Villas-Boas Says Arsenal in Negative Spiral: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.

Spurs Upswing

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said his team is confident of a top-four finish in the Premier League after beating Arsenal 2-1 yesterday to move seven points ahead of its north London rival, the Guardian reported.

“The difference this year is that we are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence whereas they are in a negative spiral,” the Guardian cited Villas-Boas as saying. “Once you get into that negative spiral it’s difficult to get out of it.”

Samba Stays

Queens Park Rangers rejected what coach Harry Redknapp said was a “massive” offer for Chris Samba from Zenit St. Petersburg, the Daily Mirror reported.

The bid was for more than the 12.5 million pound ($18.8 million) fee Rangers paid Anzhi for the center half in the January transfer window, the Mirror said, citing Redknapp.

Straight Talking

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants players to take more responsibility for results and said he won’t shy away from criticizing them in public, the Sun reported.

“I say what I think sometimes because I think it could be good for my players to understand they could play better, they can do more,” the Sun cited Mancini as saying.

Suarez Snub?

Stewart Downing said Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez’s chances of winning the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award may be hampered by how his peers perceive him, the Daily Mirror reported.

Downing said voters could be swayed by the Uruguayan striker’s reputation for diving and his eight-match ban last season for racially abusing Patrice Evra, the newspaper added.

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