EPL Daily 1.25: Shearer says ‘no-go’; Liverpool refinancing; Chelsea signing, etc.

ALAN SHEARER: The former Newcastle and Blackburn striker was widely seen as Kevin Keegan’s best candidate for top assistant coach at Tyneside. A meeting between the two end up with Shearer stating he would not like to be considered for the assistant coach positon. Apparently, a future meeting will determine if Alan Shearer could have a role within the new Newcastle regime.

LIVERPOOL: American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks have firmly solidified their intentions at Liverpool amidst heavy scrutiny as well as a recent failed takeover bid from Dubai. A $700 million re-financing should ensure for all Liverpool supporters that a new stadium at Stanley Park will get done on time and in perfect order. In the same breath, both Hicks and Gillett have expressed that they are behind Rafa Benitez, even despite media reports otherwise.

MARLON KING: The Jamaican striker was angry to see a transfer to Fulham fail due to fee negotiations, but Wigan has come in to rescue King and offer him Premiership football. The fee was undisclosed but expected to be in the range of $ 6-8 million. Watford was quick to try and bring a replacement, securing 22-year old Dutch misfit Collins John from Fulham on a season’s-end loan.

FRANCO DI SANTO: One of the stars of the U-2o World Cup in Canada for champions Argentina, Di Santo has been snapped up by Chelsea, who continue to nurture their young stars rather effectively. Look at Jon Obi Mikel, Solomon Kalou, and Scott Sinclair – all have continued to progress and provide decent appearances for the Blues. Di Santo should be no different. Chelsea came out on top of the battle for Di Santo’s signature which has been wrestled for over the past 6 months. At 19 years old, nothing crazy is expected of the 6’4″ Audax Italiano (CHI) forward, but with comparisons to Diego Maradona abundant (but which Argentinan youth star isn’t compared with Diego), many Blues fans aren’t looking for him to wait in the reserves for long.

THEO WALCOTT: Signed at 16 and now only 18, some Arsenal supporters are already calling Walcott a dud. I’d give him until at least 22 before you decide that, especially considering you paid around $15 million for the kid. Regardless, there was speculation that Wenger might loan him out to see if he gain some much-needed experience (how’s a cap for England for experience?). Wenger has declared those claims untrue. The rumors put him going to Stoke City (the Championship squad whose owner recently secured a USL-Division 1 expansion squad in Austin, Texas – the Aztex).

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Watford’s Al Bangura: A Quest for Education on the Matter

The 19-year old Sierra Leone midfielder arrived in the UK in 2005, bright-eyed at the prospect of being scouted by a soccer team, let alone one the size of Watford.

Now, almost three years later, and with a fiance as well as a son and a steady job, the British Asylum and Immigration Authorities have denied him asylum in the UK and have ordered Bangura back to Sierra Leone.

Nothing incenses Coach Aidy Boothroyd more.

“He came over as a 15-year-old boy, he escaped two civil wars and he got a lucky break in life as he was scouted by a football club,” explained Boothroyd to Sky Sports News. “After the immigration hearing I said I had a faith in the British justice but obviously I was totally mistaken as it is a completely ludicrous decision, this country great as it once was seems to allow anyone in for benefit as they fancy and we have one young man here who pays his taxes, has a fiancée, a new-born son and they expect him to go back to Sierra Leone – it is ridiculous. I can’t go into too much detail, but we have been sent a document for the reasons why and we are appealing – rather than these pen pushers someone higher up, perhaps Jacqui Smith the home secretary could look at it and make a decent decision rather than the one we have got. He is deeply disappointed. He thought his life had changed for the better and as I have said before, you put faith in the system and it comes back to haunt you. We are all disappointed and he is having to be consoled. We have ten days to appeal and we are working hard, and of course we are trying to go to Jacqui Smith but that is easier said than done but we hope common sense will prevail. He is a terrific young player, very talented and he will be a big, big player for us in the future – but this is more than football.”

That was picked from Sky Sports. Please – anyone with knowledge on this sort of thing – don’t these past three years of consistent work, a family, an organization requesting his permanent stay have anything to do with the decision for him to stay or go?

To make matters worse, if deported, his attempt to get back in to the UK will most likely take a hard hit as it’s pretty clear he won’t qualify for a work permit as he isn’t capped for Sierra Leone. The fact that he played 16 games in the Premiership last year could potentially speak for something, but it can’t be considered.

Even worse, apparently as of today, the appeal was rejected.

Reading Points

Guardian (UK)
Times Online (UK)
Skysports (UK)

Anyone want to take a stab at enlightening a guy who is oblivious to this whole process?

EPL Daily 10.22: Weekend Results; Hamann Smashed; and a new Yank Abroad

EPL Para-Roundup

Dirk Kuijt converted 2 PK’s to beat 9-man Everton (Howard got his hand to both PKs but couldn’t follow through). Rooney scored a brace to lead Man Utd over Aston Villa 4-1 but he had 3 other sitters (one a PK) missing his chance for a hat-trick (that’s still 5 goals in the last 6 games). Elano (best fantasy league pick-up ever) scored yet again for Manchester City in a 1-0 shutout of Birmingham. Portsmouth, Arsenal, and Chelsea earned respective 2-0 shutouts with Drogba back and firing (keep watching the Drogba bit as it looks to intensify in the coming weeks and look up the Alex free kick strike). Blackburn used the formidable duo of Benni McCarthy and Roque Santa Cruz to fend off two Kevin Doyle goals and beat Reading 4-2. Fulham and Derby fought to a 0-0 deadlock (Dempsey and Lewis played all 90, while Boca came off the bench due to questionable recent form), while West Ham and Craig Bellamy hurt the feelings of Roy Keane and Sunderland in a 3-1 thrashing. Arsenal sit on top by 2 points with a game in tow over the Red Devils.

Other news:

Though many probably overlooked this – Manchester City midfielder and former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann went out – about a year ago, got soused, and crashed his $150,000 Porsche into a fence. Obviously intoxicated at the scene but swearing that he was not the one behind the wheel, Hamann refused to divulge info on who the driver actually was. In the most delayed case ever, Hamann had his license taken away for 6 months and fined a good chunk of change – a year later.

American goalkeeper Ian Joyce – who recently has spent trial time with Millwall and Conference side Grays Athletic – looks to pull a Jay Demerit and earn his way into Watford’s line-up after being picked up on Sunday by the surging Championship side. Born, raised, and educated in the NJ (a Seton Hall Pirate), Joyce played for the Watford Reserves recently. Watford currently sit at the top of the tables with a 6 point lead over Bristol City as they continue their effort for EPL ball again.