Liverpool have announced their new chairman will be Tom Werner, who holds a similar position with the club owners New England Sports Ventures. Werner will start on Wednesday, although previous chairman Martin Broughton ended his involvement after last weekend's 3-0 victory over West Ham. Daniel Aurelio returned to the Liverpool side in that win after recovering from injury and Roy Hodgson is expecting big things from the left-back. He told The Liverpool Echo: "It was nice to see him back on the field again and he played with great confidence. If he can stay fit then it could be a really good boost to our team."
Last weekend's impressive, 4-1 win at Fulham was a statement of intent from Manchester City that they can challenge for the title, and Vincent Kompany wants his side to put in a repeat of that display in London tomorrow when they travel to Stoke. The defender told his club's website: "We've had some good performances this season but this was of a very high standard. We need to match the heights we reached last Sunday every time we play and for the rest of the season. We can't slip or only perform the way we did against Fulham every now and then - we need to be consistent until the last kick of the season."
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players that they need to raise their game if they are to win a 12th league title under him. United have only won once away all season and have twice, at Fulham and Everton, conceded late goals to lose winning positions. But they are still level on points with Chelsea at the top of the table, trailing only on goal difference. "It is time to waken up. The only thing I can say for certain is that the big teams will be fighting it out at the end of the season," said Ferguson. "You can look at the dropped points against West Brom, Everton and Fulham. With those points, we could have been six clear."
Steven Taylor will make his first start in 10 months for Newcastle on Sunday when they host leaders Chelsea and he is keen to make an immediate impact. With the first-choice centre-halves Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson both suspended, Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager, is turning to Taylor, who has been sidelined with knee and shoulder problems since January. The defender yesterday said: "I'm hoping to get my chance. All you can do it wait for your chance and wait for the gaffer to pick you, and if I do get my chance I'll look forward to it. I want to do my best for this club."
Tony Pulis, the Stoke boss, plans to get talks under way between the club and Jermaine Pennant about making the winger's loan move from Real Zaragoza permanent in January. Pennant has impressed since joining in August and recently stated his desire to stay with the club beyond the end of his loan spell in January. Pulis is similarly keen to keep hold of Pennant, 27, but is aware of financial constraints. He said: "I think everybody would like him to stay, but as I have said before we have a structure at the football club. It's a tough world out there at the moment and we have to work within our means."
Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, has been dealt a double blow by the news that he will be without the central defenders Titus Bramble and Michael Turner until the new year. Bramble underwent surgery yesterday to repair a damaged knee cartilage, but Bruce's dismay increased when it emerged that Turner had damaged knee ligaments when he collided with a post during Monday night's 2-2 draw with Everton and could be sidelined for months. Bruce told his club's website: "It's horrible news. He will see a specialist today. I believe it could be months rather than weeks, and that's a big blow to us."
Tottenham yesterday cleared what could be the final hurdle in their bid to redevelop White Hart Lane after the London mayor gave their plans the green light. Boris Johnson had the power to overturn last month's decision by Haringey Council to grant Spurs planning permission to build a 56,000-seat venue on the site of their current ground. But the mayor decided to back the council, meaning the £450 million (Dh2.6 billion) project can go ahead if the club choose to follow the option. Tottenham have also put forward their interest in taking over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Summer Games.
West Bromwich Albion
Roberto Di Matteo has a selection headache for tomorrow's trip to Everton, with three players struggling with injuries. Chris Brunt, who missed last weekend's 3-0 loss to Stoke with a groin injury, is still receiving treatment, while James Morrison (back) and Steven Reid (Achilles) are both carrying knocks. Di Matteo told his club's website: "Brunt was 50-50 today and we'll see how he progresses. Morrison fell awkwardly on Saturday and Reidy has an Achilles tendon problem that needs looking after." Meanwhile, Gianni Zuiverloon, the defender, has gone on loan to Championship side Ipswich Town until January.
West Ham United
It is a case of good news and bad news for Avram Grant this week. The bad is that the West Ham boss will be without Mark Noble for tomorrow's game with Wigan as a result of the leg injury he picked up at Liverpool last week. The upside for Grant is that he should have Scott Parker back after the midfielder recovered from a chest infection that kept him out of the trip to Merseyside. Also, Carlton Cole, the striker, has apologised to Grant for criticising his tactics. Cole had complained that he was given no service at Liverpool, but he has now said "sorry" to his manager.
Tom Cleverley will return to the Wigan team for tomorrow's trip to West Ham, and Roberto Martinez believes having the 21-year-old back will give his side a major boost. The winger, who is on loan from Manchester United, was not available for selection for last weekend's game at Old Trafford due to the terms of his deal. But he will slot back in the side straight away at West Ham. Martinez told The Wigan Evening Post: "It's such a massive positive to have Tom available for selection. He is physically very strong and has an excellent understanding of the game."
Sitting joint bottom of the Premier League table and five points adrift of safety might dampen the resolve of some managers, but not Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, who has not stopped believing that his side can stay up despite having won only two games all season. "My life is brilliant, except for the fact I can't get three points from somewhere at the minute," he told The Express & Star. "I'm the one who looks at all the positives in life, gets up, goes out and cracks on with it and tries to turn the football around. Everything else is fine, it's great."