Zeman not surprised by Almeyda revelations

27 September 2012 21:03

Roma coach Zdenek Zeman says he is not surprised to hear of the latest doping revelations to have emerged from Serie A.

The Czech Republic boss accused champions Juventus of drugs offences during the 90s, an allegation that has caused resentment between the two parties ever since.

Now former Inter midfielder Matias Almeyda has released an autobiography highlighting the extent of the problem during his playing career in Italy, and Zeman has stated that the latest news does not surprise him.

“Years ago I said there was doping in football,” he told TV programme Serie A.

“I have not read Almeyda’s autobiography, but I’m not surprised. Now players are saying what I said. If they had done so before, the problem would have been eliminated long ago.”

Zeman will take his Roma charges to Turin to face Juventus this weekend, and is unlikely to receive a warm reception due to the lingering bitterness the Bianconeri faithful hold for him.

The 65-year-old has played down the potentially hostile encounter, indicating that the opposition supporters should direct their anger towards other parties.

“There are rumours, but I hope it is merely a game of football,” he said. “If Juve fans are angry with me, they should be angry with the prosecutors, the courts, and so many other people.”

Alves reveals PSG approach

27 September 2012 20:49

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has revealed Paris Saint-German made an approach to sign him from Camp Nou during the transfer window.

The big-spending Ligue 1 giants bolstered their squad with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva from AC Milan.

The right-back, 29, has refused to rule out a future move to Parc des Princes but insists it would depend on no longer being wanted at Camp Nou.

“It is true that PSG has called many people and built a beautiful project,” he told RMC on Thursday.

“This summer, they spoke to my representatives and consulted to see if they could do a transfer.

“But the possibility was very low because my price was very high and suddenly they turned to other players.

“As to whether I could play in Paris, you never know what the future holds, and I don’t have to close doors. If one day, Barca do not want me anymore (then who knows).”

Park: QPR must not let leads slip

27 September 2012 20:43

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Park Ji-Sung has urged his side to stop dropping points from winning positions.

Mark Hughes’ side took a 2-1 lead in their League Cup clash against Reading on Wednesday, but conceded two late goals as they crashed out of the competition at Loftus Road.

The South Korean international feels the message is ingrained in the players, and is determined not to let it happen again.

He told the club’s website: “After taking a 2-1 lead (against Reading), we lost concentration and conceded two late goals. We must not repeat this again.

“We scored twice and conceded straight away both times. If we want to win games, we have to be better after scoring goals.

“It’s not an excuse, but I know we can learn from that.”

QPR’s next test is against West Ham, and Park is hopeful of registering the club’s first win of the season in the clash, but knows he and his team-mates are in for a tough battle.

“It’s a very big game, because we haven’t won a league game. It’s one that we want to get three points from – especially as we’re at home,” he said.

“We need to win the game, everyone knows that. Everyone was disappointed by our result against Reading, but we have to recover quickly from that.

“It will be a difficult test. (West Ham) are a physical team and play in a similar way to Reading. We have to learn from that and show we did. There can be no excuses.”

Alba: Barca must avoid upset losses

27 September 2012 20:29

Barcelona must try to avoid the slump in form Real Madrid have been through recently, according to Spain international Jordi Alba.

Reigning La Liga champions Real sit seventh in the Spanish top flight on seven points, while Barca sit top, eight points ahead of their rivals with a 100 percent record.

Alba believes the early points difference could be crucial this campaign, although the signing insists Atletico Madrid and Malaga could be contenders this season.

“We are eight points (ahead) and it’s very important,” the 23-year-old told AS. “Now we have to think about getting the three points against Sevilla.

“Hopefully we can keep the difference (between the clubs) up to the Clasico. But I would not rule out Atletico and Malaga (winning the league).

“We’ll see if we can beat Madrid, it would be great to extend the distance. It was unthinkable that Madrid lost these games, so we are warned: it can happen to us.”

Frimpong thrilled with return

27 September 2012 15:47

Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has spoken of his delight and relief after finally making his comeback from injury on Wednesday.

The Ghana-born midfielder suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing on loan at Wolverhampton last season, a similar injury to the one he suffered in his left knee in 2010.

But, with Wednesday’s 20-minute cameo against Coventry City under his belt, Frimpong is delighted to have stepped back onto the Emirates Stadium pitch and is looking forward to the season.

“It feels good to be back after so much hard work in the gym, and I’m just pleased to be playing football again,” Frimpong told Arsenal Player.

“I’m a footballer – all I want to do is get out there and help my team, whether I am fit enough to play or fit enough to be in the squad. I just want to be out there with the lads and helping Arsenal progress.

“(The crowd’s reaction) makes me feel good obviously and shows that the fans appreciate me here. That is always a nice gesture and I am just happy that I went on to help the team win the game.”

Despite being on the sidelines for so long, Frimpong did not let his absence affect his natural game, making and receiving strong challenges, which pleased the former England youth international.

“I think it is quite important when you come back from a big injury. You want people to knock you about a bit. I got one, but I wanted more,” he said.