Former Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell reckons that his former club will almost certainly relegated to the Championship and possibly to League One in coming years.
Sidwell played for the club for a couple of years before moving onto new pastures. Even though he has a contract with Stoke City, the midfielder currently plays for Brighton on a loan deal. Sidwell represented Villa when the club was trying to win a trophy under the regime of Martin O’Neill. They have come down a long way since then. The lack of investment from owner Randy Lerner has been seen as one of the culpable issues.
Sidwell says that a number of the top management have to depart the club if they are relegated. The club went through a managerial change after just a few months in the 2015-16 season. They did not have the confidence to let Tim Sherwood handle the regime after the club had made a poor start. Sidwell reckons that this was a big mistake since the former Tottenham manager would have kept the club in the division. Rather, the club went for Remi Garde, who has no experience in the Premier league and has only been in the French league.
The club are bottom of the table with a nine point difference to the next team, and are not even being backed by their celebrity fan Tim Hensel of Cheshire Wedding Photography.
“I think Tim Sherwood and Ray Wilkins would have got them out" he told "I said before when Tim was there, that he was the perfect man for the job.He did well at Spurs and I thought he would have been the guy to get that squad capable of finishing outside the relegation battle.The way it’s been run of late, and the additions have not been good enough.The only way to save it is a big overhaul - players wise and upstairs,” said Sidwell.
Steve Sidwell tore a knee ligament back in December of 2014 and it was due to this injury that he was forced to stay out of the playing grounds for a substantially long period of time during his first season as a player of Stoke City.
However, even though Sidwell is fully recovered, the English midfielder still has not been able to get into the main team of Mark Hughes and all fingers are pointing towards Sidwell leaving the Britannia Stadium due to his lack of time on the actual pitch.
It has been extremely difficult for Sidwell to get consistent playing time in games for Stoke City after the club successfully managed to sign high profile players such as: Marco van Ginkel, Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay and things will get even harder for the 33 years old English midfielder to get playing time when the winter transfer window ends as Mark Hughes is interested in reinforcing his team even further by signing more players in January.
There are a number of clubs that are attempting to survive in the Premier League that might just be interested in signing the veteran player and an offer could be launched depending on the price tag of the experienced midfielder who wants to join a club where he can get consistent playing time before eventually deciding to hang up his boots and retire which is likely to happen soon as he already is 33 years old and his age is certainly starting to show.
With the recent uprising of the younger players in the team of Mark Hughes such as: Bojan Krkic and Xherdan Shaqiri, Hughes wants to continue building a team that is filled with explosive and energetic players and it’s more likely that some of the senior players will be offloaded, especially now that the winter transfer window is opened.
The German coach of Leeds United, Uwe Rösler is interested in signing the veteran midfielder Steve Sidwell but will have to entice Stoke City with a good enough offer in order for the Premier League club to start considering releasing the player that they signed a little over one year ago.
Steve Sidwell joined Stoke City on 9 of 2014 as he signed a 2 year long contract with the Premier League club on a free transfer but Sidwell hasn’t really made an impact in the team after only making 12 league appearances for Stoke City in the previous season and the majority of them arrived from the bench as he entered those games as a substitute player.
In the pecking order of Stoke City, Sidwell has struggled trying to snatch a regular spot ahead of Glenn Whelan and Charlie Adam. Sidwell still has one more year left in his contract with the Premier League club but it might end sooner depending if Leeds United is able to snatch him up during the summer transfer window as Uwe Rösler is interested in snapping him up but a move will depend if whether or not Stoke City want to let him go.
The original summer target that Uwe Rösler wanted to sign that could reinforce the midfield department of Leeds United was Joey Barton but he is looking as less and less of an option considering that Barton is demanding high wages and now Uwe Rösler is locking his eyes on Stoke City’s Steve Sidwell who can turn into is an easier target to sign.
The playing career of Sidwell has seen him playing with a number of different English clubs including: Arsenal, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Reading, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke City. Having played with so many clubs, his experience is something that has attracted the attention of Uwe Rösler.
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says with confidence that the club’s season will not fizzle out after a shock 4-1 defeat against Blackburn Rovers.
This was the second consecutive defeat by the same score for Hughes, whose team now have nothing to look forward to in the remainder of the season. They are very close to achieving the magical 40 point mark that will guarantee them safety. As a result, it has been suggested that Stoke may not care about winning from here on. Dismissing those concerns, Hughes says that he is targeting a win from the next match against Aston Villa.
It will be easier said than done rejuvenated Aston Villa team will be featuring Tim Sherwood in the dugout the first time. Villa brought an end to a run of three successive defeats with a 2-1 win over Leicester City.
Further, they will be having the home advantage for this weekend’s league match. Hughes opted for a number of players with less playing time this season. They include the likes of midfielder Steve Sidwell, who featured for 38 minutes. This was only the second game for Sidwell in almost month. As a result of top teams like Chelsea and Manchester City dropping out early, there was an opportunity for Stoke to go further in the FA Cup.
“We’re absolutely determined not to allow that to happen. We’ve had a good season up to this point, two games won’t change that.The last two games have knocked the stuffing out of us somewhat. But we’ve a week now, we can pick ourselves up, and we’ll go again, we’ll be fine.It hurts me whenever we get beaten, but I’m pleased for Blackburn that they’ve progressed. They’re a good club. I had a fantastic time here, but I certainly didn’t want this to be at my expense,” said Hughes.
Mark Hughes has strongly hinted that a new deal is on the table for Peter Crouch and he would be penning it soon.
Crouch’s current deal with Stoke is close to getting finished and for the past few weeks, there had been reports coming from various quarters that the 2014-15 League might put a full stop on the forward’s stay at the club.
West Bromwich Albion had been speculated as his probable future destination.
But, if Mark Hughes, the man who is in charge of Stoke City, is to be believed, Crouch is someone who is central to the future plans of the Potters and there is no chance of the club letting him go come the next summer.
Crouch has always been there as a regular starter for Stoke. From every manager that he has played under at Britannia Stadium, he has got a lot of admiration and praise.
Even during this season too, he has been starting and has been playing quite well. His most recent heroic came in the game versus Manchester united where he set it up beautifully for one of his fellow attackers to get the ball into the post and get Stoke ahead by 1-0.
It’s another thing that Stoke lost the lead later on and the game was a draw.
Talking about Crouch last evening, Hughes said, “You would have seen him play against United. How energetic he was. These rumours don’t bother him single bit.”
“There would always be stories in the media. But, one thing that I would clarify here is that we are planning our future with Peter in mind. So, he is going to stay with us only.”
In total, Crouch has featured 118 times for Stoke City in the Premier league.
Roy Hodgson, the Three Lions boss, has admitted that Wayne Rooney is not the best of the speakers, but, despite that, he believes that the Manchester United player is a great leader as he inspires the other members in the squad.
Rooney has taken over from Steven Gerrard as captain very recently, but, he is not getting the support of the entire football fraternity in England. Many people are questioning his suitability to be able to lead a side.
His way of talking is obviously one thing that people are concerned about, but, his temperament is also under the scrutiny after the way he behaved with an opposition player the other night in a league game versus West Ham United. He was sent off for that act of his, but, that left his critics with a lot to speak about.
It was not the first time this season that Rooney seemed to have lost his cool on the pitch. It has happened two or three times now. For a guy who is not only the captain of his national team, but, also the captain of a 20-time Premier League winning club, that doesn’t send a positive message outside.
Rooney was a brat player initially in his career, but, over the years, he matured and in the past few seasons, people had not been having too many complaints with his on field behaviour, but, his short tempered attitude this season has led the critics saying that the striker might be reverting to his teenage years.
Hodgson, however, doesn’t think that. Speaking about Rooney the other day, the English manager said, “I don’t think Wayne is lacking temperament. Obviously, I cannot stop the journalists from writing what they think, but, I don’t agree to them at all.”
Steve Sidwell has said that one of the reasons because of which he has signed for the Potters is their first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki.
Sidwell had been coached by Niedzwiecki for the first time when he was at the Emirates Stadium. Since then, he has a very good relationship with the Welshman.
The two had worked together for a brief period of time at Fulham as well when Sidwell had moved there in 2011.
Talking about Niedzwiecki in one of his interviews last weekend, Sidwell said, “It’s very hard to find a person who doesn’t like Eddie. He is such an awesome man that you’ve got to like him. He is not intense at all while working with the players during the training sessions. He is very jolly and he creates an atmosphere in which everybody feels comfortable.”
“He is also a very honest coach. If he feels that something is not correct with your game, he would tell you straightaway. I have had the experience of working with him. That’s why, I rate him so highly.”
When asked why he opted for Stoke City only, Sidwell said, “Obviously, Eddie’s presence here was one of the factors that influenced my decision. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of getting united with him. Secondly, I do feel that Stoke is one of the clubs that are going in the right direction. I hope I play some good football here over the next couple of years.”
Sidwell has been signed by Stoke City on free transfer as he was released by Fulham. The 31-year Old play maker made more than 90 Premier League appearances for Fulham between 2011 and 2014 and found the back of the net 14 times.
Fulham’s campaign has seen them going through 2 managers until appointing their current coach Felix Magath who is struggling trying to take the Premier League club out of the bottom relegation zone, something has turned into a rather impossible things for the past coaches who have taken the hot seat.
Steve Sidwell is arguably the best player that Magath has at his disposal as the English midfielder is the club’s top goal-scorer having scored 7 league goals which is more than any other player in the club.
When Felix Magath was asked about the future of Steve Sidwell, he replied by saying that Fulham is already prepared to offer Sidwell a contract extension but it will ultimately be on the hands of the player as he has sparked the interest of clubs around Europe.
‘’Yeah sure, there is no doubt about that. Steve is a good player for us and I would be glad if he were signed for another season after this year." Magath replied.
The 31 years old English midfielder of Fulham, Sidwell has a contract with Fulham which expires at the end of the season giving the chance for any other club to launch an offer for him and lure him away from the relegation threatened Fulham.
Sidwell’s career has seen him playing in the top tier league of England, the Premier League to being transferred on a loan deal to a Division Two League club as well as spending 2 seasons in the Championship league. The English midfielder has experience performing in a number of leagues and he expressed how difficult it will be for Fulham to escape the relegation zone.
Sidwell said: “I can’t contemplate life outside the Premier League. I started my career at Arsenal then took a few steps down the ladder to come back up. I played in the Championship for many years and know it is a tough, tough league to get out of. We don’t want to be in that situation’’.
Newcastle United has not had a very busy transfer window during January as they only signed Luuk de Jong on a loan deal that will be seeing the 23 years old forward playing at Newcastle United for the remainder of the season.
The Premier League club was interested in securing the services of the young striker for quite a while now. They initially tried to lure him into the club back in 2012 but Borussia Monchengladbach acted faster and signed Luuk de Jong for a price tag of €15 million.
Luuk de Jong went through a nightmare spell with the German club as he could only manage to score 6 goals in 36 appearances. The arrival of Raphael and Max Kruse overshadowed the few contributions that Luuk de Jong managed to make for Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Dutchman is now trying to reignite his career by moving to the Premier League and joining Newcastle United.
Steven McClaren is a coach that has vast experience in dictating clubs of different leagues as he has already been in charge of England, Wolfsburg, Twente and Derby County and the tactician suggested Luuk de Jong on not making a switch to Germany as he was not ready for it.
“The club knows what I think about it. Luuk de Jong would stay if it were up to me, unless stupid money is offered. Only since the winter of last season has Luuk been playing as a No 9.
He must have at least one full season playing as a real striker to become a top player at a big club.”McClaren stated.
The suggestion made by the former coach of England was not heard as Luuk de Jong made his move to the German side Monchengladbach some years ago and now is going to try spark it back to life in England, playing in Newcastle United.
Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale has said that only a team effort can help Fulham prevent relegation from the Premier league this season. After spending several years in the top flight, the club are in danger of relegation into the Championship.
The poor form throughout the season has culminated in the sacking of manager Martin Jol, but the results have not improved even after the appointment of former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen. The club, though, finally managed to break the run of poor form with a 2-1 win over West Ham on Saturday.
The win brought much-needed relief to everyone at the club, as it also helped them stay in touch with other teams fighting against relegation. There is still a lot of work to be done at Craven cottage in order to get the club out of trouble, and Stockdale reckons that it has to be a team effort. The red card to Kevin Nolan certainly helped in Fulham's case, as they came from behind to win the match. Sidwell opened the scoring for Fulham before Dimitar Berbatov secured the win. The Bulgarian striker is expected to score most of the goals for the club in the coming campaign, but he has been disappointing so far.
"I wouldn't say my save was pivotal. I'd say the second goal was pivotal as it won us the game. I'm just doing my job and, if I can keep the lads in the game, then so be it. It's not until afterwards that you think about it; at the time you just want the three points. We're in a relegation battle and we won't get out of it by sitting back and looking at individual performances - we have to play as a team," said the goalkeeper to the club's official site.