x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Ashley Cole says Chelsea manager's age is just a number

Defender, who is just three years younger to Andre Villas-Boas, says the Portuguese will get respect at Stamford Bridge.


Matt Jarvis has set his sights on earning an England recall after reporting back for pre-season training with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The winger capped an excellent season by making his international debut against Ghana at Wembley Stadium in March. He then helped Wolves to secure their Premier League status before getting married during the summer break.

Jarvis said: "The England call-up was a huge boost for me and to actually play part of the game was massive. It was a lifelong ambition but it has whetted my appetite for more of the same … I want to play as many games as possible, score more goals and hopefully that will help me to get back in the England squad."

Aston Villa

Thomas Hitzlsperger is understood to have told friends he wants to return to Aston Villa. Sources close to Hitzlsperger told Press Association Sport the Germany international is keen to go back to the club where his career blossomed.

Hitzlsperger had indicated when he left Villa six years ago that he would "one day like to return to the club" and that remains the case now his spell at West Ham United has ended.

The source said: "Thomas wants to go back to Villa. He enjoyed some great times there." Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City are also believed to be interested in signing the 29-year-old midfielder, who has won 52 caps for his country.


Ashley Cole insists there are "no egos" at Chelsea and the senior players will quickly adapt to life under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. At just 33, the Portuguese coach will be the youngest manager in the Premier League next season, having been appointed successor to experienced Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

It has been suggested the former Porto manager will find it difficult to command respect among the older squad members. However, Cole, 30, said in an interview with Sky Sports News: "Age is just a number, he has experience of being at Porto, a big club. Hopefully he can bring that glory to Chelsea, but I don't think the age thing is anything to worry about, I don't think the players think about that. He is our manager now and we have to go out and fight for him."

Norwich City

Steve Morison, the new Norwich striker, intends to hit the ground running and help the Canaries get an early foothold in the Premier League. The 27-year-old Wales international was playing non-league football with Bishop's Stortford until 2006 when he moved on to Stevenage before his move to Millwall.

Now he is set to make the transition to the top flight having joined Paul Lambert's summer recruitment drive. "I just want to get into the team first and then play as many games and score as many goals as I can and ultimately help Norwich stay in the Premier League," Morison said on www.skysports.com. "If I do that and show what I am capable of then I am sure that I can get the fans on my side fairly quickly."

Newcastle United

Newcastle are to play the Italian side Fiorentina in their final pre-season friendly. The Magpies will take on Sinisa Mihajlovic's men at St James' Park on August 6. Fiorentina, who have the Italy striker Alberto Gilardino among their ranks, finished ninth in Serie A last season. It will be the first time the two sides have met since the final of the 1972/73 Anglo-Italian Cup in Florence, a game Newcastle won 2-1.