Man City ‘quietly confident’ of winning title, says Stones

John Stones thinks his Man City teammates are ‘quietly confident’ of winning the Premier League title this season.

Pep Guardiola’s men have won their last five league matches to put them back in the top two.

They sit in second behind rivals Man Utd with a game in hand.

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Their most recent match was a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace, during which Stones bagged two goals.

The Englishman is enjoying an apparent renaissance in the City first team.

When asked about the team’s mood towards winning the title, Stones said: “I think quietly confident – but no-one really gets ahead of themselves, no-one looks too far, which is a great quality to have.

“In previous seasons where we have won the league we have never looked further than the next game and that’s all we can affect and all we can prepare for.

“We keep that mentality and hopefully we can keep on this winning run.”

City will be expecting to continue their form in the next few matches. They play Aston Villa and then West Brom in the Prem.

Next month, they will face Liverpool and Tottenham in consecutive matches which could decide the title race.

Individually, Stones is enjoying a great season at the Etihad. He’s scored three goals this month and is forming a great partnership with new centre back Ruben Dias.

When asked about his recent form, Stones said: “I’ve been wanting to add goals to my game.

“I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe in the wrong way sometimes, to get on the scoresheet but I’ve kept chipping away and kept chipping away in training, trying to improve and being in the right areas.

“It’s a collection of things that have got to come together and I’m really pleased, it’s a weight off my shoulders, my first ‘two’ for City.”

Arsenal target Aouar wants move to ‘top three clubs’ in the world

Memphis Depay believes Arsenal target Houssem Aouar wants a move to one of the ‘top three clubs in the world’.

Aouar was closely linked with Arsenal last summer as an option to replace Mesut Ozil.

The Gunners seemed to be priced out of a deal as Lyon held out for at least £70 million.

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Arsenal have now been handed a further blow in their pursuit of the playmaker.

Speaking to French outlet Canal+ (via Mirror), Depay said: “We know we play for a very big club but we want to go to one of the top three clubs in the world.

“Then you will see Houssem, he will get ten times better. For me, it’s the same.”

The news means Aouar and Depay will search for a move to Europe’s elite clubs.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are now potential destinations for the pair.

Aouar is contracted with Lyon until June 2023. He’s been one of their star players in recent seasons, which lead to the interest from Arsenal.

The 22-year-old scored nine goals and assisted ten more in 41 matches last term.

Depay, meanwhile, is being linked with a move to Barcelona. Compatriot Ronald Koeman is manager of the Catalan giants and is thought to be a big admirer of the forward.

He wants to sign Depay to prepare Barcelona for life without talisman Lionel Messi.

Both Depay and Aouar look set to end the season with Lyon first. When asked about his future recently, Aouar said: “I do not see how I could be unhappy in my city, in my club. That is something that I do not understand.

“I am very happy to be here, I took the decision to stay with the club that formed me, I savour every day I have here.

“Everything that I want, is to put this club back in its rightful place with my team-mates. I am very happy to be here, we have an enormous amount of ambitions for this season.”

Arsenal could lose out in the race for Aouar to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Ince slams Ole over something Mourinho got ‘slaughtered for’

Paul Ince has criticised Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his negative tactics in their 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

The Red Devils set up defensively in the first half as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances until United had the two best opportunities of the match when Alisson pulled off second-half saves from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Jose Mourinho has often been criticised for ‘parking the bus’ when it comes to games against some of the best sides in the division.

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And Ince reckons that is exactly what Solskjaer did during the goalless draw at Anfield despite Liverpool being “there for the taking”.

“You could see the game plan with Manchester United, you saw it from the first whistle – they defended very, very deep,” Ince told talkSPORT.

“I thought United were very poor in the first-half.

“I remember a few years ago when Mourinho took United to Anfield, he parked the bus and got absolutely slaughtered for it – that’s exactly what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did in the first-half.

“We knew they were going to defend and rely on their quick players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to counter attack Liverpool.

“But I’ve played in Man United teams… you don’t go to Anfield to defend.

“Especially at a time where they’ve got two of their best midfield players playing at centre-half and they haven’t scored in the last two games.

“I wanted to see them have a go at Liverpool, because they were there for the taking.

“This was an opportunity for Man United to go there and show what they were all about, but they just sat deep and it disappoints me.”


Ex-Arsenal midfielder Wilshere ‘agrees deal’ to join Bournemouth

Former Arsenal man Jack Wilshere has agreed to join Bournemouth on a short term deal, according to reports.

The English midfielder has been without a club since leaving West Ham in October last year.

He began training with the Cherries recently in a bid to regain match fitness.

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According to Sky Sports, Wilshere has now completed his return to football by signing with the Championship side.

He has agreed a short term deal with the club, potentially seeing him stay at the Vitality Stadium until the summer.

The player is thought to have impressed manager Jason Tindall during recent training sessions.

Wilshere is set to help Bournemouth in their attempts to gain promotion.

The Cherries currently sit third in the table on 42 points. They are fighting with the likes of Norwich and Swansea for automatic promotion to the top flight.

They were relegated last season after finishing one point from safety.

Wilshere has already made 27 appearances for Bournemouth in the 2016/17 season.

He joined on loan from Arsenal after seeing his game time reduced in North London.

The player has struggled with injuries throughout his career, limiting him to 183 Premier League appearances.

He burst onto the scene with Arsenal in 2008 as a dynamic and energetic midfielder.

Wilshere came through their academy and was seen as a future Premier League star.

He soon made his way into the national team, although injuries prevented him from gaining much form.

Wilshere left for West Ham in 2018 after making 125 appearances for Arsenal.

He failed to become a regular at the London Stadium and resultantly had his contract terminated.

Wilshere previously revealed that a transfer to Bournemouth was unlikely. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I don’t think they need me. They’re flying at the moment and they have good young midfielders.”

However, it seems he has done enough to impress coaches on the south coast.

Randy Orton Says His Injury Isn't Serious, Original Plans For DiBiase vs. R-Truth

sources: Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

— Randy Orton has told friends he doesn’t expect his shoulder injury to keep him out of action for long. While he initially feared the worst when he suffered the injury at Over The Limit, it appears he will be healed in time for next month’s Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view, which he is advertised for.

Though Orton appeared to suffer the injury during his match with Edge on Sunday, he entered the match hurt. He worked a tag match with John Cena against Batista and Sheamus the previous night and was nursing the arm late in the bout. It doesn’t appear a bump caused the injury as after making a tag to Cena, he immediately grabbed his arm and held it in pain for the remainder of match.

— Ted DiBiase suffered a concussion very early in his match with R-Truth this past Sunday night at Over The Limit when Truth slapped him across the face and knocked him loopy. An audible was called due to the injury, as DiBiase was tabbed to blame Virgil for his loss, subsequently knocking him out with the Dream Street. It remains unclear at this time whether Santino Marella hitting Virgil with the Vulcan Neck Pinch in a comedy segment the following night on Raw constituted his character being written off, or if it will happen within the next few weeks.

Regarding DiBiase, he won’t be allowed to wrestle until medically cleared. He is expected to be kept out the ring for a few weeks so he can heal.

See photos of new look CM Punk ->