Arsene Wenger refuses to rule out move to bring Thierry Henry back to Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out a move to bring Thierry Henry back to the club.

 New York Reds Bulls striker Henry is currently training with Arsenal during the MLS off-season.

 Henry enjoyed a loan spell back with the Gunners last term when the MLS campaign came to an end and Wenger is now weighing up a third spell at Arsenal for the 35-year-old.

Wenger could be in the market for striking reinforcements after admitting Marouane Chamakh could leave in January and he will also be without Gervinho for several weeks when he plays for Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations

Wenger said: "He has been practising with us. Three times. Will I sign him again in January? I don't know - I don't rule it out. I don't know if he would be interested.

"This year we will lose Gervinho to the Africa Cup of Nations again, so we will be short - particularly if Chamakh goes."

Wenger knows Henry, who has scored 228 goals for Arsenal, is influential both on and off the pitch.

"You know what he gives you. He gives you hope, especially when he comes on. That is the most important thing," he said.

"He is a communicator. An extrovert. Very intelligent. He can only give good advice to players because he was in their position when he arrived here."

Davis Cup: Czech Republic beat Spain 3-2 in Prague final

 

The Czech Republic landed the 100th Davis Cup after Radek Stepanek beat Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the deciding rubber.

Roared on by his home crowd in the 02 Arena in Prague, the inspired Stepanek completed a 6-4 7-6 (7-0) 3-6 6-3 victory to give the Czechs a 3-2 win in the final and deny Spain a fourth Davis Cup triumph in five years.

After David Ferrer had kept Spain's hopes alive by beating Tomas Berdych to level the contest at 2-2, it left world No 37 Stepanek needing to beat 11th-ranked Almagro to give the hosts victory.

And, despite the gap in the rankings, Stepanek came up with the goods.

Stepanek pinched the first set 6-4 and, after Almagro had saved four set points in the second, the 33-year-old from Karvina blitzed the tie-break 7-0 to take a 2-0 lead.

Stepanek immediately had three break points at the start of the third as he moved in for the kill, but Almagro saved them and went on to take the set 6-3 after breaking in game six.

But it proved only a stay of execution for the 27-year-old Spaniard from Murcia as Stepanek came on strong again in the fourth.

Almagro dug deep to save a match point on his own serve in game eight but Stepanek held his serve in the next to spark wild celebrations amongst the 14,000 crowd.

It gave the Czech Republic their first Davis Cup win since they became an independent nation after splitting with Slovakia in 1993. Czechoslovakia won the Davis Cup in 1980 when they had Ivan Lendl in their ranks.

Inter held at home as Fiorentina go third

FC Internazionale Milano missed the chance to move within two points of Juventus after being held 2-2 by Cagliari Calcio, but it was a better day for ACF Fiorentina, Calcio Catania, Bologna FC and AC Siena, who all won at home.

Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter the perfect start at San Siro before two goals from Marco Sau looked to put the visitors on course for a third away win this season. However, a Davide Astori own goal eight minutes from time ensured that the spoils were shared.

Fiorentina fared much better on home soil against Atalanta BC, who had Luca Cigarini sent off in first-half stoppage time. Two goals at the end of the opening period from Alberto Aquilani contributed to a 4-1 win which moved Vincenzo Montella's side third, a point behind Inter and five behind leaders Juventus.

Elsewhere, Bologna scored two penalties in their 3-0 home win against US Città di Palermo, who finished the game with eight men. Sergio Almirón grabbed his first goals of the campaign to help Catania beat AC Chievo Verona 2-1, while Siena moved off the foot of the table with their third home win of the season against fellow strugglers Pescara Calcio, who missed a penalty and had two men sent off late on.

Shortly after his side's eighth defeat of the season, Pescara coach Giovanni Stroppa resigned, leaving the club 17th with 11 points from 13 games and the second worst defence in Serie A.

Also on Sunday, Raffaele Palladino's 89th-minute strike earned Parma FC a 2-2 stalemate at Udinese Calcio, and UC Sampdoria moved away from danger by downing derby rivals Genoa CFC 3-1.

Ferguson: I Wish We Still Had Ronaldo

Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is now "unbuyable", but admits he maintains hope he will one day return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80 million, and has since scored a remarkable 165 goals in 162 appearances.

Following United's shock 1-0 loss to Norwich, Ferguson admitted he wished he still had Ronaldo to call on, claiming the reigning La Liga champions got a bargain price.

"I'd like to think it would be [possible to get Ronaldo back], but I don't think it will be. You're talking about incredible amounts of money now," Ferguson said.

"What would you think his value would be? He's definitely unbuyable. Who could afford to buy him?

"He was definitely good value for Madrid, but he always wanted to play for them. It was his boyhood dream. I'm not saying he'll stay there forever, you never know. How do you know we've not got a buy-back clause for him?"

During his six seasons at United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League crown. Ferguson insists his performances from 2003-2009 make him one of the club's all-time greats.

"He's an unbelievable player - one of the best. We have a pantheon of great players and Ronaldo definitely compares with any of them.

"Although he had a natural talent, he is in many ways manufactured himself. He practised and practised. He had a bit of the Eric Cantona about him in that way. Paul Scholes is still the same," Ferguson concluded.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is now "unbuyable", but admits he maintains hope he will one day return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80 million, and has since scored a remarkable 165 goals in 162 appearances.

Following United's shock 1-0 loss to Norwich, Ferguson admitted he wished he still had Ronaldo to call on, claiming the reigning La Liga champions got a bargain price.

"I'd like to think it would be [possible to get Ronaldo back], but I don't think it will be. You're talking about incredible amounts of money now," Ferguson said.

"What would you think his value would be? He's definitely unbuyable. Who could afford to buy him?

"He was definitely good value for Madrid, but he always wanted to play for them. It was his boyhood dream. I'm not saying he'll stay there forever, you never know. How do you know we've not got a buy-back clause for him?"

During his six seasons at United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League crown. Ferguson insists his performances from 2003-2009 make him one of the club's all-time greats.

"He's an unbelievable player - one of the best. We have a pantheon of great players and Ronaldo definitely compares with any of them.

"Although he had a natural talent, he is in many ways manufactured himself. He practised and practised. He had a bit of the Eric Cantona about him in that way. Paul Scholes is still the same," Ferguson concluded.

 

Adebayor sent off in derby as Arsenal come back to defeat Tottenham

Emmanuel Adebayor went from Tottenham Hotspur's hero to zero against former club Arsenal as he scored and was then sent off in a dramatic 5-2 North London derby defeat.

Adebayor's goal added to his lack of popularity among Gunners fans following his controversial celebration three years ago for City when scoring in his first reunion with his ex-employers and then his penalty goal in last season's ultimate repeat 5-2 defeat for Spurs.

But his emotions got the better of him shortly after the quarter-hour mark on Saturday and his red card for a lunge on Santi Cazorla allowed Arsenal to come back and win through Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Cazorla and Theo Walcott despite Gareth Bale's consolation.

Tottenham started well and, less than a minute after a William Gallas effort was ruled out for offside, they took a 10th minute lead when Adebayor tapped in the rebound after Wojciech Szczesny, back after a two-month injury lay-off, could only palm a Jermain Defoe shot.

But Adebayor's joy was short-lived, as, in the 18th minute, he was shown a straight red card by referee Howard Webb for a wild, studs-up sliding challenge on Cazorla, which sparked a melee between both sets of players.

Adebayor had let his team-mates down and, with a man disadvantage, they were only able to hold onto their lead for six minutes before Mertesacker's excellent header from Walcott's pinpoint cross opened the German's account for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

"I think Arsenal have a long way to go. They showed their frailties, certainly defensively. But they showed a lot of quality. I never get tired of watching Santi Cazorla play"
The home side, dominating possession, cranked up the pressure and took the lead in the 42nd minute when a Podolski shot from inside the penalty area ricocheted off Gallas to strand Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was preferred ahead of Brad Friedel.

Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham in injury time before half-time when Giroud, who had earlier been denied from two headers by Lloris, slid in to meet Cazorla's low cross and make it 3-1.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, in charge of his first North London derby and now under greater pressure in his job after this latest defeat, sent on Clint Dempsey and Michael Dawson at half-time in place of full-backs Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton.

Arsenal, though, remained in the ascendency and, on the hour mark, Podolski's excellent, passed cross from the left provided Cazorla a one-touch, right-foot finish at the back post to give his side a comfortable cushion.

Bale's fine 20-yard finish, which arrowed into the bottom corner from his weaker right foot, in the 71st minute gave Spurs some hope but any thoughts of a comeback were already over long before Walcott made sure of the points in injury time.