Former Arsenal player, Philippe Senderos, is currently getting playing time at Swiss club.
The Centre Back joined the club on a six month contract after Aston Villa terminated his contract in January this year. The former Arsenal, Everton and Fulham defender, whose contract was cancelled by mutual consent by Villa returned home to Switzerland in a bid to revive his career and international selection chances ahead of the European Championships this summer.
Senderos played just nine matches for Villa after injuries hampered his career since joining the club from Valencia on a free transfer in July 2014. The 31-year-old, who has played at three World Cups, made the last of his 55 appearances for Switzerland almost 18 months ago.
The defender has 13 matches to his belt in the Raiffeisen Super League this season even though the club has not been enjoying excellent form in the past few games. The defender who played 113 games at the Emirates for Arsenal joined from Italian side, AC Milan and Everton on loan. He had joined the North London club in the 2003/2004 season from Servette FC for over 1 million Pounds then. He enjoyed decent career growth in his hay days till 2008 when he was sent on loan to AC Milan.
Since joining the Grasshoppers, he has put in some measure of performance but still not able to save the defense as they have lost quite a number of games in the Swiss Super League. Last month they played a draw with Luzern at home before losing away to Sion. Next, they played another draw with Zurich FC before defeating St Gallen. They lost their next game to Young Boys before their slim away margin victory over Lugano. Luzern defeated the club by 3-0 sending them to fourth place in the Super League. They lost another by 2-1 to FC Vaduz on May 16th.
Despite spending much of his best years with Liverpool, goalkeeper Pepe Reina claims that he wants to retire at Napoli
The Spaniard was viewed as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League a couple of years ago. However, his decline started soon after the departure of Rafa Benitez and Reina has never been the same. Spells with Napoli and a move to a big club in the form of Bayern Munich followed for the former Valencia goalkeeper. A huge disappointment awaited the player at Bayern, as he never got any game time by displacing Manuel Neuer.
Now back with Napoli, Reina told Tim Hensel that he has finally found some happiness in his career after a long time and that he is hoping to repay Napoli’s faith by retiring at the club. The 33-year-old has been a permanent player in the Napoli squad only since the summer. However, he made more than 350 appearances for Liverpool in his nine years at the club. He claimed that he was not treated in the due way by his former employees. Another reason for Reina being happy at Napoli is that the weather is similar to that of in Spain. Reina has played in all of the league matches until now.
"I want to finish my career at Napoli.In Naples the people live for football, I see a lot of similarities with the south of Spain where I come from.I want to stay at Napoli and retire here. We're thinking about continuing to live in Naples after I retire," said the former Liverpool goalkeeper about his future plans with the Italian outfit. His previous spell with Napoli was on a temporary basis with a potential transfer Liverpool still possible. Napoli are still with a chance of winning the title as they remain only three points behind Juventus.
Pepe Reina continues being one of the main stars of Napoli as the Spanish goal-keeper has played a huge role in the impressive defensive record that Napoli has sustained in this season of the Serie A. Napoli has only conceded 13 goals in 17 appearances which is one of the best records of the Italian league so far.
Napoli recently saw their unbeaten streak of 18 matches reaching its end after sustaining a surprising 3-2 defeat against Bologna. Pepe Reina believes that one of the main reasons of why his team lost this match was due to his teammates being too overconfident.
“We did not start the game with the right humility. We conceded two goals in the opening 20 minutes, something that is extremely rare. When we started playing better, there was my mistake that cost us the game.The Coach had spoken to us at half-time and said it only needed a goal to re-open the game, but unfortunately my mistake was crucial.At the end two magic shots from Gonzalo Higuain gave us hope, but it was not enough to avoid defeat.” Napoli’s Pepe Reina said.
Maurizio Zarri and his players have turned into one of the favorites on lifting the Serie A title of this season and Pepe Reina along with Gonzalo Higuain are some of the most influential figures of the team as both of them have done a superb job in their respective roles but despite this surprisingly amazing first half of the season, Reina does not consider his team to be favorites on winning the Italian League, at least not as much in comparison to Juventus, As.Roma and Inter Milan which are also on the race for glory.
“Juve, Roma and Inter are the favorites, they have strong squads and can rotate well. Roma are a monstrous squad, but Napoli are ready to challenge them. We have to do well this season, but I won’t say any more because we have to be humble.” Pepe Reina added on as he expressed his thoughts about which teams are the favorites on becoming the champions of Italy.
Fulham manager Peter Grant believes that the club should improve a lot in terms of defence of strength in order to start picking up positive results. After being recently appointed as the replacement for Kit Symons, Grant saw his team get a 1-1 draw against Preston North End. This was not exactly a result that will see them rise up the table.
The club are in desperate need of a return to the Premier League in order to shore up their finances. Following their relegation to the Championship, the club need to receive a decent amount of television money, which is only possible if they are in the Premier League, in order to retain their star names.
Grant has been appointed on a caretaker basis, which means that he has to get a good set of results in order to make the case for a permanent position at the club. The club are yet to get their first victory underGrant, which is disappointing given that they have been able to stop the rot in recent weeks. Fulham had the opportunity to improve your home form since they were up against Preston at Craven Cottage. However, the opposition took the lead through Garner in the 11th minute. Fulham were unable to get back into the match until the equaliser from McCormack in the 77th minute.
"It is there for everyone to see. We've scored a lot of goals, the most in the division. That tells you the quality we do have.They have got to show that quality without the ball. They need to be organised at all times. They need to be guided.I'm watching certain games and it looks as though we're playing two at the back. They've got to realise we need a balance in the team," said Grant.
Joe Bennett, Gary Gardner, NicklasHelenius, Lewis Kinsella, Antonio Luna, AleksandarTonev and Micah Richards are all of the players that so far have been signed by Tim Sherwood and added to his team in Aston Villa.
Despite having already had a fairly busy summer transfer activity, the boss of Aston Villa wants to continue adding players that have a winning mindset and wants to eliminate from the squad those who have a pessimistic attitude from the team.
Aston Villa’s Tim Sherwood told reporters: “I said in the latter stages of last season that there is, unfortunately, a losing mentality in the dressing room at Aston Villa.It is something we need to get rid of. It would help by bringing in new players who are used to winning and, also, it is for my staff to instill into them that it is a clean sheet.Everyone is on a level playing field and we need to move forward.It needs to hurt the players as much as it hurts me to lose football matches.”
Swansea City’s Kyle Bartley and Lyon’s IdrissaGueye are a few of the other summer targets of Tim Sherwood as he considers those players to be winners and capable of bringing a positive atmosphere to the dressing room of the Premier League who can also aid in Aston Villa’s quest of staying alive in the top tier English League. In the previous season, Aston Villa managed to avoid being relegated by only 3 points.
Kyle Bartley is a player that can be signed by Aston Villa without having to spend big bucks as the 24 year old defender does not play an important role in Swansea City and this is evidenced by the fact that Bartley was offloaded to Birmingham City on a season long loan deal and after making his return to Swansea City, he only made 7 appearances.
Aston Villa have appointed former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood as the new man to lead the club. The immediate job for the former Crystal Palace man will be to get the club out of relegation trouble. Villa slipped into the drop zone after a 2-0 defeat against Hull City.
This defeat also led to the departure of manager Paul Lambert, who came to the club two years ago. Lambert was never accepted by the Villa supporters after they were unhappy with the style of football at the club. The defensive tactics, though, did not lead to great results as the club finished in the 15th place for two consecutive seasons.
Villa will no longer be aiming for a top-10 finish this campaign, but it is priority number one for Sherwood to get the club out of relegation trouble. Even though they are in the process only on basis of goal difference, Sherwood will be aware that this poor form has the potential to become more dangerous to the club. Relegation will be a very major blow to Villa owner Randy Lerner’s thoughts of finding a new buyer for the club. Sherwood will be focusing on getting players like Senderos back from the sidelines.
"Tim had a fantastic career at Tottenham, not only in his brief spell as first-team manager but, just as importantly, in the role he played in developing young talent.We are determined to build a football operation with a long-term vision and a commitment to youth development.We strongly believe Tim has the qualities to get the best out of our current squad and help us build and develop for the future,” said Aston Villa chief executive, Tom Fox. "It is a great honour to manage one of the biggest clubs in English football,” said Sherwood upon his arrival.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that he is extremely unhappy with the way the Swiss national team decided to call up Phillips Senderos despite being aware that he had not been playing for more than a month.
The former Arsenal and Fulham defender has featured in only seven league matches this season. He missed a major chunk of the last month due to injuries, but he was called up for the Swiss national team’s Euro 2016 qualifying matches. Predictably, Senderos suffered a repercussion of playing too soon and will miss more matches for Aston Villa.
Lambert was hoping that the recent injury crisis for his team will soon clear after the international break, but it has only worsened. Villa go into the key match against Southampton without their first choice centre backs like Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, and Senderos. Baker is not expected to return to action for at least two months while Senderos and Vlaar will be out for a short period of time. Lambert says that the Swiss FA should have done enough homework before announcing the squad for the matches against Lithuania and Poland. Only the match against Lithuania was a key match for the Swiss while the encounter against Poland was a friendly.
“They should have done their homework. They should have known he hadn’t played for a month. Philippe was totally fine when he went there. We have had discussions as a club and are not happy about the situation and the medical people aren’t happy with it either.I have lost a centre half who has been playing well and has only just come back from an injury. We are down to a couple of centre halves really. We have lost two of our experienced centre-halves,” said Lambert. This absence will certainly not helped Villa, who have had only two wins this campaign.
When Paul Lambert signed Philippe Senderos for free this summer, people were not sure if it was the right call. The 29 year old centre back did not have the best of records playing for Fulham and the other Premier League clubs. So, it was a sort of gamble for the Aston Villa boss, but, he took it and he has been repaid big time for his faith.
Senderos has been fantastic. He has perhaps played better than even Lambert’s expectations. He is yet to have a poor outing in Villa colours thus far. His presence there has converted Villa’s backline into a sort of unconquerable one. The opposition teams have hardly managed to go past that defence in the last few encounters. Only one goal has been scored versus the Villains in the league this season. Of course, it’s early days, but, still, to concede just a solitary goal in about a month and a half, it’s worth clapping.
While being interviewed yesterday, when Lambert was asked about Senderos, he said, “The guy is very, very organized and that’s what I like about him. He is always there, very consistent. You would hardly find him having an off day.”
“He has already played for big clubs. So, he knows what it’s all about and he is a true professional as well. He knows exactly what’s his role is and he goes about it calmly. He is a sort of guy, whom as a manager you believe, is never going to let you down.”
The next league match for Villa is against the Gunners and three points in that home match will make them the league table toppers for the time being. Currently, they are at the 6th position with 10 points.
Paul Lambert reckons that Philippe Senderos, one of his new signings, would show that he’s good enough to be playing at the Premier League level.
Senderos has recently signed for Villa after being let go by his previous club Valencia.
The 29-year old centre back has played for as many as 4 big clubs in the past and has represented his national side Switzerland in three FIFA World Cups as well, but, still, people don’t consider him a world class player.
Quite a few Football pundits have predicted that he would prove to be a flop at Villa Park, but, Lambert has given his full backing to the player.
Talking to the reporters yesterday, the Villa boss said, “Philippe is immensely experienced and we believe that he would help us sort out the defensive issues that we had the previous season.”
Aston Villa’s defence was all over the place in the 2013-14 Season. More than 60 goals were scored against them throughout the season.
Meanwhile, Kieran Richardson who was Senderos’ teammate at Fulham a year back has also tipped the Swiss defender to succeed at Villa.
Speaking in one of his interviews, Richardson said, “I have spent some time with Phil at the Craven Cottage and I am glad to be reunited with him. He is a sort of guy whom you want in the changing room as he keeps the environment light and help you soak up the pressure of big matches.”
Senderos had joined Valencia only for a brief period of 6 months at the start of this year. He got to play 8 league games there in which he did alright.
In the recently finished World Cup in Brazil, Senderos made just one appearance for Switzerland i.e. against France.
Switzerland just concluded their session of continuous string of injured players as Diego Benaglio, Philippe Senderos, Fabian Schaer and Xherdan Shaqiri have recovered from their respective injuries. All of them are key players in the squad of Ottmar Hitzfeld who will be the man in charge of guiding Switzerland through their 2014 World Cup campaign.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries but fortunately they got injured at the right time and not too close to the World Cup,” Hitzfeld told reporters.
After 31 years of coaching different clubs around the world and a number of accolades which includes: 2 Champions League titles and 7 Bundesliga coronations, it has been officially announced that Hitzfeld is going to step down from coaching and retire after the 2014 World Cup.
Switzerland has never managed to get past the quarterfinal stages of any World Cup and this upcoming one will see them facing off against France, Ecuador and Honduras in the group stages.
France are huge favorites on concluding at the top of the group but the 2nd spot will be highly contested between the remaining nations and the side of Hitzfeld will have their work cut out for them if they want to progress any further.
Hitzfeld displayed his intentions of at least reaching the round of 16 in this World Cup which will kick off in less than 2 weeks.
“I hope we can be a positive surprise and at least get to the round of 16 and take it from there. We will be playing in different climatic zones, so we have to play intelligently. Hitzfeld admitted.
They recently played an international friendly match against Jamaica and a lonely goal from Josip Drmic gave the Swiss the victory, Hitzfeld is hoping they can continue getting positive results for their upcoming matches.