Soccer Shorts


A round-up of today's other shorts in brief

McCarthy favourite to succeed Coyle

Mick McCarthy has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Owen Coyle after Bolton Wanderers sacked their manager yesterday morning. The Scot lost his job after last season’s relegation was followed by a run of results that left the team 18th in the Championship.

Coyle left Wanderers following discussions with Phil Gartside, the chairman, and the owner, Eddie Davies, with sources at the Reebok Stadium claiming that no shortlist for the replacement had been drawn up ahead of the decision. “Owen poured his heart and soul into the job, both on and off the pitch, and he led our club with great dignity during some very challenging times,” Gartside told the Bolton website.

Behind McCarthy, who was sacked as Wolverhampton Wanderers manager last season, the bookmakers also have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sammy Lee, Bolton’s former manager who is again on the club’s backroom staff, in the running. Lee and Jimmy Phillips, the head of academy coaching, take temporary charge of the first-team squad.

Britain not to field  soccer team in Rio

Britain will not enter a men’s soccer team for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, English Football Association general secretary Alex Horne said yesterday.

Britain returned to the Olympic finals this summer for the first time since 1960 in Rome.

It was also the first time since 1972, when they were eliminated in the qualifiers, that they had taken part in the event.

The issue is politically sensitive as the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland FA’s feel their participation threatens their individual status within Fifa, world soccer’s governing body.

Wales players were included in Stuart Pearce’s squad at London 2012 but there were no Scottish or Irish players involved and Horne told Sky Sports News no British men’s team would be entered for the 2016 Games.

“The pinnacle is the World Championships (World Cup) and we’ve got the European Championships as well,” he said.

But Horne said there was a possibility a women’s team might be entered for the Rio qualifiers. “We will keep talking to people about that,” he said. We’re not ruling it out.”

Trapattoni not interested in vacant Blackburn Rovers job

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni last night distanced himself from rumours surrounding the fact that he had applied for the vacant Blackburn Rovers job.

“I’m not aware of it. It must be agent chit chat. I’m not interested anyway. I’m concentrating on the task in hand,” Trapattoni said.

Rovers will draw up a shortlist of potential managers tomorrow, according to the club’s global adviser, Shebby Singh.

Rovers have received dozens of applications for their managerial vacancy since Steve Kean resigned on September 28th although former striker Alan Shearer, despite expressing interest in the job, has had no contact with the club owner, Venky’s.

Eric Black, formerly Kean’s assistant, has been in charge for the past three matches, draws at Charlton and Nottingham Forest plus a home defeat by Wolves.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Tim Sherwood, Shearer and the former Spain coach Javier Clemente have been linked with the position, with Tottenham reluctant to let Sherwood leave their coaching team.

Celtic's Commons called up to the Scotland squad

Celtic winger Kris Commons has been called up to the Scotland squad after ankle injuries forced Jordan Rhodes and Robert Snodgrass to withdraw.

Commons has not played for Scotland for more than a year but could face Wales in Cardiff on Friday, with Belgium hosting the Scots next Tuesday.

Rhodes’ Blackburn team-mate, Grant Hanley, pulled out of Craig Levein’s squad with a groin strain on Monday. And forward Steven Naismith will miss both matches because of suspension.

Capped nine times, 29-year-old Commons has scored two international goals – both during Levein’s time as national coach. But he has not featured for Scotland since early 2011 and last week admitted he found it “baffling” that he was not being considered for more caps.

Everton's Moyes is awarded manager of the month

Everton boss David Moyes has his eyes firmly set on a return to Europe after the club’s impressive start to the season earned him the manager of the month award for September.

The Toffees won two and drew another of their four matches to remain in the top four heading into October. Moyes is now keen for his side to maintain their elevated position for the rest of the campaign.

“With the quality of the Premier League it is really hard to qualify for the Champions League but I wouldn’t say we can’t do it,” said the Scot.

“It is possible and you have to aim for that. If we fall short and end up in the Europa League then so be it, but in recent years we have been pretty close, finishing sixth, seventh or eighth, so we want to do that at the very least.”

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher won the player of the month award after scoring five goals in four games.

Fletcher, a £12 million signing from Wolves in August, scored twice on his debut against Swansea and followed up with goals against Liverpool, West Ham and Wigan.

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