WHAT today’s papers say:
DAILY MIRROR: Former Doncaster Rovers star El-Hadji Diouf has made an astonishing attack on Steven Gerrard, claiming: “Nobody can stand him at Liverpool”. He said: “I respect him as a footballer, but there is no greater egomaniac than him. He doesn’t give a damn about anyone else. He would rather Liverpool lost and he scored. Also: David Moyes has admitted he owes a massive thanks to Wayne Rooney for helping make him a top manager.
DAILY MAIL: England defender Joleon Lescott will today continue his boycott of the Kick It Out campaign by refusing to wear an anti-racism T-shirt. Also: The Millwall supporter accused of posting a sickening photo on Facebook which appeared to threaten the life of Bolton striker Marvin Sordell has written a grovelling letter of apology.
DAILY EXPRESS: John Terry will brave the wrath of fans and sit in the stands at Tottenham to watch Chelsea in their crunch London derby at lunchtime today. Also: Much has been said about that Chelsea game at Loftus Road 12 months ago. Never before, though, has Andre Villas-Boas admitted it was the beginning of the end for him at Stamford Bridge.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: In the 473 years since racing was first recorded on the Roodee at Chester, the Turf has not come up with a more poignant story that Britain’s greatest trainer fighting stomach cancer while brilliantly marshalling the career of the ultimate horse. Also: Reading are a blemish on Brendan Rodgers’ managerial CV, but as he prepares to meet the club that sacked him three years ago the Liverpool manager sees his dismissal as the turning point of his career.
DAILY STAR: Chelsea are on the verge of stripping John Terry of the captaincy. Also: Former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was assaulted on the pitch by a fan last night.
THE TIMES: Roberto Di Matteo insisted yesterday that he has no regrets about Chelsea’s handling of the John Terry racism affair and claimed that the disgraced defender remains a suitable figurehead for the club. Also: Arsene Wenger told the nation last night not to go “bonkers” over Jack Wilshere’s imminent return after the Arsenal manager changed his mind and put the midfielder in contention to play his first game in 14 months today.
THE SUN: John Terry will be back as Chelsea captain in just three days’ time despite an FA admission that he has ‘damaged English football’. Also: Jack Wilshere is set to be fast-tracked straight on to the bench at Norwich today.
THE INDEPENDENT: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Rio Ferdinand that he must comply with instructions to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt before today’s game with Stoke City at Old Trafford, despite the Manchester United defender considering a boycott over what he perceives to be the failure in the handling of the John Terry affair. Also: Roberto Di Matteo admitted for the first time yesterday that John Terry’s abuse of Anton Ferdinand had damaged Chelsea’s image.
THE GUARDIAN: John Terry has finally been criticised in public by his employers, Chelsea, for his use of racially abusive language in the infamous confrontation with the manager, Roberto Di Matteo, saying that the defender had damaged the club’s image and let everybody down. Also: Roberto Mancini has defender Joe Hart against Roy Keane’s accusation that the Manchester City goalkeeper can be “cocky”.