson. The duo played with each other for four years before Upson left the club permanently in 2011.
"He epitomises everything that West Ham is about, really. His commitment and tenacity over the years, playing in the middle of the park, stands out.His passion for the club does too, and that really filters into his game. He's a great lad as a person too, and when you first join the club, he's one of the first to welcome you in. He's a local player and he's been there his whole career, so he knows the club inside out.He's such a warming, welcoming character, especially when you first sign," said Upson.
QPR striker Charlie Austin is once again set to become the transfer target for many clubs in the Premier league after impressing with his goal record in the Championship.
The striker decided to remain loyal to QPR and ended up staying at Loftus Road despite the club’s relegation into the second division of English football. Austin was one of the sought-after players following the end of the 2014-15 season. He had scored on a similar level to the likes of Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane. The fact that he was English only made things much better for the top teams since he would fit in well with the home-grown players rule.
Austin, however, was always destined for the Premier League and his goal record in the Championship is a testament to this fact. Still just 26 years old, Austin will represent a great addition to any team like Manchester City or Chelsea.Defender Paul Konchesky, though, believes that it is vital that the club hold onto the player in order to have any chance of a return to the top division. Even with the 10 goals from 16 score by Charlie Austin, QPR are down in the mid-table due to a weak defence. They have not won in the last five matches and are facing another season in the Championship.
“Charlie showed the instinct that he’s got. Give him a chance and he will score.We can’t rely on him all the time but this time we have and he’s nicked two goals for us. Everyone can see what he can do in front of goal and hopefully he’ll keep banging in goals for us and for himself.Of course there will be interest in him – there was in the summer – but we know Charlie and he’ll keep working until, or if, anything happens.He gives his all in every training session and game,” said Konchesky.
Inter Milan’s Roberto Mancini is looking to remove some of his players from his squad in order to stay in the limits of the amount of performers which is allowed and the squad size quota restriction of the Italian team is 25 players. The coach of the Italian team has set his eyes in selling XherdanShaqiri as well as a few other players.
XherdanShaqiri has not made an impact since arriving to the Giuseppe Meazza after having joined the Italian side earlier in January of the current year. Shaqiri is constantly being placed on the bench for a large period of the previous season, he had to settle with being an unused substitute, Mancini is believed to have considered the Swiss player on being surplus to the club and selling him is the most likely option.
The Premier League side Stoke City is interested in signing the 23 year old winger and the English outfit have prepared an offer of £60,000 each week which will be the salary of the young player meanwhile Inter Milan will be receiving £12million for the services of Shaqiri.
It still seems like Shaqiri is uncertain about whether or not to join Stoke City but making a move to the Premier League side is his best chance of snatching a regular starting role in any team as his opportunities to flourish in Inter Milan are seriously limited and it not likely to change anytime soon.
In one of the latest press conferences of Inter Milan, Roberto Mancini revealed information concerning the current situation of the Italian club as Mancini said that some players will have to leave and there is simply no other way to avoid that from happening.
"We have the restriction of a 25-man squad, so we'll have to do something.And reluctantly some will have to leave. I think they will do well in the Premier League." Inter Milan’s coach, Roberto Mancini told reporters.
Leicester City have been able to utilise summer signing Matthew Upson for only 59 minutes of the Premier League so far.
This is because the former West Ham and Birmingham City defender has suffered numerous injury problems since signing for the club. At 35 years of age, manager Nigel Pearson was hoping to utilise the defender’s experience in the best possible way.
This has not happened. His much awaited debut came in the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal last week, but he could not last the full match after hobbling off in the 59th minute with an injury.
Pearson says that he is hopeful of getting the defender back in time for the FA Cup match against Aston Villa. This is unlikely to be a priority for the club, who are bottom of the Premier League with four points separating them from the 18th place. Leicester will be quite happy to go out of the cup competition in order to focus on the Premier League, which has far better financial rewards if the club ends up staying for next season. Despite this, Pearson has confirmed that he has no plans to put the league in front of the FA Cup. He says that he will be fielding a strong line-up against Villa.
“I’m working hard to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for this game. I’m focused on the team.When you’re not winning in the league, cup competitions give you the chance to win games and build confidence. The players have my full support, but they need to perform themselves. They have a responsibility to do so.We want to progress in the FA Cup, but I’m sure Aston Villa will have something to say about that. It’s important for the players that they approach this in a positive manner,” said Pearson.
Leicester City have been given a major boost with regard to the fitness of defender Matthew Upson after manager Nigel Pearson revealed that the defender is close to returning to the first-team.
The 35-year-old has not featured for Leicester since signing for the club at the start of the season on a free transfer. He was released by Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of last season. Upson was expected to provide a huge amount of experience to the Leicester City back four. The 35-year-old played 21 times for the England national team between 2003 and 2010.
Over the years, he has played several matches in the Premier League with the likes of Birmingham and West Ham. Since leaving West Ham in 2011, he has struggled to achieve a settled position at any of his previous clubs like Stoke City and Brighton. Even though he has signed a contract only until the end of the campaign with Leicester, Upson will have a major role especially given that the club have been sliding down the table in the last few weeks. After a brilliant start that saw them beat the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, Leicester have been unable to pick victories of late. This poor run of form saw them slip into the 18th place.
"Matt is training very well at the moment but hopefully he will play some part of a game next week, possibly. He is making good progress," said Pearson. The upcoming match against Sunderland provides them a great opportunity to take three points since this match is at home. Sunderland are expected to be in the relegation trouble till the end of the season. Taking three points from this encounter will be seen as six points since they can prevent Sunderland from taking a win.