CELTIC target Liverpool’s Joe Allen and Robert Snodgrass but face obstacles to sign both; Joey Barton signature a statement of intent, says Rangers’ Mark Warburton; David Marshall reacts to being called “world class” by Italian legend Walter Zenga; plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Gordon Strachan: Scotland weren’t good enough
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admitted his team simply “weren’t good enough” after they lost 1-0 to Italy in dispiriting fashion last night.
The friendly in Malta’s Ta’ Qali Stadium that exposed a chasm in class was the first of a double header that on Saturday will see Scotland be the final warm-up act for France ahead of their hosting Euro 2016.
“We have talked about why we didn’t pass the ball as well as we can,” he said. “I counted about eight or nine passes we gave away, which you would think we’d keep it or do better.”
He added: “A lot of our players are in the Championship, not at the top European level. And you are also playing against a Juventus back three and a goalkeeper who are fantastic.” (Scotsman)
Celtic warned off Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen
Celtic have been warned that Joe Allen may be too expensive to prise from Liverpool.
The Welshman has a year of his contact left to run at Anfield, and although he only played 19 times for Jurgen Klopp he was beginning to reestablish himself back in the side.
His deal at Anfield entitles him to £45,000 a week, which his agent Glenn Corcoran suggested would be a “massive issue” in a scenario where Celtic were to offer less.
Asked if Allen would join Brendan Rodgers, his former boss at Liverpool, at Celtic, Corcoran said: “This is the first I’ve heard of this. Joe has a year of his contract at Liverpool and nobody has spoken to us about extending that. The club have not spoken to us about selling him either. I haven’t given any thought whatsoever to it with regards to Celtic or any club.” (Daily Record)
Mark Warburton expects Joey Barton to make impact at Rangers
Mark Warburton has said that the signing of Joey Barton has given a clear signal to Rangers’ Scottish Premiership rivals of their ambitions for next season.
Rangers signed the former Manchester City and Marseilles midfielder from Burnley last week.
“I’m absolutely delighted we’ve signed him because he is a tremendous talent and someone who, like Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace, can be an inspiration for the younger players.
“He can help us get even more out of our developing talents, inspire everyone to get to the next level, winning more trophies, getting us where a club like Rangers has to be – at the very top.” (Scottish Sun)
Robert Snodgrass opens up on injury – and abstinence – hell
Robert Snodgrass has spoken of his jubilation after helping Hull back into the English Premier League after beating Sheffield Wednesday, thereby appearing to close to the door on a move to Celtic.
Snodgrass had dislocated his knee cap on his Hull debut in 2014, but the former Norwich midfielder was instrumental in helping his side win their play-off final 1 – 0.
He said: “It was one of the happiest days I’ve had over the last two and a half years. When I saw my mum Irene and dad Stephen, for them to be there was an achievement because they never leave Parkhead!”
Of some of the sacrifices he made, he said: “I want to have a rest now because I haven’t switched off i two years. I didn’t have a summer last year. I haven’t had one single beer and, for a lad from Glasgow, that is quite a tough thing. That might be my biggest achievement. Some of my family and mates think I’ve gone insane!” (Scottish Sun)
David Marshall unhappy about losing clean sheet despite Zenga praise
Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall has brushed off praise by Italian legend Walter Zenga after a stunning double save in last night’s otherwise dismal game.
The Cardiff City goalkeeper saved a free kick from Antonio Candreva and then saved the rebound from point blank range.
Responding to the former Inter Milan shotstopper’s comments, Marshall said: “I obviously didn’t hear that praise but it’s nice to hear from someone like him. It was just instincts, to be honest.
“Listen, goalkeepers love to make saves, especially early on, so in that regard it was disappointing to lose one in the second half.” (Daily Record)