Paper Review: Sir Alex Praises Rooney, Dalglish Book, Ozil Under Fire

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterSeptember 20, 2013

Paper Review: Sir Alex Praises Rooney, Dalglish Book, Ozil Under Fire

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    Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has offered an olive branch to Wayne Rooney as the club maintain hopes of the striker signing a new contract.

    The England international was in excellent form for United's Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday after a summer of discontent at the club, sparked by Ferguson at the end of last season.

    Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has made an interesting claim in his new book, which might surprise those who view the Champions League as the elite of club football.

    Real Madrid have continued their criticism of former midfielder Mesut Ozil, whose move to Arsenal has helped to rejuvenate the Gunners.

    Who else is making the headlines in Friday's newspapers? Read on to find out more.

Sir Alex Ferguson Offers Wayne Rooney an Olive Branch at Manchester United

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    Former Manchester United boss Ferguson has smoothed the way for a new deal for Rooney after praising the forward for his Champions League display this week, reports Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.

    Ferguson prompted a summer of transfer speculation over the striker after claiming Rooney had asked to leave the club at the end of last season, says Ogden.

    However, United and manager David Moyes saw off attempts by Chelsea to prise the 27-year-old away from Old Trafford and are now hoping the player will sign a new contract at United.

    The central obstacle to the new deal is Rooney's anger with Ferguson over his claim that he asked to leave United, Ogden claims.

    However, Ferguson, who is now a United director, has offered an olive branch to Rooney after praising his performance in Tuesday's game.

    Wayne’s performance [against Leverkusen] was fantastic. I was pleased to see that, he’s got his energy back and his determination to attack players.

    It was all very encouraging for me. Being a director I am delighted to see that. He’s back to what we always remember him as.

    We will have a fantastic chance [of success] because in Van Persie and Rooney, you have forwards who can win you games.

    In United transfer news, Moyes will make a £25 million move for Southampton left-back Luke Shaw when the window reopens in January, reports Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star.

    United have turned to Shaw after missing out on Everton defender Leighton Baines, while Goodison Park coach Alan Stubbs has admitted the player did want to move to Old Trafford, reports The Sun.

Kenny Dalglish Defends Record in Second Spell as Liverpool Manager

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    Former Liverpool manager Dalglish has insisted winning a trophy and recording two trips to Wembley during the 2011-12 season meant the Reds over-achieved during his second stint in charge, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.

    The former Anfield boss was sacked at the end of that season before being replaced by Brendan Rodgers, but makes his claim in a new book, Kenny Dalglish My Life.

    It might be more rewarding to qualify in Europe after finishing fourth, but who remembers that game when you finished fourth to get there?

    Winning a cup final against Cardiff at Wembley and walking away with the Carling Cup was a day to remember.

    Yes, I would have loved to have finished fourth and I would have loved to have won the Champions League and won the Premier League, but it was never going to be achieved overnight.

    Dalglish also defended his transfer activity. Players such as Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam needed more than one season together to jell, claims the former Scotland international.

    We signed seven new players and for Liverpool Football Club to try and assimilate so many in one season was a huge ask for the players.

    Some of those young lads at Liverpool are going to be really good footballers, but the club had never brought seven new players in before, who would all start at the same time.

Real Madrid Continue Criticism of Former Midfielder Mesut Ozil

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    Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed that former midfielder Ozil could not handle the pressure at the Bernabeu, reports Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).

    The La Liga club have come under criticism from some supporters for selling the Germany international to Arsenal for £42.5 million this summer.

    However, Perez claims the 24-year-old forced through his deadline-day move to the Emirates Stadium and nobody wanted him to leave the club.

    Ozil and those around him asked to leave the club and here no one should be against his will.

    He could not withstand the pressure of Real Madrid.

    Earlier this month, James Olley of the London Evening Standard reported that Ozil was threatening to sue Real over their previous comments about him following his departure from the Bernabeu.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott believes the Gunners are ready for a Premier League title challenge this season after recording their 10th successive away win in all competitions at Marseille on Wednesday, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror

Jose Mourinho Has 'Crisis Talks' with Chelsea Squad After Champions League Loss

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    Chelsea manager Mourinho has held crisis talks with his squad after the Champions League defeat by FC Basel on Wednesday, reports Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.

    The Stamford Bridge manager has demanded an improvement in form from his players after the loss to the Swiss club followed a 1-0 loss at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, claims Ashton.

    Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich visited the team's dressing room in the wake of the defeat to Basel, but Ashton says there is no sign of tension at the club, just a frustration at the lack of success in recent weeks for the team.

    However, Mourinho has ensured some players are aware that their places in the team are under threat if they do not improve ahead of the West London derby against Fulham on Saturday, says Ashton. 

Bits and Pieces: Brendan Rodgers, Adnan Januzaj, Feeder Clubs, Rickie Lambert

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged supporters who gave statements to the police after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 to speak with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, reports Paul Joyce of the Daily Express.

    The IPCC has appealed for witnesses to the tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives, and the Anfield boss has reiterated that call as the independent body opens a criminal investigation into the actions of the police at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield, claims Joyce.

    Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj is facing a choice between Belgium and Albania for his international future, reports Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.

    The Football Association is weighing up the possibility of using lower-league sides as feeder clubs for Premier League teams, reports Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror.

    Southampton and England striker Rickie Lambert is determined to take out his anger at not scoring from open play for the Saints this season on boyhood favourites Liverpool, claims Joe Batchelor of the Daily Star.

    Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has criticised former Black Cats midfielder Stephane Sessegnon for not caring about the club, reports David Coverdale of The Sun (subscription required).