Football fan, 12, arrested for sending racist messages to Zaha

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha was subjected to online racist abuse ahead of The Eagles’ Premier League fixture at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Since the resumption from the coronavirus shutdown, all Premier League teams have worn “Black Lives Matter” logos on their kits, with players taking a knee before kick-off in each match to show solidarity with the movement.

However, a 12-year-old has been arrested and taken into custody for racist attack on Zaha, the West Midlands Police announced on Twitter. The child is from Solihull.

“#ARRESTED| We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy,” the message reads.

The 12-year-old from #Solihull has been taken to custody.

Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/oFxBUvdtV1

— West Midlands Police – #StayAlert (@WMPolice) July 12, 2020

However, Ivory Coast international Zaha posted on Twitter before Sunday’s game at Villa to show screenshots he received from an Instagram account bearing the handle @jackdolan_avfc.

The first image showed a message that read: “You better not score tomorrow you black c***. Or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.”

Further abusive messages featured a mocked-up image of a man in blackface on a cereal box, alongside a vile racial slur, and a picture of a Ku Klux Klan rally.

We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with @CPFC.

We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban. https://t.co/Wx5wJVA1ww

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 12, 2020

Zaha abuse an “absolute disgrace” – Palace

Zaha presented the images with the caption: “Woke up to this today.”

Former Palace and England striker Ian Wright tweeted in support of the 27-year-old. “People like to make these experiences seem like it’s not the norm for black people,” he wrote. “It’s always an outlier. ‘Not one of us’. ‘Not a real (insert club) fan’.

“These are real people & daily experiences!! Sooner we accept it the better we can deal with it!!! “We stand with you Wilf.”

In a short statement on their official Twitter account, Palace said: “This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse.”

Villa issued their own response, stating they had involved the police and intend to issue a life ban when the perpetrator is identified.

They tweeted: “We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with @CPFC.

“We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban.”

Last October, Palace announced they had “taken action” after Zaha was subjected to racist abuse on social media.

Jose Mourinho: Goalless draw with Crystal Palace is a “missed opportunity”

 

 

Manchester United settled for a goalless draw in Saturday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace, and coach Jose Mourinho thinks his side missed a “big” chance to leap on the league table.

Jose Mourinho.jpg

Image shows Jose Mourinho apologizing to United fans after a loss

The disappointing 0-0 draw with Palace came at a time when Mourinho expected a consolatory win after dropping points against Manchester City barely two weeks ago. The Portuguese coach had hoped to join the Top 4 before Christmas break but Roy Hogson’s side sprung up surprises at Old Trafford despite losing three matches and managing a draw from their last four games.

An aggrieved Mourinho fielded top players Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata to add height, pace and power to their strategic game plan but failed in all attempts at goal.

Speaking to Manchester TV in a post-match interview, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid coach said: ‘That’s not a match. It’s a very bad result…We lost two points from the game even though we had hoped to recover in these eight matches between now and December…This game would have helped our objective to join the Top 4 but we lost it.’

The 55-year-old continued, ‘We were sluggish in attack. Although the players showed skills, they often lost possession of the ball and allowed the Eagles some chance to recover, regroup and attack us.’

United are currently 7th on the EPL table after playing 13 matches.

League leaders, Manchester City, are first with 35 points following their 4-0 drubbing of West Ham United on Saturday. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have 33 and 30 points respectively.

 

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: What to expect from the match

Chelsea are fifth on the English Premier League table, having lost 1-2 and 0-1 to Manchester United and Manchester City respectively, with bleak chances in their next match against Crystal Palace.

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Ahead of Saturday’s encounter, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton say The Blues should find strength in this fixture, 3 years ago, which made Chelsea champions of England for the fifth time.

While Chelsea fans are excited with this weekend’s fixture which, for the first time since mid-January, falls on a Saturday, Rick and Paul say they’re optimistic that Antonio Conte’s men will exploit the club’s history with Palace.

“After a run of four defeats in past five league games,” they wrote, “Antonio Conte’s side can at least use this as a springboard for a final assault on the top four places.”

Chelsea (53 points) are title-holders with 5 points behind 4th-placed Tottenham but 8 points clear of Arsenal in sixth.

Although the teams still have 27 points to play for, Chelsea’s next home fixture with Spurs highlights the need for win against Palace who are facing threats of relegation. A win in tomorrow’s derby will pull Conte’s men closer to grabbing a spot among the top 4.

“Home should bring some comfort,” Rick and Paul argued in optimism.

The champions have recorded only one loss in their last 10 games at Stamford Bridge – 8 wins and 1 draw, including the team’s thunderous victory on the Fulham Road when Palace’s relegation-fighting bedfellows West Brom visited recently.

On the other hand, Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have lost three consecutive matches and are without a win in six Premier League games.

Palace have, in the past eight away league games, maintained a better record than Chelsea, and their recent record at the Bridge is two successive 2-1 wins.

The Eagles won their reverse fixture this season by the same scoreline but, away from Selhurst Park Palace, they have not managed a clean sheet in a derby since 2014.

Interestingly, no London side has completed three top-flight wins in a row at the Bridge since Arsenal in 1974 and Roy Hodgson’s men, who are 18th on the league table, look unfavorably disposed to grab a win tomorrow.

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Premier League fixtures

Saturday

Manchester United v Liverpool – 12.30pm Sky Sports

Everton v Brighton 3pm

Huddersfield v Swansea 3pm

Newcastle v Southampton 3pm

West Brom v Leicester 3pm

West Ham v Burnley 3pm

Chelsea v Crystal Palace 5.30pm – BT Sport
Sunday

Arsenal v Watford 1.30pm – Sky Sports

Bournemouth v Tottenham 4pm – Sky Sports

Monday

Stoke v Manchester City 8pm – Sky Sports

Wilfried Zaha gets a 5-year Contract extension at Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha has signed a new contract that will keep him five years longer at Crystal Palace.

An update from the club says Zaha deserves even more because he contributed in no small way to help the Eagles avoid relegation in the just concluded EPL season.

“Palace is in my heart and I don’t think the story is over,” the 24-year-old told his club’s website.

“I spoke with Steve and I think I still have more to give this club. The supporters have been amazing and I want us to do more than just stay in the League next year.

“I would like to thank the chairman for being a big part of my journey and his fellow owners for backing me and rewarding my progression.

“Let’s do this!”

The Ivorian’s new deal was officially announced last night.

BREAKING: #CPFC �� have agreed a five-year contract extension with @wilfriedzaha! ����

More: https://t.co/Abha82qTft#LetsDoThis ⚡️pic.twitter.com/JoY5LqCAyU

– Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 25, 2017

“It’s lit, bruh,” the pacy winger wrote in a follow-up message.

Zaha enjoyed a wonderful season with Palace, scoring seven times and springing up 11 assists.

Image: Wilfried Zaha

His contract extension brings an end to Tottenham’s interest in his services. Manchester United, the player’s former club, was reportedly preparing a bid for him but will now face other options.

Club chairman Steve Parish said: “Wilf has been with the club since he was eight years old and in the first team from the day I arrived.

“He is our talisman and someone that week in week out gives everything for the red and blue.”

He continued: “I’m delighted he has committed his future to us and look forward to climbing up the table with him next year.”

‘Beware Of This Player,’ Michael Owen warns Manchester United

Micheal Owen has offered an important piece of advice to Manchester United who are hours away from their EPL clash with Crystal Palace.

The 37-year-old former English footballer understands Mourinho and his men are desperate to run over Palace in Sunday’s game, but the visitors may be plotting a surprise away game at Old Trafford.

Owen has respect for all players but there’s something special about Wilfried Zaha.

The 24-year-old Ivorian footballer joined Palace on a permanent transfer from Manchester United, and it’s clear that he’s no stranger to what his teammates will face on Sunday.

Zaha has moved between United and Palace, having joined The Reds during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last days as manager of the club side.

Image: Wilfried Zaha

The youngster was one of Fergie’s last signings as he wrapped up his well decorated 25-year reign.

Zaha reportedly put pain to paper in a £10m deal from Palace in 2013 but was sent out on loan to Cardiff City before the end of English Premier League’s 2012/13 season.

He returned to Palace in 2014 on a £3m transfer and has boosted his image so far with 36 Premier League games, 7 goals and 9 assists.

Image: Wilfried Zaha

“Jose Mourinho suggested after the draw with Southampton earlier in the week, that he would field a weakened side against the Eagles and, with that in mind, this is a difficult game to predict,” Owen said.

“Palace Player of the Season Wilfried Zaha has had a great season and he will want to show everyone at United just what might have been.”

Although Zaha has been courted by Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce says he’s waiting to make more demands once the player signs a new contract.

“I think it’s [Zaha’s contract] in negotiation, I don’t know how far it’s gone and I don’t know what the figures are way, the figures in the paper are likely to be exaggerated as they are to come from the agent,” Allardyce said in his press conference.

“He loves Crystal Palace, he’s been brought up here, he had a brief spell at Manchester United and started getting publicity.

“With a bigger deal there’s a bigger responsibility, and when he gets the deal I’m expecting a lot more than I’m already getting from him, which is saying something because I’m getting an awful lot as it is.”

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur: Sam Allardyce and James McArthur mourn their loss against Spurs

Sam Allardyce spoke at a press conference in preparation for their Saturday’s home game against Burnley, and one of the issues he addressed was their 0-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park.

“I thought the performance in the first half was much better than Sunday,” he said, making reference to their hard-fought 2-1 win over Liverpool.

Christian Benteke scored a brace to topple The Reds, who scored an early goal through Phillippe Coutinho in the 24th minute.

“We took the game to Tottenham whenever we possibly could which is not an easy task with the quality that they’ve got,” Big Sam said.

“The lack of recovery time for us from Sunday to tonight told in the end and that made us not able to challenge Tottenham as much as we did in the first half, and they got in the game a little bit more.

“After that, it was about whether we could be as resilient defensively as we have been, but unfortunately with Eriksen’s goal we couldn’t. It was a terrific effort and a terrific performance, and the lads tried their very best to keep Tottenham out.”

Big Sam’s Scottish midfielder James McArthur also expressed his disappointment at the terrible loss. The former Wigan Athletic player admitted that leaving without a point from the game against EPL’s second place holders was devastating.

Speaking with reporters in an interview, McArthur said: “It was gutting for us all to lose after all we put into the game but we go again as we have another tough game coming up on Saturday against Burnley and now have a couple of days to try and prepare for that one.

“We defended very well as a team but they put us under a lot of pressure , we did limit them to chances outside the box and they scored with one of those, a very good strike.”

 

The central midfielder who plays for Scotland national team added that they deserved a better result for their performance in the game but expressed optimism.

McArthur was elated to be back in the team’s starting line-up and has hopes to feature in Saturday’s crucial game. He says the atmosphere is great, and believes his teammates have plenty of positives to take from their current run of form.

“It was nice to be back, that feeling of playing again is very nice,” he said. “I need to just try and get myself back in the side again.

“We still need to pick up points and try and finish as high as we possibly can.”

The player arrived Crystal Palace in the summer of 2014. Highlighting his belief and confidence in Big Sam’s team after the loss, he said: “There were a lot of positives from tonight’s performance, you have to look at how solid we look as a team.

Christian Benteke, a Belgian professional footballer, has proved himself a reliable striker with some amazing goal-scoring efforts.

Image: Christian Benteke

There’s no doubt that Allardyce’s men will take the games as they come, with hopes that Wilf and Adros will continue to live up to expectations in the the front-line.

With 38 points and just one behind Stoke City, Crystal Palace, also known as The Eagles are 12th place on the league table.

Both Bournemouth (#13) and West Ham United (#14) have 38 points from 34 games in the 2016/17 season.

Sam Allardyce: ‘We were disgraced by Pep Guardiola

Former coach of the Three Lions, Sam Allardyce, says he’s still in pains after his team’s disgraceful outing against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Sam Allardyce

The Eagles lost 3-0 to Pep Guardiola‘s men but Big Sam believes time will tell if their FA Cup exit is a blessing in disguise.

Palace made it to the fourth round of the competition but had their dreams shattered by City’s ruthless front line – Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Yaya Toure, including Brazil’s Jesus Gabriel.

Allardyce says there has been a growing concern for his players’ fitness since the second phase of EPL’s 2016/17 season.

However, he adds that their FA Cup elimination will provide them with a chance to work harder in the upcoming Premier League games and probably find a blessing in the loss.

The 62-year-old spoke at a press conference where he discussed a lot of issues.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Cup exit: “Only time will tell if that is a blessing or not but you want to try and win every game you play, and we’ve lost the habit of winning. Our game is OK in parts and we look quite comfortable, but then we make errors and the first two goals today proved that opposition of Manchester City’s quality will punish you.

“For me it’s still about working to minimize those errors and that if we do make one, them we don’t allow the opposition to score but that was the problem again today.”

The game: “I thought we were going to get to half-time at 0-0 after we recovered from a sticky start where City controlled proceedings for the first 15 minutes and we found it difficult to keep the ball, but we worked our way into the game and had a couple of half-chances before conceding a soft goal.

“We picked things up again and Loic’s [chance] was the main one, and who knows what might have been if he had put that one in the back of the net. We chased the game because it’s the FA Cup and you have to get back in it, but we opened up and the second goal was City at their best.”

Yaya Toure’s possible sending off: “They should have been down to 10 men as he had been booked for less a minute before that, so that was a sending off. For me, with the consistency that the referee had shown during the game that was a certain yellow card, but I have more to worry about, such as the goals we conceded, than referees at the moment.”

Substitutions: “Schlupp is a big blow with a hamstring problem so he’ll be missing for a while. We wanted to get Loic on the pitch so we did 45 minutes apiece for those two [Remy and Benteke] because of the load we have coming up for Tuesday and Saturday, so that was tactical, as was McArthur coming on.”

Patrick van Aanholt: “I think it’s close but I’m not absolutely certain it’s finished yet. He is with us and hopefully he’ll be involved on Tuesday.”

Andros Townsend: “I have no idea what the situation is with Andros other than Steve [Parish] has not told me that Newcastle have made any kind of bid for us to consider. For me that’s not even in the back of my mind.”

Crystal Palace captain Joel Ward admits getting frustrated with their FA Cup disappointment

Joel Ward, the captain of Premier League side Crystal Palace, has admitted feeling frustrated after their loss to Manchester City during last weekend’s FA Cup encounter.

City was favored with a 3-0 victory gained from hard work, but Ward says the Eagles lost because they went on an all-out attack for an equalizer after Raheem Sterling‘s first half goal.

He claims the eagerness to score opened up his side’s defense line, creating chances for City to add two more goals at the Emirates Stadium.

The 27-year-old who plays for England and Crystal Palace as a defender spoke with Palace TV after the game.

He said: “I think in the end we started trying to push on and got exposed and when you play against players of that calibre they’re going to hurt you.

“We stayed in the game at 1-0 and if you manage to stay in the game until later on you might nick a goal, but when they start to hit you on the break like that they’re going to get their chances and they’re clinical when they do.

“We had some chances today and we knew that if we played in a certain way, got in behind them and put balls in the box, we’d create chances. It’s something that we worked on and I think we did that [in the game], it’s frustrating we didn’t convert them” he added.

“We got carried away pushing forward and left ourselves a bit exposed.”

Ward regrets their FA Cup exit but sure has something to be happy about.

His teammates Scott Dann and Damien Delaney missed their Etihad encounter, allowing the former Portsmouth player a chance to wear the captain’s armband for the first time.

He said it was a dream come true but wished the match ended in victory.

“Of course, it’s always nice – I wanted to put on the armband, but it’s frustrating that we were knocked out of the cup, which we would have liked to have stayed in and gone to the next round,” he said.

Arsene Wenger says England should have retained Sam Allardyce

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that England was wrong to have sacked Sam Allardyce as its national team coach. The Gunners boss said it was unfair because his nemesis got a raw task with the appointment.

Wenger, 69, was considered the right man to lead The Three Lions but he backed out in the last minute for Allardyce, a former Bolton Wanderers coach and now Crystal Palace manager.

Both coaches have never been the best of friends until recently.

Notwithstanding the rivalries that come with English football, Wenger and Allardyce have patched up their relationship. And the new friends are set to battle each other on Sunday 1 January, 2017.

That was then.

This is now.

Wenger, who has been Arsenal manager since 1996, swung on the the side of his fellow manager after an undercover reporter exposed Big Sam’s involvement in some shady transfer deals.

In September 2016, an unidentified reporter with Daily Telegraph posed as a businessman who was interested in offering bribes to help his team cheat FA’s third party ownership rules. Allardyce was alleged to have given consent to an initial deposit of £400,000 for a contract though he denied being aware of the recorded transaction.

The football governing body launched investigations into the bribery allegations, and the former West Ham coach resigned as England manager after both parties [England FA and Allardyce] reached a mutual agreement in late September.

The Gunners boss said: “It was the same with Sven Eriksson. You do not know how serious it was.

“A guy can joke. It’s very difficult to assess that situation. Overall I find the whole process tricky and unfair.” Wenger argued about the corruptions charges leveled against Allardyce and his son Craig.

When asked about his relationship with the Crystal Palace boss, Wenger said it evolved naturally.

In his words: “How did my relationship with him change? Slowly. Slowly. There is no obvious reason.

“Everybody was happy to get a result over me, I can understand that.

“You have to analyse the Premier League a bit regionally at the time. Before you had Bolton, Manchester up there and it was a little….,” he paused for a moment after noting that Big Sam and Sir Alex Ferguson were among the top four coaches a few years back.

arsene-wenger-sam-allardyce.jpg

Due to racism against a Frenchman, as Wenger claimed, he was not considered a worthy friend among his British rivals a few years ago.

“I always was just focused, I never had any problem with that.

“Over 20 years it has changed. I was isolated as a foreign manager at the start. It’s not the case any more.”

Arsene Wenger is considered the Premier League’s most successful coach in terms of major trophies won, and he’s Arsenal’s longest-serving coach in the club’s history.