Today in the Premier League

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William Gallas says he has hopes of becoming a manager when his playing days come to an end. "I will take my training qualifications one day, maybe when I am still playing," the Frenchman said. "To be a manager you have to understand players, so that can be easier if you have been a player."

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill believes the current trend for two-footed tackles should be eradicated from the game. "I have no idea why players go in two-footed. People say 'I got some of the ball' – it's nonsense!" the Villa manager said. "You could break someone's leg and put them out of the game for good!"

Birmingham City

The Blues have reportedly had an improved £1.5 million bid for defender David Murphy rejected by Hibernian. "I want to keep the best players," new Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen said. "It doesn't surprise me other clubs are interested in David because he is a good, good player."

Blackburn Rovers

Manager Mark Hughes believes the club can maintain their recent good form and push for a European position. "Other teams in and around us will have a blip," the Welshman said. "Hopefully from now until the end of the season we'll be strong and forceful and get into those European places."

Bolton Wanderers

The Iceland international Gretar Steinsson is expected to complete a move to the Trotters from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar for a fee of around £3million. The 26-year-old defender underwent an unsuccessful trial at the Reebok Stadium five years ago. "This is a fantastic chance for me," Steinsson told De Telegraaf. "It's a great club."


Former Blues midfielder Pat Nevin believes new signing Nicolas Anelka will compliment strike partner Didier Drogba. "Most defences struggle to cope with Drogba," Nevin said. "Add Anelka's power and intelligent running, along with his predatory instincts, then you start asking yourself if there are a better couple of strikers in the league?"

Derby County

The Rams have been told to forget signing Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford. Paul Jewell watched Beckford score his 16th goal of the season on Monday. "I'm not prepared to let him go," Leeds manager Dennis Wise said. "Not to a place like Derby. We're a bigger club, why would he want to go there?"


David Moyes has praised the performances of Toffees' England defender Joleon Lescott. The versatile 25-year-old has played at centre-half and left-back for both club and country this season. "For me, he is close to the best in the country," Moyes said. "As a left-back and as a centre-back as well."


Manager Roy Hodgson said he is likely to resist handing Jimmy Bullard a place in the Cottagers' starting line-up this weekend, following 16 months on the sidelines for the midfielder. "I have to be mindful he is only just coming back from a serious injury," Hodgson said. "You have to be careful."


Xabi Alonso harbours hopes of adopting a role at Anfield similar to that of boyhood hero Lothar Matthaus. "I feel I have some good years left playing in midfield," the Spaniard said. "But later in my career you never know. Once I get older I may end up playing back there just as Matthaus did."

Manchester City

Sven Goran Eriksson may make changes for tonight's FA Cup Third Round replay against West Ham. Nery Castillo could make a first start following his loan from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Probable team (4-4-2): Hart; Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball; Elano, Petrov, Gelson, Hamann; Castillo, Vassell.

Manchester United

Following the signing of Angola forward Manucho Goncalves, assistant manager Carlos Queiroz said the club want to "open the door" to African football. "We will do this to have a greater involvement," Queiroz said. "Maybe I'll go to Ghana to see some of the African Nations Cup games."


Egyptian Mido could make his return from a pelvic injury against Blackburn this weekend. "He did some training with us last week but he wasn't ready," manager Gareth Southgate said. "If he can train with us for a full week then there is a possibility he could be involved."

Newcastle United

Midfielders Alan Smith and Nicky Butt (suspension) sit out tonight's FA Cup third round replay with Stoke. Emre may start with Andy Carroll and Kazenga Lua Lua also in contention.

Probable team (4-4-2): Given; Carr, Taylor, Rozehnal, Enrique; N'Zogbia, Emre, Milner, Duff; Viduka, Owen.


The defender Sylvain Distin has echoed team-mate Sol Campbell in urging the club to bring in reinforcements during the transfer window. "I think we need to invest in players," Distin said. "We do not have enough players. If we have injuries or suspensions, we are in trouble."


Captain Graeme Murty believes the club can beat Manchester United on Saturday. "Games against the big clubs are easy for us because no-one expects us to get anything from them," the defender said. "We believe we will win, even if it's a spawny 1-0 off someone's kneecap."


The Black Cats have signed the France under-19 defender Jean-Yves Mvoto from Paris St-Germain. The 19-year-old has signed a three-year contract with Roy Keane's side. "Jean is one for the future," Keane said. "He's a strong centre-back who will be a good addition to our squad."

Tottenham Hotspur

The midfielder Jamie O'Hara said he has been happy with his first few games for the club and is now looking to add some goals to his game. "I've made a few starts so now I'm looking to get on the scoresheet," the 21-year-old said. "If I get the chance to play, I'll certainly do my best."

West Ham United

Lucas Neill (hamstring) could return for tonight's FA Cup third round replay at Manchester City. Craig Bellamy (abdomen), Nolberto Solano (groin), Scott Parker (knee) and Bobby Zamora (knee) are all unavailable.

Probable team(4-4-2): Green; Neill, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney; Bowyer, Mullins, Noble, Etherington; Ashton, Cole.

Wigan Athletic

The Latics manager Steve Bruce has expressed pleasant surprise at being able to sign the former Birmingham City midfielder, Wilson Palacios. "I couldn't believe my luck," Bruce said. "His agent told me he was on his way back to Honduras, so we decided to dive in – and for £1m at the age of 22, he will be a very good player, believe you me."