Paper News and Gossip: Wenger Slams Robben, Fabregas Tells Mourinho to 'Shut Up'
The fall-out from Arsenal's Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich dominates the back-page headlines on Thursday.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger criticised Bayern star Arjen Robben for his role in the dismissal of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, a point which changed the last-16 first-leg tie.
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has launched a broadside at Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in the wake of his comments about the current team.
But who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more.
Arsene Wenger Accuses Arjen Robben of 'Play-Acting' After 10-Man Arsenal Beaten
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused Arjen Robben of play-acting after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was dismissed in the first half of the 2-0 defeat for a foul on the Dutch international, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
The Gunners and Bayern were level at the time of the red card, but the incident changed the game as the Premier League club played with 10 men for the majority of the match.
Wenger is quoted as saying:
Robben has enough experience to know to make more of it.
Overall I felt Bayern made more of every single contact and we are not used to it in England.
The fouls that were given are not given in the Premier League. but we have to get used to it and to accept it.
Meanwhile, Szczesny could be facing UEFA disciplinary problems after appearing to make a gesture as he left the field, claims David Kent of the Daily Mail.
But Robben was at the centre of further controversy after appearing to spit on Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna while the Frenchman was on the floor, according to Neil Rowlands of the Daily Mirror.
Barcelona Star Cesc Fabregas Tells Jose Mourinho to 'Shut Up' over Comments
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has told Jose Mourinho to "shut up" following his critical comments about the Camp Nou side before the Champions League tie at Manchester City, reports Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).
According to the article, Mourinho claimed the current Barcelona was one of the "worst in many years" but Fabregas was unimpressed with that assessment.
The former Arsenal star is quoted as saying:
We are top of the table, in the Spanish Cup final, in a good moment in the Champions League.
You cannot ask for more. Some people want us to fail; some people have been talking too much during the week, so for a few days they will have to shut up.
Mourinho should talk about Chelsea. I don’t think he should talk about anything else. It is not in his business.
Man City's Martin Demichelis Does Not Blame Referee for Dismissal vs. Barcelona
Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis says referee Jonas Eriksson is not to blame for his dismissal in the Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday night, report Martin Blackburn and Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).
City manager Manuel Pellegrini had questioned the appointment of the Swedish official for the game, but Demichelis admits the ref had a difficult decision to make:
I tackled him (Lionel Messi) because we were still outside the box.
But I don’t blame the referee. It happened all too fast.
I have seen the moment again on TV and think 'Why did I have to tackle him and not keep running by his side?'
Pellegrini is still waiting to hear about possible UEFA disciplinary action over his comments, claims Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.
Manchester United Given Hope in Transfer Chase for William Carvalho
Manchester United have been boosted in their hopes of signing William Carvalho after Sporting lined up a replacement for the defender, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.
Anderson claims the Portuguese club are lining up a move for Estoril defender Goncalo, which could free up Carvalho for a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
Meanwhile, Holland manager Louis van Gaal claims United striker Robin van Persie is more comfortable with the international squad compared to Old Trafford, reports David Kent of the Daily Mail.
David Moyes is tracking the progress of Barcelona midfielder Rafa Alcantara, the brother of Thiago, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
United are facing a backlash from supporters over ticket prices for next season, which will not change despite the possible lack of Champions League football, reports Ian Herbert of The Independent.
Louis Van Gaal Admits Spurs Contact as He Targets Premier League Move
Holland manager Louis van Gaal has admitted Tottenham have spoken with him as he targets the Premier League for his next move, reports Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror.
The Netherlands boss will see his current deal expire after the World Cup, when he will look towards the English top flight for his next role, according to the article.
Van Gaal is quoted as saying:
I am mostly interested in England because I have been a coach in Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, so I think England is the next step in my career.
Spurs? It could be another club. It depends on the vacancies, because Spurs was already with me.
I prefer to be focused on this World Cup and now there’s another coach (at Spurs), so as coach you cannot say I go to that club or that club, it depends on circumstances and the vacancies.
Chelsea Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois Slams Simon Mignolet for Lack of Respect
According to the article, the Liverpool No. 1 is unhappy at Courtois being the preferred choice of Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots ahead of the World Cup.
But Courtois, who is on loan at Atletico Madrid, is quoted as saying:
When someone says he’s been unfairly dropped as Belgium’s No. 1 keeper I see it as a personal attack on me.
It shows you don’t accept your manager’s calls—and you have no respect for the first choice.
He needs to show respect for whoever is currently in that role.
Bits and Pieces: Jorge Valdano on Gareth Bale, Fabio Capello, Adnan Januzaj
Valdano is quoted as saying:
Bale has a rare anxiety because he doesn't seem to be with the pace of the game.
When you're anxious, you play at a speed above what suits you, but he is absent.
The team saves him. There are many points of attention, including Jese, who is going unnoticed in Bale's bad moments.
Former Real Madrid and England boss Fabio Capello has been caught up in controversy after selecting the wrong player for his latest Russia squad, claims Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror.
According to the article, Capello included Lokomotiv Moscow reserve Andrey Semenov in his squad to face Armenia on Mar. 5 when he meant the Terek Grozny defender with the same name.
Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj has put England on alert after rejecting the chance to play for Kosovo, reports Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.