Redknapp added: “We had wanted to try and keep him going but he couldn’t carry on. When he has played he has done well but I don’t think he felt he was capable of giving his maximum. “Hopefully he will come back fully fit and ready for next season.” The former England international confirmed the surgery in a short Twitter posting, showing a picture of his bandaged right ankle. Wright-Phillips said the operation was a success. He was not in QPR’s matchday squad for their defeat at Fulham on Monday night, which left Harry Redknapp’s team seven points from safety with seven rounds of matches remaining and an inferior goal difference to all teams but Aston Villa. He wrote on Twitter: “Had my ankle surgery this morning all went well. Thanx 4 your kind wishes truly appreciate it all.” QPR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has been ruled out for the rest of the season by an ankle injury. Press Association The 31-year-old underwent surgery on his right ankle earlier this week and will now play no further part in Rangers’ increasingly desperate bid to avoid relegation to the npower Championship. Manager Harry Redknapp told the club’s official website www.qpr.co.uk: “Shaun has had an operation. It needed doing, we tried to keep him going. He’s played with the pain and not felt 100 per cent. He couldn’t train or play to his maximum. The pain was too much and he will hopefully be back at the start of next season now.”
The 24-year-old’s smart hooked volley for the second in Saturday’s 2-0 win over QPR was his eighth of the season but his sixth in 13 Premier League starts. With Nikica Jelavic enduring a drought, with just one league goal since December 8, Anichebe’s all-round form has provided a welcome boost as the Toffees retain hopes of a top-four finish. “I think he has a bit more to do but we have got signs of someone who could be an outstanding player,” said Moyes. “It has taken a while for him to show us that but how he has been playing is very good and is playing as well as anyone – but we needed it because we’ve been a bit short there.” Press Association The Scot added: “He has been terrific. The boy has an awful lot going for him and I’ve said many times he’s just needed to have a bit more self-confidence. We just want him to keep playing the way he is doing; he is helping us at the moment and gives us an alternative. “I think for Everton we need people who are getting in double figures (for goalscoring). We’ve really missed someone getting in the high teens with their goals. I hope he gets some more because it will help us until the end of the season.” Everton face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night looking to end a miserable run at the venue and keep in the hunt for Champions League qualification. Victory on Saturday took their tally to 13 points out of a possible 15 and they are only four points behind their third-placed opponents. The Toffees have not won at the Emirates since the Gunners moved there in 2006, taking just two points from six visits. Moyes is hopeful their recent good form can bring an end to that poor record. “I think the squad are in good order, they have gained confidence from their results and the way they are playing,” he added. “This time of the season the games are hard because everyone needs the points for different reasons.” Striker Victor Anichebe is providing a timely solution to Everton’s goalscoring issues but manager David Moyes expects more from the Nigerian.
A judicial review is being held at the High Court on Thursday to look into the decision by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to award sole tenancy to the Hammers, who will move into the site in 2016. A decision is not expected for a couple of weeks and Hearn believes his club has a good chance of winning. Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn insists he is not looking for financial compensation from the judicial review into the decision to award the Olympic Stadium to West Ham – merely the chance to ground-share. Press Association Hearn told Press Association Sport: “I am looking for a ground-share, I don’t want compensation. Compensation gets spent – I am looking for the future and a ground-share at the Olympic Stadium which makes sense from the taxpayers’ point of view. “They have spent £600million of taxpayers’ money on the stadium and they must have full use for that money and I think with Leyton Orient can make a meaningful contribution to the financial burden of that stadium. “We hope the outcome of the judicial review will mean Leyton Orient having the opportunity, which they should have had before, to meaningfully discuss a ground-share arrangement with West Ham.” Hearn claims the LLDC did not follow bidding rules properly when it accorded the stadium to West Ham. He added: “The review can say that they believe the bidding process was not carried out in accordance with the rules and this stopped us having the discussion on ground-sharing we wanted to have. “We are asking for that process to be re-opened and full disclosure of all the dealings between West Ham and LLDC. “I think it’s 50-50, my lawyers are hopeful we are going to win. “The reason we want full disclosure is we think LLDC have come to an arrangement with West Ham which is not in line with the bidding process rules.”
The Frenchman, who will turn 64 next month, has been in charge of the Gunners for 17 years but has not been able to deliver a trophy since 2005. Nevertheless, Kroenke insists Wenger – who was linked with a move to Paris St Germain in the summer – remains the man for the job as the north London club embark on what they hope will be a new chapter backed by increased financial resources, which helped secure the record £43million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. Press Association “I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke. That he thinks I can help the club is a huge confidence vote. That is something for me that is very positive,” said Wenger, who takes his side to Swansea for Saturday afternoon’s late kick-off. Following the disappointment of an opening-day 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa, Wenger has since guided his side safely into the group stages of the Champions League, to the top of the Barclays Premier League table and on Wednesday night saw the next generation come through a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup at West Brom. Wenger remains relaxed about his own long-term future, but made it clear he would have no issue with signing on again for the Gunners. “What is important is that you feel you can do your job where you are and I am very grateful to this club because during the 17 years we had ups and downs, they have always shown a big faith in me and they always let me do the job like I thought it had to be done,” he added. “If I am still here today it is because I got that consistent support from inside the club.” Wenger continued: “The good thing with me, if I have one quality, (it is that) you don’t need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have. “I want to focus on the quality of our season. I don’t believe that anybody can question my commitment to this club. “I want to feel that I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that.” Manager Arsene Wenger has welcomed the vote of confidence from Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and says he is ready to sign a new deal sooner rather than later. However, the Arsenal manager remains relaxed about the continuing negotiations. He said: “(We will do it) when we find time. I don’t think that is the most important problem at the moment.” The arrival of the relatively unheralded former Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight coach was met by headlines of “Arsene Who?” when he succeeded Bruce Rioch in September 1996. Wenger, though, has no intentions of revelling in a bit of nostalgia. “It is a long time and a short time. I don’t know where the 17 years have gone,” he said. “Our job has a good advantage – you just look forward to the next game. “You never look back. I believe as well that is the most important. What is for me the most interesting is Saturday’s game.” Wenger added: “I always said that our job is ‘work like you are here forever and know that it can end every day’. That is how I do (my job).” Arsenal head to Swansea looking to stay top of the table after four straight league wins. Former Cardiff midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to have a fitness test on a thigh problem, as is Mathieu Flamini (shoulder). Ramsey has scored seven goals so far this season. Wenger said: “You know Aaron Ramsey is a tough boy. He has a test and I think he will get through. “He is going back to Wales, certainly, for him it is always special, but no (I wouldn’t want to take a risk on him).” England forward Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is set for more than a month of rehabilitation after a minor procedure on an abdominal problem. “It (surgery) went as well as it could go. There were no complications,” Wenger said. “You know sometimes you open and you find an unexpected problem. It was very simple. “Optimistically, (it will be) three weeks. Realistic? Five.”
Crystal Palace midfielder Adlene Guedioura will be sidelined for “at least six weeks” after puncturing a lung and breaking two ribs, caretaker manager Keith Millen has revealed. “It doesn’t look good for him – he’s fractured two ribs and it’s damaged his lung as well,” Millen told Advertiser Sport. “For cracked ribs, you’re looking at around at least six weeks out. “The trouble with cracked ribs is that you can’t exercise and you can’t get your heart and lungs going. “Some injuries, you can keep your cardiovascular fitness up, but with this injury you can’t do anything. “In four weeks’ time, if he can do some exercise and it’s not aggravating him, then great, he can.” Press Association The 27-year-old, who joined the Eagles from Nottingham Forest in the summer, was forced off midway through the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom. Guedioura collided with goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and, after receiving lengthy treatment, was carried from the pitch on a stretcher.
Number eight Jamie Heaslip remains the Irish Rugby Football Union’s chief target to tie down to a new contract, the 30-year-old having fielded offers from Toulon and Montpellier. “I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons,” said O’Connell. “Over the years I have been privileged to play in many fantastic Munster sides and as we build for the future I am excited by the prospect of playing my part in achieving success with Munster and Ireland in the coming seasons.” O’Connell has racked up 154 Munster appearances since his debut in August 2001. Just six months after his Munster bow O’Connell muscled in for Ireland action, and now boasts 88 caps. The three-time British and Irish Lion led Munster to the Heineken Cup title in 2008 and the RaboDirect Pro12 in 2009 and 2011. Philip Browne, the IRFU chief executive, hailed O’Connell as a true great in the country’s rugby history. “Paul is one of Ireland’s greatest ever rugby players and his contribution to the success of Irish rugby over the past decade has been immense,” he said. Paul O’Connell has rejected the lure of a move to France to sign a two-year central contract to stay with Munster until 2016. Press Association “We are delighted that the Irish captain has committed his future to Munster and Ireland for the next two years.” Munster head coach Rob Penney was also pleased that “one of the best second rows in world rugby” will continue to ply his trade for the club. “Paul has contributed so much to Munster over the years and remains one of the best second rows in world rugby. “His experience and leadership will play a key role in the future development of this young Munster squad.” The 34-year-old lock should now complete his career at his home province, and his new deal cements his ambitions to captain Ireland at Rugby World Cup 2015. O’Connell is the latest Ireland star to spurn a move to the French Top 14 after Sean O’Brien rejected a lucrative offer from Toulon.
But with different bosses in charge since then, the club have achieved much lower final positions and in the last three campaigns – two with current manager Paul Lambert at the helm – they have finished only a few places above the relegation zone. In terms of the prospect of Lerner now moving on, Taylor – Villa boss from 1987 to 1990 and 2002 to 2003 – was quoted by the Express & Star as saying: “The change was needed. Randy has been running out of steam. “I hope on behalf of the club that if the new owners decide not to keep Paul (Lambert), they go about it in the right way. “I hope they will behave like football people because I am not sure that is always the case when owners come in from overseas now. “A lot of Premier League owners now are not what I would call football people. “They are extremely wealthy and very successful business folk in their fields who expect the same results from football and can’t understand why that might not happen.” On Monday, Lerner, eight years on from buying Villa, declared his intention to put the Midlands outfit up for sale. They finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League for three successive seasons up to the summer of 2010 under the management of Martin O’Neill. Former Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor has welcomed the news Randy Lerner is to sell the club, suggesting the American “has been running out of steam” – a nd is keen for the new owners to be “football people”. Press Association
The plans revealed on Thursday will add a further three rows of seats at the pitchside level, and come in addition to the work already under way to add 6,000 seats to the South Stand. Both projects are due for completion in time for the 2015/16 season. Manchester City have announced a further expansion of the Etihad Stadium, which will take the total capacity to a little over 55,000. Press Association Tom Glick, City’s chief commercial officer, said on the club’s website: “We have always been committed to bringing fans closer to Manchester City, to the players and to the pitch. “Whether that’s through digital innovation, community work, international tours, or as in this case, physically allowing fans to be right next to the action, it is our top priority. We are already looking forward to seeing the expanded stadium in action for the 15/16 season.” City also have planning permission for a third phase of expansion which would see 6,000 seats added to the North Stand if carried out.
The second leg of the first-round tie finished 1-1 at Mourneview Park after Michael Carvill’s 17th-minute tap-in was cancelled out by an Adeshina Lawal penalty for the Faroe Islands outfit after 48 minutes. Linfield will now faced Swedish club AIK Stockholm in the second round. Irish Premiership side Linfield secured a place in the Europa League second qualifying round by holding on for a 3-2 aggregate win over B36 Torshavn. Press Association
Dutch international Vorm, who was a member of Holland’s squad at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, moved to White Hart Lane last month for what Swansea described as an undisclosed fee. “The transfer of Michel Vorm was conducted and concluded correctly under Premier League rules,” a Swansea spokesman said. “It was approved by the Premier League and also FIFA via their TMS (Transfer Matching) system. “While we have been in contact with Utrecht as a matter of courtesy, we will continue to conduct our business in the best interest of our football club and our supporters, and not based on the views of other clubs. “Unlike some countries abroad, we do not have third party ownership of players in Britain. “The club will not be commenting further on this matter.” Utrecht general manager Wilco van Schalk claimed on Friday that Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins had told him Vorm had gone to Tottenham “for free”. Schalk told BBC Wales: “That’s unbelievable and unacceptable. “Michel is a very reliable goalkeeper in the Premier League. He is 30-years-old, in the prime of his life. He still had a two-year contract and has a good reputation. “Besides that, he’s a solid member of the Dutch squad. We want to have the 30 per cent as we agreed.” Vorm’s former club Utrecht have threatened to report Swansea to FIFA. The Eredivisie club claim they have not received 30 per cent of Vorm’s transfer fee, which they allege was part of a sell-on agreement between them and the Swans when he moved to Wales for £1.5million in 2011. Swansea say the transfer of goalkeeper Michel Vorm to Tottenham was “conducted and concluded correctly under Premier League rules”. Press Association