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Football Briefs: Rangers name Gerrard as manager

Last updated on: May 04, 2018 23:43 IST

Steven Gerrard

IMAGE: Steven Gerrard ahead of training. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Scottish club Rangers named former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard as their manager on a four-year deal on Friday.

The former England captain, who has coached Liverpool's Under-18s after hanging up his boots two years ago, replaces Graeme Murty for his first role in club management.

"I am honoured to become the next manager of Rangers. I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition," Gerrard, 37, said in a statement on Rangers' website.

"I can't wait to start this new journey at Rangers as we look to build on the many successes that this Club has achieved."

Gerrard made 710 appearances for his boyhood club during 17 years at Anfield. He scored 186 goals for Liverpool, winning two FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League. He also won 114 caps for England, with 40 as captain.

"From the very beginning, talks have been extremely positive and we believe that Steven is the right man to drive Rangers forward," Rangers chairman Dave King said.

Reinvigorating Rangers will be a big challenge for Gerrard. The Glasgow club have won a record 54 Scottish league titles but are struggling to recover from the financial problems that saw them reformed in the bottom tier of Scottish football in 2012.

Rangers are third in the Scottish Premiership, 13 points behind their 'Old Firm' rivals Celtic, who beat them 5-0 at the weekend to claim their seventh straight league title.

Murty was sacked on Tuesday in the wake of that embarrassing loss.

Atletico coach Simeone banned for four matches

Diego Simeone

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been banned for four games for insulting a match official following his rant at the referee during last week's Europa League semi-final, first leg against Arsenal, UEFA said on Friday.

Simeone has already served one match of the ban after watching from the stands on Thursday as Atletico beat Arsenal 1-0 in the second leg to advance to the final. He was also fined 10,000 euros ($11,942), European soccer's governing body said.

Simeone was sent off early in the first leg at The Emirates Stadium for shouting at French referee Clement Turpin and also pushing the fourth official after Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin was not booked for a foul on Atletico midfielder Koke.

Simeone's temper had already been tested earlier in the game when Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for two bookings in quick succession.

Simeone has lost his temper on the European stage before, famously charging onto the pitch to berate Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane towards the end of the 2014 Champions League final which Atletico lost 4-1 to Madrid after extra-time.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body also fined Atletico 10,000 euros after fans threw objects on the pitch.

Simeone will now miss the final against Olympique de Marseille on May 16. Simeone's assistant German 'Mono' Burgos will take his place in the dugout again.


Carroll fined for leaving bench during Man City match

Andy Carroll

IMAGE: West Ham United's Andy Carroll on the substitutes bench. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has been fined by manager David Moyes for his "unacceptable" decision to leave the bench during the club's 4-1 Premier League defeat by Manchester City last weekend.

Carroll, an unused substitute in the match, headed down the tunnel at the London Stadium before the end of the match. Moyes said the striker had since apologised to him and the players for his behaviour.

"I was really disappointed in Andy. I don't believe there was any excuse for what he did. He has been fined but he has apologised, both to me and the players, and he understands it was wrong," Moyes wrote in his column in the Evening Standard.

"The following day we had a discussion in the office at Rush Green. I told him it was unacceptable and sent him away. Within an hour, it was out there for public consumption, which is also disappointing.

"To be fair, Andy texted me later and apologised. I told him he needed to come in the following day and speak to me and the players and he did that. Since then, he's been back training."

West Ham, who are 15th in the league with 35 points, return to league action on Saturday with a trip to ninth-placed Leicester City.

Man United boss Mourinho backs assistant Faria to take over at Arsenal

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes his long-time assistant Rui Faria would be a "good fit" for the managerial hot seat at Arsenal when it becomes available at the end of the season.

British media has reported that the 42-year-old Faria is on Arsenal's shortlist to replace Arsene Wenger, who will leave the north London club after almost 22 years in charge.

Portuguese Faria has worked with Mourinho since 2001 and they have won 25 trophies together across six clubs.

When asked if his assistant would be a contender for the Arsenal job, Mourinho said: "I think so, yes. I don't know (if he wants to be a manager). You ask me if I think it would be a good fit and I say 'yes'.

"And I say it because more than my assistant, he is my friend. If my friend has the possibility one day of a big job I would help him to pack and to carry the bags and to wish him luck.

"I met him when he was a kid at university and we worked together for 18 years. He is a big friend more than an assistant."

Former Arsenal midfielders Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Liverpool's assistant manager Zeljko Buvac have also been linked with the Arsenal job in the British media.

China still forced to settle for replica World Cup dreams

President Xi Jinping's dream of China hosting and ultimately winning the World Cup may be as far away as ever but that does not mean the country will have no involvement when soccer's elite meets in Russia later this year.

China's enthusiasm for the global game, undimmed by years of underperformance and corruption scandals, has always reached fever pitch during World Cup finals and that might be even more the case this year with the domestic game finally on the rise.

And at a factory in Dongguan in the heart of the country's southeastern workshop, workers are busy transforming pieces of zinc alloy into thousands of replica World Cup trophies, badges and key-rings for football fans in China and around the world.

It takes at least three days of filing, polishing, electroplating, heating and decorating to produce the replicas with football's world governing body FIFA insisting on exacting standards for licensed products.

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