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Nik Simon

Host commentator


...So here's one last story before Football 9-5 signs off for the evening.

Chris Wheeler reports: 'Sir Alex Ferguson has sent a message of hope to Manchester United fans and reminded them of the dark days before he brought unprecedented success to Old Trafford. 

Ferguson’s successor David Moyes has endured a difficult time with United making their worst start to a league season in 24 years following early defeats to Manchester City, Liverpool and West Brom.'

The gaffer is looking at his watch, so that's full time! Good night.



Gordon Strachan is relaxed about Croatia boss Igor Stimac's seemingly low-key attitude to his side's final 2014 World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

The hosts have no chance of reaching the finals in Brazil next summer, while the Croats will go into the play-offs next month after losing to Group A winners Belgium on Friday.

Relaxed: Strachan was composed as he dealt with Stimic's comment

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden still hopes to play again this season and even be fit for the World Cup as he recovers from the third serious knee injury of his career.

Holden has only made nine club appearances since suffering an injury to his left knee in a challenge with Manchester United defender Jonny Evans at Old Trafford in March 2011.

The 28-year-old then ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the USA against Panama in the Gold Cup Final in July. But Holden is making a faster recovery than expected and believes he could be back in action by February – in time to win a place in the squad for Brazil.

‘I’m doing some great work rehab-wise,’ said Holden. ‘The plan is, by December, I’m looking to be back out on the field in terms of doing some ball work, stepping up my fitness and getting that core fitness back.

‘You always like to dangle a carrot in front of yourself and that (the World Cup) certainly is mine.

‘I did it last time. I broke my leg eight weeks before the World Cup in South Africa and made it back to that team, and that’s definitely a big goal for me.

‘I told Jurgen Kilnsmann I’ll be on that plane to Brazil – and I don’t plan to go back on my word.’

Long-term problem: Bolton's Stuart Holden is tackled from behind by Chelsea's Ramires

Charlie Skillen: Carlton Cole has signed a three-month deal with West Ham, sealing his return to the club he left at the end of last season.

The striker has proved his fitness after initially not doing enough to secure a contract, but a striker shortage for Sam Allardyce's men, coupled with the former Chelsea man's upturn in training, ensured the new deal.

Cole, who turned 30 on Sunday, said he was delighted to finally confirm his return to Upton Park, where his first spell began in 2006.

Swift return: Cole is heading back to Upton Park as cover for Andy Carroll

Hearing that the Cardiff board meeting was generally amicable and that Malky Mackay remains the club's manager. What happens next will be interesting as Mackay has made it clear that he expects the club to fully explain their decision to get rid of Iain Moody. If they don't, then this fragile arrangement could yet collapse.


The next hour will help make it clearer whether Robbie Keane will be fit for tomorrow's final World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

The Republic of Ireland captain missed Friday's defeat in Cologne with an ankle injury.

But he trained yesterday, just after caretaker manager Noel King had said he wouldn't, and is keen to play at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow night.

If Keane appears at the pre-match press conference at the old Lansdowne Road at 5pm then his injury must have cleared up so he can face Kazakhstan.

On Thursday, prior to the 3-0 defeat to Germany, King appeared with defender Damien Delaney rather than his captain, immediately sparking speculation that the LA Galaxy striker was due to miss the penultimate qualifier.

Normally the Ireland boss names his side on the eve of matches but King has already decided he will announce his team tomorrow morning when he tells the players.

As well as Keane, the Under-21 boss has experienced defenders Richard Dunne and John O'Shea available after suspension.

Skipper: Robbie Keane missed Ireland's fixture on Friday night

Chelsea target Sami Khedira has hit out at current club Real Madrid, increasing his chances of a winter transfer exit. 

The German international, who was also the subject of a late bid by Manchester United last summer, has complained of being a scapegoat at the club since the man who signed him – Jose Mourinho left.

Khedrira told Kicker: 'I’m not a Spanish player, I did not cost a lot of money and I am one of Mourinho’s disciples.'

On his way out? Sami Khedira claims he is being made a scapegoat at the Bernabeu

Poland are piling the pressure on goalkeeper Artur Boruc as he prepares for his mission to keep out England tomorrow.

If his club form this season is anything to go by, Boruc is going to be tough to beat in 90 minutes. Southampton have conceded the least goals in the entire football league and he has the best saves-to-shots ratio of any top flight 'keeper.

The 33-year-old has saved 90.48% of the shots he's faced, making him almost impossible to beat this campaign. Liverpool's Simon Mignolet is second having kept out 85.29% followed by Petr Cech who has stopped 80% of them.

Southampton man: Goalkeeper Artur Boruc makes a save from Wilfried Bony of Swansea City

From Carlton Cole

'I'm a West Ham United Player again. Thanks for the support.'

Striker: Carlton Cole will bolster West ham's attack

Sir Alex Ferguson has been speaking today after he was given the Freedom of the Borough of Trafford and had a road named after near Manchester United’s home ground.

Speaking before unveiling Sir Alex Ferguson Way, the former United boss said: ‘This encapsulates the last 26 years, coming to a great club and the history of it.

‘It’s been an incredible journey for me, ending here today to unveil this road sign, Sir Alex Ferguson Way, so I’m really proud of that.

‘I’d like to thank Manchester United for inviting me down here 26 years ago. It was a fantastic elevation in my life and a challenge which I accepted. We are where we are now.

‘It’s a great club and the supporters enjoy that. I still think that a lot of young fans growing up don’t remember the really bad days. Dealing with bad days is what we’re good at. This club will always go on.

‘They’ve got a fantastic, set-up, great staff, incredible people, and there’s only one way and that’s up for Manchester united.

‘So I thank everyone for being here, all my friends are here and my family. My wife, the boss, is over there – she picked all the winning teams by the way!

‘Thanks for coming here, the Mayor and Trafford Borough for giving me this fantastic honour.’

Unveiling: Sir Alex Ferguson jokes with members of 207 field hospital

Poor old Mario, he just never seems to escape controversy - on the pitch or off it.

The former Manchester City striker is making headlines again after having a confrontation with a cameraman, having arrived with his Italy team-mates at a Naples station ahead of the country's World Cup qualifier this week.

Italy's football president has leaped to the defence of Balotelli saying he wants to escape the media attention - but this incident hardly helps matters.

Caught on camera: Mario Balotelli tries to pass the media after arriving in Naples on Sunday

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Andros Townsend is a doubt for England's game against Poland on Tuesday and admitted that he is expecting a sleepless night ahead of the clash.

The 22-year-old was instrumental in the 4-1 win against Montenegro on Friday and gave the Three Lions renewed vigour at Wembley.

Even though Townsend trained on Monday and is expected to be fit, the England boss is worried that the Tottenham winger won't make it for the crucial World Cup qualifier to decide whether they reach Brazil without needing to go via the play-offs.

Worry: Roy Hodgson, at his press conference with captain Steven Gerrard, has fears over Andros Townsend's fitness

England take on Poland on Tuesday night knowing that victory at Wembley will secure their place at next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Standing in their way will be Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc, a man with a colourful history on and off the pitch.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at what we can expect from the man once known as the 'Holy Goalie'.

Last line of defence: Artur Boruc will stand between England and a place at the World Cup in Brazil next year

Laura Williamson: Coventry City fans must have thought they were having a bad time, being made to play home games 34 miles away in Northampton. But then Sheffield United showed up. Maybe there always is someone worse off than you.

Rock bottom of League One, managerless following David Weir’s sacking on Friday and still looking for a first League win since Saudi Arabian Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud bought 50 per cent of the club, Sheffield were shambolic for an hour on Sunday.

A shadowy, stuttering assortment of individuals wearing those famous old red and white stripes.

Tough start: Sheffield United's caretaker Chris Morgan saw his side go 3-0 down before ending 3-2

Robert Lewandowski has opened a potential bidding war between Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea after hinting he has snubbed Bayern Munich.

The Poland striker, who is set to feature against England at Wembley on Tuesday, was thought to have thrashed out a deal to join the European champions on a free transfer next summer.

Target man: Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has denied agreeing a deal to join Bayern Munich

Sounds as though the Cardiff board meeting has finished. Waiting for smoke from the stadium chimney.

Answers: Malky Mackay is seeking assurances at the board meeting

...and it's 'Sir Alex Ferguson Way'.

The retired Man United boss was awarded the Freedom of the Borough and also had a street named after him in today's ceremonies.

Road to glory: Sir Alex Ferguson unveils a sign on the street named in his honour near Old Trafford

Kevin Blackwell told Sportsmail's Jack Gaughan: 'It's been an interesting 13 weeks. You can't revamp a squad in that time, but I wish Bury all the best.

'It has been an extremely tough time while I've been at the club and we found it difficult in pre-season. We weren't able to play friendlies because we couldn't field a team.

'To then get a team together to compete was difficult. They're a fantastic club and I wish them well.'

Gone: Kevin Blackwell has been sacked as the manager of Bury

This board meeting at Cardiff has been going nearly five hours now. Hopeful of receiving a statement of some description today...


Jack Wilshere was caught short during England training as the Arsenal midfielder was filmed urinating up against a wall.

The 21-year-old, who started Friday night's 4-1 victory over Montenegro from the bench, was spotted taking a rather public toilet break as Roy Hodgson's side were put through their paces ahead of Tuesday night's qualifier.

Wilshere tried to seek cover, with England staff members - including team physiotherapist Gary Lewin - appearing to shield the midfielder. But there was no escape for the Arsenal star as his actions were caught on camera.

Busted: Jack Wilshere takes a toilet break in training

Roy Hodgson on Andros Townsend: 'He took a knock against Montenegro and we will monitor that.

'We’re getting better all the time. The younger players have added something. It’s fantastic Andros did what he did but the decision to play him was based on a judgment about what kind of player could turn the game for us.

'Luckily he had a good game and everyone says fantastic but he could easily have had a not so good game. It’s still a judgment call.'

Concerns: Friday's man of the match Andros Townsend takes on recent call-up Raheem Sterling

Roy Hodgson on a replacement for Kyle Walker: 'I'll keep the ideas about the team to myself at the moment. The players haven't been informed'

Roy Hodgson on Poland's 18,000 ticket allocation: 'There would have been safety problems if Polish fans got among the English fans.'


England’s victory over Montenegro ensured they kept their hopes for automatic qualification to next year’s World Cup alive.

Meanwhile, some shocking results across Europe, South America and North/Central America have left some of the bigger teams in danger of missing out on reaching Brazil.
The likes of Portugal, Sweden, France and Mexico potentially facing play-off ties to book their place in Rio.

Dead cert: Neymar will lead Brazil's attack after they qualified automatically as host nation

Craig Hope reports: Brazilian derbies can often be tasty affairs.

But even by their incendiary standards Sunday’s clash between Sao Paolo and Corinthians was red hot.

That the game finished goalless matters not.

For when you’ve got rivals firms rioting in the stands, reports of bombs exploding and a goalkeeper missing a last-minute penalty, the actual result isn’t too significant.

Brazil nuts: Fans clash with police during Sunday's derby between Sao Paolo and Corinthians

Reading on Mail Online how Sir Alex Ferguson claims to have ‘turned off’ the famous hairdryer in his later years at Manchester United reminded me of one of my favourite Fergie dressing room stories.

On hearing Ryan Giggs give him a mouthful from the pitch during a game at Watford in August 2006, Ferguson waited until the end of a dressing room rollocking he delivered to the entire squad after a 2-1 win that clearly hadn’t impressed him very much.

Turning to Giggs as he prepared to leave the away dressing room at Vicarage Road, Ferguson said with a smile: 'And you…don’t ever speak to your granddad like that again…'


Sir Alex Ferguson has been awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford at a ceremony this afternoon.

The local authority are also to rename a road leading to Old Trafford from Water's Reach to Sir Alex Ferguson Way.

Honour: Sir Alex Ferguson receives the Freedom of the Borough of Trafford from Mayor Dylan Butt (left). Also pictured are Trafford Council leader Matt Colledge (second left), Council chief executive Theresa Grant (second right) and Ferguson's wife Cathy (right).

Colin Young: Ireland boss Noel King has paid tribute to stand-in captain Seamus Coleman.
The Everton defender was the surprise selection to lead the team out in Cologne on Friday, a day before his 25th birthday.

And while the former Sligo Rovers man may not be the most vocal of players in the Ireland squad, he is one of the most inspirational and, says King, continuing to improve at Goodison.

King said: 'When we’re out on our feet for the last 20 minutes against Germany and you see your man running up and down on the over-lap, going flying past Glenn Whelan that’s an inspiration.'

Youngster: Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman in action against Germany

England boss Roy Hodgson met Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and veteran Robert Pires at London Colney training.

London Colney: England train ahead of tomorrow's game against Poland at the Arsenal training ground

Joe Hart's place as England's No 1 may be on shaky ground but Robert Lewandowski, the next star striker he'll face off against when Poland visit Wembley on Tuesday, believes he's one of the main reasons the hosts will be hard to beat.

Lewandowski had the best (or worst) seat in the house for Hart's virtuoso performance when Borussia Dortmund met Manchester City at the Etihad in the Champions League in October in a match that ended 1-1 with a late penalty from Mario Balotelli.

Number one: Joe Hart's recent form has seen the Manchester City keeper's place for England come into question

This is Sportsmail's brilliant weekly column that gives you access to the secrets of the football world.

Each week on MailOnline, ROB SHEPHERD delivers the latest stunning stories, whispers and intrigue from football's corridors of power… plus a dose of mischief.

On the attack: Sol Campbell would prefer to see a more diverse FA Commission

Juventus star Paul Pogba insists he is not angered by what appears to be the club’s public courting of his availability.

Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli last week admitted that a big-money offer for the 20-year-old midfielder could prove too hard to resist.

Country calls: Pogba is currently on international duty with France

The FA made the call to hand Poland an extra 10,000 tickets back in August, when their intelligence suggested there would be massive demand for tickets from the country’s largest migrant population.

At the initial stage, there were three times as many UK-based Poles supporters enquiring about the match as England fans.

Instead of risking these Poland supporters obtaining tickets elsewhere – such as touts – and popping up all over the stadium it was decided to create an additional section in tier three, above the usual away crowd.

Less than 200 England fans had to be moved to cater for segregation but nearly all were upgraded to better seats. Only on Friday did England supporters take up the full allocation left to them.

People were only eligible to buy tickets if they had already attended a match before the Moldova home game, to ensure claims were genuine. Obviously this inhibits the number of England fans who can apply but FA stressed nobody was denied a seat because of extra Poland support.

The decision to increase the Poland allocation was taken across the FA but it is not considered a matter for the team to be consulted on.

There were 20,000 Scotland fans at Wembley for the recent home friendly and 21,000 Ghana fans for the match against the African nation.

Out in force: Poland will have 18,000 fans at Wembley for their match against England on Tuesday

Board meeting is still in session at Cardiff. From talking to numerous sources on all sides, this meeting really could go either way.

There seems to be a genuine willingness from Malky Mackay to find a workable compromise, but he is adamant that the club give a full explanation to supporters about the chaos of the past week.

If they don't - and the removal of Iain Moody is certainly a hard one to explain away - then everything is up in the air again.


Sir Alex Ferguson turned down the infamous hairdryer during the last years of his managerial career because players are more 'fragile' than they were 30 years ago.

The legendary Manchester United manager - who won 38 trophies during his 26-and-a-half years at Old Trafford - admits that he had to curb his temper because players need to feel comfortable to perform well.

Advice: Sir Alex Ferguson was passing on his pearls of wisdom to trainee coaches at the UEFA Coach Education Workshop in Budapest

Gillingham are already ringing the changes at the club since they shocked fans by sacking Martin Allen yesterday. He made the training ground open and invited supporters to watch his sessions there with the players. That has been stopped with immediate effect.

The club said in a statement: 'We apologise for any inconvenience caused to supporters planning to attend training sessions, and we appreciate your cooperation in respecting the players privacy as they prepare for the visit of Preston North End on Saturday.'

The strange thing about this is Allen, after leading the club to promotion from League Two last season, is usually the man brought in when clubs are struggling, and he was relishing the season ahead.

Just last week he told me: 'I’m loving every moment of this challenge after winning a championship for the first time last year. We all know what it’s like if things aren’t going well everyone wants to blame someone else. It’s normal human behaviour. I don’t take that view. It’s not the players' fault, it’s mine. It’s my responsibility.

'I set the rules and the guidelines. I must take the responsibility and not shove it on the players. I pick the team. That’s how I work. As long as I’m honest with myself, with the club, with the supporters and with the players then we’ll get on just fine.'

Sacked: Gillingham manager Martin Allen was fired on Sunday evening

Pete Jenson reports: Swansea striker Michu says he has no plans to leave the club despite the fact his form with them has catapulted him into Spain’s World Cup thoughts.

The 27-year-old won his first international cap last week as Spain beat Belarus 2-1 to need just a point on Tuesday against Georgia to earn their place in Brazil.

Asked if he was now ready to move to one of Europe’s big clubs, he told Marca: 'I am not thinking about that now. I am just enjoying life at Swansea so much.

New boy: Michu won his first cap for Spain against Belarus last week

Riath Al-Samarrai: After numerous false starts, it's looking as though Pablo Hernandez might make a long-awaited return for Swansea this weekend.

The Spaniard has not played since the 2-0 win over West Brom on September 1 - a run of seven games - because of a hamstring injury.

However, he is likely to be fit and available for Saturday's game against Sunderland. He said: 'It was a shame for me because I felt I put in my best performance so far this season against West Brom, and then I pick up a hamstring problem.

'I’ve had to miss seven games so it has been a frustrating period. But now I feel stronger and more confident of being available for the Sunderland game. This week has been very important for me and hopefully, with a couple of more days training, the manager will see that I am ready for this game.

'It is an important fixture for us because we need to start picking up points at home. But we know Sunderland have a new manager in Gus Poyet, so the players will be looking to do everything to impress him and get a good result.'

Goal: Pablo Hernandez scores for Swansea against West Brom

All 22 training.

Keepers saving shots.

19 outfield players quickly into ball work and a game.

Media ejected.

Man of the moment: England's Andros Townsend taking on Raheem Sterling in training this morning

Adam Shergold reports: Who'd be a manager? The demands and pressures are constant and from all quarters.

You must maintain authority over a group of 20-30 players, who are never going to do everything to your liking.

There are the thousands of fans in the stands scrutinising your every decision and, just occasionally, exercising their right to complain at the top of their voice.

On the pulse: Bothroyd's heart rate gave an insight into the stresses of a manager

Coral Odds: 10/1 England to beat Poland 3-1. Find out more here.

Sportsmail's Matt Barlow is at England training and all the players are out training - no absentees.

Friday favourite: Andros Townsend of England celebrates after scoring England's third goal

The former Leeds and Sheffield United manager has been sacked after a series of bad results.


Former England striker Teddy Sheringham reckons Steven Gerrard should be considered as an option to replace the suspended Kyle Walker at right-back for England's crunch World Cup qualifier against Poland on Tuesday night. 

Walker will miss the all-important qualifier at Wembley after picking up his second caution in as many games against Montenegro on Friday.

Right of passage: Teddy Sheringham reckons Steven Gerrard should switch positions for crunch qualifier

Louis Saha is the former France international who played for Manchester Untied and also played under David Moyes at Everton.

In this Footballers' Football Column, Saha has backed his former manager to be a sucess at Old Trafford and says he needs time to adapt.

Saha also believes his ex-teammate Marouane Fellaini will prove the doubters wrong following his move down the other end of the East Lancs Road and also says keeping Wayne Rooney could prove to be Moyes' smartest bit of business.

Backing: Louis Saha believes David Moyes will get it right at Manchester United

Peter Schmeichel has taken to Twitter to essentially keep himself in the frame for the Sheffield United job.

Linked with the job at Bramall Lane in the morning papers, the former Manchester United ‘keeper has hardly ruled himself out of the running by tweeting: 'This is not my doing…I have not applied for any jobs. But it’s great to be associated with such a great football club.'

Sheffield United sacked David Weir last week after the club’s poor start to the season.

United legend: Schmeichel made his name at Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson will be awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford at a ceremony on Monday afternoon.

The local authority are also to rename a road leading to Old Trafford from Waters Reach to Sir Alex Ferguson Way.

The former Manchester United manager will be recognised for his achievements with the club between 1986 and 2013 - a period in which he won 38 trophies.


Josh Reich: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has said controversial club owner Mike Ashley can become confused and upset about the game.

'Mike is a strong character who has been a success in his whole business life and is a genius in that world - but when you come to football, the logic doesn’t quite fit,' he said in an interview on Sky television.

Sore point: The appointment of Joe Kinnear to assist Alan Pardew has not gone down well

Pete Jenson reports: Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted he was stunned at news Mesut Ozil was to be his new Gunners team-mate.

The German schemer joined Cazorla this summer and the Spain international told Diario AS: 'I was amazed, but not only with the fact that he had signed for us. I was also surprised that Madrid had allowed him to leave.

Making his point: Mesut Ozil, who scored in Germany's win over Ireland, has enjoyed a strong start to his Arsenal career

Riath Al-Samarrai: This could be a significant day at Cardiff City, with a board meeting scheduled.

Vincent Tan won't be there, but CEO Simon Lim is expected to be present after escaping to Malaysia during the recent crisis. Malky Mackay will also be there and his contribution could be quite feisty.

He is likely to stand up at the end of the meeting and put a number of points to the board regarding his thoughts about the removal of Iain Moody, his head of recruitment.

Crucially, he will also reiterate his demand that the club give a full explanation for Moody's exit, or he will.


He may have struggled to win over a portion of Manchester City supporters, but Edin Dzeko certainly has his fans on the continent.

The striker, who scored for Bosnia and Herzegovina in their 4-1 drubbing of Lichtenstein on Friday, has an admirer in nearby Croatia.

Pop star Severina Vuckovic went to Instagram to post a picture of herself in a signed City shirt with Dzeko's name on the back.

Pose: Severina Vuckovic was delighted with her Manchester City shirt which had Edin Dzeko on the back

Before breaking into Tottenham's first team this season, Andros Townsend went out on loan to nine different Football League clubs during a four-year period.

Now with an England cap and debut goal for the Three Lions to his name, the tricky winger is set to be offered a new contract to keep him at White Hart Lane long term.

Here's what some of his former managers, a current team-mate, an ex-England forward and his dad have to say about the lad from Leytonstone.

Star man: Townsend shone during a lone spell with QPR at the end of last season

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay will seek assurances at a board meeting today that he retains the support of owner Vincent Tan.

The Bluebirds confirmed on Friday that Iain Moody, one of Mackay's most trusted aides since their time together at Watford, had left his post permanently having been placed on gardening leave earlier this week.

Crisis: Cardiff boss Malky Mackay (right) was asked to resign by the club

Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay has claimed David Moyes blocked his £18million move to Manchester United this summer.

Former Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson had been monitoring the Argentina international and the 27-year-old claims a deal was almost done before the Scot retired.

Staying put: Ezequiel Garay (right) was close to joining Manchester United this summer

Former Manchester United and Scotland forward Alan Brazil has slammed the FA's decision to increase Poland's ticket allocation to 18,000 for Tuesday's crunch clash with England at Wembley.

The visitors were initially given an allocation of 8,000 in the lower tier of the East Stand to be sold to supporters in Poland but a further 10,000 tickets were offered, meaning just under a quarter of fans will be supporting Waldemar Fornalik's side.

Fortress? Home advantage may not count for much against Poland at Wembley

Roberto Mancini is plotting a swoop on his former club Manchester City to take left-back Alexander Kolarov to Galatasaray in January.

Former City boss Mancini identified Kolarov as a priority target after arriving in Istanbul earlier this month.

On the move? Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov is a transfer target for Galatasaray

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has hinted he will snub Arsenal and join Monaco instead at the end of the season.

Valdes will definitely leave the Nou Camp after his contract ends after 11 years as stopper for the Catalan giants.

Monaco-bound: Victor Valdes is set to snub Arsenal when he leaves Barcelona in the summer

Wrexham players reacted furiously after Stephen Wright was elbowed by Barnet player-manager Edgar Davids during the closing stages of Sunday's Conference clash at The Hive.

Defender Wright, a former Liverpool trainee and England Under 21 player, was struck by Davids while trying to wrestle the ball from the former Juventus and Barcelona star to take a free-kick.

Both players were sent off but Wright came out the worse, as a photograph later tweeted by his teammate David Artell proved.

Bloodied: This picture of Stephen Wright's was tweeted by Wrexham teammate David Artell

Matt Barlow: 'Shad Khan is strolling on the Astroturf on a pre-match search for the elusive Stan Kroenke when his attention is diverted. 'Hey! Shad! Shad! Here!' two fans are bounding down the gangway two steps at a time.

The 122nd richest man in the United States stops what he’s doing and goes to chat. Colby Siefert is keen to show Khan his tattoo, the Jaguar head team logo is inked into his right leg.

The billionaire acknowledges their loyalty, thanks them for making the trip to St Louis, shakes hands and promises to make them proud.'

Click above to read more....

New man in charge: Shad Khan bought Fulham in the summer from Mohamed Al Fayed
Good morning

Welcome to Sportsmail's Football 9-5 service.

Today we'll be bringing you all the build up to England's World Cup qualifier with Poland including pictures from training and all the news from the press conference.

That, and much more.

Stay tuned.